Does this pivoting scenario sound familiar? You’re talking to a potential customer that you’ve sized up about the perfect insurance plans for them, based on what you know about them and their history (or lack thereof) with your company. You make your best pitch – and it falls flat. We’ve all been there, and needed to pivot, at one point or another.
Or maybe a customer has called in to service an existing plan, and you’ve been able to help them with that. What then?
Both scenarios offer unique opportunities for adding additional sales to your portfolio, particularly if you practice the art of pivoting.
How and When To Pivot
If you’ve reached a sudden dead end with your potential customer after making your first pitch, that’s the moment to rebuild rapport. Don’t double-down on what you offered initially. Instead, engage the potential customer in an open conversation to glean clues about what their needs may be.
Let the customer take the lead in telling you what they’re looking for, and then gently guide them in the direction of the appropriate product. It may even be the same product you pitched initially (perhaps with some modifications), as some customers simply need to be heard before they feel they are understood.
In the instance of pitching to a customer that called in for another purpose (and whom you’ve been able to help), a conversation about how their existing product is working for them in their lives can yield clues as to what else they may need.
Once you’ve identified a potential need, emphasize it. Build on the concerns they may have voiced, or provide them with examples of what other customers in their situation have done to rectify their own similar concerns. This helps the customer understand that you’ve helped others who are in comparable straits and resolved those issues successfully.
Educating The Client
Sometimes, the most important step to take is simply educating the client on the need for certain products (particularly if they are unaware of the potential outcomes of income loss, automobile accidents, or whatever insurance products may apply). In these cases, it’s okay to pivot to creating hypothetical scenarios that involve the client to help them understand how your product will allow them to avoid catastrophe.
To build rapport with the client, particularly if you’re preparing to pitch a complicated product (that you may or may not be that familiar with yourself), it can be helpful to demonstrate your own familiarity with another product. Taking this route, you could choose to tell an anecdotal story of another customer (ideally of a similar background to the one you’re speaking with) who was helped by the product you’re most familiar with. Even if the scenarios faced by the new potential customer are entirely different, showcasing your expertise and ability to help will put the customer more at ease.
Just because a customer says “no” initially or isn’t calling you to expand their services doesn’t mean you can’t increase their relationship with your agency. Use each contact point as a building block to get to know the customer – and keep this pivot approach in mind: you’re here to help the future version of them that is faced with financial distress due to a lack of the right coverage.