Colum O’Brien- Head of Retail

Education Based Selling: Build trust, close the sale, get the referral

Sometime during the last decade, we started to do things differently. We rarely wait to hail cabs, stand in a queue for tickets or go to the bank to make a deposit or transfer. We want information in real time, to have everything as and when we want it and expect to make all purchases on the go from wherever we are. Service providers and retailers have obliged. We now have greater control over our buying decisions that ever before.

Moreover customers tell us that they are not prepared to buy from companies they do not trust. They are weary of traditional sales pitches and of businesses pursuing their own agendas. In fact a recent survey of the market shows that 47% of consumers do not trust insurance companies*.

Building trust requires an organisation to demonstrate that they have their customers’ best interests at heart. Life Insurance customers expect the same and as a result product-oriented selling is being surpassed and outclassed by Education Based Selling or EBS.

What is Education Based Selling?

EBS turns prospects into informed buyers, enabling them to better understand life insurance. Educating customers about the importance of life insurance, the options available to them, and the pros and cons of each, builds trust and gives them more ownership and control over their decisions. Greater confidence reduces the incidence of underinsurance and makes the customer more likely to buy cover and provide referrals.

Why use Education Based Selling for Life Insurance?

Present a product or solution to a prospect and chances are he or she is going to research this online. Our study shows that after speaking to a financial adviser, 70% of customers verify the information provided online**

With thousands of articles on the internet, the customer is inundated with information and may become confused, procrastinate or even worse inertia will stop the sale in its tracks. However providing a customer with easy to understand information about the product, being transparent about the fine print and addressing their objections will reduce the impact of external influences on the sale. This proactive knowledge sharing becomes a key piece in building trust and closing the opportunity.

To integrate EBS into your everyday selling, consider the following:

  1. Become the teacher – Make sure you know the ins and outs of the solutions you offer and get comfortable explaining it in simple everyday language.
  2. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes – If you were a customer, what would you want to know? Discover the knowledge gaps and fill these in.
  3. Invest upfront - Education based selling requires that you spend more time with each customer early on - helping them to understand why they need life insurance and savings and why they should buy it from you. Spend this time to create value, build trust and refrain from the urge to close the deal quickly.

Building a sustainable life insurance business

Any financial advice, especially regarding life insurance, is for the long run. So building a foundation of understanding and trust with your clients will help you to not only retain business but to grow these accounts and turn them into advocates. Growing your book of customers, increasing share of wallet and building a strong referral network will translate into real dollars but more importantly a sustainable portfolio for the long term.

*Zurich Middle East Global Brand Survey 2018

**Zurich Middle East Z1 Community Insights 2018

Available this month: Zurich Claims Insights 2019

Every year Zurich Middle East releases updated statistics for claims made in the most recent period, including average life expectancy and the leading causes of claims, among other key insights. This is a valuable tool for Advisers - use the information contained in this report to help your clients learn more about the prevalence of critical illnesses in the Middle East and the importance of life insurance. Look out for the 2019 Customer Benefits Report which will be published this month.

We also provide a range of tools and guides that you can use to help your customers understand more about life insurance and investments. Use these tools as part of your education based selling strategy.

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