In today's fast-paced society, conversations in-person and over the phone have largely been replaced by text messages and Facebook posts. In fact, according to a 2011 survey performed by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, nearly three-quarters of Americans send and receive text messages on a daily basis. Of these, close to 33 percent say that this is the means of communication that they prefer.
Because form often follows function in the business world, this trend may be becoming the norm for insurance agents as well, where instead of talking to their insurance customers, they get in touch with them via text or email.
But according to ProducersWEB contributor Maribeth Kuzmeski, as convenient as this form of interaction may be, it's inadvisable to fall into the texting trap.
There are several reasons why this is the case, one of them being that face-to-face conversations are the "glue of great relationships," she said.
"You can email someone regularly, but it is only during a real conversation that a bond with them actually begins to strengthen," said Kuzmeski.
She added that while there may be nothing wrong with communicating through emails or texts, when it comes down to it, the relationships that agents have with insurance leads they have actually met with are likely stronger.
Another reason why more intimate interactions are better is that there's less room for misinterpretation. Kuzmeski indicated that tone of voice and temperament cannot be adequately determined through mediums like texting. Emotion, inflection comes across loud and clear in a person-to-person setting, which can often be crucial to insurance sales.
Additionally, face-to-face dialogues can often lead to opportunities that one wouldn't have via texting. These openings may come from customers mentioning someone else they know who may be in need of coverage assistance, or their purchasing an additional product offering that they could use.
Agents may want to consider these suggestions in their insurance prospecting efforts moving forward.