We all have them–habits that we have developed over time that we know we should change, but can’t. Perhaps it was because we learned to do something one way when we first started out in the business and it has stayed with us ever since. Or, perhaps it reflects an aspect of our personality. For whatever reason, we do things that we know may create problems.
When it comes to the sales process, producers often get tripped up by their habitual way of doing things. When it is pointed out to them, they acknowledge that they know they have a problem, but that’s just the way they do it. There are some bad habits common to producers that can lead to compliance problems. The following are some you may find familiar.
Rush, rush, rush
Some producers always seem to be in a rush at the end of the sales process. They rush through completing the application and other forms. The compliance problem that this creates is that the clients should understand what they are signing and by rushing through the process, they may not. Complaints from clients that they never understood what they were signing are common. Producers should explain the meaning of any disclosures rather than simply asking clients to sign and saying that this is “just some paperwork the home office makes us do.”
Make policy delivery short and sweet
Some producers deliver the policy, say thank you and then goodbye. They don’t use the policy delivery interview to review the reason the client bought the policy and to explain again how it operates. Some figure they did it all on the first one or two interviews and that the client would be bored by any additional explanation.
Doesn’t the client remember what the producer said during the interview? Wasn’t all that covered in the sales material the producer left behind after the interview? Isn’t that what the prospectus was intended to do? A problem with making the policy delivery too brief is that the producer may forget to explain fully any state mandated “free look” provisions. That can be a serious oversight.
Producers who do not use policy delivery as an opportunity to reacquaint the client with the reasons they purchased the policy and how it operates are betting that the client already fully understands. That isn’t the safest bet. A good habit to get into is to review what was sold, why it was bought and how it operates on the policy delivery interview. Discuss the policy “free look” period and explain how the client can return the policy. Then, document that this was done.