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    Could This Make Clients' Annual Financial Reviews More Worthwhile?

    Posted by Lori Fogle on Wed, May 22, 2019 @ 12:00 PM

    You are conducting annual client reviews, right? Great. Because doing an annual policy review with your client not only helps them feel confident in their decision to purchase from you and possibly fills gaps in their current coverage, it also helps you to avoid chargebacks, increase your chances of doing business with them again, build your reputation, and possibly earn referrals.


    But are you creating an effective plan to ensure the annual reviews you conduct with your clients are going as well as they could be?

    Let’s find out.  

    Don’t go to the client review meeting empty-handed

    Before you meet with the client, make sure you are prepared with all the details of your client’s accounts:

    • Type of policy
    • Insurance carrier
    • Policy number
    • Issue Date
    • Premium submitted
    • The insured’s name
    • The beneficiary info
    • Term conversion period and options, if applicable
    • Most recent statements showing interest or index credits for the year

    Failing to plan is planning to fail, as they say. So, come with all the necessary information to assist your clients. Because if you don't, they'll inevitably ask you about it and you won't have the answer. Don't give them any reason to think of you as anything other than the fully-competent professional you are. 

    Now to begin the meeting, get your clients talking about themselves. 

    Try working in these questions as you speak with the client

    You’ll want to prepare questions for your clients ahead of time. But which questions are most important to ask to ensure that both you and the client accomplish your goals?

    These can be asked during a casual conversation with your client about how their year has been:

    • Has there been any major changes in your life since we met last (such as dealing with the death of a spouse, receiving an inheritance, experiencing a health issue, or going through a divorce)?
    • Are your policies performing as you expected?
    • Do you have any concerns like the amount of risk that you’re currently taking?
    • Are you aware of the full range of benefits you have in your existing accounts, policies, or contracts?
    • What other services could I provide to help you be more confident in achieving your financial goals?
    • Is there anything we can improve in how I/we service your accounts?

    When you open the meeting by asking your client questions, it allows you to take the lead in the conversation but also gives your clients the floor first. It sends the message that it's not about YOU, it's about THEM.

    Now, let’s look at each question and see how that can strengthen the relationship and lay the groundwork for future business with this client.

    The answers to the client’s questions can help drive the suggestions you make

    Life changes: If your client has had a significant life change, such as the death of the spouse— this could trigger a death benefit on a policy, or it could mean they need to start an income stream in their annuity or maybe they need different coverage altogether.

    Policy performance: Specifically asking if policy performance met their expectations allows you to adjust your client’s financial strategy going forward—possibly making a different allocation selection this year depending on what changes you anticipate in the market or if they felt they lost too much, putting some into a product with guarantees*. You can also take this opportunity to make sure their expectations are reasonable and realistic. Remind them of long-term objectives if necessary.

    Concerns: Your client could be concerned about any number of things. If they’re approaching retirement and it’s a down market, they may be concerned with the amount of risk they’re taking. Or maybe they aren’t contributing enough to an IRA and need to make changes there. You may have solutions that would alleviate their concerns. You could also encourage them to look at things that they possibly should be concerned with depending on their specific situation - like the implications of tax deferral on qualified plans. In that instance, you might introduce the idea of life insurance or a Roth IRA where taxes would be paid up front.

    Being aware of benefits: Pointing out benefits that your clients can take advantage of such as long-term care riders, could help them through a rough patch. Or maybe they didn’t know they had a strong Nursing Home Waiver on their contract and by you making them aware, you help alleviate worry over making payments to a facility in the future. When you remind them of the benefits of the products they’ve purchased, it reinforces their decisions and can increase their level of confidence in you.

    Other services: Asking what other services your client might need gives you a better understanding of what’s important to them and could possibly lead to additional sales for you OR an opportunity to refer the client to a colleague. Clients may hear from people they know about other strategies or products and you can help them understand why that may or may not be a good fit for them. 

    Improvement: Finding out where you and your financial practice can better serve your clients may not lead to a sale that day but could down the road. When they see you’re genuinely concerned with providing what they need, it builds your reputation. Asking how you can do better doesn’t make you look weak or incompetent. It’s actually the opposite, clients come to have more respect for you because you respect their opinion. And if their suggestions make sense, incorporate them into your business plan.

    Now, find out what your clients want to know

    After you make any suggested changes or offer any additional services that might be beneficial to your client, see if they have any unanswered questions for you. Maybe they want to know:  

    How much do I have to pay into my policy?

    How do the benefits on this contract work?

    Do your best to answer all their questions or promise to find out the answers if you don’t know and leave them feeling confident in their current situation.

    The goal is to retain existing clients

    According to a survey conducted by Invesp, acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as retaining an existing one. And the success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, whereas the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%. So, it makes sense from both a business and relational perspective to maintain your existing client relationships.

    When financial professionals initiate annual financial reviews and come prepared--  they can take advantage of the benefits of providing an exceptional client experience.

    Want to boost your sales of Indexed Universal Life? This webinar will show you how to unlock the power of IUL. 

    Watch the Webinar



    This content is for informational and educational purposes only and is not designed, or intended, to be applicable to any person's individual circumstances. It should not be considered as investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation that anyone engage in (or refrain from) a particular course of action.

    *Guarantees are backed by the financial strength of the issuing company