The COVID-19 pandemic has upended traditional in-person insurance sales methods, which means now is a great time to pivot to virtual selling.
If you’re used to selling insurance in-person, the COVID-19 crisis has probably turned your world upside down. Lockdowns and stay at home orders have made it impossible to rely on traditional sales methods. But for those of you already on the path to digital—you’ve at least got a head start on the competition when it comes to virtual selling.
The pandemic is hitting North American insurers harder than previous financial crises. Top-line growth of carriers in the US is now at risk with GDP forecasted by SwissRe in May to decline 6.4 percent in 2020. Interest rate cuts to zero have applied further pressure on carriers’ bottom line. And traditional insurance distribution has been disrupted. Carriers are scrambling to preserve and grow revenue and customer loyalty.
The good news is that the industry has navigated crises like this before and demonstrated resilience. Most insurers already had business continuity plans and thoroughly tested risk mitigation strategies in place. And the workforce is physically—not socially—distancing. That means there are still opportunities available.
But to thrive, carriers that usually rely on in-person selling need to reorient their business to sell at a distance. To do this, they need to ask themselves three questions:
- How do we attract new prospects and opportunities when we’re not in the field?
- How do we convert more of our opportunities through digital and inside sales channels?
- How do we maintain a connection with our clients to grow with them virtually?
They also need to think about how they can accelerate and strengthen virtual sales capabilities across three insurance distribution models:
- Intermediary distribution
Over the next three posts, I’ll look at each of these distribution models to examine steps you can take to boost your virtual selling capabilities.