Industry Trends

Study Shows Trust More Important to Business Owners than Internet Options

A nationwide study by the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) Partnership shows conclusively that in-person agent-to-client interaction is vitally important.  Having said that, the study also demonstrates that agents must engage more extensively online with their clients to remain relevant.

“Our results affirm that while small business owners continue to greatly value the professional advice and personal service of an independent agent, there is an expectation that their agent will be more capable of online interaction concerning their accounts and that the agency will have a fully credible online presence,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “This is both an affirmation and a wake-up call for agents.”

The study indicates that the way value is delivered to clients is evolving, thereby presenting new opportunities for you to better reach and serve clients through digital capabilities.

The study concludes that you should take full advantage of the Internet’s capabilities to increase your presence and keep pace with your clients.  Rather than ignoring the Internet and taking no action, successful agents use the Internet and other high-tech tools to engage with clients and boost their efficiency.

The study also found that small and mid-size business owners want to ask questions and receive reassurance from their agent that they are making the correct choices.  These business owners place the highest value on the agent who understands their business; who provides quick, efficient service; and who serves as a personal, knowledgeable advisor.

Bottom line, the Internet is not replacing you any time soon. Your ability to consult and diagnose with your clients is the key ingredient in your success – today and tomorrow.  When you focus on developing connections that are built on credibility, integrity, and authenticity, your relationships will no longer be dominated by product and price – rather, you’ll be viewed as a trusted risk advisor whose input is needed and appreciated.

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