Do you really understand your clients, or do your clients' decision-making processes seem more like guesswork to you? Sometimes it can be difficult to feel like you truly understand their decision processes when they are buying your insurance products. When you understand how your clients make decisions, you can provide them with better insurance marketing and customer service.
Know That You're Looking at Trends
Your insurance agency can't analyze the thoughts of your clients, so you need to rely on trends. Of course, not all of your clients have the same needs, and not all of them are interested in the same products. You don't have an unlimited insurance marketing budget to market to each individual, so you need to categorize your clients into groups with different needs and potentially different buying patterns. However, their processes of decision-making are similar.
How Do Your Clients Make Decisions?
According to the book Consumer Behavior, there are several different steps in the purchasing process:
First, your clients recognize that they have a need. For instance, they are moving into their first apartment, and they think that they might need tenant insurance.
They start to look at options. Do they really need that insurance? What types of insurance are out there, and what are peoples' experiences with this sort of insurance? For some clients, this could be a long process. Others aren't as interested in comparison-shopping and analysis.
Your client decides on the product that he needs. He examines the different insurance companies that sell this product. In this stage, your client may have rather generic needs such as a need for tenants' insurance or specific needs, such as a need for tenants' insurance that also covers his mountain bike collection.
The client moves toward a decision. He's found that a specific company fits his criteria. This company likely differentiates itself in some way that is to the client's liking. Perhaps he enjoys the fact that he can buy insurance online and that the website details specifics about limits on sports equipment. Maybe he prefers to walk into a store and buy from the agency that's close to his house.
The client buys your insurance, and when it comes up for renewal each year, he determines whether it still fits his needs. After a time, he might buy a house and could choose to switch over to a different insurance product with your company.
Don't Underestimate the Power of Feelings
According to Wider Funnel, "We are proud of our thinking abilities, but the fact of the matter is, our brains have relied on instinct for millions of years."
Your clients make decisions based on logic. They also make decisions based on feelings.
As you conduct your insurance marketing, know that you need to support your leads' instant decisions as well as their rational decisions. Yes, buying insurance is often a rational choice rather than a gut decision. However, those feelings have something to do with your marketing as well.
The photos you use, the language you use, and the way you interact with your customers: all of these things give you a brand feel that can make prospective clients click through to the next page or click away to visit another insurance agency.
Supporting Client Decision-Making
Buying insurance generally requires a higher level of decision-making than purchasing a sandwich from the corner restaurant for lunch. This is a decision that your clients do not make very often. What's your role in decision-making support?
Remember that you must appeal to their feelings as well as their reason. Understand what's attractive and reassuring to your different customer personas, and work this into your brand persona.
Look at the needs of different clients. Do you want to bring on different products to support different but related needs? For instance, if you work with a lot of people who own oceanfront properties, would you like to provide them with the opportunity to insure their boat?
Give them information about their insurance options. This is where blogs can come in handy. You can act as a wise advisor to your clients, helping build their trust. You also need to make sure that your online reviews are top-notch by soliciting reviews from happy clients, so that others who are examining your company will discover how good you are at the work that you do.
Understand the diverse needs of your tenants. How do you ensure that you make your diversity of insurance choices visible to those who are debating a purchase?
Help your clients turn their annual insurance renewal into a low-stress purchase. Show them how your products continue to meet their needs, and make sure that you can continue to respond to the diverse and changing needs of your clients.
At American Agents Alliance, we're dedicated to helping you connect with your insurance markets. Talk with us about how we can help you find new employees, network in your field, and boost your insurance marketing. Learn more about our many membership benefits today.