Opinion: making client relationships last

Opinion: making client relationships last | Insurance Business

Opinion: making client relationships last
Relationships are pivotal to the success of a broker, but it can be all too easy to lose a client when the relationship has barely begun. Peter Marshall, ProRisk business development manager, explains how to make those networks survive.

A lot of professional relationship tools focus heavily on getting brokers in front of prospective clients. But what then?
 
You can see it now. You’re sitting in front of your potential client. You approach the discussion the same old way and – as much as we might like to think otherwise – get the same old result. You tell yourself that next time it will be different but if you do the same thing each time you usually get the same result.
 
There are a lot of relationship tools on the market. They can help you organise your prospects, organise your diary, record Filenotes of your progress with prospects, remind you to initiate "I'm still here and thinking of you" contacts. They’re good but they don't do much for you once you're in front of your prospect.
 
It can be easy to talk your way out of a sale by not shaping the meeting to the personality, communication and information preferences of the client.  I recently road tested a tool that can enhance relationships. Persona is a new app with which the user can create and save the profile of each client. This profile becomes a permanent record that the app user can call upon in any dealings with the client. If the broker moves on, that customer’s profiles become a valuable tool for their successor. They don’t have to start from scratch and that’s a huge benefit for the business and for the continuity of the relationship.
 
This sort of thing has the potential to genuinely drive sales growth. It’s not always a gimmick, it’s simply about understanding people and communicating with them in the way that engages them. Isn’t that the point of relationship building?
 
Even using a standard personality test can improve how you build rapport. Myers Briggs personality type indicators and DISC assessments can reveal interesting traits about yourself. You learn what engages you, how you relate to others, how you behave under pressure- in team environments and more. You also learn how other people see you and how best to interact with various personality types. It all makes sense. These are great tools but we don't make the most of them. Maybe it’s because they aren’t in a format that we can use on the run.
 
But if there are ways to get a better result, a higher strike rate and better quality relationships with customers, shouldn’t we use them?