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Author: Pandemic Has Changed How Agents and Brokers Sell

Rain Group’s Andy Springer said buyers prefer the digital landscape because they can control that environment.
  • Lori Chordas
  • September 2022

Virtual Selling: How to Build Relationships, Differentiate, and Win Sales Remotely

The pandemic and other recent global events have changed the sales landscape and created a greater shift into virtual interaction. Today's sellers face more challenges than ever and can no longer sell the way they did before the pandemic, said Andy Springer, chief client officer at global sales training company Rain Group and co-author of the book, Virtual Selling: How to Build Relationships, Differentiate, and Win Sales Remotely.

The following is an edited transcript of an AM Best TV interview with Springer.

Andy Springer

Andy Springer

How did the idea for the book come about?

The landscape in early 2020, particularly from a seller's perspective, changed almost overnight. In just a few months, many sellers were forced out of their normal face-to-face interactions with buyers and were thrust into what we define as the new normal of virtual selling—moving from a three-dimensional environment into two dimensions.

That shift involves a completely different skill set and approach for sellers. But what we saw very quickly from our global client base was that sellers were struggling.

What should insurance agents and brokers do to adapt and win more sales via virtual selling?

Sellers in the insurance space were thrust onto a screen. In some cases, they've never met the people with which they're engaging and building business.

That loss of dimension needs to be taken into account in terms of making that human connection. How do we do that on a screen instead of in person? How do we engage and evolve a conversation in a way that keeps people wanting to stay connected? And then, how do we progress the relationship in this virtual world so we're able to realize a successful outcome for the buyer and they get what they want, solve their problems, realize their objectives and make the purchase?

Everything I did before may now have to change, and I may need to develop new skills. So it's having that awareness, understanding and openness to learning, and then providing the platform sellers need to build successful virtual selling interactions.

How can producers lead successful virtual sales conversations?

The four most important areas of virtual selling are connect, engage, collaborate and influence. Many sellers are going to miss that time between the lobby meet-and-greet and the casual chatter in the conference room that eases them into the business conversation. Sellers now need to make a purposeful effort to work rapport building and casual conversation into their agendas. And with virtual, you often get less time so you need to create more impact. You need to plan for it and have your questions ready to make that human connection.


Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at lori.chordas@ambest.com.


AM Best Business Trilogy

AM Best details the history of AM Best, credit rating agencies and the life of Alfred M. Best.

The Company—A History of AM Best

The Industry—A History of Credit Rating Agencies

The Man—A Biography of Alfred M. Best


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