Unlocking the feelings of prospects to tailor the perfect pitch is a goal of salespeople, brokers and advisors the world over.
While perfection may not be attained, a recent research project by Chubb may help keep your pitch from flying off course.
Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurer, recently debuted a resource center designed to help independent insurance agent and broker partners, as well as financial advisors, to engage more effectively with current and prospective clients. One of the methods to accomplish this, Chubb says, is to change the language between the service providers and the customers.
Ori Ben-Yishai, CMO at Chubb North America Personal Risk Services, said that when talking with succesful individuals, advisors and agents should be “focusing on their acheivements, rather than their wealth.”
So, Chubb found phrases that were real turnoffs when talking with clients or prospective clients, and pieced together phrases to replace those words. The research center was fueled by a months-long project that Chubb conducted with Maslansky + Partners, a language strategy firm.
Chubb said their research found that it’s not what you say to prospects that matters; it’s what they hear. While the research was targeted toward insurers, the results strike at the heart of individual consumer perceptions, much of what behavioral finance seeks to explain.
For instance, when the study described a firm as serving “high net worth” and “affluent” clients, the participants, instead of being flattered, responded: “It doesn’t pertain to me, even though I consider myself upper middle class,” and “That sounds snobby and elitist.”
Chubb said that no matter how “elite” prospects’ lifestyles may be, there is always someone else they know that has more. Wealth is relative, the study found, so individuals are slow to think of themselves as “affluent” or “high net worth.”
Words & phrases to lose
So, here are some of the phrases and words to lose and those to use as replacements when marketing services to affluent prospects:
Be more relatable
- Use "successful" or "accomplished" vs. "affluent" or "high net worth."
- Say "premium insurer" vs. "high net worth insurer."
- Use the phrase, "Protecting all the details that made your house your home" vs. "Protecting a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home."
- Try the statement, "Whether you have a Mercedes or custom cabinetry..." vs. Whether you have a Maserati or a Picasso..."
Better experience vs. better coverage
- Say, "When you're at your worst, we're at our best" vs. "Do you have exposures you don't know about?"
- Mention, "You deserve someone who will treat you with empathy and compassion" vs. "Make sure your policy is written for you."
- Indicate, "We're responsive" vs. "We're thorough."
Focusing on the positive
- Try saying, "We'll identify how to best protect you" vs. "We'll identify your risks and exposures."
- It's better to say, "If something happens" vs. "If a loss occurs."
Highlight what clients get from you
- "With us, you'll never have to substitute inferior quality for your home's most distinctive feature" vs. "Ordinary insurers may substitute inferior quality for your home's most distinctive features."
- "Because of your success, your needs may have changed" vs. "Your home may not be insured to its full value."
- I will tailor a comprehensive plan that prioritizes your needs, and I can advocate on your behalf" vs. "Other agents aren't independent or free to recommend what they think is best."
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