Agents who want to retire in the next couple of years ask us all the time: "What should I be doing now to bring more value to my book of business?"
Here are 6 ideas to get you started.
Originally published February 23, 2021; Updated April 17, 2023.
1. Increase Cross-Selling
Increase cross-selling, which means adding policies to your existing book. We all know we're supposed to be doing it all the time, and sometimes we aren't as good at it or as faithful as we should be. But that's one way to add value, for sure.
Get some tips: 15 Cross-Selling Strategies for Senior Market Insurance Agents
If you can add some extra policies – renewable, commission-paying policies like a cancer plan, final expense, DVH – those will really enhance those Med Supp or Med Advantage books of business.
Here's a quick list of cross-selling products that can add value to your book of business:
- Cancer Insurance
- Critical Illness
- Hospital Indemnity
- Dental, Vision, Hearing
- Long and short-term care/recovery care
- Life insurance products, including whole life and final expense
- Term life, but only if it has a renewal stream. (A lot of times, term products are first-year only, and in that case, it would not add any value to your valuation.)
Read More: 15 Valuation FAQs From Senior Market Agents
2. Rewrite Business Coming Up On the 6th Year
If there are any tiers in the commission schedule, such as a Medicare Supplement that cuts down to a lower commission in the 7th or 11th year, and the majority of policies are in their 5th or 6th year, that will drag down the value.
Look at your book of business and make sure you're getting back with those customers.
Try to rewrite them and put them in a better position. That is an easy, effective way to enhance your business' value.
3. Keep a Steady Stream of New Business Coming In
We all know this – we're in the senior business, and when dealing with seniors, we lose them. We lose them, mainly to death.
You have to make sure you're bringing in more in the front than what's going out the back. That's a hard way to put it, but that's the way it is.
You have to make sure you're bringing new customers to the table, because we're going to lose some of those people that've been with us. They're great friends and they're faithful customers, but they're going to leave us eventually.
4. Increase Communication with Clients
One that's maybe more difficult – but if you have the means to do it, it really helps – is increasing communication with your customers. More communication with clients makes the transition from retirement so much easier.
Communicate more regularly with your customer base.
You get customers that have been with you a long time, they know you, they trust you, and you know they aren't going anywhere. It's easy to take them for granted, and you stop reaching out to them or checking on them.
Communicating with your customers more consistently is really a big deal – and not just when they pick up the phone and ask you about a rate increase!
Here are a few resources to help out in this area:
- Best CRM Software for Insurance Agents In the Senior Market
- The Ultimate 7-Step Onboarding Process For New Clients
- How to Generate More Leads and Keep the Clients You Have
5. Digitize Your Client Information
We kind of made a big deal about this a few years ago, but now after buying several more books of business, I can tell you not one book we've bought so far had their customers in an electronic format.
We brought them here and did it ourselves – it's easy for our staff to do that. I wouldn't get hung up on this. If you already have your customers in a CRM, that's perfect. If you don't, don't sweat it. We'll handle that when your customers get here to us.
Just keep adding policies and customers to your base.
6. Get Extra Help
This is a simple one, but honestly, it's one that not many people do.
Get more help, even if it's seasonal help, like getting you through the AEP. I'd really recommend that.
Maybe you can find an intern to come in for three or four months to help you during that time when it's really hectic. We can coach you up on that. We even developed call scripts you can use to make the training easy:
That's just a few little tips and things that we've noticed over the last few years that we think would really be helpful to you.
What I'd really recommend is to do a discovery call with me.
It's a fun call – there's zero pressure. You don't need to lay awake at night thinking about it. We'll just visit about where you are right now in the process, what your book looks like, approximately how many customers you have, and all-around easy things for you to talk about.
I hope that helps! Have a beautiful day, and good selling.