On the surface, this seems like a pretty lame article title.
How difficult can it be to uncover the client’s needs? Just ask!
Well… that is one way.
But if you have been interacting with clients long enough, you will know that sometimes, the clients themselves do not know exactly what they need or better still, you can use your expertise to help them understand what they require!
Or… it could simply be that the client is not ready to fully open up to your in terms of their true needs.
Regardless of the situation, it is important that you are equipped to uncover this need.
As such, here are a couple of questions you can try asking and might come in handy!
How willing are you to change?
Let’s start off with the most important or powerful question of them all – asking the client their propensity to change.
Specifically for the insurance intermediaries this could relate to the client re-looking their existing policies OR the mindset that they do not need insurance.
For a client who already has an existing policy…
If the answer you get is a ‘oh actually, it’s best that I can stick to what I have but at a lower price lah’; at least you now understand it is more a budget issue than a new set of requirements.
If the answer you get is a ‘Of course I am. I don’t think my existing policy can cover the 2 other new restaurants I intend to open…’; here you understand immediately that the client’s needs are driven by business expansion.
Essentially, what this does is to help the insurance intermediary determine their client’s willingness to challenge the status quo.
Here, the insurance intermediary can shift the conversation in the direction to emphasise on the client’s potential to change, rather than potential to buy.
This is very very very crucial because the insurance intermediary is now ahead of the curve and has the opportunity to act as an advisor rather than just an order taker!
What prompted you to start exploring?
This question goes deeper than ‘what are your needs?’.
In simply asking ‘What are your needs?’ the client may essentially be listing down literally that… a list of what he thinks is good / suited to their requirements.
However, this might not actually be the best answer to get. What if the client has a list that is just impossible to achieve? What if the client has a lack of understanding of what the possibilities are?
By asking the client what prompted them to start exploring, you are essentially asking the client to explain the ‘why’.
This could stem from a recommendation from a friend, or a problem or insecurity he is facing…
From this point, you can then ask more specific questions to fully understand what kind of policies will best work for the client AND NOT what the client think it best – the insurance intermediary is meant to be THE PRO at the end of the day!
What we mean… is that once you have ‘opened the door’ with the above two questions, you can now jump into the nitty gritty or the details of what the client needs.
For example, if a client says ‘I am looking for a policy to cover my existing restaurants’, you need to respond with follow-up questions to get at the heart of their needs.
So, instead of one powerful question, here’s a series of follow-up questions that you can try asking.
- When you say ‘cover’ what do you imagine this to be?
- Can you share the specifics of your business?
- Do you have an example of what you have in mind?
- What are some policies that you have come across that definitely did not suit you?
Of course, a little bit of finesse in asking these questions needs to be applied, else, you might make the client feel like they are being interrogated.
But the point being, you need to get them to be as specific as possible about their needs by asking targeted follow-up questions.
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