“May you live in interesting times.” It’s an Asian curse expression, not a hope your life won’t be mundane and boring. With the Covid-19 problem unfolding, many companies are restricting employee travel, discouraging in person meetings with clients and even suggesting employees work from home. What’s an insurance agent to do?
Prospecting is a big part of an agent’s job. Time for the second shoe to fall. New York state recently entered a state of emergency. The state of emergency triggered a ban on unsolicited telemarketing sales calls that will run until September. The emergency telemarketing call restrictions “exclude calls… made in connection with an unterminated existing business relationship,” according to Joseph C. Wylie II. That sounds like calls to current clients are OK.
What’s an Agent to Do?
An earlier article addressed 10 Things an Advisor Can Do When Snowbound.
The current situation is a bit different. Let’s assume you are working from home for the duration, have a good internet connection and can access client data through your firm’s portal. Let’s also assume e-mails, social media posts and messages along with Skype and phone calls are archived somehow. Check the firm’s rules.
You’ve meant to do it someday. It’s a “round tuit” issue, meaning it’s get done when you get “around to it.” Now’s a good time. Do you want to connect with clients via LinkedIn? This means your posts would appear in their daily feed. You would also be able to view their connections, idea for “Who knows who” later. Connecting with prospects can be a good idea too.
2. LinkedIn Network Messaging
Check your firm is OK with this idea. Telemarketers have made getting a prospect on the phone difficult. E-mail is flooded with messages. LI messaging still has a novelty factor. Send some personal messages. Check in on people. LI prompts you with birthdays, work anniversaries and promotions. Send those messages.
3. Talking to Clients
This has been written about previously in, for example, Should You Call When the Market Tanks? Of Course. Think about it from your client’s point of view. If TV news scares them, they want to hear a reassuring voice. What do you think they want to be reassured about? The major point here is to have something impactful to say, not just fluff.
4. Continuing Education
“Oh yes, I have those requirements!” Why haven’t you done them already? The weather is too nice. I’m getting together with friends. I’m playing golf. I’m mowing the lawn. Now is a good time to access the right websites and get it done.
5. Additional Professional Certifications
You have experience, but you know some clients view letters after your name as evidence of your specialized knowledge. You might be thinking of adding another someday. How about researching it now? Can the coursework be completed online? How about starting now?
6. Expense Accounts
Some agents might be able to recoup certain business-related outlays. We often assign this project a low priority. This is a good time to get caught up.
7. Video Calls With Clients
You’ve been planning to meet with clients to discuss their investments and policies. Now face to face meetings across a desk are literally off the table. How about a video call? They might be in the same situation, working from home.
When your work routine changes, you can still be productive.
— Read How to Order Wine Like a Boss (Without Paying Like One), on ThinkAdvisor.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides high-net-worth client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor,” can be found on Amazon.