Cross-Sell To Your Clients, But Dont Oversell Your Ability
By Charles R. Duncan
So, you really want to cross-sell? Youre convinced that customers want a central source for trusted financial advice. You feel you can truly show you have their best interests at heart if you are able to look at their larger financial picture. And you believe the more products they have from you, the higher your persistency will be.
You arent off the mark. Theres a powerful rationale behind converging multiple (insurance, banking, securities) products on your shelf.
Research–and common sense–tells us it is more efficient to maintain fewer client relationships with multiple products than it is to maintain multiple client relationships with fewer products.
Existing customers are twice as likely to buy again. According to LIMRA Internationals 2000 Study, “Opportunity to Buy,” 27% of households with an existing relationship made an additional purchase, compared with 13% with no previous relationship.
The actual numbers vary by study, but the theme is the same: Improving customer retention rates even slightly causes an exponentially larger increase in profitability over time, thanks to additional sales and referrals.
But stop and think before you rush to expand your knowledge base so that you can offer banking services and investment vehicles.
You offer the most value to your client–and avoid potential errors and omissions (E&O) issues–with a depth of knowledge on select topics, not with inch-deep, mile-wide knowledge of multiple topics.
No financial professional could, or should, single-handedly solve everything for every client.
Ask yourself: Do I want to be in the banking business, or do I want to be the relationship manager for a team that includes a banker and other financial specialists?
In a culture where the customers needs should be given top priority, you must be able to offer various solutions. Do it by building alliances or finding a company that can round out your team.