5 Ways to Put the Pro Back in Professional

Individuals who attend Beyond Insurance programs want to be viewed as “professionals.”  Yet putting the “pro” into “professional” doesn’t happen overnight.  The status has to be earned – and that takes time, dedication, and a strategy map.

Clients, prospects, and centers of influence will think of you as a professional when you take an active interest in them, their business, and their concerns.  You will know you have earned this position when you are the first person called when they have a business issue, want help shaping their thinking, or need a deeper understanding of a situation.  It is at this point that you will be viewed as their indispensable partner…a professional.

But how do you develop that persona?  Research indicates that almost 90% of business owners admit that they have no way of determining the professional skills of an insurance agent or broker.  With the exception of comparing bids, they do not feel competent in evaluating or comparing your services and resources!

So, what is the solution if you want to turn prospects into clients?  You need to enable the consumer to make an evaluation of you as a professional.  How?

  1. Improve the customer experience:
    • Start by measuring your clients’ perception of you and your firm.  Use a survey to identify how they view you and your services.
    • Ask for feedback.  Create a feedback system that allows clients to tell you what they like and don’t like about your customer experience.
    • Write down requests or complaints that you have heard from your clients.
    • Analyze the survey results, customer feedback, and list of complaints and requests.  Now put yourself in your client’s position and ask the question, “What would you want in an experience if you were the client?”
  2. Maintain top-notch professional skills and focus on the details.  Make sure you know the facts about each client as well as your services, resources, and capabilities.  Walt Disney once said, “People can feel perfection.”  He learned early on that attention to detail not only lets your clients know they’re worth the effort – it sets you apart as a professional with staying power.
  3. Treat your client with tender loving care – not as a way to make more money.  Building personal relationships doesn’t mean you have to become best friends. However, it does mean that you can send birthday cards and offer congratulations if a child is graduating from high school or college.  It also means learning as much you can about your client’s business.  Do you have the answers to these questions:  What are your clients’ goals and aspirations?  What are their passions?  What keeps them awake at night?
  4. Check what your online and social media personas.  Double-check that everything posted on your business sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+) makes you stand out in the marketplace.  Does your photo on LinkedIn represent you as a professional?  Or does it show you holding a drink or standing in a messy office? Is your Facebook business page free of your personal opinions about politics or religion? Make sure your online persona creates an aura of superior professionalism.
  5. Show genuine care and thank your clients.   Research shows that recognition or an attitude of gratitude is a powerful catalyst for increased client engagement and improved client perception.    Gratitude communicates that you are considerate and professional…someone trustworthy.

When you focus on giving your clients a memorable customer experience journey, you are putting the “pro” into professional!

How do you let clients and prospects know that you are a professional?