How to Create a Social Distancing-Friendly Sales Process

Insurance Professionals: We’re in This for the Long Run

When will life and business return to normal? According to health experts, we won’t have gatherings or business trips as we did pre-COVID-19 until a vaccine is widely distributed, which could be a year from now.

With that in mind, it’s time for us to shed the expectation of going back to our old, familiar ways any time soon and start thinking about how we will face this disruption in the long run. Brokers, how will you operate and thrive when you can no longer meet your clients face-to-face?

Survival of the Agile

The last time our industry faced a disruption like this was in 2009. The Great Recession showed us that those who can adapt will survive. During this time, buyers were feeling the heat for not seeing the economic crisis coming down the road. They adapted by creating larger, more diverse buying teams to counteract the highly centralized decision making that had gotten them into trouble in the first place. Sellers then had to learn how to win over these larger buying teams and prove that they were more than just a low price.

Today, the challenge lies in adapting to remote communications, whether it’s with your own team, current clients, or prospects that you’re pursuing. That last group may be the most challenging of the bunch for today’s typical broker, but you’d better get comfortable if you want to survive as a business.

The typical approach to client and prospect engagement centers around sports games, concerts, fine lunches—all gatherings we’ve put on pause for now. How can you pique customer interest in a world wary of close contact?

Start by finding a virtual approximate:

  • Mail a bottle of wine and set up a tasting Zoom call
  • Send a gourmet coffee prior to a phone chat
  • Ask about their favorite food delivery and follow-up with a virtual lunch
  • Host a VIP webinar with an expert on a topic relevant to your clients’ and prospects’ interests

Black Swans in Commercial Insurance

While these are all ways to start the conversation, you also must consider how your conversations with clients need to change. Did your business-as-usual conversation prepare them for the pandemic? Are they equipped with insurance products to help their businesses recover financially?

Yes, COVID-19 is a black swan event, but the pond is full of black swans: cyber breaches, fiduciary liability claims, terrorist attacks—these may not be everyday risks, but you still need to address them in a risk assessment.

The pond is full of black swans.

If the buying process didn’t bring up the possibility of a national or global disruption such as a pandemic, you need to reevaluate it. According to a 2020 PwC survey of US CEOs, 53% are “extremely concerned” about the impact of cyber attacks, so why wouldn’t that, or other large risks, merit a talking point in your risk assessment?

When examining your buying process, consider the following:

  • How do we determine if a risk exists?
  • How does the insurance program respond to the risk?
  • If an event is likely outside of coverage, how can we mitigate risk?

Insurance professionals, you must elevate your game to help businesses look into the future and identify the next black swan event—or you can continue to hustle the lowest price policy.

If you’re ready to take your sales conversations to the next level, let’s talk.