It’s been said time and time again that brokers need to become trusted advisers. And yet recent survey results show that there’s a long way to go for brokers, with punters ranking them as the fourth least trusted profession.
Trust expert Meiron Lees explains: “Brokers fail in building trust because they don’t have a profound understanding of what clients’ expectations are.”
He defines trust as “when expectation meets or exceeds experience”.
“Trust breaks down when expectations are not met”, Lees explains.
“What brokers don’t do is ask the question at that initial meeting or at a review with a client, ‘What are your expectations of this meeting, of me as a broker?”
Trust is the foundation of any relationship, he says. And it is something that brokers can use to their advantage: “It improves client longevity, loyalty and promotes advocacy. It also serves as a buffer for when things go wrong, creates barriers to entry from competing brokers and leads to higher prospect conversion.”
So how can brokers build strong trusting relationships with their clients?
- Connect emotionally with clients. “Every buying decision is based on emotion, backed by logic,” Lees explains. Insurance is no different. The key emotions that brokers need to tap into are the safety and security need of their clients. Ask clients about the consequences of having insufficient cover and cement the need. It’s the emotional connection to insurance that sustains continuity.
- Trust yourself. Lees says brokers need to be confident of their expertise, abilities, product and legislative knowledge, and be able to communicate that well to clients.
- Continual improvement. “Ensure that you are at the forefront of your game – an expert!” Commit to continual improvement and be reflective of your performance and behaviours. Asking your clients for feedback will provide the information you require to keep on track and manage expectations.