This weekend my husband and I received a piece of mail from our insurance agent. My husband took the envelope and read aloud the large red text written beneath our address: “WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU BECAME DISABLED?”

Without a second glance, he took the letter to the kitchen and tossed it in the trash. He didn’t even open the envelope.

On behalf of insurance agents everywhere, I was appalled. As a disability insurance advocate, I was disgusted. And as a marketing team member of an insurance company, I was crushed. Is this how everyday consumers like my husband react to insurance marketing pieces?

The letter wasn’t even your everyday junk mail—it came from our insurance agent of many years. The same agent who at one point stayed late so we could meet after normal working hours. The same agent who did his agent voo doo to get us a better car insurance rate. The same agent who sent me a lovely “Thank you” email two years ago when we first switched our insurance to his agency.

And that’s when it hit me. That piece of mail was the first correspondence we’d had with our agent since his email two years ago.

Now, I know my interest on the disability insurance letter was piqued mostly because of my position working at a disability insurance wholesaler. But I had to ask myself, “Is that the only reason I would have opened that letter?”

The answer? Yes. And here’s why.

In our experience, we’re nothing but an afterthought to our agent. We’re a couple he sold business to more than two years ago. We’re not his friends, coworkers or connected via social media. He hasn’t done anything to foster a relationship with my husband and me since we signed the dotted line. And after two years of silence, he sent us a prospecting letter. And it ended up in our trash.

But you know what came in the mail earlier that week and made it to our fridge? An offer for a free cleaning from our dentist. And we both hate going to the dentist.

Can you guess what our dentist does that our insurance agent doesn’t? He gives out free toothbrushes.

It sounds trivial, but who doesn’t love free stuff? We also receive monthly emails with dental health tips and articles. Every few months we’re sent offers for extra services like teeth whitening and gum care. And every year on our birthdays we get a card and an email sending us best wishes.

In the insurance industry, we’re quick to make a sale, seal the deal and move on to our next prospect. But in reality, we should be nurturing our current clients just as much as we cater to prospective clients. We’ve all heard the statistics on how it’s cheaper to sell to an existing client than to market new customers. But what are we doing for our existing clients in between the time of our first sale to the moment we have another product to offer? For most of us, not much.

Take a tip from my dentist and stay in touch with your clients. Whether it’s sending out a quick email to make sure your clients are happy with their existing policies, or adding your clients on LinkedIn, there are several ways to keep your clients feeling appreciated. Something as simple as a quarterly email or newsletter will keep your name and business in the forefront of your client’s mind.

You might not have toothbrushes to give out, but I bet you have some company pens laying around with your business name and number on them. And while you don’t need to add your clients on your personal Facebook, consider creating a business page or a company Twitter account so you can give your clients tips, articles and maybe even the occasional birthday shout out.

If you like making a sale as much as my husband and I (and most of you!) like free stuff and attention, then I encourage you to keep in contact with your clients, show them some love, and then send your prospecting letter. Need a new insurance marketing letter? Download sales letters here!

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