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Cross-selling is the New Marketing

10/14/2009

In this competitive and economic environment, doesn’t it seem like we start a new marketing campaign every day? In this short article by John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, John describes the idea of “practicing” your marketing skills. While you may initially feel that marketing only applies to Producers or Agency Principles, the truth is, it takes the whole agency’s participation to be successful.

 The days of being a service-only employee are dwindling (actually, those days may already be gone), and more and more agencies are creating cross-selling initiatives. But getting Account Managers into this roll is often a bumpy road. It’s a road that requires directions and definitely some practice.

I think John’s suggestions could be really helpful to account managers facing this new role. Too often we just say “okay, go ahead, cross-sell X accounts per month and you’ll get an incentive!” And then it’s sink or swim. The idea that you need to practice talking to insureds, practice leading the conversation, and practice building relationships isn’t always at the forefront.

What do you think? Is the idea of “Practice Drills” relevant to the independent agency? What type of drills could you be running?

Here’s what I think:

Making the leap from service to sales is easier when you remember that selling doesn’t have to mean Hard-Sell. Selling in our business also means helping.

For example, I run our Lawyers’ Professional Liability Program. I spend a lot of time educating agents and insureds about the importance of keeping their retro-active date intact, and how claims made policies work. Taking the time to make sure that these concepts are properly explained, especially to a new prospect, has gotten me the sale. However, the greater benefit for me is having an agent and an attorney who understand how to avoid the costly mistake of having a lapse in coverage.

With that said, I had to practice talking about retro dates, a lot at first. I had to practice talking about step-rating and I had to practice talking about ERP’s. The more I practiced the more confident I became. Now I practice writing blog posts – but that’s a story for a different day.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 10/14/2009 12:49 pm

    Excellent article Melissa! CSR’s and everyone else in agencies, producers, claims reps, etc. all need to help in the cross selling initiatives of agencies. Also, I think that employees of the agency must be more service oriented. We need to add value by providing the best service in insurance agencies.

    • 10/15/2009 8:47 am

      Hi Marc-
      Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Making the bridge between service and sales is an issue I think a lot of agencies are dealing with. Its a topic I’d like to eplore more in the future and I’d love to hear what different agencies have tried when they’ve started to make this effort.

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