Selling insurance is hard.
In fact, making a sale is so hard that agents often forget the most important part of building a successful insurance agency:
Developing a ROCK-SOLID relationship with every client.
According to web sites like Insurance Quotes, there’s no better time forge that relationship and boost the lifespan of your clients than immediately after the intital sale, but it’s easy to miss because it’s so exciting just to close the deal.
That’s why I recommend creating a formal Welcome Kit for new clients.
Traditionally, a welcome kit is a folder full of papers for you to explain face-to-face but it doesn’t need to be exactly like that.
The point is just to have something formal to walk every new client through all the most important things they should know as a client of yours.
Here’s 25 ideas to get you started on building your new customer welcome kit:
1) Conversation Checklist
Create a simple one-page checklist of all the things you want to discuss with each new client.
(this article would be a good starting point)
The checklist ensures everything is covered and also keeps the client engaged and receptive by outlining the information you’re going to cover.
Use it as the introduction at the beginning and to review at the end.
2) Everything We Sell Sheet
Unless your agency is like the Progressive commercials with shelves full of policies, your clients won’t know what else you sell if you don’t tell them.
Why not make it easy for yourself?
Create a simple one-page sheet that shows all the different policies and products you sell. Show it to every new client, put it in their welcome kit, and take a few minutes to go through it.
Here’s a few of the benefits:
- You might make a cross-sale right then and there.
- It helps you collect x-dates.
- It prepares the client for future conversations about additional lines.
- It prevents the client from buying another line of insurance somewhere else.
- It trains the client to be a better referrer of your agency.
- It reinforces the idea that you can support all their insurance needs forever.
Hmm…. After coming up with all those reasons I’m thinking maybe you should put it on a refrigerator magnet!
3) Referral Program Explanation
I think a lot of agents don’t create an established referral program because it sounds complicated and they’re confident they’re already handling referred business well.
That’s fine, I’m sure you are.
But if you don’t establish a formal referral program you’re missing out on a huge opportunity – making it easy for your producers to talk about referrals with clients.
Make a one-page sheet that explains:
- How you “reward” clients who refer you.
- How you handle the friends they refer.
- The types of clients who you have the best products for.
Giving your producers something to talk about reduces the anxiety over “asking” for a referral because they’re not asking for anything – they’re just explaining the program.
4) The Client’s Policy Documents
If you print out your new clients actual policy (or application), they’ll be more likely to hang on to the entire package.
(Along with all the other marketing goodies you put in there.)
Tell them they might need it someday so put it in a safe place and don’t throw it out.
5) ID Card Holders
I’m a cheapskate, but I don’t think this is a place to skimp.
Get some nice ID Card Holders for your new auto insurance clients. They’re paying thousands of dollars and all they walk away with is a piece of paper.
Put it in a nice package for them.
6) Connect With Us Sheet
I’d prefer your new clients walk out of your agency having already liked your Facebook page, followed you on Twitter, and connected with your staff and you on LinkedIn but that’s not very likely, is it?
Create a simple one-page sheet that explains your different social media accounts with URLS to each.
As I’ve written before, don’t just ask them to connect, explain WHY your clients should WANT to connect with you.
(And I’m sorry to break it to you, but “We’re trying to get 100 fans” is a really stupid reason)
7) Important Phone Numbers
Create a list of the most important phone numbers your clients may need.
Numbers to report a claim after hours, billing questions, whatever – just take the phone numbers you already give out a lot and put them on one page for the customer.
You’ll help clients solve their problems quicker and more smoothly which should result in better customer satisfaction.
And it should also cut down on some of the unnecessary calls you get in the agency.
Just make sure customers know they can always call you – don’t cut yourself out of the value equation!
8) How To Review Us Online
Create a one-page sheet that explains how customers can write positive reviews for your agency.
Right after you’ve saved someone a ton of money is the best time to ask for a review because 6 months later they forget.
And if you’re not already seeking positive online reviews here’s why you should be:
- More positive online reviews helps you rank higher in Google.
- Customers are making decisions on who to call based on reviews.
- Every insurance agency should have at least 5 positive reviews on Google and Yelp to protect against the potential reputation disaster of having only one review from an irate customer.
And don’t fake them – you’ll get banned!
9) Agency Staff Bios
Make your new clients feel like a part of the family by introducing them to all the members of your agency team.
This is a great supplement (not a replacement) to walking new clients around the office to meet everyone and it’s a great way to put faces on the agency for clients who might never see the inside of your office.
Include work background, education, and pictures of your staff along with each member’s individual contact information and LinkedIn URL.
It also tells your clients they’re not just getting a policy, they’re getting a team of experts at their service!
10) Use Nice Folders
They don’t need to be leather-bound, but show clients you’re investing in a long-term relationship with a high-quality folder to hold their new client paperwork together.
First impressions are lasting and a customized folder with your agency branding will portray a sense of quality and trust.
If you approach new business like every new customer will be with you for life, a lot more of them will be.
11) Sign-Off Sheets
These are conversation starters for selling other lines of insurance (or potentially a tool to avoid E&O exposure).
Create a simple document the client signs if they refuse a certain coverage or another line of insurance you think they should have.
If the client says they don’t want a life insurance quote ask them to sign a refusal form.
They don’t want rental coverage? No problem -just sign this waiver.
Waiver documents you create are probably not going to have any major legal protection value (although they probably can’t hurt).
The real value is to get clients to consider your recommendations more carefully.
12) Contact Info Page
I’m not sure if this requires an entire page in your new business package, but it should definitely be easy for the client to find whatever contact information they need for your agency.
Maybe it’d be good to combine this idea with number 7 above.
13) Online Account Setup Instructions
Do your carriers allow clients to setup online accounts for greater control and access to their policy?
Make sure to include a page that walks them through the process.
Consider setting up accounts right there in the office, or scheduling a time when they’re in front of the computer to walk them through the process over the phone.
The more connected your clients become to the carriers you sell the more likely they will renew.
14) How to Recommend Us Information
Create a simple one-pager that explains everything a client might need to know about referring your agency.
Here’s a few ideas to get you thinking:
- All the different ways to get a quote. (call, website, fax)
- The most popular policies you sell
- The life events when someone should talk to an agent
- The clients you have the best rates/products for
- 5 Reasons why your friends are better off with our agency
You should constantly be asking yourself this question:
“How can I possibly make it EVEN EASIER for clients to refer us?”
15) X-Date Capture Form
Do your producers have a hard time asking for x-dates?
Make a checklist with every line of insurance the client might already own with a line next to it to fill in the renewal date.
If you want to take an extra step toward the sale, include another space on the form for how many weeks prior to renewal your agency should contact the client.
16) Customer Service Process Information
Explain to clients how you handle customer service with specifics.
- Your hours of operation
- What’s handled inside the agency vs. by the carrier
- Who does what in the agency
- How quickly customers can expect responses
- customer service contact information
- Your philosophy of customer service
And if you need other ideas just ask your customer service person what they wish every client already knew.
17) What to Do In An Accident Card
Car accidents and other insurance-related losses are highly stressful and jarring experiences.
No matter how much your customers think they know what to do, they’ll appreciate a simple instruction list when something bad happens.
Give every client plenty of them and put your contact information on there since it could be a great resource for referrals.
18) Safety Information For the Kids
If your clients have any children or grandchildren, give them coloring books or other safety information for the kids.
These are great for grandparents because they love giving the kids a present and since it’s about safety their protective instincts will be fulfilled.
19) Explanation of Annual Policy Review
I know a lot of your clients don’t want to take the time to have an annual policy review with you.
I can’t blame them, the idea hasn’t been sold to them beforehand so it sounds like a sales trick.
It’s a lot easier to explain all the benefits of an Annual Policy Review during new business when the client feels no pressure toward setting an appointment.
20) Business Cards
Lots of ‘em.
21) Referral Cards
A referral card is a special card designed for your clients to carry in their wallet and hand to someone as a recommendation of your agency.
You can offer some kind of reward for both parties (depending on local insurance laws) or just give a few reasons why your agency rocks.
If you don’t want to create special cards, get a stamp that says, “Referred by _____” and stamp the back of your business cards.
22) FAQs Sheet
What are the 3-5 most frequently asked questions your agency receives.
Could you go through them during new business and avoid a lot of phone calls later on?
Make it funny by adding in a question that’s obviously not frequently asked. I’m drawing a blank right now, but I’m sure you can think of something funny.
23) Agency Schwag
Now’s the time to give out all that cool stuff with your agency’s name on it.
It’s funny how someone can spend thousands of dollars at your agency and walk away excited about a pen you gave them because it has a cool clicky thing.
I recommend spending a bit more on promotional items that have more staying power. I have a pizza cutter from 5 years ago and will be looking at pictures of my kids wearing Allstate bibs for the rest of my life.
24) Emergency Contact Information Form
Chances are, your carriers aren’t going to require you to collect an emergency contact person for your clients, but it’s still a good idea.
Ask your clients for the contact information of a friend, neighbor, or relative you could contact if there was ever a major emergency with the insurance.
People are used to being asked this question so they won’t think twice. And when they tell you the contact person ask casually who their insurance agent is and see where it goes.
25) Annual Events Information
Does your agency participate in a few events throughout the year?
Even if you just have a sponsor’s table at the annual pie eating contest put it on your list.
Not only will you be able to get more people involved with your events, you’ll also reinforce the idea that you’re a local business and you support the local community.
One More Thought to Add
You might read all these ideas and think,
“My new clients wouldn’t want all this, they just want their insurance.”
That’s not true.
(Of course if you bring that attitude your clients will sense it and you’ll fulfill your own prophecy. Congratulations!)
- Your clients WANT to be treated like they’re important.
- Your clients WANT to feel they’re getting more value for their money.
- Your clients WANT to be a part of something special.
And if you WANT to keep your clients then you’d better figure out how to make it happen.
What to do next:
1) Use a few of the ideas here you like most to develop or enhance your new client welcome kit in the next week.
2) It doesn’t have to be perfect to start using it. Make your kit a dynamic resource that builds over time.
3) If you know another agent who wants better retention send them a link to this article.
4) And Click the Like, +1, Tweet, or LinkedIn button so I know you want more information like this. (That’s how I know what to write in the future)