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2 ways to enhance client relationships

Matt Pais

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Improve your connection with millennials and reaching out to clients.

Improve your connection with millennials

No generation can be summarized with labels. There are stereotypes, and there are realities.

That said, there is plenty of reason to note the different ways millennials communicate, at least in terms of technology, and how advisors are adapting to that.

Marcia Annmarie Richards, an 18-year MDRT member from Kingston, Jamaica, has recognized that there are gaps in her communication with younger clients. As a result, she has spoken to prospects in their mid-20s who expressed interest in buying from her, only to then buy from someone else.

“Oh, I didn’t even remember saying that I would work with you,” the prospects said, not seeing the change of plan as a big deal.

In some other cases, younger clients will be quick to surrender their policies if it means a shorter-term benefit, such as taking advantage of a policy’s investment elements to get a new car.

“Oh, I didn't even remember saying I would work with you," the prospects said, not seeing the change as a big deal.

Here are three ways Richards is adapting to prevent younger clients and prospects from unexpectedly backing away from her and/or their policies:

  1. Learn how they prefer to communicate. This is a simple but important one. Richards knows she cannot expect younger clients to automatically operate the same way as older clients, and therefore strives to enhance how she communicates with younger clients in terms of email or text rather than phone calls.
  2. Establish appropriate icebreakers. Just as the “how” changes in communication, the “what” will too. Richards makes sure to take note of what clients are wearing or discuss something about technology or anything else that might interest them. It is all part of working with the client as an individual.
  3. Keep the dialogue going. Rather than experience another situation where a prospect shrugs off the difference between what they said they would do versus what they did, Richards encourages people to remember to call her if anything changes. Also, she emphasizes the need to purchase insurance while you’re young and healthy, especially because of how many young people she encounters with stressful jobs and fast-food eating habits, both of which have led to diabetes and hypertension and more difficulty getting coverage.

Why you should send clients random postcards

A lot of advisors send handwritten thank-you notes. The benefit is obvious: handwritten letters are a rarity these days, and it goes a long way to show appreciation.

What about sending a handwritten note for almost no reason at all?

“I’ve been told they were about to fire me, but then they got my postcard,” said James Anthony Savage, an eight-year MDRT member from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who often picks up cards when he travels.

It might be deliberately targeted to a client who he was talking to about retirement — Savage was recently at MDRT headquarters as part of the Retirement Income Task Force — or something broader, like connecting a city with a relevant hockey team to a client who is a hockey fan.

Simple investment

Frequently, clients will call Savage soon after receiving the card and say, “I’ve been meaning to meet with you.” Of course, this does not happen with everyone. But Savage, who does not send Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthday cards, recognizes that it takes very little time and costs very little money to extend this gesture, which has the potential to have far greater returns in terms of client relationships and the financial benefits for all involved.

It’s also an opportunity to showcase a different side of your personality. That client who was going to fire Savage? The postcard he received was from sunny Phuket, Thailand, sent because the client liked Thailand and Savage was thinking of him as he sat on the beach, drinking a Tequila Sunrise.

“The client called me and was like, ‘You’re rubbing it in my face?’” Savage said with a laugh. “It was January in Canada, and a cold front had just come in when he got the card. So there’s a bit of humor in there, with a human element.”

 

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