The Importance of the Follow-Up
Do not underestimate the power of the follow-up when it comes to client acquisition and retention. As an independent insurance agent, you are only as good as your client service skills, and that includes your ability to follow up with leads, referrals, new clients, and returning clients. Affordable American Insurance shares a few tips on how to effectively use one of the most powerful tools in the industry: the follow-up!
We know you’re busy, but client satisfaction should always be a priority. Unfortunately, the follow-up is often pushed down on the to-do list, and before you know it, you’ve waited too long, and your potential clients are long gone.
Follow up on leads
Poor communication and organization are often why we fail to follow up with a lead, referral, or client. As a leader, you need to delegate follow-ups and make sure that they are being done in a timely and personal manner – no auto-generated “thank you” responses.
You also need to determine if a lead deserves to get a call from the boss, or if you can delegate the call to someone else.
If you get a lead for potential new clients, you should take the time to follow up on the lead personally. Nothing says “VIP treatment” like getting a call from the founder and CEO.
Make yourself available without coming across as desperate, and, if you can, try to anticipate the needs of your clients. Do a little independent research so you know who you are dealing with and can impress them by being prepared with a few suggestions and solutions.
Follow up on referrals
If someone refers your agency, decide who is the best person to place the call. If the referral came from someone you know, this might be the personal connection you need to impress the potential new client. If it is a random referral from another client, choose the agent who normally deals with the client to follow up on the referral.
Not following up on referrals is bad for two reasons. One, you lose the potential new client. Two, you may lose the person who made the referral due to your lack of professionalism and follow-up.
If you don’t follow up, you are not only losing potential business, but you are ensuring that the person referring your company will never do so again. Referrals are the lifeblood of the independent insurance industry. They are the greatest compliment; do not waste this opportunity by waiting too long to follow up.
Once you make contact with your referral, make sure to also follow up with the person who made the referral and say, “thank you.” Even if nothing comes of the referral (despite following up,) it’s just good business to say “thank you” to anyone who is throwing you some business.
Make the follow-up personal
Each client wants to feel special, even if you are dealing with another small business or a large corporation. If there is a theme in today’s entrepreneurial trends, it is personal care and attention. Let each client know you are talking specifically to them, and not just sending out a generic follow-up to everyone. If you make a personal reference or use humor that relates to your original conversation, you are more likely to prompt a response. If it sounds too much like an advertising campaign, the client won’t feel the need to respond, but if you make a personal connection, they’ll feel inclined to respond because they realize that it is a real person reaching out.
EZ follow-up management system for independent agents
At Affordable American Insurance, we share business advice and strategies and provide tools for independent agents to grow their business. All of our agents use EZLynx management system that can help you manage your follow-ups. EZLynx is an invaluable tool for our members so that no follow-up falls through the cracks.
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