The online age is rapidly changing how agents and brokers interact and sell in the marketplace. Before the widespread use of the Internet, the broker was the guardian of the information that prospects needed in order to make an informed decision. The prospect had little choice but to meet with a broker face to face in order to obtain the information they needed. As the Internet age has matured, however, prospects of all age groups are using it to gather information, and the game has changed. Those brokers who fail to embrace it run the risk of being left behind.
Over the past several years, a growing number of brokers have focused on selling insurance through a combination of telephone and Web conferencing technology. This can be a challenging transition because the dynamics are quite different from traditional, face-to-face sales.
First, you lose one of the greatest advantages: eye contact and body language. Successful brokers have mastered the art of reading non-verbal communication and body language and have used this knowledge successfully to guide interviews toward successful closes. Second, you lose the ability for personal observation to get insight into your prospect and build relationship. You can’t see the pictures on the table or the trophy on the wall. Third, the client can disengage much more easily without face-to-face contact.