As we continue our commitment to social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for clients to hear from their financial\insurance advisors. It may be nothing more than just checking-in to make sure that they know you are available and thinking about them or reaching out to clients to continue the planning that you were working on or discussing with them before the pandemic hit. However, there are many clients that are under insured, uninformed or both who need someone to reach out and offer to review their personal life, disability, and\or long-term care insurance and/or business insurance (collectively risk management portfolio).
The GOAL during this challenging time is to continue to manage your practice, and actively remain connected to and provide your clients with a valuable service while continuing to generate revenue for your business. AgencyONE has compiled a Survival Guide for our AgencyONE 100 Advisors that will provide a roadmap to:
- Marketing tools to help generate leads;
- Communication tools to assist in “meeting” with clients;
- Life Insurance Needs Analysis tools to provide education and to identify your clients’ needs; and
Electronic Submission tools to provide quotes and electronic submissions for underwriting.
Many advisors have embarked on direct marketing campaigns to both clients and to centers of influence. AgencyONE recently hosted a webinar with two AgencyONE 100 advisors who have been successful at engaging their clients during the COVID shutdown. The replay of that webinar is linked HERE.
In order to create a successful marketing campaign in this difficult environment, it is important to communicate empathy, transparency, and a desire to offer solutions. Many clients are anxious and thinking about their health, mortality, the well-being of their families, and quite possibly their businesses.
AgencyONE has created several templates for qualifying AgencyONE 100 advisors to use with clients and centers of influence. They are meant to offer support and advice and are available upon request. These templates can be used “as is”, can be modified to suit your needs, or you can create your own to make them more personal.
- Client email template
- Prospective client email
- Center of Influence email
- Business owner email
Many advisors use a Custom Relationship Management system (CRM). If that is already part of your practice, use the CRM to send emails to your existing and prospective clients and centers of influence.
If you don’t have a CRM, you may consider using an email marketing system such as Constant Contact or MailChimp. These are very user-friendly systems that offer a multitude of creative templates, designs, and tutorials from which to work and learn. These systems provide the most efficient way to get your message out to your clients and prospects. To take advantage of their complete range of options, a subscription may be required. If you are an AgencyONE 100 Qualifying Advisor and have a list of client emails in a digital format, AgencyONE may be able to provide support through our Marketing Department. Please contact us for more details.
By way of example, one of our AgencyONE 100 advisors reported a 50% open rate on a client-oriented email campaign through one of the above email marketing systems. This is an extraordinary result considering the industry average is about 15%! As a result of the campaign, the advisor received many phone calls from clients requesting guidance on the opportunity to purchase additional life insurance in today’s environment.
Historically, we all have spoken to our clients and prospects on the phone which has been a very effective way to communicate with busy professionals. However, with face-to-face communication on the decline as a result of the virus, virtual “face-to-face” video conferencing has become a very popular way to reach out and connect.
If you are not using some form of video conferencing, such as Go to Meeting, Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, or others, we seriously recommend you consider using one or more of these tools. After weeks of self-quarantine, people welcome the sight of another (often adult) human that is not a part of their household. Virtual “face-to-face” meetings provide the opportunity for a deeper connection while discussing such an emotionally charged subject. Empathy, professionalism, and your ability to LISTEN is paramount during this very anxious and unprecedented time.
One of our AgencyONE 100 advisors, Kim Natovitz, CLU, CLTC created and shared a well thought out and very thorough guide which discusses 5 Things Clients Should be Focusing on with their Advisors. Not every topic will lead to a sale, but clearly the conversation will create good-will in your relationship and potentially lead to the discussion of other solutions. This document was also made available on the AALU\GAMA COVID-19 Action Center website.
A couple final thoughts about video conferencing. Learn to think of these virtual “face-to-face” client appointments as if you were really meeting face-to-face (because you are!). Take advantage of the available tutorials that demonstrate how to use your selected tool for video conferencing. Zoom, for example, offers tutorials online that clearly explain screen sharing, multi-party conferencing, presenting material, etc. Take the time to learn before you start scheduling conferences.
It used to be that many insurance advisors performed a “life insurance needs analysis”. This is basic stuff. When was the last time you worked with a client to determine Human Life Value or conducted a basic needs analysis? One of our favorite tools comes from an industry non-profit, Life Happens. They have three very good calculators on their site which is linked just above.
- Life Insurance Needs Analysis
- Disability Needs Analysis
- Human Life Value
These calculators are excellent tools to use with your client during a video conference screen sharing session and will show your client or prospect how to identify any gaps or shortfalls they may have in their planning.
Furthermore, Life Happens has a series of client friendly videos with real life stories about life insurance that can be played during virtual client meetings or sent to your clients for viewing at another time.
Another important service that you can offer your clients is a life insurance portfolio review, which may or may not include a needs analysis. With the COVID emergency, many clients are “dusting off” the policy or policies that they may have bought years ago. They need to know if their existing policies are suitable for their current needs given the pandemic and economic climate. As you know, interest rates, financial markets and in some cases, costs of insurance have changed, and these policies may not be performing as originally anticipated. Providing this review service opens the door for more conversations – possibly about the need for additional life insurance, disability or long-term care.
Finally, there are online tools from a variety of life insurance carriers available to use with your business owner clients that provide free business valuations. These can be accessed on the AgencyONE website, as well.
QUOTING, ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION & ACCELERATED UNDERWRITING
If during your needs analysis or policy review with your client a need for additional insurance emerges, the ability to quote, submit, and underwrite life insurance applications has never been easier. E-capabilities are now mainstream and are preferred by most clients, especially with the current social distancing requirements.
There are a variety of tools available on the AgencyONE website that can provide these e-capabilities. Our website Quote Engine provides both Term and Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL) pricing and offers comparative capabilities. Of course, feel free to call our sales support\ illustration team for any quotes.
E-submission is also available via the iGO and Vive applications on the AgencyONE website or on the carrier websites that have adopted these e-capabilities.
Finally, Accelerated Underwriting has become mainstream for clients as old as 69. AgencyONE has compiled and continually updates the Accelerated Underwriting spreadsheet, which lays out age and amount capabilities for each insurance carrier and is available to our AgencyONE 100 Advisors on the website Advisor Dashboard.
With this Survival Guide, our goal is to provide insurance and other financial advisors with the tools to serve their clients in their time of need and manage their businesses in a way that is best suited to achieve success in the current climate and moving forward.
AgencyONE will be discussing this Social Distancing Sales & Survival Guide in greater detail during the Monday, May 11,2020 webinar at 12:00pm (EST). We hope you can join us for this presentation. A separate invitation will follow.
Please do not hesitate to call AgencyONE at 301.803.7500 with any questions or to discuss a case.