It’s a challenging world for the financial services industry, admits Maria Umbach of Maddock Douglas — one of the experts who spoke at last month’s LIMRA conference in New York City — but there are ways that our new web- and social media-centered society can still connect with agents and producers.
Umbach said it’s mostly a matter of carriers and their network of salespeople understanding that sales don’t (and probably won’t, ever again) take place like they did in the pre-web world.
Instead, she said a new class of consumers have arisen, dubbed the “prosumer;” professional and proactive consumers who “hack into product information on the web” and make their decisions based on the informed advice of other consumers, not necessarily professional salespeople.
“It’s a matter of flirting with the uninterested and dealing with, unfortunately, a ‘crisis category’ in this business, products that people associate with negative emotions and low engagement — like root canals and funeral planning,” Umbach said. “Your job is to figure out how to move that needle from the negative to the positive.”
Engaging your audience