After “Yes,” Holding It All Together

How survive the 'cooling off period'

(Image: Thinkstock) (Image: Thinkstock)

 

Agents in the insurance industry can be very persuasive. It’s why the “cooling off period” was invented. Clients usually have a 14-day period to cancel after agreeing to buy an insurance product. 

(Related: 6 Tactful Ways to Ask for the Order)

You gave your new client your best recommendations. You want the business to stay in place, the client to be happy and more business to follow. What should you do after the prospect says yes?

Why Trades Get Into Trouble

Let’s assume you provide a range of services to your clients including investments in addition to insurance. You talk about wealth management with your clients. In this case you are suggesting they work with a professional money manager available on your firm’s fee-based asset-management platform. This is an investment, not an insurance product. Different rules may apply.

The first problem: You are sitting in their kitchen delivering your presentation. You are enthusiastic, fielding questions as they come. The energy level is high. Finally the client says: “Alright already. Show me where I need to sign.” They complete the paperwork and write out a check.

Suddenly the temperature in the room changes. You are calm. You are also smiling. You gather up the paperwork and leave their house as fast as you can.

Your rationale: Didn’t I once hear that lawyers are told “When the judge says, ‘Not Guilty,’ close your briefcase and leave as fast as possible because no further good happens by staying around?”

The client’s rationale:  Didn’t I learn about zero sum games in college where there’s one winner and one loser? One of us just handed over a check. The other put on a big smile and cleared off as fast as possible. I think I know who the loser is.

Risk: They call to cancel or back out the next morning. (Paperwork might be involved.)

The second problem: The client didn’t cancel, but we are in the first couple of weeks since they signed the paperwork. No news is good news.

Your rationale: “Let sleeping dogs lie.” I’m not going to call.

The client’s rationale: She was in touch all the time. Then I agreed. I haven’t heard a word since. Maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all.

Risk: They call to cancel or back out. (Paperwork might be involved.)

Question (Image: Thinkstock)

(Image: Thinkstock)

So How Much Should I Keep in Touch?

Different conversations with a successful insurance agency owner and another financial advisor yielded another approach. Remember, we are talking investments in this example.

  1. Immediately after they agree, congratulate them on making a good decision. Explain why this should help improve their situation going forward or help get them closer to their goals;

  2. Review what you will be doing. “We will be sending this money to Abracadabra Investments, one of our money managers…”  This is also known as “reading back the order”, a requirement in the financial services industry. This is in place so the client knows exactly what they agreed to.

  3. Explain “life after the investment starts.” You might say: “Have you ever worked with a professional money manager before? You will get lots of trade confirmations in the mail. Open them, look at them. Save them. We will talk later.”

  4. It’s a couple of days later. Call with an update: “The money manager has confirmed receipt of the money. They are buying stocks now. Those confirmations will come soon.” Also explain: “Your first statement should arrive in the first days of next month. I would like you to call me when you get it.” Here’s the rationale: The first statement is often confusing. They may wonder “Where’s my money?” They will wonder if it’s gone up or down. You will want to walk them though, page by page.

  5. It’s the beginning of the next month. The statement is available online. (You referenced the print version in your conversation.) You are pretty confident they’ve got the print version. You don’t wait for their call! You call first! If they have the statement, that’s great! If not, you walk them through how to access it online, a behavior you want to encourage. You review it together, either the print or online version.

What Have We Done?

This is a “high touch” way to initiate a new client relationship. You have initiated contacts. You have prepared them for mail that will follow. You have acted, not reacted.

Does this take work? Yes. However, if you take the “stay silent” approach mentioned earlier, you might win the sale but lose the relationship. You want a satisfied client who will transfer in additional assets and also refer friends.

--- Read 7 Reasons Why Friends Prefer Doing Business With You on ThinkAdvisor.

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