If you’re a life insurance agent or financial advisor working from home, what can you do?
The good news is that with today’s technology, you likely have access to client data, your work email account, social media and the internet. You have a phone. Electric power. You can work remotely.
The bad news is that your firm likely tracks and archives your activity and correspondence. You’ll need to check their rules regarding making phone calls, sending texts and accessing social media.
What can you do to work from home and maintain a positive outlook? Try these seven ideas:
1. Find good news. There’s some out there. China got the virus first, but they quarantined it into submission. Life is returning to normal in the world’s second-largest economy. Find local statistics. People talk about the infection and death rates, how about the recovery rate?
2. Call your clients. They are worried about many things. Their investments are near the top of the list. Talk with them about what they own. Talk about the financial stability of the firms issuing their policies. Go into details about what they own.
3. Relate to your clients. You are a good advisor. Time to be a good human. They are likely stuck at home too. Do they have everything they need? This doesn’t mean you are driving around leaving hand sanitizer on doorsteps (unless you chose to), but you might let them know what stores are open, where you’ve found items in stock and if they have certain hours set aside for certain age groups. You sincerely want to help.
4. Study. You have lots of reasons. You have continuing education requirements. You’ve been putting it off. You are considering another professional certification. Which one should you choose? Past that hurdle? How about studying for it. As an MDRT member, you have the advantage of learning from your peers. Imagine if tens of thousands of people were willing to share ideas. You collected business cards at the last conference. Call them. Also, visit the Resource Zone on mdrt.org. There are podcasts, videos and articles. Search and you shall find.
5. Charitable giving. When the economy hits a speed bump, the easiest bill to cut is charitable contributions. If religious services are suspended temporarily, that means money isn’t going into the collection plate. The food pantry services the neediest in your community. Send some money. You can do it online. Support your other charities that needed to cancel their spring fundraising galas. Tell your clients what you are doing. Plant the seed in their minds. You are saying: “I’m not part of the problem; I’m part of the solution.”
6. Contact inactive clients. Insurance agents have plenty. They bought something once, then went dark. They’re still clients. Your name still appears on their paperwork. Reconnect. They might have invested their money elsewhere, but there’s no guarantee the other person is calling. Making the effort shows you care.
7. Send a newsletter. If you don’t have one, now is a good time to start a newsletter you can email to clients and prospective clients. Your firm likely has a template and compliance-approved content. It should be topical. Your firm likely has an explanation of the market’s activity. They might only buy insurance from you, but they still care about the stock market. It might prompt return calls.
What not to do
In my opinion, this isn’t a time for cold calling. At least one state in the United States has prohibited it because of the state of emergency. Calling a scared stranger at home during the pandemic is probably just asking to be yelled at, hung up on or reported. Calling prospects and saying: “Now I bet you wished you listened to me” isn’t a good idea either. They will likely have reached that conclusion already. Sending an email, asking how they are doing should be seen as courteous.
This difficult time will eventually be behind us. People will remember you let them know you care.
This originally appeared in the MDRT Blog.