While the opportunity to make multiple sales per client in the life insurance and annuity industry may be small, creating strong relationships with clients is still an important aspect of your work as a financial producer. Both life insurance and annuity contracts are inherently long-term purchases, and your relationship with your client should be viewed as such.
As a producer, it’s possible for you to create strong relationships with your clients, which not only improve client satisfaction, but also increase your chance of upsales and referrals in the future.
Where relationships go wrong
There are two main ways relationships with clients tend to weaken – quickly during the first year, or slowly over time, John Warburton, director of group market management at Allianz SE wrote for a 2014 KPMG report.
In the first instance, a diminished relationship between you and your client may come from their regretting their purchase. This can happen in situations where you take a hard sale approach. Even if the client was interested in advice and purchasing a product, a hard sale tactic can leave someone feeling like the purchase wasn’t entirely their choice.
In the latter situation, your relationships diminish over time because you fail to create meaningful exchanges between you and your client, and instead rely on routine communication that provides little value.
However, neither of these circumstances need to occur as it’s possible through time and strategy to build long-lasting relationships with each of your clients.
Use these tools to establish better relationships:
Focus on trust over sales
Above all, your clients need to trust you before you can speak frankly with them about their financial situations and future risks.
Without initially developing trust, you’re unlikely to make the first sale as your clients may not see the value in your expertise or believe you have their best interests at heart, Rachel Croston, professor of information management at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote for HFG Wealth Management. However, your need for your client’s confidence does not end after you sell them a life insurance policy or annuity. In fact, it becomes more important over time.
Momentary trust may sell a product, but if you don’t work to continuously build your client’s conviction that you’re knowledgeable about the industry and available products, you’ll slowly drift apart like the second scenario described above. Established trust means your clients will come to you when they have questions or advice.
Make valuable contact
To avoid the situation where you only speak with your clients once a year regarding their financial products, make a point to have consistent worthwhile contact with them, Warburton advised.
Consistent valuable contact does not mean more sales pitches. It may be difficult to think of contact that could be meaningful to your clients when they’ve already purchased a product, but there are numerous ways to keep in touch without being overbearing.
You can talk with your clients one on one when you have news that may affect their particular situations or future plans, such as changes in tax regulations or new products on the market. In more general circumstances you can send messages about changes to your business or important but less specific changes in the market.
Take advantage of technology
Online platforms offer you a place to be constantly available to your clients and build trust without having to personally reach out to individual consumers.
Your website and social media profiles can become places to educate current and potential clients on industry changes, tax and financial regulations and more. Not only is this a way to avoid losing contact with your clients, but it also helps you consistently maintain their confidence.
Making the effort to form long-term relationships with your clients is beneficial to both you and your clients. By working with you throughout their lives, they have someone who truly knows their financial history and goals. You benefit from gaining a solid reputation as an advisor whom consumers trust, which will ultimately help you grow your business.