The October 1 issue of Life Insurance Selling provided a lesson in client appreciation. Some advice may seem counter-intuitive, particularly the five DON’Ts repeated below. Today we’ll delve deeper and apply the classic wisdom of Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People.
When hosting client appreciation events …
1. DON’T talk about life insurance or financial planning.
What? Why wouldn’t you seize the opportunity to sell when you have a captive audience? Because, the goal of client appreciation events is to build trust and nurture relationships. Your guests need to know that you value who they are more than you value the products and services they buy. Also, never forget that clients want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold. It’s a subtle yet significant distinction. When you start selling, resistance goes up. When you interact authentically without an ulterior motive, you inevitably stand out as someone who deserves to be called a trusted advisor. To do this, you must stop talking about yourself and what you do. Instead, follow Carnegie’s advice: “Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.
2. DON’T try to “wow” clients with big, expensive productions.
Big expensive productions are cold. There’s not much face-to-face time with each guest which is the whole point of thoughtful client appreciation. The goal of these events is never to impress or intimidate with impersonal productions. Instead, go for warm settings that are conducive to conversation. When you spend time with a good friend, where do you go? What do you do? In many cases, these are the same venues and activities that are best for client appreciation. As Carnegie says, “One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.