The new frontier for reaching prospects and customers – InsuranceNewsNet
We’ve all heard the term “original thinking” to describe looking at something in a new way. But an insurance training expert wants you to forget the “box” and move on to “thinking out of the box.”
Panos Leledakis is CEO of IFA Academy, an education and research organization specializing in the training of insurance and financial advisors. He urges advisors to try to reach customers and prospects through virtual reality.
Virtual reality can be a tool to make insurance appealing to younger generations, Leledakis said.
“Virtual reality and augmented reality are redefining what an in-person meeting is,” he said.
Social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram are already becoming irrelevant for young consumers, Leledakis argued, and these young consumers are tired of using Zoom for meetings. Virtual reality is the new frontier. The United States has 57.4 million virtual reality users, he said.
So how does Leledakis use virtual reality to connect with his customers and prospects?
“I can use my headset, and I can invite a client to meet me as an avatar or a hologram in a VR environment, where I can shape them however I want,” he said. “I can meet the client in my VR ‘executive office’ or on my ‘yacht’, in the ‘office of the President of the United States’, or even in a ‘space station in space’. I can even use d awesome floating 3D holographic presentations to impress them. I can do a handshake with a customer, a high five, even a hug.
Leledakis sometimes invites my prospects and clients to play a game of table tennis in virtual reality as an icebreaker before their actual meeting. He also does group presentations in a virtual space where he lands on stage in a virtual reality helicopter.
“It’s a whole new level of connectivity and interaction,” he said.
The right headset and the right apps
Leledakis uses an Oculus Quest 2 headset, made by Facebook. But he added that free VR apps, such as Engage, are available to use on a computer or mobile device.
“Do you think this is a way to get more millennials, Zoom users and tech-savvy customers to want to meet you?” He asked. “Mark yourself as an advisor ahead of your time and have others talk about you with admiration. If necessary, train them in its use. Suggest which helmet to buy and guide them towards these new experiential aids. It’s an experience they’ll never forget, but of course they won’t forget you either.”
Leledakis said he finds dozens of leads in the virtual reality world. He uses a free VR app called Horizon Worlds and created by Facebook. You can access the app as an avatar, admit hundreds of people to a VR conference or VR networking event. You can also create your own VR world and invite others to join you.
“I’ve met a lot of my high-income clients in the VR world, and I closed my biggest life insurance policy to a client I met in VR, $35 million insurance company to a JP Morgan executive,” he said.
Along with virtual reality, augmented reality and hologram technology are also becoming popular ways to connect with prospects and customers, Leledakis said.
“In the near future, you may be in the client’s home or office, using simple VR glasses or, if you can imagine, wearing VR contact lenses,” he said. “Some say this technology is for the distant future, but not really.”
Leledakis said advisers “must not be afraid of the future of technology.”
“We just have to prepare for it.”
Using innovation and technology “can make insurance even more attractive for our profession and for society,” Leledakis said. “We can also make insurance cool for new generations, who believe that we are a profession without technology or innovation. We have to go where our customers will be. Millennials want to be on VR. So let’s meet them where they want to be.
Susan Rupe is an editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She previously served as communications director for an association of insurance agents and was an award-winning journalist and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.
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