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Guest Post- Gaining Credibility with Clients

08/01/2011

We’re happy to feature another guest blog post today…Chip Gibson of Deland Gibson Insurance and MAIA YAC, tackles the question…How Have I Gained Credibility With Clients?

When I spoke with Melissa about doing this guest blog one of the topics she mentioned was “three things I have done to gain creditability with clients”. At first I skipped over it because initially I couldn’t think of any concrete instances that created the epiphany – “I’m now legit!” After thinking a little more about it, I realized it was through more subtle actions in how we do business at Deland, Gibson Insurance that creates credibility recognized by clients.

The first step I have taken (which is still a work in progress) is making sure to work as a trusted advisor – not just a vendor. Gone are the days of the sales process being: Lunch, Golf, and a few beers (and maybe not in that order). Today’s buyer is more sophisticated and is looking for added value and knowledge when doing business. Being a trusted advisor is someone who is called to research the insurance and risk management implications before the large purchase is made.  Strong business acumen is key, and goes a long way in establishing yourself as a trusted advisor.

The second area where I have focused on to gain credibility with clients is to work with them on their total cost of risk. Anyone can get a copy of the policy, copy it, quote it, and pray that you have a better price and maybe better coverage than the competition. This is not differentiating yourself from the pack. What we do at Deland Gibson is to look at a client’s business, strategic and hazard risks and then formulate a long range plan to transfer, finance or mitigate these risks.

The last thing is simple: listening. Asking more questions, asking open ended questions, asking anything to get the prospect or client talking more, has helped me vastly. You can get so much more information by being a good listener and allowing the person sitting across from you to open up. Believe it or not many people enjoy talking about themselves and their business – why not use it to your advantage?

Chip Gibson, CISR is a Sales Associate at Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates, Inc. in Wellesley Hills, MA.

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