By ROSS HULTGREN
To grow their businesses, many advisors actively search for new clients, oftentimes forgetting that the opportunity for growth is right in front of them. They simply need to focus on cultivating the client relationships they already have. I’ve found that an easy way to foster meaningful relationships and show your current clients you truly care about their wellbeing is to regularly review their policies. If you make a point to frequently check in with them, you’ll nurture client trust and develop higher-quality business.
Your Client Now And In The Future
When you enter into a client relationship, the client trusts you to look after them now and in the future. They don’t just stop being your client after they buy life insurance. I always remind myself that this is a mutual relationship: they agreed to be your client the same way you agreed to be their advisor. Most likely, they chose to become your client because you initially showed them you could and would protect them. By proactively reaching out to ensure their policy remains relevant, you’ll keep your promise to protect them as life changes.
One of my current clients previously worked with an advisor who established a life insurance policy for her when she was 27. But, after she signed, the advisor didn’t contact her again. Five years later, she called him to say her life circumstances had changed significantly. She was now married, owned six properties, had two children and needed different protection. Unfortunately, that advisor forgot their conversation and didn’t provide her new coverage. When her husband was injured several years later, she lost income because her advisor had not updated her policy. This hardship could have easily been avoided with the right support and advice.
When you do check in with your clients, they’ll surprise you by saying, “I’m so glad you called, I’ve been meaning to get in touch! So much has changed since we last talked.” Life keeps moving for them, and for us, and we often forget the importance of our role in their lives. One of the best ways to remind them they aren’t just another client is to take the time to call and make sure the life insurance you provided two years ago still protects them today.
Provide Advice, Not A Product
I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to efficiently and thoroughly check in with clients is to invest in an excellent customer relationship management (CRM) system. Once you establish a CRM, make sure you consistently update it. Add notes from every client meeting or personal insights about your clients to help guide your follow-up calls. Your client may be one out of 200, but to them, they’re one out of one. Make them feel their importance and individuality by prepping for their specific circumstances before you call.
The best entry into a check-in call is to tell your client about a new regulation or policy that affects them and ask if they know what that means for them and their family. This will establish that, first and foremost, you care about their well-being. The call isn’t a self-serving sales call for you to promote a product. Instead, ask yourself what advice this client might need at this particular point in his life. Whether that conversation leads to more sales, as it very well could, is not necessarily the point. You’re taking care of your client like you promised when the advisor-client relationship was initiated.
Be There When It Matters
Instead of being concerned about where your next new client is coming from, take genuine interest in the life and family of your existing clients. If a client mentions their sister is getting married, write that information down and make a note to congratulate the sister after the wedding. You’ll be surprised by how often siblings or children become your next client.
In the end, your main priority should always be to protect your clients and provide proactive advice and education whenever you can. Not only do clients appreciate it, they oftentimes need our calls. If you make a point to regularly review their policies and check in often, you’ll have grateful, satisfied clients. And, when it comes down to it, our only real job is to be there. Don’t let them down.
Ross Hultgren has been providing professional financial planning advice and solutions to clients since 1987. He is a member of the Financial Planners Association as well as a Life MDRT member. Ross has served as MDRT Australian Chair and is currently a member of the MDRT Global Council where he oversees Membership Communications Committees in three different regions.