We all have experienced at one time or another, those grueling three letters that can make or break your day: BOR. Having your account BOR'ed is one of the worst experiences in the insurance business. After finding out your account has been BOR'ed by a valuable client, you experience emotions ranging from anger to sadness, but in the end, one fact remains: You could have done something different.
Providing unsurpassed service to your clients may seem like common sense but far too often, we get pulled into a comfort zone with our longstanding clients and forget to provide them with the attention they crave. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid hearing those three dreaded letters:
Shop until you drop -- When renewal time rolls around, it's easy to hand over only one or two plan options to those clients who have been with you a while. We are all guilty of wanting to focus our time on building clientele and sometimes forget existing clients. Shopping shows your existing clients that you are continuing to take the time to search every option out there to make sure that they are getting the best plans available, regardless of the length of time you've been working together.
Reach out and touch someone -- Remember: Your clients are just a phone call away. Check-in calls should be made to your clients on a monthly basis just to say "hello" and make sure that they are satisfied. In the blink of an eye, people can have a poor experience with their insurance company, leaving them with a sour taste in their mouth, but you have the ability to make that go away. One short phone call each month can make a world of difference.
Everyone loves a freebie -- Do you know anyone that doesn't love getting something for free? I definitely don't! A promotional item -- something even as small as a pen or stress ball -- will be appreciated by all. Whether you send your item via mail or give it to them face-to-face, I assure you that your client will appreciate the thought. I make a consistent effort to send out a fun item to my client base at least twice a year. For larger clients, you may want to consider taking them to dinner or a game to show your appreciation for their business.
Do your homework -- In an ever-evolving industry, it's critical that you constantly stay on top of the latest insurance products. Competition is fierce. If the other guy has a better product to offer, it will leave your client wondering why you have not presented it to them, and could lead to a BOR of your account. Take a few minutes each day to do your research, both online and in print publications. Those few minutes could be the difference that helps keep your business afloat.
Databases are key -- How many times have you heard prospects say that they don't want to switch brokers because they already have a longstanding relationship with their existing broker? My guess is hundreds! With a large client database, it's easy to forget what you spoke about with your client during your last conversation a month ago. That's why I recommend you keep detailed notes in your database of each conversation you have. The notes should not just relate to their business, but to their personal life, as well. For example, after calling Mr. Smith, I learn that his wife has been hospitalized. In the "notes" section of my database, I quickly jot down, "Mr. Smith's wife is in the hospital." The following month, prior to my call with Mr. Smith, I open my database and am reminded of his wife's pending illness. When I make my monthly check-in call, my first question to Mr. Smith is about how Mrs. Smith is feeling. Personalizing your conversation will help you gain your clients' and help further develop your relationship.
The 60-day countdown -- My co-workers often ask how far in advance they should set up a renewal meeting before renewal is due? My response to this question is always the same: a concrete 60 days before. This will show your clients that you are on the ball, and will hopefully keep competitors from sneaking in to meet with your clients before you even have a chance to present your renewal options. Follow these tips and your chance of hearing BOR from your accounts are sure to lessen.
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