Newsflash: Ours is a relationship business. Sure, there are online resources and other areas where people can feel like they are just another number, but most of us pride ourselves on providing personal service and knowing about our clients’ grandkids, vacation plans and favorite sports teams.
So the big question is: How do we get there? How do we transform our clients into “clients for life?”
The following are five suggestions I would recommend to any advisors who are interested in holding on to the clients they have worked so hard to acquire.
1. Be sincere. This sounds like a no-brainer, but for many of us who do a high volume of business, it is easy to get wrapped up in our process and start thinking: “This is the fifth time I have seen this today.”
You must remember that to the client, you are their resource, their ally and, at times, their savior when things go wrong. Remember to listen, to be sincere, to be earnest, as well as to empathize and connect with your clients. Treat them as you would want to be treated and get to know them.
2. Compete for their business each year. How many times have we sent out a renewal or reviewed a renewal and thought to ourselves: “This is good enough”? It’s not. You must be willing to shop the market or show options to your clients, and explain the differences between these options so that they don’t go and find someone else who will.
Every year at renewal time, we shop all the major options that would apply to our clients. We review and talk about their needs, whether those needs are changing or not, and the differences. We focus on value, not price, and our clients know that we have their backs. As a result, they know they don’t have to go elsewhere.
3. Connect with them on social media. We are going a million miles per hour these days. So how do we keep up? By using social media. Think about, when you post something, how many times you check to see whether that post is “liked” and who “liked” it.
Be the person who “likes” your client’s life. They see you and your comments, and you build a stronger bond with them. You develop more meaningful conversations and can help them plan, change auto policies, get more life insurance, save for college, or plan for retirement. It is there in front of you — all you have to do is go and become a part of their lives.
4. Hold annual client events. We do a client event at least once a year. During these events, it is no longer about me. Instead, we have politicians, professional speakers and heads of companies come in and give presentations.
People don’t want to listen to talks about insurance; they want to be inspired and get things they can’t get elsewhere. Holding these events also demonstrates a high level of confidence in your ability and commitment to what you do and ultimately to your clients as well.
5. See them regularly. Don’t get wrapped up on doing things only on social media or email. My clients tell me they love to see me and they miss me if we don’t visit in person.
Remember that your clients crave personal connection just like everyone else. The minute you become “Johnny or Jane 800-Insurance” is the moment you lose personal connection with them and they start looking for someone who wants a relationship.
It has been said that people are the best and the worst parts of our jobs. Go find the people you would like to have in your life, make them your clients, and build a relationship with them so that you can have the clients you want and a career that makes you happy.