How an Agent Can Go From a Vendor to a Trusted Advisor

My goal in these articles is to create a dialogue among agents and insurance buyers about the differences between being a vendor and becoming a trusted advisor. This concept starts with how insurance is viewed. Insurance cannot be viewed as a product, but rather a relationship. Insurance buyers need to understand that the insurance relationship consists of the agent, the buyer, and the insurer. The insurer does not really care about the buyer; they offer a set of products. The agent is the one who should care about the buyer, and develop a relationship through education, not selling.

You will not move from a vendor to trusted advisor overnight. Here are the stages: vendor, credible source, problem solver, then trusted advisor.
What Are the steps an agent should consider?

• Understand the needs of your client
• Know your client’s industry
• Be willing to do some work without compensation
• Stop selling and do more educating
• Develop other contacts within the business
• Be willing to evaluate business processes
• Don’t assume insurance holds all the answers
• Ask your client to allow you access to information
• Help them identify emerging issues and needs of their business and industry
“The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” – Henry Ford


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