Who Are Your SME Market Customersand How Do You Reach Them?   

10 May 2024

Who Are Your SME Market Customers—and How Do You Reach Them?

It’s a given: in order to connect effectively with SME (small and medium size enterprise) prospects, you need to understand their business priorities and buying preferences.  

The SME group insurance market is vast and diverse. Just because two businesses are the same size, that doesn’t mean they want the same employee benefits—or to undertake the same purchasing journey.    

But entrepreneurs are busy people. Often, you don’t get to know decision makers very well before launching your pitch. 

That’s where SME customer profiles can help. These are sales tools that you can use to understand and connect with prospects on their own wavelength. Once you learn just enough about a prospect to identify their profile, you can tailor your approach and offerings accordingly.  

Most SMEs fall under one of five customer profiles. Do any of these sound familiar to you? 

  1. The One-stop Shopper (Values Efficiency) 

    This type of SME values efficiency and convenience. They want just one advisor and carrier—provided they can offer comprehensive coverage tailored right to the company’s needs.  

    When targeting these SMEs, emphasize the breadth of PALIG’s group life, health and accident products and the simplicity of consolidating coverage under PALIG.

    You may already know these SMEs as multi-line clients. Research shows that multi-line clients exhibit greater loyalty than single-policy clients—but expect great service in return. So, be sure to convey that you are attentive, knowledgeable and committed to excellent service—as is PALIG.  

    Sample Sales Pitch: “As a busy entrepreneur, you appreciate simplicity—I understand that. With PALIG’s comprehensive suite of products, you can trust us to be your one-stop benefits solution. We'll handle all your coverage and service needs under one roof, saving you time and hassle.” 
  1. The Delegator (Values Expertise) 

    This SME profile prefers receiving personalized guidance from outside experts before making business decisions. When it comes to employee benefits, they seek an established advisor that will recommend tailored solutions and help them navigate the complexities of group insurance. 

    When targeting them, showcase your industry knowledge and experience. Share your credentials, as well as PALIG’s stellar ratings and industry standing. Demonstrate that you are worthy of their trust.  

    In addition, keep your eyes open for unmet needs. For example, if the business depends on its leadership team, educate them on key person insurance. This type of client appreciates recommendations. 

    Sample Sales Pitch: “Navigating the world of employee benefits can be overwhelming, but our team of seasoned experts will guide you every step of the way. Well take the time to understand your needs and recommend customized benefits that your employees will value.”  

  2.  The Do-It-Yourselfer (Values Autonomy)

    Some entrepreneurs want to take an active role in every business decision, including their employee benefits. They are active researchers who will gather information and draw their own conclusions, but then seek validation and assistance from advisors to finalize their decisions.  

    When working with them, be prepared to take a less-active role. Offer them benefits information and links to meaningful online content, providing support on an as-needed basis. Do your best to educate, but understand that here, less is often more. 

    Sample Sales Pitch: “I know you like to do your own research and make your own decisions—and we can complement this. We’re here as much or as little as you need us in order to realize your employee benefits vision.” 
  1. The Bargain Hunter (Values Affordability)

    These SMEs prioritize are all about cost containment. Often, they are smaller or start-up companies. They know that, in order to attract quality employees, they need to offer quality benefits, but theyre operating on a limited budget.  

    When targeting this group, it’s most effective to offer modest or tiered plan designs and voluntary benefits. Keep in mind: you do have an advantage here, because many PALIG healthcare solutions are designed to be cost-effective depending on your market.   

    Sample Sales Pitch: We know that every dollar counts, which is why were committed to offering cost-effective coverages and plans. With our affordable benefit options, you can protect what matters most to you and your employees without breaking the bank. 
  1. The Brand Shopper (Values Reputations)

    Some SMEs place a premium on the reputation and standing of the companies they do business with—including advisors and carriers.     

    When targeting them, emphasize both the standing of your agency in the community and PALIG’s over 113-year track record of strength and financial stability 

    Remember, you have an advantage here, too. Share PALIG’s long, storied history and consistently high financial ratings, as well as testimonials from satisfied clients. Direct prospects to visit palig.com and do their own independent research.   

    Sample Sales Pitch: When it comes to employee benefits, trust is everything. With our track record of financial stability and customer satisfaction, you can be confident that we will do right by your company and employees—just like we do for more than 7,000,000 people across 22 countries.”   

Know What Makes Your SME Prospects Tick  

Admittedly, not every SME prospect will fall neatly into one of these categories, and some may be a blend of several profiles. That’s okay. 

The point is to actively learn what it is your prospects want—and to personalize your dialogue accordingly, both in terms of the plans you offer and your sales approach.  

For more information about this market, read our companion blog, What SMEs Want. We’re here to help you succeed!   

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