Archive for June, 2010

It is often said, “your greatest prospects are your current clients”, and in today’s economy and increased competition from a multitude of distribution sources (Internet, direct response marketers, traditional agents, etc.) one could argue this comment was never more accurate. Acquisition marketing / sales, especially for those agencies or third party administrators engaged in direct response marketing is becoming more challenging and certainly more expensive.  Marketing pieces are competing for the recipients attention with stacks of other pieces arriving daily in the mailbox.  Response rates in many segments have been on the decline while postal expenses and printing and letter-shop services have increased in price.  Does this mean we should be abandoning the direct response model?  Certainly not, it just means we need to be smarter in our efforts and look for ways to increase the “wallet share” of individual insureds.

This post will be focusing on “welcome calls”, and is part 1 of a series of strategies and tactics that can help an agency or third party administrator maximize their revenue potential with each individual they insure. 

Welcome calls can be very effective way to cross sell additional products or services in a very non threatening way.  For those agencies and third party administrators that do not use a traditional sales force, this would be done telephonically.  Traditional agencies have used the delivery of the policy as a time and place to cross sell other products, therefore, this is similar is nature, but since it is being done telephonically, it is tactically different.

After the agency or third party administrator learns that an applicant has been approved for coverage, and they are ready to mail the fulfillment materials (policy/certificate and premium notice), a call should be made to the new insured notifying them that they have been approved and your call is to welcome them into the the plan and let the new insured know that the fulfillment materials are going to be sent and that a review of all the particulars are in order, i.e., coverage amounts, beneficiary information, mailing address, etc.  This should be done in a very non threatening way really focusing on the “welcome” portion of the call. 

Once all the information has been verified, the agent should then bring up a special offer for additional coverage or another product or service that is complimentary to the one that was just applied for and approved.  Guarantee issue products work best, since the transaction can take place over the phone supplemented by a fax/email for signature (if necessary).  The idea is to then notify the new insured, that you will be sending them the policy/certificate along with the original policy/certificate for which they were approved.  Keeping it as seamless as possible is key.

The following is a short list of potential cross sells that can work very well with welcome calls:

  1. AD&D to a New Life Insured: if policy limits allow-suggest Double Indemnity coverage;
  2. Accident Disability to a New Disability Insured: additional coverage to help close the gap in the issue and participation limits;
  3. Guarantee Issue Life to a New Disability Insured: work with your life carrier to allow you to offer a set amount e.g., $100,000 for a new Disability Insured with a simple attestation statement that the insureds health hasn’t changed since time of completing the Disability application;
  4. Hospital Income Protection (HIP) to New Disability Insured: position it as extra coverage during elimination period if insured is in the hospital;
  5. Additional Life Insurance to a New Life Insured: for example- if the new insured applied for and was approved for $300,000, but actually there was enough underwriting done to issue up to $500,000, a counter offer could be made on the spot offering the additional coverage.  This takes coordination with the underwriting company, but if it is positioned as: “based on your health background, you can qualify for up to $200,000 of additional insurance”, this can be highly successful as most people like to hear they are healthy and it can spark the impulse to buy additional coverage. 

Like any sales strategy, welcome calls will take time to hone, however, it is well worth the effort to begin implementing this process into your work flow.  If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us and would be happy to talk to you about this further.

Also, if you have any comments, suggestions, or success stories, please feel free to share.

George Bode

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.—-Andrew Carnegie

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