The small business market is getting a second glance by agents, who see the value in working with this often untapped sector. Experts estimate that there are about 28 million small businesses representing nearly $100 billion in premium nationwide. There is opportunity for agents to leverage their relationship-building skills and reach this underserved segment.
Insurance and agent communities are renewing their interest and devoting resources to selling to these particular prospects. Small business owners often do not fully understand their exposure, don’t want to spend too much capital and have little time to dedicate to purchasing coverage. It’s why an agent, who perseveres and puts the work in with small business owners, can make such a big impact and is often rewarded with higher retention rates and profitability.
Breaking into this market requires some effort. National Underwriter addresses these tactics in a June article, “Selling Insurance to Small Business.” One of the toughest aspects of prospecting in this segment is just getting some time with the business owner. They usually wear many hats within the organization and are always short on time. An agent must be able to very quickly prove the value of their services and products and establish trust.
Small Business Health Insurance
Most agents either sell multiple products or work for an agency that includes divisions such as wealth-management, P&C and benefits. This means an initial lead regarding health insurance should include a sales process that highlights all the services available to the client. Health insurance is actually a good door opener today, as the small business marketplace has remained relatively stable throughout healthcare reform.
Having a website and creating a customer-friendly digital experience is important as well. A well laid-out website can help position an agency as a knowledgeable, trusted team of professionals. Working online today, especially to offer an easy way to manage payment transactions or the viewing of policies is a necessary requirement for busy business owners. And agents should consider social media such as a Facebook page to help highlight local connections and their participation in community activities and events.
Lastly, as millennials continue to overtake baby boomers in the workforce, it’s become vital agents consider how millennials operate as owners and decision-makers. Technology is part of their everyday culture and they are receptive to sales conversations including online tools to quickly explain concepts and for proposals to be delivered via email. Considering many small businesses would benefit from cyber-security insurance to help keep their health data safe as well as other liable information, more tech-savvy agents will be able to help demonstrate the need for this type of protection. Agents that really understand the needs of small business owners stand to help owners and themselves gain the most.
Source: National Underwriter. Selling Insurance to Small Business: What works, and what you should be trying. June 2017. 20-24.