Ms. Ardleigh is the founder and president of Dynama Insurance, with expertise in private client products and cross-border planning for international clients. Visit dynamaInsurance.com.
Agents and brokers that primarily sell life insurance are in a tough spot. Their compensation is at odds with their desire to service their clients. High first-year compensation and low renewals mean that most agents’ business model is to focus on closing sales as quickly as possible. Taking care of your clients is not just a good business practice, it can also be good for your bottom line. Simply put: if you adopt a focus of staying in touch with your clients it can lead to additional revenue.
Here are a few ideas to incorporate into your practice:
Annual Reviews –
We reach out to our clients every year to run in force illustrations and review policy benefits. It is a great opportunity to check in and be of help. At some point, the client will likely need something else, so it’s important to stay in touch.
Cross Selling –
Do you ask every client if they need disability insurance or long-term care insurance? Can you help your business owner clients with their health insurance, buy-sell planning or corporate benefits? If a client has chosen to work with you, they like and trust you. Why not expand that relationship?
Ask for Introductions –
A happy client can introduce you to other potential clients. Don’t be aggressive. The “Who do you know that needs my services?,” pitch rarely works. Ask detailed questions. Is your client a partner at a firm where you might give a presentation? Are they active in a mom’s group or blog where they can give you a shout out? Be creative and specific and make it easy for your client to look good.
High first-year compensation and low renewals mean that most agents’ business model is to focus on closing sales as quickly as possible…
Host Events –
Many of our clients own their own businesses. We invite them to business networking events and help them expand their connections. If you have clients in certain industries who are passionate about certain causes, look into hosting or attending events and inviting your clients. We have invited clients to wine tastings, charity dinners, networking events and concerts.
Offering New Products –
We had success in selling new policies when we let our clients know they could get another $1M of life insurance without having to do an exam through accelerated underwriting programs. We’ve also called clients in their 50s and 60s to explain hybrid life/long term care policies. Most clients have no idea what is new in the insurance industry. If you tell them, they just might buy something new.
Being Part of the Team –
Do you know your clients’ estate planning attorneys? How about their wealth advisors and CPAs? Being a part of the team means that you will be involved when additional planning is being done. It can also lead to new referrals from the advisors.
Having Fun –
If the client only hears from you when you are selling something, they are going to shut you out quickly. We send our clients review postcards with vacation pictures instead of business letters. We’ve sent out Valentine’s Day candy, New Year’s cards and Thanksgiving gifts. Make your clients smile, let your personality shine through and you will build stronger relationships.