To Cross Sell Is To Show You Care
Most professionals within the financial services industry genuinely care about their clients. It’s why they are in the business.
Your business probably has checkpoints in place to ensure that your clients receive top-notch service and that nothing drops through the cracks.
When you and your team care, if something did drop through the cracks, there would be genuine remorse. You’d take a hard look at your systems and ask how to stop it from ever happening again, because you know the importance of what you do for your clients and work hard to ensure they have the protection that they’ve been promised.
But what happens if your clients were never given the option for coverage? Or, what happens if their coverage isn’t enough? Once they need that coverage, there isn’t much that can be done. Every conversation with a client provides opportunities. Opportunities to educate clients about their risks and opportunities to allow them to understand their options for coverage before they need it. Your clients' needs change as their lives change. The problem is, clients don’t always understand that as their lives change their financial risks and opportunities also change.
It is often called cross-selling, but we prefer to call it Service Through Selling, because the heart of the matter is that it should be a very intentional part of your service. Service Through Selling is about your entire team understanding how they can actively listen for and take action to identify needs your client may not be aware of. It’s about putting the genuine care they have for your clients into action every day.
So why can it be a challenge to get your service team to implement Service Through Selling? Our belief is it doesn’t have anything to do with caring.
What’s missing is the ability to get your team outside of their comfort zone. Comfort zones are funny things. Everyone’s comfort zone is different. Different experiences, beliefs, and even education come together to form how your team even thinks about Service Through Selling. And how they think about Service Through Selling impacts how they implement it.
There are so many reasons that Service Through Selling may be outside your team’s comfort zone. They may not want to discuss death. They may find asking a client about long-term care plans is too personal. They may worry that a client would be embarrassed or uncomfortable about discussing the topic. They may also just feel the client is in a rush. The good news is there are ways to help your team break through their own comfort zones to focus on your clients needs. For an in-depth look, we recommend our Service Through Selling Inspired Action Series, but here are two quick tips to get you started today:
- Know your client service promise. Your client service promise is the core of what you do and why you do it. That promise probably includes something like, “we promise to help you identify risks and opportunities and help educate you to make the best choice for your family.” When your team has a strong connection to the promise you make to your clients, it’s easier to step outside their comfort zone, to ensure the client’s needs are met. When it’s about the client - It’s not about selling. It’s simply about, what is best for the client. What did we promise them?
- Practice makes it easier. No one is going to get it perfect. Sometimes it’s still going to feel uncomfortable to ask a question or start a conversation about life insurance, long-term care, retirement or other solutions that your business provides. However, practice will help. If your team has practice in knowing what to listen for, what questions to ask, and what action to take, they will be more likely to fulfill the Client Service Promise. Without practice, the focus becomes on what to say, how to say it, etc. It’s nerve wracking and the client is often gone by the time your team has a chance to pull their thoughts together. With practice, the words and language comes more easily and your team can push through their comfort zones and focus on meeting your client’s needs by providing Service Through Selling.