Get people to call back and gather more referrals with these easy tips.
1. Inner circle referrals
When an accident happens, a client might not be able to apply for claims on their own. Therefore, at the closing of a sale, I ask to get introduced to people close to my client, such as their co-workers, friends and family members. Usually, a client’s inner circle will identify with their decision to buy insurance for protection. As a result, they also consider ways to mitigate their own risks should an accident happen to them. Through this way of client referral, my client and their circle get to understand the functions and meaning of insurance without any associated stress.
—Wen Yao, Beijing, China, 5-year member
2. Chocolate cake
When explaining to a client how asset allocation works, I ask whether they have ever had a really great chocolate cake, and if they think you just randomly throw together the ingredients. Of course they say you have to use the right amounts of each thing. They understand proportions, and I say that investments work exactly the same way.
While complex math is used to figure it out, it is all about proportions with asset allocation. I then explain that just like baking a cake, we need to leave our investments alone for the proper time to “bake” and that part of the value I bring is that I will stand in front of the oven door so they don’t take the cake out too soon.
—Mark D. Olson, CFP, MSFS, Austin, Texas, 21-year member
3. Running a marathon
Imagine that you are participating in a marathon, however, you won’t know exactly how long the distance is until the end. How many bottles of water will you prepare for yourself and how will you bring them? Three bottles? Six bottles? Eight bottles? Will you carry all of them along the way?
Now imagine that you can pay a fee for water delivery service during the marathon. After you pay the fee, someone will give you water every kilometer of the trip, regardless of where you are or if the distance is longer than planned. In this way, you not only get your water but also don’t need to carry the heavy weight while running.
Our life is like this marathon. You may live longer than you planned or expected. The water delivery service is your retirement fund planning, which in the future will take care of you every step of the way.
—Lancia Liu, CFP, Taipei, Taiwan, 22-year member
4. Get them to call back
When I have a client who doesn’t return phone calls, I tell them multiple follow-ups may incur additional charges. Clients then become much more responsive about returning my phone calls. I’ve never had to charge any additional fees because of that. It’s more about psychology.
—Esther Althaus, FChFP, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 7-year member
5. Semiannual call
I call each of my clients after the semiannual statements have gone out to discuss their performance. At this time, I find out what has been happening with the client and their family over the past six months. These calls keep me up to date on the client’s needs, and I generate quite a bit of business from them. I do this with all clients, no matter how small or large the account is.
—Heather M. Courneya, CLU, CH.F.C., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 21-year member
These ideas were excerpted from the Round the Table article, “12 ideas to better client service.”