Insurance Agents: not all testimonials are created equal

Testimonials are everywhere. People love talking and today it is easier than ever. No longer are they only found on product brochures or nestled in frames in offices. Today they are tweeted or facebooked or sent virtually somehow via the internet. Testimonials take the form or product reviews or personal experiences and everyone of them can be found with a simple online search. This shift has empowered consumers greatly. Ah, the power of information, right? But there are some industries where people are not that vocal. This is particularly true in the less sexy industries, such as insurance. Let’s be honest, people are not flocking to social network sites to discuss property insurance premiums. Therefore, in these industries it is even more important for companies to push effective testimonials to potential buyers. Before they do so, however, they need to understand which testimonials are effective, and why.

As insurance agents it is your responsibility to collect effective testimonials from happy customers and make them available to your prospects. If you have a large presence online they should be displayed prominently on your webpage. If you operate more face-to-face have a brochure with only the best testimonials smack-dab on the front. After all, a customer’s voice speaks louder than any feature or benefit you talk about.

Never focus on price

For most, buying insurance is like entering a serious relationship. It is an emotional purchasing decision as people need to know they will be taken care of. After all, that is a major reason prospects consider agents to help them with their insurance needs. Embrace this reality by forgetting people who purchase insurance solely based on price. This is not your target customer. Effective testimonials will highlight your strengths: offering excellent service and genuine care they cannot find elsewhere. Therefore never spotlight testimonials that focus on price alone.

Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer. Physically hold your company brochure in your hands and read the testimonials. Bring up your web page and read them one by one. Do they speak to you as a potential buyer? Do you feel like you are going to be taken care of? Ask yourself: why you would be reading the testimonials to begin with?

Too often insurance agents will flood their literature with testimonials because they simply think the more the merrier. This is not true. Two or three well written and targeted testimonials will speak to a potential buyer much more than twenty or thirty unfocused messages. People won’t read them all anyway. You need to get them right from them beginning. You want them to say “yes, that is what I am looking for…finally!”

Testimonials must be specific

Choose only those testimonials that talk about a specific way you have made a client happier. Again, as insurance agents you are in business to take care of your customer and service them. You are there to make them feel secure and lift the burden of worry from their shoulders. You will do whatever it takes to give them honest and personal care. Your testimonials should speak directly to these benefits and these benefits alone. Specific accounts or stories written by  customers are a perfect way of painting a happy picture for prospects. People respond to personal experiences of others much more than broad general statements. Stories and specifics are much stickier and believable.

Examples: The bad & the ugly

“I have been with Jurgen’s Insurance for five years now and I really like them. They have very good service and I can always count on them.”

This is the perfect example of a testimonial that is too general. Great service is tossed around regularly in the industry and in no way talks to a personal buyer. Unless the person giving the testimonial is known to the buyer it will be ineffective.

“Wow this company is just amazing! I always get great customer service and better prices than most providers as well. Thanks a million for your dedication and everyone there should be thanked for their performance!”

The enthusiasm should be appreciated, but this is a feel good testimonial for the company, not a potential buyer. No where does the customer talk about a specific way in which they were helped by the agency. A potential buyer will have a difficult time connecting this statement to solving a particular issue they are facing and it will likely be ignored.

Examples: The good

“I’m sticking with Jurgen’s Insurance because they honestly care about me. Brad is always available when I call and will take the time to address my concerns. And if that wasn’t enough, just recently I received a call from him letting me know that he found me a better policy for much less. Knowing he is even there behind the scenes working on my behalf is such a blessing!”

This testimonial outlines why a customer would choose an agent to service them. Prospects need to hear this. It is specific, to the point, and an example of how you are superior.

“Jurgen’s Insurance was there for me when it mattered most. Last year my neighborhood was devastated during a storm. I was so relieved that Jurgen’s set me up with the right policy for my home. They worked with the insurance company and myself until they were sure I was taken care of. Talk about people who love to help!”

Again is it about being specific and using an example that many prospects could relate to. They want to know they will be taken care of and this testimonial tells a story that reinforces it.

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