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Do annual reviews, Columbo style

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As a result of frequent client contacts, my practice has grown through word-of-mouth introductions from satisfied clients. Their satisfaction has come from receiving proactive service and knowing that exemplary service is my number one priority. It sets me apart from the competition.

An important part of my service includes an annual review. It is amazing how clients’ lives change from one year to the next. A child is born, a house is purchased, an inheritance is received, a business is sold, and inflation erodes their portfolio’s purchasing power.

I often have developed new business by merely asking the right questions and allowing my clients to voice their feelings and concerns. The “Columbo close” is an effective technique for me. Columbo, the disheveled detective of television past, used a similar approach when he was about to leave a suspect’s home after questioning. When I have finished the annual review and am heading for the door, I say, “Oh, by the way, have you thought about long-term care insurance?” Then I remain silent and wait for the client’s reply.

A typical response is, “No, we hadn’t really given it much thought,” or “What’s it all about?” This leads into a more in-depth discussion about the product I want them to consider. This technique has led to ancillary sales on many occasions.

Editor’s Note: The preceding tip was taken from “Stay in Touch!,” by Jeffrey H. Duncan, which ran in the April 2003 issue of Life Insurance Selling. Click here to read the entire article.