Insurance, though intimate and personal in nature, may be viewed as impersonal, cold and “big business” by some clients. This impression, coupled with the current environment of quick digital communications, may leave some clients feeling detached and looking for a personal connection.
As advisors, we understand our jobs serve the greater purpose of providing clients with opportunities to take care of themselves and their loved ones. We do our best to get to know clients by understanding their goals and needs, then making recommendations for products, such as annuities, that can set them up for secure and comfortable futures.
To help marry these two perspectives, I’ve identified a few old-school communications tips that I think our industry can revive to help build deeper relationships with clients. Not only can this provide a fresh sales approach, it also could lead to new annuity sales opportunities:
Pick up the phone
With the spotlight on text messages, email and social media, actual telephone conversations are becoming a rare use for phones. Stand out to your clients by making a personal call. Hearing a voice on the other end of the line helps build a connection. You’ll also be able to draw cues from your client’s tone of voice that may help improve your client service.
Meet face to face
Offer to visit your client on a regular basis to meet and better understand their current challenges. A personal visit can go a long way toward fostering better connections.
Pick up a pen and paper
Handwritten communication is rare in today’s digital world. Clients appreciate the personal touch and the time it takes to sit down and hand-write a note. Don’t be afraid to include handwritten notes when sharing account materials with your clients.
Learn about your clients
You know your clients’ demographics and financial goals, but inquiring about and recalling personal details such as birthdays, anniversaries and familial anecdotes will show your clients that you care and you’re invested in their success.
Take clients to lunch
Personal interaction tremendously increases the “know, like and trust” factor between advisors and clients. One of the best ways to have meaningful conversations that build bonds is to share a meal. A “lunch date” doesn’t require excess time during your day, but it removes clients from their homes or offices, and allows you to connect outside of your business relationship.
The importance of harnessing strong and compatible business relationships with clients cannot be understated and you only have to look to the past, a pre-digital time, to recognize the best ways of doing so.