This Insurance How To provides very useful tips to help advisers highlight the importance of ongoing communication between themselves and their clients. It also covers how to position annual reviews, and lists the kinds of triggers that can prompt an insurance review.
At a glance
Provided by: Sue Laing
Business: The Risk Store
Topics covered: annual reviews, generating client engagement
It’s sensible for all risk advisers to sit back and ask themselves: “How do I educate my clients about the value of my regular input?”
This should be a walk in the park for advisers. A life risk protection plan is a living, moving beast. Every time a client has some sort of important change in their lives, it’s crucial to review the impact that change might have on their plan.
- Replacing lost insurance cover from super on retrenchment
- Changing sums insured
- Adjusting policy ownership
- Adding products
- Altering/updating beneficiary nominations
- Removing loadings/exclusions
- Claiming where the client didn’t know they had a claim (this happens much more often than you might realise!)
Getting clients trained to contact you at these times of change takes some effort and smarts.
Getting clients trained to contact you at these times of change takes some effort and smarts. But it’s worth it to embed the long term relationship in their minds. From the first, through to the last meeting in the first year of the relationship, the language must reflect:
- Your intention to ‘stay on top’ of the client’s protection needs, and
- Their responsibility to learn to identify the ‘triggers’ that indicate they have to talk to you.
How do you ensure that a client knows to contact you when it’s not review time and something’s changed?
- Start educating them early in the relationship. At the first meeting when you present your visual graphic of the advice process (assuming you have this wonderful tool in your toolkit), ensure it has a little side arrow or box near “Reviews” that says “You need to contact us if your circumstances change between reviews”.
- In the SoA, describe “The Review Process” and have a separate heading that says something like “In Between Reviews” and a simple few lines mentioning the sorts of things that should prompt them to contact you (the review checklist in the risk store has these ‘triggers’ listed).
- At the final plan completion meeting, give them a fridge magnet or other such device, with the words ‘LET US KNOW!’ printed at the top, followed by your business, phone numbers and email address.
- Tweet all your Twitter clients just once a month to ask “has anything happened I should know about?” This is one 20 second task once a month, reaching all Twitter-enabled clients in one go.
Finally, give yourself a valid and supportable reason to contact them every year regardless. Here’s how: do what you have heard about at a dozen conferences and buy a supply of classy document folders, brand them and help arrange each client’s important documents in one. Every year you can call and ask them to confirm, for your file record, where that folder is stored in their office or home. What a great service – you become their/their family’s ‘disaster lifeline’ when you do this.
After every one of these contacts, your follow up email must remind them that for the next year they must stay vigilant and notify you of any changes. By now you should have them well-educated on the kinds of triggers you need to be told about. Any future opt-in requirements then become just a formality!
Adapted with permission from a risk store Risk Read technical case study email. Additional material from Sue Laing’s “30 Things Your Clients Don’t Know You Do For Them”, presented at the risk store Annual Life Risk Forum in August 2011.