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Client Management 101

client management 101 text overlaying image of network of clientsThe success of an insurance agent relies on the happiness of their clients. Clients who are satisfied with products and services that you offer will be more likely to return to you in the future, and even bring you new clients. For this reason, effectively managing your client-base should be a top priority for every active insurance agent. Since insurance is a business that is heavily dependent upon providing exceptional customer service, not being able to meet your clients expectations will have a direct negative impact on your business. 

 

If client management isn’t currently an important part of your weekly routine, then you may want to consider changing your practices. Making sure your new clients are taken care of is important, but equally important is nurturing your existing clients. Maintaining active relationships will open new opportunities, giving you the best chance to take your business to the next level. 

 

What is Client Management

Client management is the regular practice of planned interactions between you, your active and potential clients. It’s important to differentiate having a short interaction with someone when they decide to purchase an insurance policy and maintaining a positive relationship over time. If you tend to only talk to clients at the point of purchase, it makes it difficult for you to gain their trust. By talking and offering well-planned advice to your clients, you will be able to retain more of them and ultimately increase your return on investment. 

 

Why Client Management is Important

Referrals

If you have a core group of satisfied clients, the chances of them talking about you and your services will greatly increase. When scheduling regular check-ins with existing clients, it is important to remember that if they’re happy and satisfied, the number of referrals increases with each interaction. Marketing tactics go a long way, but so do customers who are properly taken care of as they can open many doors to new opportunities. For this reason, a good practice is to ask clients to leave a review or testimonial for your website or another online presence. On the other hand, if you do the bare minimum and rarely interact with your clients, the odds of them mentioning your services to family and friends will be minimal 

 

High Retention Rate

As mentioned previously, if your clients get to know and trust you, and are satisfied with the services you’ve provided, they will be likely to come back when it’s time for renewal. If you haven’t already, you should view client retention as something that is equally important as gaining new clients. Both require hard work and effort, but through regular client management, you won’t have to worry as much about losing customers to competitors. 

 

Sales Opportunities

Creating profiles and regularly analyzing current and potential clients will open new doors and opportunities. Two of these opportunities are cross-selling and up-selling. If you get into the habit of periodically reviewing your clients or prospects’ needs and wants, by the time you reach out to them, you’ll have a good idea of what other products they might need. Even if a client doesn’t desire any additional products at the time, the regular interactions that you have with them will encourage them to reach out to you in the future if they change their mind. 

 

Tips For Managing Clients

Be Upfront & Realistic

It’s important to always meet your clients needs, but you also need to be clear, honest and realistic with them. A client is much more likely to be understanding if you explain your concerns or limitations with them upfront instead of getting their hopes up. Keeping this in mind, you should cater to their wants, but also be transparent. For instance, when talking about products, policies and coverage amounts or limits, be sure to only talk about what you are able to offer. If you end up being able to get them a better deal in the end, that’s a win, but it is counterproductive to promise something that is too good to be true. 

 

Be Available and Communicate Effectively

Client management doesn’t truly begin until a sale is made. Keeping this in mind, after making a sale, be sure to ask the client what their preferred method of communication is. Tell them that you are available through email, phone, or any other popular messaging apps. Laying out the communication options will tell them that you want to form a relationship and are regularly available to chat. Also, make a point to let them know that you are always available if they need help with anything insurance related.

 

Though you should always be available when your clients are in need, you don’t have to wait for them to reach out to you. Get into the practice of regularly reaching out at least once a month or every few weeks. This is especially important in the beginning of the relationship. Once you get to know someone a bit better, you’ll have a better understanding of how often they prefer to talk, but when a client is new, it’s best to display your efforts by initiating these conversations. When you check in, simply talk to them about their policy and see if they are happy with it so far. If they have any hesitations, make it obvious that you are there for them and will do anything in your power to resolve their concerns. 

 

Stay Organized with a CRM

Regularly keeping up with a large number of clients can get busy and hectic. To stay on top of things, it’s a great idea to use technology like a customer relationship management system (CRM) to speed up and automate the management process. There are a number of automated functions within a CRM that can make your life easier. One of those is automated personal messages. You can use this function to set up follow-up meetings, or personal messages for events like holidays or birthdays. And since you can set these meetings up periodically, such as every two months, you’ll be much less likely to forget about anyone.

 

A CRM can also aid you in gaining insight on potential clients. By gathering and storing data on your prospects and organizing the details into a profile, you’ll have all the information at your fingertips when it’s time to try to make a sale. Lastly, a CRM can help you manage your client’s customer service needs. Many of these systems have tools such as chatbots and troubleshooting programs that can take care of many customer issues by itself, or alert you if human help is necessary. 

 

How You Shouldn’t Manage Clients

Prioritizing Certain Clients Only

Something that many agents fall into the routine of doing is giving certain clients extra attention and giving others not enough. Though not everyone needs the same amount of communication, it’s important that you prioritize everyone. One of the top reasons that a client will decide to leave and go to a competitor is because they feel as though their needs aren’t met or that they feel ignored. By scheduling regular appointments, keeping your line of communication open at all times and being responsive, you can avoid this issue altogether. 

 

Treating Clients Like Sales, Not People

Regular communication is important, but you have to make sure that you’re communicating in the right way. This means establishing a good relationship by being personal. Many times agents and salespeople in general, get so caught up in making sales that they forget that they should be making a connection with their clients. When you reach out to someone, instead of jumping right into the nitty gritty details, ask them how their day is going or mention something about their personal life. Believe it or not, this kind of “small talk” can go a long way in showing clients that you care about their well being and not just a check. 

 

Issues With Organization 

We already touched on the importance of certain technology to keep track of your clients such as a CRM. On the flip side, if you are relying too much on manual or outdated scheduling techniques, you can lose out on valuable opportunities. Agents who are the most organized have the most success plain and simple. In addition to software like a CRM, you can use alerts on your mobile device, planning apps, or a physical calendar. Though we don’t want to undermine the importance of using a CRM, everyone has their own work style. See what works best for you and begin to incorporate daily. A good practice is to look at your client appointments or concerns at the beginning of every week for an overview, and also at the start of each day for a more granular view. 

 

What separates the top performing insurance agents from the mediocre ones is customer satisfaction. While some agents try to take the easy route by making a sale and then disappearing, stellar agents will communicate regularly and effectively with their clients. Having solid relationships will pay off in the long run by opening up new sales opportunities, and causing customers to renew their policies with you. It takes commitment, but if you’re organized, available, upfront and realistic with your clients, you will be a more successful agent. If you haven’t realized it yet, the insurance sector is a people-person industry, and it’s time to start treating it like one. Start by taking the time to check in on your clients regularly, earn their trust, and everyone will be happy. 

Working With Benepath

If you are an insurance -agent and want to get a leg up on the competition, you should consider using our lead generation services. At Benepath we offer data leads and inbound phone calls in a number of verticals. Individual health, group health, Medicare, life and commercial insurance. All of which can help to boost your sales! All of our leads are exclusive and produced in real-time, so you’ll have the best chance of closing your sales. If you’d like to purchase leads from us or learn more about our generation process, fill out a form or give us a call at 888-684-3121.

About The Author: Cassandra Love

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