My goal in these articles is to create a dialogue among agents and insurance buyers about the differences between being a vendor and becoming a trusted advisor. This concept starts with how insurance is viewed. Insurance cannot be viewed as a product, but rather a relationship. Insurance buyers need to understand that the insurance relationship consists of the agent, the buyer, and the insurer. The insurer does not really care about the buyer; they offer a set of products. The agent is the one who should care about the buyer, and develop a relationship through education, not selling.
You will not move from a vendor to trusted advisor overnight. Here are the stages: vendor, credible source, problem solver, then trusted advisor.
What Are the steps an agent should consider?
- Understand the needs of your client
- Know your client’s industry
- Be willing to do some work without compensation
- Stop selling and do more educating
- Develop other contacts within the business
- Be willing to evaluate business processes
- Don’t assume insurance holds all the answers
- Ask your client to allow you access to information
- Help them identify emerging issues and needs of their business and industry