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How to Keep Clients in THIS Economy

Blood in the streets. Carnage. Everyone losing their home, job or business.  That’s about all we’re hearing, right?

And let’s face it – these are hard times to be an agent. Even the die-hard,  happy-go-lucky optimists are probably questioning there insanity a bit.

How Should I Be Responding to The Current Economy?

First, we’ve got to be honest. These are some challenging times. The  very best agents right now aren’t pretending the storm clouds don’t  exist, but they are looking for silver linings, and they are  planting crops.

They’re asking themselves a smart question, and it’s the very best question  that you can be asking yourself right now.

Here’s how I learned it: I was 20 years old, sitting in a huge arena  listening to Zig Ziglar for the first time. The smell of burnt popcorn and cheap  hotdogs filled the air, but I barely noticed it.

I’d heard people mention the WIN Principle before, but for the first time I  actually got it. In case you haven’t heard, W.I.N. stands for

What’s Important Now?

And that’s the question for you to be thinking about in your agency,  especially with everything going on in the economy as a whole and at captive  companies corporate offices.

As you know, it’s more important now than ever to keep the clients you’ve got  in place. And let’s face it, the timing couldn’t be worse for that.

Between rising premiums and the recession, even long-time clients are looking  to save money, and unfortunately often the answer they come up with is in  leaving your agency and going with an independent, or worse, some discounter. (I  want to name a few disreputable ones right now, but I’ll restrain myself…)

Here’s the Big Truth About Retention

Some people are going to be leaving your agency. There’s about 10% of the  population that must always go with the lowest price option. If they have a  choice between Campbell’s® soup and generic brand, they have no choice. They  must buy the generic to save the extra 5 cents a can.

Now it’s ok to feel bad for these people, but we should not be choosing them  as clients. (I learned this the hard way myself, trying to sell to people who  couldn’t have afforded to say yes no matter how good a sales job I did!)

But some of your clients who weren’t in this situation are in this situation  now because of the economy. So these people are likely going to leave your  agency.

So What’s a Smart Agent Doing to Keep Clients Now & Who Are  They Focused on Keeping?

Focus Number One – work to keep your multi-policy clients. They spend  more money with you and for every one of them that leaves your agency you lose  at least two policies. So focus at least 85% of your retention effort on  them.

Calls, emails, letters, postcards, whatever it takes to keep them. This is  the last place in your agency now that you want to be lazy or cheap, even though  revenue is down and agency expenses are rising.

Every dollar you spend to keep current clients will come back two to three  fold in keeping your retention up. As you know, retention is an important part  of your RFG score and Expected Results, and obviously it’ a huge factor in your  income because of renewals.

The Smartest Move You Can Make Now Is Getting an “Iron Cage” Put Around  Your Current Clients

Obviously this sounds like a lot of work, and it is. The great news is that  you can outsource your retention programs. You and your staff don’t have to be  the ones putting in the long hours and going above and beyond to keep clients  extra happy so that the best ones stay even with rate hikes. Whether you decide  to out source it or do it in house, putting systems in place to keep your very  best clients is what’s important now for your agency and for your  family’s financial security.