After you make the sale, it feels all the work is done.
And for the most part, it is!
But if you’re interested in…
- keeping your clients happy and
- increasing your chances of quality referrals,
… it’s worthwhile to come up with a great onboarding process.
We have a 7-step onboarding process that will ensure you develop a lasting relationship with your new clients.
In other words, you can spend time doing it all manually, or you can upgrade to some paid automated systems that work for you in the background.
Either one works, but make sure that if you’re doing it all on your own, important steps aren’t falling through the cracks.
Step 1: Add new clients to a database or CRM
You want to have all of your client’s information at your fingertips.
- When did we last meet?
- What’s their phone number?
- Which types of insurance have I already sold them?
A great database will keep all of these answers stored for you.
We strongly suggest using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The industry-specific CRM we use is AgencyBloc.
This is a snapshot look at the individual summary screen in AgencyBloc’s system where we input all of the information for the client or prospect:
In general, you want to keep track of:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Phone #
- Client Type (Client, Prospect, Ex-Client, etc.)
- Insurance Type (Med Supp, Annuity, etc.)
- Policy #
- Carrier Name
- Effective Date
- Renewal Date
- Status (Active, Pending, etc.)
- Paperwork/Supporting Documents
People are sometimes reluctant to give out email addresses, but if you just offer to email something to them, such as a quote or a renewal notice, they’ll often give it to you. It’ll come in handy later.
It’s also a good idea to throw some conversation notes in there. What did you talk about? What are their interests? What are their grandkids’ names?
Keeping tabs on these types of things will really resonate with your clients.
If you’re looking for a free way to keep a database, you can try using a spreadsheet — Google Sheets is a great option. However, multiple policies starts to get messy, and you have to keep paperwork in a separate place.
I firmly believe that as your book grows, you’ll want to switch to a more sophisticated system, so if you have enough cashflow to use a CRM from the beginning, it’ll save you time and effort in the long-run.
Step 2: Send a thank-you card
I’m the first to admit that I get really excited by mail that’s not a bill or some spammy magazine.
A thank-you card is unnecessary. Let’s face it.
But the fact that it’s unnecessary and you still did shows your client how well your momma raised you. (Or something like that.)
It’s just like bringing flowers on your second date. It’s unnecessary, but your date sure appreciates it.
You should send a thank you card immediately after your first meeting or call. It doesn’t matter if your prospect bought something from you yet.
This sends the message that you are a professional, and they may hang onto your card and buy from you later.
Of course you can write your own thank-you cards, but if you find you never have time to do it, and you want it to be automated, we recommend RocketReferrals.
This is what our agency uses. Carl Maerz, Co-founder and COO of RocketReferrals, explains how it works:
“Rocket Referrals will automatically schedule and mail handwritten thank you cards for clients after they enter a referral in the system. We can include gift cards and personalize them from an agent to a specific contact.”
It works in the background.
Here’s an example of what the RocketReferrals card looks like:
Step 3: Send a welcome letter
When you clients do buy a policy, send a welcome letter.
This should be on your own letterhead to signify that you’re a trustworthy professional.
The content of the letter should contain some of the following things:
- Thank you for becoming a client,
- A reminder that using an agent gives them a real person to help them and doesn’t cost anything extra,
- A short list of other services you provide, and
- An introduction to any staff members you have.
You don’t really have to sell them at this point. This letter is to welcome them aboard and let them know you’re available to help them with their insurance needs.
Carl from Rocket Referrals explains that their software also sends welcome letters and introductory emails to all new clients. The wording of the letters is made to initiate a referral mindset.
Step 4: Follow up via phone or email
A week or two after they purchase a policy, follow up!
- Make sure they received their policy, and
- see if they have any questions about it.
With a growing book-of-business, it can be difficult to keep track of all the follow-ups you need to do. AgencyBloc’s Automated Workflow component combines email with daily to-do’s to make sure no prospect or client falls between the cracks.
Here is an example process you can implement for when a client opens a new policy:
- When a client’s policy is approved: A task is automatically assigned to the client’s agent to call, say congratulations, and set up a time to review everything once more
- When a client’s policy is approved: An email is automatically sent to the client to let them know their policy has been approved
- 1 month after: A task is automatically assigned to the agent to follow-up with the client to ensure everything is going alright
- 6 months after: A task is automatically assigned to the agent to remind them to check-in with the client
- 3 months before expiration: A task is automatically assigned to the agent to alert them to the pending expiration
This may sound like a lot, but when it comes to communication, your clients will likely prefer multiple conversations over never hearing from you. In fact, a study done by Rocket Referrals found that 81% of insurance clients leave due to lack of communication.
So, even though it can feel like you’re bothering them, they’d rather hear from you than not.
Step 5: Send a survey
A survey can do a number of things:
- Provide valuable feedback
- Generate referrals
- Provide testimonials
- Uncover potential issues
You can do this manually by sending an email that says something like “I would really appreciate it if you could take a minute of your time to give me some feedback. How did everything go?”
As always, you can do this automatically via a system like RocketReferrals. An email goes out that looks like this:
In any case, a survey will give you a pulse on how well you’re doing, and it can bring you extra some benefits like testimonials or referrals during the process.
Step 6: Send quarterly newsletters
That email address you collected on your first visit comes in handy! Sending out a quarterly newsletter to your clients is a great way to stay in touch.
In a quarterly newsletter, you want to put together some of the following elements:
- Rate increase information
- Medicare news
- Relevant healthcare information
- Insurance, retirement, or finance related articles
- Other products you offer
Not only is this helpful for your clients, but you get a few added perks:
- You establish yourself as an expert in your industry,
- You keep your name fresh in your client’s mind, and
- You increase your chances of referrals.
The more your client hears from you, the more they think of you. The more they think of you, the more likely it is that they’ll suggest your services to their friends.
You can do a quarterly newsletter via direct mail, but email is really the way to go. You won’t have to invest in printing and postage, and you can track how many people open your emails.
You can use an email service like Mailchimp to send out a casual quarterly newsletter. If you have less than 2,000 emails, the service is free, and it’s not complicated to use.
Another option comes from AgencyBloc; their system allows you to send any amount of emails you desire. Here are some options you can explore to help make sure your emails are not only opened, but also read:
- Personalized Emails: With AgencyBloc you can set up a basic email merge where it will automatically insert the recipient’s first name at the beginning so they feel like the message is meant just for them.
- Intentional Emails: Segment your newsletter audience so you’re sending your clients applicable information. For instance, you could have a newsletter just for the senior market to those 65 and older. They’ll be more apt to read the content because it’ll be relatable to them.
Step 7: Send holiday and birthday cards
Lastly, be sure to send birthday and holiday cards to clients.
This is nothing new, and we all know the benefits of sending a good old fashioned occasion card.
For an automated option, Rocket Referrals will also send clients loyalty cards, birthday cards, and holiday cards. The birthday cards will arrive on the actual birthday as well, rather than sending them all at the beginning of the month.
Some of your older clients may not have a lot of interaction with others, so they will appreciate this, big time!
Avoid the dreaded “I never hear from my agent” dilemma. Keep your business, and keep them happy and loyal by regularly communicating and showing that you care.
We know you appreciate the business — now let your clients know it, too!