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how-agents-can-serve-clients-remotelyIt’s very important to connect with clients during this time of crisis and economic uncertainty. Here’s how to make an impact even if you’re working remotely.

Why Now Is a Good Time to Connect

You might be thinking that these meetings can wait until after the crisis is over, but here are three good reasons you shouldn’t wait.

  1. People are worried about their finances. Now is a good time to check in, answer questions and talk to them about preparedness. Doing so may give them a sense of control that is desperately needed right now.
  2. The feeling of invincibility is a barrier to insurance sales. People don’t buy insurance because they don’t believe anything bad could really happen to them. Now, current events are chipping away at this feeling of invincibility.
  3. Time is another barrier. Some of your prospects may have put off discussions because they were busy with other things. Now, their events and trips have been cancelled, giving them time to think about – and to act on – matters that always got pushed aside before.

You also need to act to protect your business. You’ve worked hard to develop client relationships and connections. You don’t want everything you’ve built to crumble over the following weeks.

Reach out to your clients frequently. Check in on them and see how they’re doing. Let them know you’re there for them if they have any questions or concerns. Establish yourself as a source of useful information during this difficult time.

Conduct Meetings or Have Coffee with Your Clients Remotely

Modern technology makes running a remote meeting easier than ever. There are many free and low-cost options to choose from, including:

  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Microsoft Teams
  • FaceTime
  • Google Hangouts

Talk to your clients about their preferred platforms. They may already be familiar with one or two of them, and that would be the easiest way to proceed. You don’t have to be formal. You can invite a client to have coffee with you online. Practice connecting remotely with a friend and work out any technical kinks before trying a remote meeting with a prospect or client.

Use the Insurance Tech Tools Available

There’s no need to interrupt your business processes just because you can’t get face-to-face. Use these tech tools to conduct business remotely:

  • Many carriers have an option for electronic applications (e-Apps), available to contracted brokers through their Agent Portals. Fillable PDFs are available from most carriers. Go to our Forms Page to find what you need. If you use a fillable PDF, simply email it to your client to complete, save and attach to an email back to you. You can then submit to us at DIS.
  • You are probably already using EFT payments. If you’re not using EFT and you need help setting this up, contact us.
  • You’re probably also already using Policy e-Delivery, which is available as an option from all larger carriers. Petersen also announced that they are making e-Delivery available. If you’re working with a smaller carrier, ask us to scan the policy for you.

If you have questions about how to use any of these tools, contact underwriting@diservices.com or sales@diservices.com. We can walk you through every step of the process.

Use Social Media and Post Videos to Maintain a Positive Presence

During this time of isolation, it’s very important to stay active on social media. Share relevant financial planning and insurance information. Consider shooting a video of yourself and posting it online. Write a blog or send a newsletter. We have some consumer-facing articles available here as well as some tweetable facts available here to help get you started. 

Practice Smart Cybersecurity

As people switch to remote work, they may be especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. Protect yourself and your clients with good cybersecurity practices.

  • Watch out for phishing schemes. New phishing campaigns may target the confusion surrounding COVID-19.
  • Don’t click on suspicious links. Scam emails and texts may disguise themselves as being from legitimate companies. When in doubt, don’t click.
  • Use strong passwords and secure Wi-Fi.
  • Keep your devices updated and protected with anti-virus software. 

What NOT to Do

Do not make light of the situation. People are genuinely scared. Some people have friends or family members who are sick or who are especially vulnerable. They may be worried about an economic recession and how that will impact them. This is a time for sincerity and compassion.

Also avoid giving the impression that you’re using a tough time to your advantage. People have not responded well to individuals trying to sell hand sanitizer at inflated prices, and they probably wouldn’t respond well to pushy insurance agents who aggressively go after a sale, either. Instead, focus on being an empathetic and informed advisor, and the sales will come eventually.

What TO DO 

Your clients are probably very worried right now. Discuss their concerns. Ask business owners how they would handle expenses if they were unable to work for an extended period of time, or if a key employee or business partner became unable to work. Could they afford to cover overhead expenses? Could they afford to hire and train a replacement?

Individuals are also feeling the strain, and they may have questions about paycheck protection. Disability insurance typically covers illness, but the elimination period is usually 90 days, so a sickness that lasts for a shorter period of time probably wouldn’t be covered. Nevertheless, this is a good time to review a person’s individual protection package. Ask your clients how they would pay their bills if they were sick for an extended period of time. Also ask how they would cover their bills if they had to take time off to care for a family member who became ill or injured.

Offer your clients a virtual review of their individual or business protection strategies. Our Regional Brokerage Managers will do the heavy lifting – all you need to do is send us your client’s Certificate of Benefits. Reach out to your DIS location for assistance anytime. We are here for you!