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How to Effectively Cross-Sell Travel Insurance

Cross-selling is one of the most effective methods of both growing and retaining your client base. It is one of the least risky and most profitable actions you can take for your business.

Oftentimes, cross-selling is confused with up-selling. When cross-selling, you’re not pushing a more expensive product, you’re providing solutions to meet a need. You are matching the correct products and services to their needs.

Here are a few tips to help you improve or start your cross-selling goals:

Focus on Customer Needs

Finding out what a customer wants isn’t always as simple as we would like. You not only have to know how to ask the right questions, but you need to be aware of the comments that might uncover needs for other products and services. When you are with a customer, it’s important to meet one need at a time. Then you can make the best recommendations based on your knowledge of the solutions you offer as the needs stack up.

You cannot know what any customer needs if you are determined to “push” a certain product or service without carefully evaluating their particular needs. Ask the right questions to understand their needs and listen to their buying signals so you suggest only the right products at the right time.

When you focus on customer needs, you’re viewed as a helper—a consultant—rather than a fast-talking pusher of products.

Here are a few examples of effective cross-selling:

If a customer is traveling to Europe for a two-week trip, then an immediate need for travel medical insurance would arise. Patriot Travel Medical Insurance is a solution that fits this need. However, as the trip continues to be planned, scheduled tours, events, and experiences are scheduled. As the costs climb for these prepaid expenditures, a need for trip cancellation insurance would be needed to protect those investments. IMG’s iTravelInsured SE is a solution that now fits both needs.

If you specialize in homeowner’s insurance, during renewal time, check to see if your clients travel for spring break or any other time. Then follow up with them by offering travel insurance.

If you specialize in health insurance for local businesses, ask if any of their employees travel outside the U.S. for business. If so, offer them a travel medical plan to fit that need.

Product Knowledge and Mastery

Lack of product knowledge is the single greatest barrier to cross-selling. Product knowledge is the foundation of selling. It makes you more competent, which leads to your customers being more confident in you, your products, and IMG services.

You should aim to have product mastery—combining your knowledge of the product and your customer’s needs. Product mastery is the ability to recall and effectively use product knowledge with your customers.

IMG has an expansive product list including travel medical insurance, international health insurance, and travel insurance. It's important to understand the differences and benefits of each product. Information about all of IMG’s medical products can be found in the producer portal. For travel insurance products, information can be found here. You can also view product specific webinars here.

Here is a good exercise to get you started:

  • List each feature of a product
  • What are the advantages of each feature?
  • How does each advantage benefit your customers?
  • Do this for each of your products

Lastly, keep in mind that people buy benefits. “Trip interruption coverage up to 150 percent of their trip cost” is different than “financial assistance to help you get home if something unexpected happens.” Your clients seldom care how something works, they want to know what it will do for them and how it will solve their problems.

Keep in Touch (Evolving Customer Lifecycles)

It is important to conduct periodic customer reviews. A lot can happen over the course of three six, or twelve months. You need to stay in touch. If the only time you are reaching out to your customers is during renewal or during a price review, they won’t feel their best interests are at heart. The periodic review is a good time to catch up with them and make sure you’re still meeting their needs. As a result, you’ll often find that they will ask for your help on another opportunity.

Most importantly, listen carefully for the customers stated or implied needs, concerns, and opportunities. This review provides the perfect forum for you to air grievances, share compliments, and discuss new needs.

Your IMG Account Executive or IMG’s Sales Service Center would be happy to help you with identifying cross-selling needs and product information. The SSC can be reached at (317) 655-9799.