I just read a post that made me start thinking. Wendy Keneipp, Partner & Coach, Q4intelligence | Columnist, Employee Benefit Adviser, posted THIS thoughtful article about going above and beyond for customers. Wendy stipulates that buyers assume you are capable of the minimum but want to see that you can do more. It is a great article that got the mental juices flowing along the same lines in terms of selling to customers.
I heartily agree with Wendy’s thought process in that you should strive to go above and beyond because the bare minimum is no longer acceptable. It most certainly will not keep the lights on for an extended time because loyalty must be earned and customers aren’t loyal for the most part strictly based on the cheapest price. They want more and it is our job to give it to them. So what can we begin offering to customers that will set us aside from those offering the basics? How can we begin to earn our merit badges with customers who are quick to jump ship?
In my world we offer insurance. Insurance is boring. I’m sorry it just isn’t glamorous which makes it all the more difficult to package for appeal. Boring, or not it is mandatory despite the fact that it’s all exactly the same in terms of what it is. Differences come in how it’s packaged, discounts that are offered and whether or not it gets bundled. There are no color options or upgrades for additional savings, just how we explain and deliver it. So how do you fight for customers in a world where the product is the product in a non-glam world? You offer the customer the “what if”.
What is the “what if”? It’s out of the box selling that gets the customer thinking about what will happen if they don’t have certain coverages. We as a society have an out of sight out of mind mentality. Take 9/11 for instance. The further away from the event we got, the more relaxed we got because lets face it, high security is expensive and pretty much a pain in the butt. So we let our guard down and think that we don’t need to be quite so cautious. That’s how bad things happen.
We take this lackadaisical attitude when we purchase important things like insurance. Oh, I don’t need all that expensive coverage. I can save a few dollars and I’ll just drive carefully or perhaps you’ll vow to double check that the stove is off when you leave the house. You may think it will not happen to you and you pass on that extra coverage. What about life insurance? Paying more on your policy may not be something you want to do now to save money but WHAT IF you die tomorrow? Will your family have enough money to bury you? Will there be enough to pay for the final expenses? Will their income be enough for them to move on? These are things that we don’t like to think about but should. Life happens and it is highly unpredictable. We cannot predict what will happen and how and it is that uncertainty that we must bear in mind when trying to stand out to our customers in a world that is on a level playing field.
Now, I don’t mean that we need to scare customers but I am suggesting that by taking the extra few minutes to explain what they could be challenged with by passing on something that they won’t know they need until they need it, you will have earned more than just a new customer. Will there be people that believe that you are out to simply make an extra buck off of them? Sure, but there will also be an equal and I would argue larger number of consumers who are moved that you would take the time to ensure that they are making thorough decisions about the really important things.
People can buy insurance anywhere from anyone including on the internet by pushing the magic button or from talking to someone they have never met who really doesn’t care about them beyond the infamous 7 minute call. They can, however. if given the choice I would say they would prefer to buy it from someone who takes the time to make sure they are thinking about it logically and thoroughly.
That is selling the “WHAT IF” because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. FACT!