90. Reward good customers.
Offering perks to good customers is a great way to foster loyalty and retention. By setting up systems to reward customers that pay their bills on time, or take part in social media surveys, you can show your customers that you’re just as invested in them as they are in you.
— Justin Brown
89. Earn referrals organically.
To gain referrals from existing clients, you must first get them comfortable enough to divulge intimate details about their family and business dynamics. Then, provide good service and simply ask them for referrals. Emphasize that the work you do is private, that no one will know of your work unless they choose to tell others, and that you hope they will tell as many people as possible because that’s how your business grows. It’s almost an organic approach to making sure that everybody you encounter knows of the additional resources that you have here in the company, and are comfortable sharing that with their centers of influence, their neighbors and their family members.
— Philip Harriman
88. Commit to doing workshops for at least a year.
If you choose your audience wisely, workshops can be a fruitful avenue to attract prospects and clients. Don’t send invitations out to the general public – unless you want to be a star on the plate-licker circuit where the only people who show up are those looking for a free meal. Instead, target a very specific market, say pre-retirees who work for your local utility company and phone company. Never mention products during a workshop; the purpose should be purely education. Other tips:
- Schedule for either a Tuesday or Thursday, starting between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
- Talk for no more than an hour, then serve dinner
- Keep the attendee list to around 20–25
- Get your presentation compliance-approved
— Marc Silverman
87. Bring up collaborative consumption.
Compared to other everyday purchases, insurance is totally counterintuitive. Or is it? One thing to emphasize in client conversations is that an insurance product doesn’t work unless many people buy it. Think about it. Your toaster would still work if you were the only one who ever bought it. Insurance can’t work without a large pool of people participating. And here’s the good news: collaborative consumption (i.e. the “sharing economy”) is now fashionable. People are sharing homes, cars, lawnmowers and all kinds of things instead of owning them outright. New businesses (AirBnB, Redbox, ZipCar) are being built on this model. Ironically, insurance is the original sharing model. If consumers see insurance as a one-to-many relationship vs. a one-to-one relationship with an insurance company, it could change attitudes, behaviors and respect for the category. Emphasizing this difference can do a lot to influence client perceptions.
— Maria Ferrante-Schepis
Image: AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
86. Communicate during a crisis.
Regularly communicating to clients and prospects provides reassurance during troubled times. Communication can take a variety of forms, such as phone calls, emails, newsletters, market commentaries, webinars, conference calls, videos and events. Even if your clients and prospects aren’t actively engaged in any of these marketing activities, your consistent outreach will remind them that you’re there when they need you.
In addition to communicating with your clients on a regular basis, you need to have systems in place to quickly reach out to clients and prospects if there’s a financial emergency. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do your CRM and email marketing systems contain current email addresses for all your clients and prospects?
- Do you have an email template ready to go so that you can send an e-blast within a few hours of a major event (a stock market crash, natural disaster or firm emergency)?
- Could you produce a conference call or webcast within days — or even hours — of an economic catastrophe?
- Is someone in your office trained on and responsible for executing these duties?
Being prepared to quickly communicate with panicky clients and prospects can help ease fears following an economic disaster. And it may also position you to pick up new clients who are in distress and are looking for guidance.
— Kristen Luke
85. Identify all the resources.
There are many family trusts active and most all provide for life insurance and annuity purchases by the trustee(s). Prospects should be asked about the availability of this source of funding for needed products.