Cancellations account for a large percentage of lost business in the insurance industry each year, some of which result in charge backs to the agent when he or she is being paid on advanced commissions. Therefore, it is critical to develop some strategies for avoiding cancellations when at all possible, so this withdrawal rate can be minimized to the greatest extent.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid canceled policies:
1) A good customer is a happy customer. Keeping this simple but true rule in mind will help turn the goal of getting and keeping good customers into a reality. If the sale you make is a solid sale, and you have provided all the information the customer needed to feel good about their purchase, they will rarely drop the policy.
One way you can make sure your customer is happy is to ask if there are any other questions they have before you go.
Doing this will not only allow them the opportunity to ask needed questions while you are there, but also increase their confidence in you, and assure them you have their best interests at heart.
2) Follow-up with your clientele. We’ll discuss this in our next post in more detail. Suffice it to say for now that following up to check on clients is just good business. In order to be successful, make a habit of touching base with your current clients at least once every 3 months, to see if they have any questions or if there is anything you can do for them. Customers who were thinking of dropping the policy may reconsider if you offer them personal and courteous service at the right moment.
3) Send birthday cards to clients. This is an old insurance sales technique that a lot of agents have been using for a long time. But it gets results. Some clients will call, thanking you for the gesture. You may not hear anything from others. But something like remembering someone’s birthday is important to that person, even if it does come from their insurance agent.
4) Send new flyers and information on their policy or the company when it is beneficial to your client. Giving them important information may be the key to keeping clients happy and on the policy.
5) Regarding cancellations which happen due to a bank issue: Treat this with kid gloves. Many customers are embarrassed when they are told that their policy lapsed due to non-payment. Just a friendly reminder with a presumptive tone which implies you know it was probably an oversight on their part can save face with the client and keep them on the policy.
Finally, when cancellations do occur, as they sometimes will despite your best efforts, just realize that this is part of the reality of insurance sales. Sometimes people shop around, just as they do with other services, and they have a right to do so. Likewise, remember that you want customers who will pay on time every month, and who are happy with your services. If you sign up solid customers to begin with, make yourself available to them, and help them when needed, the cancellation rate should be kept to a minimum.