In many markets, customers care a lot about price, but many insurance agents have little control over pricing—as the carrier sets the prices. Sure, you can work with insureds to find opportunities to reduce premiums, but in the end you can’t tinker with pricing strategy to see what works best—and your competition sells many of the same products, priced the same way.
Insurance agents, brokers, and others in the field often struggle to find ways to differentiate themselves under these conditions. But the bottom line is that it’s often necessary to shift the conversation with the customer to focus on value, not on price. That could involve the value provided by the coverage—or the value you provide as an agent. Here are a few ways to do this.
Consider who you’re selling to. The first step is to look at your buyers. Some insureds really do care only about price, but many want to find the right coverage—a policy that protects them at a good value. They don’t want only the lowest-priced policy they can find. If you’re finding that your prospects really do just want the lowest-priced policy, you may be marketing to the wrong people. Instead of trying to change their minds, go after prospects with more resources and a more value-conscious mindset.
Consider why your customers buy from you. The most powerful way to identify your own value is to let your customers tell you. Send out a questionnaire or talk to some of your best customers in person and ask them why they choose to work with you—what do you bring to the table over and above your competition? Review your old successes—claims paid that were a godsend to families and companies—and see what safeguards you put in place to make those claims a success. Take all this data and make a list. Craft a value proposition.
Think about how you consult. Most insurance agents spend most of their time focusing on the policy. While that’s important, it’s more useful to think of your role as a consultant to your insured—helping them identify risks and coverage gaps and finding the right solutions.
Setting yourself apart as a high-value partner to your insureds can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. You’re not just offering the same coverage as everyone else. You’re serving as a valuable consultant to clients who need the coverage you sell. You not only save them money, but make sure their assets are protected in case something goes wrong. And you serve as an expert resource in that capacity in a way no one else can. Getting at that difference is the best way to define your value proposition.