Far too often, insurance agents focus on growing their businesses by finding new clients. The more policyholders you can get, the better, right? Not necessarily. If you’re always cycling through clients, growth can plateau. And if you’re not doing enough to nurture relationships with current clients, then you may eventually find that gaining new clients becomes more difficult over time.
That being said, it’s easy to assume that your work is done once a new client signs up for a policy. Why spend more time on a deal that’s already closed? After all, one of the more important sales tips is to know when you’ve closed the deal and not talk your way out of it. As the CEO of Inc. explains in one of the publication’s articles, “learn to stop talking as soon as you get the sale.”
Yet this advice generally applies to the sales process itself so that you don’t end up overselling. If you’re pitching a business owner why they should buy a commercial insurance policy, don’t continue to try to convince them of why they need this insurance if they’ve already agreed to purchase coverage. But that doesn’t mean your work has to end, just the hard selling. For example, if you give your client a call a few weeks after they’ve purchased insurance from you to see if they have any questions, that’s often appreciated, whereas calling your client to tell them how great the policy is that they just purchased might be overkill.
As we’ll explore in this article, by continuing to build relationships with current clients, you can reap several benefits that can ultimately help you cut costs and increase revenue. We’ll dive into some of the top benefits in more detail, as well as look closely at how to build relationships with clients.
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Getting More From Current Clients
If you have several low-revenue clients, you may think it’s not worth your time to build relationships with them. But in many cases, working on building relationships with current clients is a more effective approach than starting from scratch with new prospects. Oftentimes, you can get more from current clients than you realize, such as:
Investing time in building relationships with current clients can help you achieve a higher renewal rate. That’s important for several reasons. For one, a high renewal rate can make it easy to grow revenue year over year. If you have a 100% renewal rate and add 10% more in new policy revenue, then that’s 10% growth. But if only 80% of clients renewed, you might not be able to sign up enough new customers to come out ahead.
Those low-revenue clients might not seem worth your time now, but getting in on the ground floor can often pay off down the line. For example, a solopreneur might purchase a small professional liability policy, but perhaps as they grow they’ll also need workers’ comp coverage, cyber insurance or other types of coverage that you can provide.
Plus, the size of the initial type of policy they signed up for might need to grow alongside their business. So, if you’ve put in the work to build relationships with these clients, their renewals might also turn into larger deals.
Word of Mouth
One of the greatest advantages to building relationships with clients is how it can lead to positive word of mouth about your business. For example, a current client may have other connections to refer you to, helping you add new prospects without having to spend as much on marketing. In other words, you may be able to save money on areas like social media advertising if you can have more warm leads coming to you through referrals.
Similarly, strong client relationships can help get the word out about your business, such as through positive reviews on sites like Yelp. That way, more prospects may find you organically, and those considering doing business with you may be swayed in your direction after seeing good reviews.
How to Build Better Relationships With Clients
Given the many benefits that building relationships with clients provides, the question you’re then likely wondering is how to build relationships with clients so you can reap these rewards. While the specifics depend on factors like the types of clients you have and your personal preferences (perhaps you’re more comfortable writing to clients than having video calls), there are still some general principles you can apply.
Make Time to Engage With Current Clients
One aspect regarding how to build relationships with clients is to engage with them throughout their time as your customer. You don’t want to just show up in the beginning and then disappear. Take the time to onboard them, see if they have any questions, and are proactively comfortable with areas like making policy payments and submitting claims if necessary.
From there, you may want to engage periodically, such as by checking in a few months later to see how their business is doing and if there’s anything you can do to support them. Yet that doesn’t mean you have to push for another sale. You can support them in other ways, like introducing them to someone in your network who might be able to help them solve a business issue they’re facing.
You can also engage with current clients throughout their time as your client such as by interacting on social media. If a client shares some news about their business, for example, you may want to comment if you feel like you have something to add. And when it comes time for renewals, you may want to offer to meet with clients to review their policies in more detail and see if their needs have changed.
Create Marketing Content for Current Clients
In addition to making time for current clients conversationally, you also may want to create marketing content that’s specifically geared toward current clients. In other words, instead of just creating content that tries to rope in prospects, you can create emails, social posts, blog posts, etc., that are not salesy and simply add value to current customers.
For example, you might put together an email marketing newsletter that includes a list of conferences and other networking events that you think your clients might want to attend. You could segment these lists for clients in different industries so that it feels more personal and relevant to the recipients. That way, clients can grow to trust you as a valued resource, rather than just seeing you as a commoditized salesperson.
Get Started on Building Relationships
If other agents aren’t paying attention to building client relationships, then that’s all the more reason to get started and differentiate yourself by creating deeper connections. Get started now, as building client relationships takes time.
But you don’t have to do everything at once. You can simply reach out to a current client today, create a new blog post that’s helpful to current clients, or do whatever type of client engagement feels right for you. Over time, you’ll figure out what works best for you in terms of how to build client relationships, and you can start seeing the business rewards that strong connections can bring.