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Cross-Selling Insurance to Current Clients: Why Do It & How

Cross-selling insurance is tough. Mostly because it can make customers think that you just want more of their money. However, it’s a known fact that, on average, 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your existing customers.  

Despite this, a lot of consumers have a negative impression of cross-selling. And as a result, many agencies are responding by scaling down on cross-selling. 

But they shouldn’t be, and here’s why…

A research study by consulting firm Simon-Kucher & Partners shows that the average U.S. insurance customer would be willing to pay a slightly higher premium to get more convenience and better service. And yet, only 4-9% of survey respondents confirmed that they were contacted about additional coverage. 

It’s not that cross-selling doesn’t work or that consumers are completely opposed to adding on new products, it’s that agencies need to take the right approach.    

Why You Should Be Cross-Selling Insurance

Cross-selling insurance offers several benefits to your agency. 

  • Marketing to existing customers takes less effort.
  • By delivering more value to your clients, you improve satisfaction and retention.
  • You increase overall revenues in the process.
  • You grow your brand as an insurance agency by expanding your portfolio.

However, the biggest benefit you gain from cross-selling insurance to existing clients is improving the relationship you have with them. Yes, you can look forward to greater revenue and profits. But the long-term benefits are about solidifying your relationships with customers and encouraging loyalty.  

This way, your customers are willing to pay more for what they perceive to be of a higher value.  

How to Cross-Sell Effectively and Increase Growth

1. Get Your Strategy Right

Cross-selling insurance is such a challenge because it is essentially a tug-of-war between customer retention and growth. Between nurturing existing business and bringing in new revenue, you face a lot of pressure in terms of meeting quotas and other expectations. 

If your cross-selling strategy is standing in your path to growth, it may be time to reexamine it. Look at the incentives and motivations driving your cross-selling strategy. It’s not just about pushing more products on to your customers. It’s about driving more value and creating opportunities to cross-sell organically. 

2. Cross-Sell to the Right Customers

An article on The Dark Side Of Cross-Selling reveals something interesting. In some cases, it can actually be detrimental to cross-sell because it costs more to promote other products than you can gain from the effort. 

That’s why it’s important to analyze customer profiles closely and identify who is a good candidate for cross-selling. The effort has to be objective and targeted, not a blanket campaign. With this approach, you can save time and money while experiencing greater success in building more fruitful client relationships.

3. Focus on Customer Improvement Instead of Customer Service

There is a powerful business case for customer improvement as opposed to just customer service. Customer improvement helps your customers look at the future differently and change their behavior – all in a way that helps them adopt more products you offer. 

In other words, while customer service looks to create more value toward what customers already have (and therefore drive loyalty and retention), customer improvement helps them see new possibilities. 

It can be as simple as identifying service gaps and plugging them with new products, to educating clients on what they don’t know about insurance so that they have an incentive to buy different products. 

4. Embrace Technology

Screenshot of condo, auto, and life insurance policy information within Insurance Agent App.

Many insurance agents are over the mobile apps talk, but the fact is your customers still have high mobile servicing expectations. And if you don’t meet them, there’s a good chance you won’t have to worry about how to approach cross-selling – because your clients will move on to more digitally forward competitors. 

But by embracing technology in the form of a self-service mobile app platform, you’re able to empower your customers while opening up many cross-selling opportunities.

  • It allows the customer to engage with you on a more personal level – on their phone.
  • It presents natural opportunities to cross-sell by aggregating diverse products and information. For example, a client who only has auto insurance may see the inventory option in the app and ask for a home quote, or vice versa.
  • The ability to self-serve also cultivates an empowered customer and helps introduce more possibilities.

Make no mistake – mobile apps work because they align well with customer expectations on mobile technology. The better equipped you are to meet these expectations, the better your chances of cross-selling successfully. 

Practical Tips for Cross-Selling Insurance

1. Educate Customers and Get Them to Take the Initiative

A mobile app self-service platform offers a great opportunity to inform customers of what other insurance options are available. Independent agencies like yours are particularly advantaged by such a platform because you have a wealth of options and information on which you can capitalize. And you can house those resources in the app, putting them right in your clients’ hands.

We’ve talked about the major benefits of having a mobile app for your agency. But many insurance agents still don’t fully understand the intrinsic value of such an app. It’s not just about better communication and more convenience, it’s about rewriting the rules of the game!

2. Follow Major Life Events to Introduce Relevant Products

Major life events such as the purchase of a new house or the birth of a child present opportunities to talk to customers about additional coverage. These are also the times when people are most open to changing their policies. That’s why you need to stay in contact with clients and reach out to see what’s new in their lives. 

3. Cross-Sell After Closing the First Sale 

It’s true that cross-selling should only be done after closing the first sale. But that first meeting also holds a lot of potential for cross-selling. There are plenty of “by the way” opportunities that allow you to suggest related policies. 

For example, when a client purchases home insurance, simply asking whether they also have comprehensive auto coverage can open up avenues for cross-selling. During subsequent policy reviews, you can also revisit home insurance to ensure that it also includes contents insurance and off-property liability insurance.

Ultimately, it’s about planting seeds to get them thinking about other coverage options they could benefit from. 

4. Explore Related Opportunities

Bundling of insurance isn’t new, but it is still regrettably underexploited. It’s important to make customers see how bundling related policies as a group increases the overall value of each because they are all complementary. More often, these bundles are also more affordable together and can be an easy sell. 

5. Check in Regularly with Customers

During regular events such as policy reviews and checkups, agents have the chance to mention other products available for purchase. We have already seen that agents bypass these valuable opportunities by not even mentioning alternative plans, so this is an area where a lot of improvement is possible. 

Conclusion

There’s a lot of potential for increased customer retention and agency growth in cross-selling insurance. You just need to go about it the right way. 

By embracing new technology such as an agency-branded app from Insurance Agent App, you can cross-sell without appearing to do so. It helps you engage your clients in a powerful way and provides endless opportunities to cross-sell naturally and effectively. Plus, customers will appreciate the ease and convenience it offers. 

To learn more about what Insurance Agent App can do for your agency and your clients, schedule a demo today.