Most definitely not! Insurance agents are not just sales people. They are custodians of our financial portfolio to ensure that we have adequate coverage and savings for our future. They take ownership of our financial goals and needs by providing sound advice, constantly checking in to ensure we are actively pursuing our goals and assisting with our claims. In spite of playing an essential role in our lives, the insurance industry is highly competitive. Insurance agents therefore have to differentiate themselves to try to stand out from the crowd. As consumers become more savvy, insurance agents seem to converge towards pitching similar value propositions to their prospects and clients.
What used to be a differentiating factor and value proposition has now become a norm:
Offering portfolio reviews
Having multiple company policies for comparison
Here are three ways for your prospects and clients to not just remember you for, but also refer you to their contacts.
1. Strive Towards Holistic Planning
Most insurance agents are only planning with the current resources available to them; products available from their respective company and within their client’s budget. In Singapore today, when an insurance agent meets with new prospects, chances are that these prospects might already have some existing policies. They may not be willing to buy more due to limited budget or other various reasons. Any recommendations from the insurance agent to buy more policies from the get go would risk himself or herself being perceived as pushy. This is where you can look into helping clients increase their earning capability in order to help them achieve their longer-term goals of desired financial freedom, lifestyle and retirement. This could be in the form of personalizing your approach to align your financial advisory to the prospect’s/client’s career. This may lead to a longer time to a sale, but it builds a long-term relationship of trust, credibility and value with the prospects/clients. When clients have increased their earning capacity and have higher disposable income, they will be more ready and willing to contact you to review their financial portfolio.
Rebranding is not limited to social media presence; it is also embedded within one's planning philosophy. Insurance agents these days are not just stopping at risk management and wealth accumulation. Many have chosen to upgrade themselves in the areas of wealth distribution/preservation by taking up estate planning/will-writing certifications.
Here are some questions to ask yourself on how you would like to position yourself:
What are your beliefs when it comes to your client's financial portfolio?
Is your financial advisory sole goal to just make a person purchases a policy from you?
Do you help your clients/prospect chart out their career path?
Do you incorporate technology beneficial to your clients in your financial advisory?
When you begin to understand your preferred planning philosophy, you are then able to focus on delivering real value to your clients/prospects. This will fortify your rebranding process and differentiate you from other insurance agents.
3. Groom Leaders Not Followers
Many insurance agents aspire to embark on the track to become agency leaders, yet their recruitment pitches and processes appear to be cliché and mediocre. The hook for a higher potential income, time freedom as well as yearly incentive trips may not be that attractive anymore. Moreover, such value propositions do not make a manager any different from any other aspiring managers who are trying to recruit them as well. A practical idea here in order to incorporate all the points above is to embrace the role and competency as a career coach. In this way, you will be able to help your clients/prospects achieve their goals in the career paths as well as recruit and train a highly effective agency.
It takes a visionary mindset to redefine the financial planning landscape in Singapore. What is your competitive edge? What is your value proposition to your customers? Sometimes you might need to be the first mover in the industry to do things differently to stand out in the game.
Content contribution by Eddie Lee & Joon Tong from Future of Talent Economy (FOTE) Network. FOTE Network has just launched their long-awaited Applied Career Coaching Certification - a first ever accredited career coaching course in Asia developed by HR professionals and business entrepreneurs!