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Insurers’ Best-Kept Secret

August 8, 2012

Top SecretFor decades, diversified insurers have doggedly pursued the Holy Grail of their industry – getting customers to purchase multiple types of coverage.  Success has been elusive, and a recent study by LIMRA offers a surprising explanation why:  Many consumers don’t have a clue that their insurer even offers other products!  Insurers aren’t trying to keep those other offerings a secret, but that’s effectively what happens given how they communicate with consumers.  Talk about a deflating revelation!  For all these years, could the root of the property and casualty industry’s cross-sell struggle be this simple as changing the dialogue?

Download the full feature article from Watermark Consulting’s Jon Picoult on the Insurers need to get smarter about engaging customers in the cross-sell: Multi-Line Insurers’ Best-Kept Secret.

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Jon PicoultJon Picoult is the founder of Watermark Consulting, a customer experience advisory firm specializing in the financial services industry.  Jon helps companies impress their clients and inspire their employees, creating brand experiences that drive loyalty and growth.  The author’s opinions and posts in no way reflect the Beyond Insurance brand or any other affiliate within Addis Intellectual Capital.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 17, 2012 12:20 pm

    Jon, What you bring to our attention is so true. A few years back I worked with mid-sized agency that had been around for a long time and we focused on leveraging its long time client base. We particulary worked on cross-selling within the agency. At the outset, it was a little like pulling teeth, although we did make some good progress toward the end. Some of the underlying factors for the reluctance to cross-sell seemed to be:

    1) A strong degree of intra-agency competitiveness. Many of the best agents are rather competitive people and they seem to be rather jealous about giving colleagues a leg up.
    2) There’s a strong orientation toward specialization and agents don’t feel confident to talk about things they are not very knowledgeable about.
    3) When agents do give their colleagues cross-sell leads, they don’t seem to treasure them as much as the leads they generate themselves. Worse than that, agents seem to be reluctant to show appreciation or a sense of urgency when they are given a cross-sell lead by a colleague. They are more likely to be skeptical rather than grateful.
    4) On the few occasions that agents do follow-through on cross-sell leads, they don’t even bother to keep the “giver” in the picture. They covet their work instead, since they want all the credit for any progress and wish to keep the “giver” out of the loop.

    Your suggestions about timing in approach and presentations make so much sense, and I’m sure you offer a lot of good consulting advice along those areas. However, the inherent nature of the agent beast needs to be looked at, too. There are ways to mitigate against these inherent behaviors as well, both through the leadership of the agency and its sales members. Best, Peter

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