Congratulations on Your New SALE!
It becomes so easy as an Agency Owner, just to worry about SELLING! After all isn’t that what it’s all about?
It was a rhetorical question and just, so we are clear, the answer is…a resounding NO!
You certainly need to be able to sell but do so by creating a value-based proposition and tying in a unique Client experience, this has never been as true and relevant as it is today, especially now in this digital based consumer market we live in.
The question becomes, “How can you set your agency, your website and your Client interactions, apart from other agencies?”
It all starts with overcoming the idea in the consumer’s mind that insurance is just a commodity. Do not let your agency be just like all the other agencies out there, make your agency standout! After all you are in business to help Clients understand what truly is at risk right? I am not telling you anything that you haven’t already heard or been told before though.
Even from a financial stand point, think about the type of clients you currently have or will have? If you brought those Clients into your agency primarily as price only shoppers, (the only thing you brought to the table is, “We have really good service, very competitive pricing, we can save you money!”) Studies show how these very same Clients you attract by the price proposition, will leave you for that very same reason…PRICE!
If that doesn’t wake you up, you will also find that the service requirements are much higher with this type of Clients. Why should you care? As an Agency Owner, price driven Clients mean HIGHER costs to maintain; it also typically means higher loss ratios and last but not least the increased amount of time your agency staff will spend servicing vs time spent on new Client acquisition. (See Link Below)
What’s in it for you?
Client Acquisition Costs and Profits simply put it cost more to gain a new client than to keep an existing one. So, if your model is turn and burn, you will ultimately be paying or reducing your profit shares. Do not just take my word for it though, here is an article link from Forbes that shows how retaining Clients accelerates profit and growth:
The key takeaway is you need to engage your Clients and create a positive and personalized experience for them.
How to create it?
Client experience starts from that very first, “Hello” and continues on with every interaction, engagement and process your agency establishes.
You must create an agency that revolves around a Common Theme, Moto, Mission Statement and Purpose which must be to create an exceptional Client experience, by providing VALUE and SERVICE that other agencies simply do not offer…INSERT HERE, “Trusted Advisor”, “Strategic Partner” become more than a commodity to your Clients.
Strive to be an agency who represents their client’s best interests, by not merely focusing on price, but rather correctly analyzing and communicating to your Clients what they have to lose and create coverage options and solutions for each customer’s unique needs. Besides knowing how to recommend the right coverage, your producers need to know the products they sell including the benefits of each and with that knowledge the ability to effectively communicate these benefits when presenting to potential Clients. Why is this company/product different, what value does it bring?
This foundational piece will only take place if everyone in the agency is onboard, if this is not the case, then you will not be able to create the experience. It is an ALL, or nothing proposition, and this motivation has to be the very reason you and your staff are there, to serve your Clients.
Welcome all new Clients and prospects!
Remember that first hello? Does a Client or prospect feel like they are welcomed at your agency or like they are merely a number?
This is one opportunity to standout and to make that all important FIRST IMPRESSION. Do you offer your Clients, water, soda, coffee? WHY wouldn’t you? What about Clients or prospects who conduct business outside your office? Obviously, a lot of Clients nowadays prefer to do business over the phone or via e-mail, (while if your Client is within a 5-mile radius of your office you should attempt to schedule an appointment as face to face interactions allow a greater connection and can lead to discovery of additional selling opportunities), but if you can’t make that happen what is your plan to make these prospects and Clients feel welcomed? Personalized Video Content is a GREAT way to WELCOME NEW CLIENTS TO YOUR AGENCY! MEET THE TEAM, THE OWNER, THE STAFF. It is also a great way to condition your Client to your internal process. i.e. This is JUDY she is part of our team and has been with our agency for 10 years, she is here when you need to make a payment, make a policy change, get ID card. JUDY is your go to when you need something as an agency, no matter if it’s face-to-face communication or your hold music, always incorporate the feeling and concept that the Client matters, echoing your mission statement throughout each Client touch point.
You will have to begin with planning, you know the…When, How and The Frequency, (how often you will engage your prospects and Clients). Once that is establish you will need to select or create what content you will be sending for each specific touch point and the delivery mechanism along with any internal processes that correspond.
Here are some general steps you may want to incorporate in your agency’s process.
- Adding your Client in to your client database without errors. Many people today spell their names creatively. A misspelled name is a big turnoff to clients. In addition, make sure you have a supporting sales process that collects the data your agency will need for future use. Make sure this is done prior to the closing of the sale. i.e. (Children’s names and dates of birth, if you wanted to send your client’s children a FREE ice cream cone coupon for their birthday) you will need to collect the correct data as a part of the processes in order for things to run smoothly and to be effective. This also avoids Clients being bothered by continuing to ask for additional information in the future.
• Send a thank you letter, which explains: Expected policy arrival date along with who to contact for payments and ID Cards.
• A copy of your agency’s most recent newsletter or other material relevant to your client’s insurance needs.
• An invitation to “like” and follow your social media pages and where to locate them.
• A description of all insurance products your agency provides, such as Life insurance, Annuities or Disability coverage.
• A reminder to set dates for client contact, including birthdays or other important milestones, policy reviews, etc.
Today’s agencies must work leaner and smarter and part of this means focusing on your most profitable clients. Your top clients are the most likely to refer new business your way. Frequent communication with them, and welcoming your new clients into your agency, will pay the biggest dividends. High Client retention correlates to high agency profitability.
Examples of How to Create Your Processes:
STEP ONE: Plot out your touch points – When do you want to add value or create exceptional Client experiences? What events will trigger you to engage your Clients and prospects? – i.e. Birthdays, Renewals, Quoting, Etc.
STEP TWO: How? What format will you use for each of these events. (Card, e-mail, phone call, video?)
STEP THREE: Determine how often?
An example might be with your Client Onboarding Process. After the application is signed and returned, (Day 1) the Welcome to Our Agency Video goes out.
1. Touch Point: Client Onboarding
2. When: (The time the event will take place) – Day 1, Week 1, Week 2
3. HOW: (By what means/format will the content be delivered) Welcome to Our Agency Video – (Personalized) via e-mail.
Make sure you are not over saturating your Clients with content or messages. Keep special events as that, don’t try to sell to your Client on their Birthday or if you are trying to establish a good feeling, i.e. “Sorry for our mistake, have you considered life insurance?”
Day 1: Welcome Video
Week 1: New Client – Discount Follow up
(One week after Day 1) – Email sent following up stating your policy is being processed and here are a couple of things you should do in order to keep your discounts. (Discount related tasks, signing forms for EFT or any other tasks that will ensure that discounts are not removed or are required by the carrier.
Week 2: New Client Phone Call – (30 Days if Commercial Client)
(2 weeks after signing) – Call Client to follow up and make sure they have received paperwork electronically or otherwise. Make sure they do not have any questions and verify discounts are in place. Addressing any other questions and thank them for the opportunity to serve them. Let them know they made the right choice and you are happy they are a part of the agency.
Day 30 – Referral
E-mail sent Referral – “Thank you again for being a part of our agency we are here to serve you and we hope we have made your transaction a smooth one.” “Our goal is to make sure you and your loved ones are taken care of and we wanted to let you know we are always looking for Clients just like you!” “Did you know about our referral program?” “If you simply refer a friend or family member to our agency and they receive a quote, then we will send you out a $20 Walmart card!” (Example only).
Above is an example of a process, it will be up to you to create content or identify when you should engage your Clients. THE KEY IS TO INITATE IT! MAKE YOUR AGENCY AND CLIENT EXPERIENCE STAND OUT! MAKE IT SERVE BOTH THE CLIENT AND YOUR AGENCY. These processes can be as creative or as simple as you would like them to be. There are many services that can help you accomplish these goals and objectives, but make no mistake, NOT HAVING THEM IN PLACE WILL COST YOU MONEY AND YOU WILL LOSE CLIENTS.
Once the steps above are defined, then you need to make sure you have the right tools in place to deliver the content effectively. There are many automated systems out there so AFTER you have created your process, THEN do your homework to find a service that accomplishes your objectives.
PLEASE NOTE: YOUR AGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM MAY IN FACT HAVE THE CAPABILITY TO DO SOME OR ALL OF THE PROCESSES ABOVE!
* With any process PLEASE make sure that your agency complies with all state and federal laws relating to Client and prospect communications