As a technology entrepreneur focused on bringing financial security to all people, whoever and wherever they are, I’m often struck by entrenched misconceptions the insurance industry has when it comes to technology. Headlines paint a stark picture of doom and gloom e.g. “digitize or die,” and emerging insurtechs are often viewed as enemies bent on putting advisors out of business. It’s unfortunate because it’s the wrong lens: technology can be a powerful enabler.
Change is hard when our intention is to boil the ocean, but it can be much easier when we decide to solve one problem at a time. Think about all the productivity tools we use today: email, chat, smartphones, shared workspaces, etc. We didn’t start using everything at once, we evolved as productivity and technology improved over time. We adopt technologies that provide the most value, and dismiss those that don’t — does anyone remember Juicero? (The company raised $120 million to build its vision of “the future of juicing.”)
My point is this: as advisors, you know your business, you know your customers, and none of that needs to change. But what if you could more easily and cost-effectively engage with more of your target customers and bring them into your book in days rather than weeks? That’s value, and it’s within reach for carriers and independent agents alike. It just takes a practical and pragmatic approach, plus a willingness to try new things.
Think about your buyer’s journey. Who are your customers? Where do you typically find them? Can you improve the way you target them? Make it easier to do business with you? Improve your cost of customer acquisition? Let’s start by thinking through how customers make purchasing decisions and what that means for advisors.
Advisors need to be available to their target customers when they are most receptive to information and/or actively looking for products. Basic digital marketing tools (think website, email, social media, etc.) are powerful tools for targeting. The key is knowing your niche and understanding your buyer’s persona: The narrower you can target, the stronger the lead. Start small and measure the results. What types of information are your target customers responding to?
Keep in mind that your target consumer wants to self-educate online. They will still need an advisor to help guide them in the purchasing decision, but research starts online, and this is a great opportunity for advisors to establish trust. As you know, trust is built over time but there are some steps you can take to speed the process when establishing trust online. If you don’t already have a website, look into site building tools that allow you to personalize user interactions. If you already have a website, you’ll need to work with your site builder and host to determine what features you can add.
Another opportunity to establish trust comes from knowing what your buyers want — consider offering needs analysis calculators and quoting tools to help prospects get fast answers to their biggest question. can I even afford insurance? Many carriers you already have a relationship with offer direct-to-consumer tools you can tap into (Breathe Life powers these kinds of tools for multiple carriers). You can also find free versions of calculators and other widgets on the Web that you can embed into your site.