Know More to Sell More

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Within your book of business is an abundance of growth opportunities. Knowing your customers well and keeping track of them in your agency management system, helps you offer value added products or services.

You and your team have done the hard work by taking time to get to know your clients.  In the past, you have probably met them in person.  And even though times have changed, people still like to look at your face and know you care.  Think of creative ways to continue to do this and assess their experience with you and your company. Are there any needs you can be meeting that may not have come up at a prior, less complicated time?

If they love you, it’s a great time to ask for referrals to friends or colleagues.  Are they especially fond of one of your employees?  That’s an opportunity to reward your staffer and build employee loyalty.  And don’t forget, note all of this in your awesome, easy to use agency management system that serves you now and for years to come.

And since you’ve been intentional to enter as many details about your customer into your system, you can look at competitive data that results in finding a product suited just for them.

Here are some things you can look for:

1. Employees aging into Medicare – As employees get closer to turning 65, they may be looking to explore the Medicare market.  Medicare is daunting for most people at the outset, when they are getting close to 65, they really need your help.  Your system should help you identify these people that will welcome your input.

2. Over-age dependents (OAD) – Due to the ACA, covered dependents turning 26 will be booted from their parent’s plan. Take this time to reach out, educate and help them identify the right individual policy for their needs.

3. Policy gaps – Your clients may have medical, dental, and vision, but do they have LegalShield, life policies, disability, or other policies that would be beneficial for them?

Knowing your clients and tracking their data is vital to retaining and growing your business.  This is not just information—it’s information about people, your people, and the time you’ve taken to understand their needs and concerns will pay off for both of you.

Historical Notes Help Retain Business

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“If when the things get confusing because of miscommunication, there are other changes to communication which can be not not understandable. See attached email excel file.”

This sentence probably made you frustrated when reading it!  It should because it’s a joke, but unfortunately, a pretty accurate depiction of historical notes we make when tracking client issues.

Thomas Reid said, “A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.” No one wants to look at any member of their team as weak. However, notes like the ones above add a significant amount of work and time for the other team members. The upside is that anyone can improve with the right protocol and training. Here are some fundamental tips and tricks to making the best notes:

1. Focus on clarity and details:  It is most helpful to answer the questions, “who, what, why, where, and how” so that all aspects of customer interaction are in the system.

2. Learn about your client: The best thing you can do for you, your client and your team is to make sure to enter as many details about your client into the system as you can. Lack of information can lead to poor customer service and potential loss of business.  Take the time to research and reap the benefits on a later date.

3.Know your tracking system: Is your system frustrating or difficult to use for your team?  Find one that works for you, not against you.  If it works, your team will be encouraged to use it and habitually return to it. 

4.Document all of it: My father often said, “trust everyone’s word, but nobody’s memory.” Most people come to the business table with good intentions, but none of us can remember everything all the time.  Remember, it serves everyone to write and keep complete historical notes. Let’s do this and improve our retention and increase business throughout the year.

Your Business in a Nutshell

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It’s simple, really. We do so many mundane tasks each day that help our clients, and the right tools can make all the difference. Every day seems to begin the same as the last.  Log in, view your email, answer a question or two, and then start to work on the more complicated issues.  Twenty-five years ago, the tools we used were a spreadsheet and a phone book. That was hi-tech.  If I had to run a business exclusively from Excel today, I would likely find myself balding with two large fistfuls of hair, and I could handle far fewer client issues than I can now.

You have heard the horror stories and likely had many of your own no matter what arrangement you are using to access data. A document goes missing or was never properly stored, a colleague accidentally deletes something, or your system is just complicated to navigate. All these things are still possible with even the best resources but can be, for the most part, avoided.

“When I was first starting in the business, my computer crashed, and I had to rebuild all my client data from paper files and by contacting the carriers to gather information. That is when I realized I needed a cloud-based system with Microsoft storage. Much safer and better backups.”– CA Based Insurance Broker

Simply tracking data is complicated stuff, but more importantly, it’s your business. When you are tracking groups, employees, dependents, benefits across the board, and even notes regarding client issues or renewals, you must be sure you follow a few simple rules:

1: Use cloud technology: Having client data stored in an online format ensures that your data is available to you wherever you are, and likely far more secure than a file cabinet in your office.

2: Consolidate: Keep your notes and data in one simple place. Jumping from program to program is not only challenging but is sure to create confusion between yourself and your team.  We have heard that many large brokerages have complex and convoluted storage systems.  You can gain an edge over them.

3: Be Thorough:  Information is knowledge. So long as your system can store it, any information on the group, employee, dependent, or carrier is useful information. If a client calls, you don’t want to say, “What policy did I sell you again?”

What agency management system do you use, and how well does it work? What feature do you like the best or the worst? Do you wish you could do more for your clients in less time?  I’d like to know! Cheers to you all and have a great week retaining and growing your business!

Retaining Business

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How do you retain your book of business? Everyone has their own techniques and strategies, but one thing is sure, we all encounter many of the same obstacles. Running and growing a business is complicated, expensive, and tedious–AND vastly rewarding when you have the right tools. Please accept our free Top 10 Ways to Retain Business in 2020 checklist and keep up the excellent work!