Adjusting The Sails for Summertime Customer Insurance Review Success
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” -John C. Maxwell
As an insurance agent and business owner, you’ve probably had to frequently adjust the figurative sails at your agency to the current “weather conditions,” if you will.
Being able to adapt to changes in the industry’s climate is vital to sustainable growth and success.
Most agents I’ve spoken with observe business fluctuations throughout the year.
The economic climate, local, national, and global events, and inflation are some of the many variables that influence fluctuating production. (Deloitte)
The time of year can also be a factor!
Some agents share the opinion that there’s no slow time of the year, and if you have a slow season, it’s because of your business model and attitude/mindset.
While there might be some truth to this idea, simply fixing your attitude isn’t the be-all-end-all.
Instead of getting down on yourself for the slower times, remember John C. Maxwell’s quote from above:
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
Yes - a healthy attitude and mindset make a big difference in any insurance agency’s success.
Along with a healthy mindset, identifying and making necessary adjustments based on the current climate is just as vital.
In this post, I’ve compiled a list of 7 adjustments or modifications you can make to your current customer insurance review program to make it worthwhile during the summer months (whether the season is busy or slow at your agency).
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but these ideas can be a starting point for figuring out what works best at your agency!
First and foremost, though, it’s crucial that you and your staff members get the time off that you need to refresh and recharge.
None of these tips are meant to come before your own well-being, as we know that running a business is no easy task.
Our objective with these tips is to help you continue to meet the needs of your customers, your agency, AND yourself while enjoying the Summer months.
Let's get into it!
1 - Utilize Virtual Appointments
If you haven’t hopped on the virtual appointments train yet, you’re missing out on real opportunities to cross/up-sell, increase retention, and get referrals. After all, virtual appointments make a lot of sense during the summer due to all the travelling people do.
The majority of agents I’ve spoken with say that initially, they were hesitant to start holding virtual appointments, but now that they’ve embraced it, they prefer them!
Reasons for this preference vary from virtual appointments being more time-efficient for them and more convenient for their clients, and making it easier to have both partners in the meeting when applicable.
It’s not abnormal for us to hear from our customers that they have better sales success with virtual appointments than in person.
Whether you or your clients are willing to hop on a call during a vacation or not, having the option for a virtual meeting will prove much more convenient and could even be better for your production during the summer months.
If you find that things are slow during the summer, you should have more time to get familiar with virtual appointments and nail down a process that works.
2 - Adjust Appointment Goals
Depending on your workload and capacity, you might realize you have more time for appointments.
The opposite could also be true.
Either way, don’t be afraid to adjust goals and expectations for what your customer insurance review program looks like during different times of the year.
Consistency is key to most things in business, and meeting with your customers is no exception.
If you find that you’re short-staffed and lack the capacity for the number of appointments you have, don’t stop them entirely! Decrease them.
If we’re setting your appointments at Engagex, you’re always free to increase or decrease the number of appointments we set for you each month by contacting your account manager.
3 - Train Staff Members to Run Review Meetings
If you haven’t already trained your licensed team members to conduct appointments and things are slow in the summer, train them now!
Having someone other than you in the office who can handle review meetings will make things much easier when you want to take some time off for vacation, family time, etc.
Just because you’re out of the office doesn’t mean your clients don’t need to meet with your agency to review their policies.
There are also monetary benefits for agents who train their licensed team members to conduct reviews.
Learn about those benefits here: The Monetary Benefits of Training Your Agency Staff Members to Conduct Customer Insurance Reviews
4 - Try Another Demographic
Timing plays a critical role in sales.
With that in mind, what events might happen during the summer months that could affect your customers’ insurance coverage?
Here are a couple summer demographic ideas from Mark Overstreet (SmartFinancial.com):
Current customers with kids who may be starting to drive (LinkedIn)
It’s common for teenagers to take driver’s education during the summer months since they’re out of school. What households of yours have teenagers who are close to driving age? Reach out to them!
Current customers with kids heading off to college in the fall (LinkedIn)
Leaving home comes with many changes - and as the insurance agent, you know that some of these changes need to be noted so you can make sure they’re adequately covered for this exciting new chapter in life.
Targeting specific demographics like this is a way to work smarter - not harder.
What other demographics could you target for annual reviews this summer?
5 - Change Up Your Schedule
What’s stopping you from updating office hours to allow you and your staff to enjoy some time in the sun?
We’re certainly not suggesting you close up shop for the summer, but that perhaps a day or two each week, you open later and stay later.
This will help enable you to meet with those customers who may not be able to come in during regular business hours.
Consider opening for a few hours on one Saturday each month for those customers, too. And take some time during the week for yourself!
Continuing to hold customer insurance reviews during the summer doesn't have to get in the way of you, your staff, and your customers enjoying the sunshine if you plan accordingly.
Just make sure to notify your customers about any changes to your business hours.
6 - Take a Short Break if You Have to
If you absolutely need to, take a break from conducting appointments for a month, but don’t take a break from scheduling appointments.
Block off your scheduling calendar for when you’ll be away or need a break from the meetings, but continue outreach to schedule appointments for when you’ll be having them again.
As we and countless others have said, consistency is key.
By continuing outreach, you ensure that the one-month break from appointments doesn’t turn in to two months because you need to start scheduling again.
You’re doing yourself a favor by keeping that break to a minimum.
If you don’t have a staff member who can continue the scheduling outreach, consider outsourcing to a third party vendor like Engagex.
7 - Check-in Calls
At the very least, if you’re unable to conduct customer insurance review appointments in the summer, keep consistent outreach going by calling your customers to check in with them.
See if they have concerns or need help with anything regarding their policies, let them know you’re thinking of them, tell them about your referral program, and that you’ll be reaching out in the fall to schedule a policy review.
We’re now offering these Care Calls at Engagex!
We started doing them when the pandemic hit, and we realize that these Care Calls are still an effective tool to increase retention.
Outsourcing these calls to us increases capacity in your agency to follow up on any calls we make that uncover potential retention alerts and customers who indicate they’re shopping around.
By adjusting the sails, as Maxwell said leaders do, you’ll be able to ensure you, your agency team, and your customers are taken care of.
Continued proactive outreach through the Summer months will help you retain more customers, cross-sell more policies, receive more referrals, AND you can still enjoy the beautiful summer months.
What other ideas do you have for adjusting your proactive outreach efforts for the summer? Let us know in the comments below - we’d love to hear from you!