Barron’s Insurance Dictionary defines persistency as the “Percentage of life insurance or other insurance coverage remaining in force; percentage of policies which may have not lapsed. The larger the percentage, the wider the persistency.” It is a part of sales that is often overlooked. To be profitable in insurance, it isn’t enough just to sell your product to one person; you should also try to retain your customers.
Now, think about persistency for a moment. What’s the very first thing that pops into your head? Most likely your answer would not be marriage. I mean, what would persistency have to do with matrimony? They seem further in relation than your cousin and a kumquat.
But the relationship between a client and an agent is just that, a relationship. It takes courtship, compromise, and commitment for any contract to be signed. Nevertheless, walking down the aisle and saying your “I dos” isn’t the end of the marriage. Marriage is really a commitment and, in several ways, same goes with a client. If the client doesn’t feel you care, there may be a rift … or maybe “divorce.” In the world of insurance sales, that means cancelled contracts, which may result in the dreaded charge back.
In order to have great persistency, then, you should treat your agent-client relationships with pride. Your customers trust you, they’ve created a resolve for persistency with you, and they anticipate being treated as such. Here are a few methods to keep them happy after the contract is signed.
Keep in contact. Communication is crucial to a good relationship. Keep that bond powerful by reaching out to your customers. Express care for them outside of the context of the company. A simple birthday card or phone call can do wonders. If you’re trying to find an automated answer, NAA’s KIT letters can go further toward showing your clients just how much you care.
Earn their loyalty. When you love someone, it’s usually not just for one reason. It would be their sense of humor, their personality, or their smile. In terms of your clients, the relationship also needs to be multi-tiered. Having multiple contracts with them is a wonderful approach to retain persistency. The more policies they through you, the more likely they are to retain their policies and ask you for advice about future investments. When you help a customer once, they are just a customer. Help them again and they become a valued client. Help them a third time and you have a client for life.
What do you do in the event that the passion of this relationship has cooled and you’ve recently been “divorced?” It is possible to still salvage your relationship by contacting the client and asking why they cancelled. A small reminder will help them remember why they signed up in the first place, or perhaps it will reveal different problems you could help them with. Rekindle that spark of passion and you might be able to save the relationship.
Remember; persistency is a lot like a marriage. You’ve already devoted to one another. Through any time to show your customers how much you care, and seek out opportunities to “romance” them further, you’ll have a lengthy, fruitful relationship together.