Drewberry director Tom Conner shares his top tips to increasing client engagement and reducing cancellations through encouraging clients to get the most out of their plans.
There’s more to protection than just cover these days. This means that, as financial advisers, we are uniquely positioned to not only add extra value to the lives of our clients, but also help them stay happy and healthy. This is not only good for them, it’s good for us as advisers too. A more engaged client is far less likely to cancel their plan, or let it lapse, especially if they fully understand what it offers. It means we can stay in regular contact, generate client loyalty and increase the chance of return business and word-of-mouth referral. Here are some of the ways that financial advisers can use the additional value available within some plans to build better relationships with clients
1. Take your time explaining the recommendations
It may sound obvious but if the client doesn’t fully understand what they’ve taken out and how it works, they’re far more likely to cancel. Once a client has cancelled, it can be very hard to win them back.
At the point of sale, it’s vital to take as long as the client needs so they fully understand the cover. Often clients are shy to ask questions. No one wants to come across as silly. Given this, it’s really important to go into detail with your explanations and use examples to help cement understanding. And, of course, keep checking to see if the client understands and has any questions.
It is definitely time well spent because a clued-up client is far more likely to take out cover and far less likely to cancel.
2. Aim to form a long-term relationship
If a client’s circumstances change in the future and they need to adjust their cover, you want them to come back to you, not someone else.
Assuming the processes within your firm allow it, explain to the client that you see this as the start of a long-term relationship and you’re here to help if they need to make any policy alterations in the future. Clients really appreciate having a named point of contact rather than having to start afresh with someone new, whether that’s within your firm or elsewhere.
3. Ensure the client knows how to make use of additional benefits
Many providers offer some excellent additional benefits and extra support services with their products these days. These can offer real value to clients that they can use right away. If a client is using the product or service they are far less likely to cancel.
Vitality has one of the most engaging propositions in the market, offering members over 20 different discounts and rewards through Optimiser and the Vitality Programme, covering things like an Apple Watch, Virgin Active Membership, Amazon Prime, cinema tickets, annual health check and the list goes on.
At Drewberry, we take the time to explain the additional benefits at the point of sale and we also follow up with periodic emails to remind clients of the benefits that come with their policy and how to access them. It can help with initial conversion and definitely also with retention.
4. Keep in regular contact
In addition to sending periodic emails to remind clients about the additional benefits that come with their plan, we also send case study examples showing why cover is so important (like this one), information about how to claim, their insurers annual payout rate and what to do if their circumstances change.
It is true that sometimes clients will reply to these emails saying they wish to cancel but it provides an opportunity to have a conversation about whether they should cancel or not, rather than the client going ahead and cancelling without talking to you first. For example, when someone moves from a self-employed role to an employed position with sick pay they often think that income protection is no longer needed, not fully understanding the limitations of sick pay. In our opinion, ongoing communication is key to improving persistency.
5. Offer an annual protection review
We’re a big fan of offering clients an annual protection review. It’s an opportunity to cement a relationship, adjust cover where needed and even to fill any protection gaps that weren’t covered initially. If a client's circumstances have changed and they want to review their cover, you want to ensure the review happens with you rather than elsewhere.
We’ve all got our reasons to make positive changes in life. That includes you and your clients. Watch the Agents of Change video series to hear more about how financial advisers are bringing Shared Value to their clients and how they are also benefiting as a result.
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