Does the pandemic have you feeling like you’re running in quicksand? Understand that your clients are counting on you to deliver solutions that take account of their changed circumstances.
TOP 5 INTERNAL PROCESSES YOU SHOULD HAVE NAILED DOWN
The pandemic has transformed our lives, and our clients need us more than ever
By Michael Wayne
You remember “before,” right? “Before” was that time when we were calling on prospects, jumping in cars or on planes to meet with clients, and (gasp) shaking hands with coworkers and others as we greeted them and said goodbye.
Welcome to “after.” In “after,” we forget what day of the week it is, seek out personal space in our homes away from our significant others who are in Zoom meetings, and wonder how many more times in a row our young children can watch their favorite animated movie. In several ways, we are reaching a point where things that previously were unthinkable are now commonplace. The reality is that with any event as big as the pandemic, new rules are written.
By now you’ve adapted to many changed circumstances. Life, no matter what is thrown at us, is all about figuring out how to cope and respect ever-changing boundaries. As producers, brokers, and agents, we have roles to fulfill as contributing, constructive members of our communities. Being community members, we see daily the pain of family, friends, and neighbors. While we continue to support them as best we can, we also recognize that many of us are in potentially vulnerable positions.
“ … [W]e are reaching a point where things that previously were unthinkable are now commonplace.”
There is no denying that whenever the threat of this pandemic passes, people in large numbers will be unemployed, organizations that we partner with may not survive, and the toll on our economy will be massive. Not to delve too deeply into the political realm, but the blame game erupted long ago. Someone has to be responsible for this mess, and without question they will be held accountable—or at least the dueling sides of the aisle will do their damnedest to ensure they are.
The nearly 600,000 deaths that have been reported worldwide are tragic. The 13.2 million confirmed cases worldwide are difficult to comprehend. Thankfully, more than 7.3 million people have recovered. Likely, almost all of us know, or know of, at least one of the 13.2 million or the 7.3 million. They may be in our communities; we may write their business; we may be looking to write their business. To do our job well necessitates that we empathize and put ourselves in the place of our clients and prospects. That has not changed. What may have changed, however, is their priorities. Where are they personally and professionally? Is what you’re doing and what you’re offering relevant? How do you need to change?
By nature, people in sales do not sit idly and watch the world pass them by. If you have been simply “going with the flow” these last several months, or if you are running but feel like you may be doing so in quicksand, understand that you should be tackling what you can and ensuring that your processes are solid. You can’t truly fix the issues of a prospect if your own house is out of order. With that in mind, here are the top five internal processes that you should have nailed down:
- Routing Inbound Leads: Prospecting is the lifeblood of our business, and the handling of inbound leads must be a seamless, efficient process for everyone involved. Prospects do not have time for you to flounder. High conversion is paramount, just as it always has been.
- Incentivizing Clients: Make sure your clients are working for you. If you don’t already have an incentivized referral program to generate additional leads, now is the time to implement one. If you do have such a program, assess its value and identify what you need to tweak.
- Taking Your Events Online: Is there a symposium, client seminar, or workshop you were set to host that had to be cancelled? Develop the content you were going to present and use the registration lists at your disposal to offer a full-fledged demo online. Online meeting fatigue is real, but you know that these individuals and organizations were interested in the content you planned to present to them—they registered for it. Deliver and show them you can deliver no matter what the situation.
- Communicating to Retain: Do not give your clients the silent treatment. You need to continue to reach out to them and update them on everything from COVID-19 changes to legal issues that could affect their coverage. Make sure you are scheduling the regular meetings you would have had with them in person that you now may need to hold online. Do not let renewals go unmanaged.
- Preparing for the Great Reopening: Scheduling meetings with prospects may be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Remember, their focus may not be where yours is right now. If you find that you are unable to prospect with specific organizations, take the time to categorize them so you’ll be ready to approach them once we move to “After After.”
I’m looking forward to being in “After After” with all of you.
Michael Wayne is a freelance insurance writer.