This post was originally published on the Engagex blog on August 13, 2020.
Updated with new info and republished on July 13, 2022.
Implementing a customer insurance review program is one of the most effective ways to generate steady, long-term growth for your insurance agency.
A customer insurance review program is not a quick fix - it’s a long-term plan to provide you with better client retention, up-sell opportunities, and referrals over time.
After a few years of conducting insurance reviews, your book of business will be as healthy as it has ever been.
Your future self will thank you for starting the program when you did.
However, if you haven’t conducted customer insurance reviews in the past, you may experience some growing pains when getting started.
Don’t worry; this is totally normal!
Here are 6 things to expect during your first year or so of a customer insurance review program:
1 - Expect No-shows
When you first begin meeting with your customers, you’ll likely have many people forget or choose not to show up for their appointments.
They may not have ever had a meeting like this before and choose to skip it.
Maybe it slips their mind.
Maybe they feel slightly uncomfortable because they don’t know you very well.
Don’t get discouraged.
High no-show rates are typical during the first year or so.
Be persistent. It will get better if you stay consistent.
And keep in mind that there are benefits to the customer outreach even when they don’t show up to the appointment: No Show? Not the end of the world.
2 - Clients Will Question the Meeting
Expect questions about the meeting and what’s happening to their insurance - especially if you’ve never had a review with them.
Here are a list of common questions to be prepared for when scheduling appointments:
What is the purpose of the meeting?
Is this meeting mandatory?
Is there something wrong with my policies?
Can’t you just review my policies and call me if you think I should change something?
Can we do it over the phone?
Have answers prepared for these questions before you start scheduling appointments.
(or save yourself time and use ours - 20 Common Client Objections and Responses to Annual Insurance Reviews free PDF download included so your staff can use it!)
Once you’ve conducted a review or two with your clients, they’ll start to understand the meeting, and these questions will become far less common.
Give your clients some time to learn and get comfortable with the process.
3 - Expect Low Response Rates
Along with high no-show rates and skepticism about the meeting, many people will flat-out decline your invitation.
When attempting to set up a meeting with a customer, one of our callers at Engagex was told,
“I’d rather have my eyes poked out than come into the office and sit through a meeting.”
While it’s rare for customers to express their feelings so bluntly, you must remember that this could feel like another thing they need to do.
Do your best to explain the importance of these policy review meetings, but remember to be courteous.
You can’t force anyone to come in.
Some people just don’t want to come in, and there’s not much you can do about that other than continue to invite them each year or so.
You can also check out these simple ways to warm up your customers to the idea of insurance review appointments: Laying The Groundwork for an Effective Annual Insurance Review Program: Preparing Your Clients
4 - You’ll Interact With a Variety of Personalities
When you spend time getting to know your book of business, you’ll discover a full spectrum of personalities.
You’ll find that some of the nicest and most interesting people in the world are your clients.
You’ll also talk to some people who are ornery beyond belief.
It’s all part of the adventure of being an insurance agent - you get to know people - for better or worse!
You’ll find that some people just want to be left alone.
Take notes to help you become familiar with your book of business and to ensure you’re honoring their preferences.
5 - There is a Learning Curve
Though you are an expert on insurance, the structure of these meetings might be new territory for you and your staff members.
Over time, you will improve at identifying areas to educate your clients and the best way to look for cross-selling opportunities or referrals.
You’ll become an expert at insurance review meetings if you keep at it.
If you haven’t already, feel free to sign up for our free AgencyThrive Program to access in-depth training videos and resources on running customer insurance review meetings successfully.
6 - Expect Steady Improvement Over Time
Things may start a little slow and bumpy, but you’ll find that things will steadily improve over time as long as you stay consistent.
Once you’ve had 1, 2, or 3 appointments with each of your clients, they will see the value you provide to them, and they’ll get to know you in a way that makes them look forward to these meetings.
Not only will things improve for your clients, but you will find that over the years, it will become easier to get referrals, keep customers for the long haul, and cross/up-sell policies.
Agents who regularly meet with their customers write 72% more policies than agents who don’t.
However, these meetings must happen year after year.
Don’t give up on the program after a few months.
Give it time.
You’ll be glad you did.