The four P's to client retention

By sbusam

Ideal Producers Group


One of the key opportunities in our business is trying to retain the customer base that has made our personal business successful. Competition is fierce -- and, at times, client loyalty is questionable. I have tried to build credibility and accountability with my clients and share with them my expertise in fields that will benefit them. Many of my clients have become friends over the years. This is not only important to me, but fosters the ability for them to make referrals to me in such a truly nonthreatening environment. As part of my introduction and relationship-building process with both new and existing clients, I have incorporated my discussion of "The four P's promise." I also refer to this as "Busam's four P's to client retention." This part of my conversation with a client demonstrates my commitment to them throughout the remainder of their life. I tell them, "For the rest of your and your spouse's lives, as well as the rest of my life, when we meet we will always discuss one or more of my four P's." They look puzzled and ask me to describe what I mean. "It's simple," I explain, "whenever we meet, we will be discussing:
  • The potential of your assets
  • The protection of your assets
  • The payout of your assets
  • The preservation of your assets
This may not be accomplished all at once, but, over the years, I ensure that my clients that I talk about one the four P's.

The potential of your assets
Overall, we, as agents, have been successful helping our clients during their accumulation phase. Depending on the risk tolerance of our clients we may have a little or a lot of their assets in this "potential" bucket as they age. In this stage, they are trying to accumulate dollars for retirement.

The protection of your assets
There are always some assets that need to be protected from various risks such as interest rate risk, market risk, etc. We need to be sensitive to this protection of their assets and suggest products that will protect assets on the downside, but still allow them some upside opportunity. Understanding your clients' risk tolerances -- and savings and investment time horizons -- are a couple of important factors when determining which assets need to be protected. When clients talk about the protection of their assets, they may be telling you that safety is paramount and loss of their principal is not an option.

The payout of your assets
As agents, we have been very active in our clients business -- relating to accumulation of assets -- but when it comes to payouts, historically, clients sometimes have problems even finding an agent to help them. We all know this is now changing because of so much emphasis and publicity being placed on the fact that folks are living longer. A major concern of your clients' is that "My income is going to die before I do." We producers are beginning to help them with some of the tools now being made available as well as some of the "old-reliables," such as GMWB, income riders, SPIAs, systematic withdrawals and RMDs, to name a few.

The preservation of your assets
An entire article could be focused on the preservation of assets. Briefly, we are talking about such things as irrevocable life insurance trusts, numerous specialty trusts and advanced preservation topics and techniques. In this area we also could be talking about preservation of assets when applying for government assistance programs.

Remember: Implementing into your individual presentation style the four P's to client retention will help you retain your clients as well as help you grow your business through qualified and warm referrals from your existing client base.

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