Times are tough for most businesses, and chasing new business without being seen as ‘target driven’ can be hard - however, insurance advisers say that a crisis often helps their clients understand the value of insurance, and that presents a significant opportunity for more deals in the pipeline.
Peter Leitch, insurance and investment adviser at Share NZ says that despite the downturn, there are some businesses that are bucking the trend and remaining financially successful, and independent advice will be vital for their short and long-term planning. For advisers, he says it’s simply a case of being available.
“It can take a long time for things to get through a pipeline, and most good advisers have got a pretty lengthy pipe, because they need it,” Leitch said.
“It’s a case of continuing to fill that up because not everything comes out of the other side, and, as we know, underwriting has gotten tougher.”
“For me, it’s about staying in touch with people and reminding them of what we do,” he explained.
“Circumstances change, and I have clients who are growing in this environment. Although we can assume that everyone is finding it tough, there are businesses that are doing well, and people who will be wanting to reflect on their cover. They’ll also understand that things can happen unexpectedly, and think about getting more cover. For you, it’s just about being available to them.”
Brian Burgess, director at SwainWoodham Group says that often he hasn’t even had to pick up the phone - clients have been proactive in calling him up and looking for advice around their cover. He says that several clients are even looking to increase it, having truly understood the value of having a financial cushion in unexpected circumstances.
“We’ve been quite reactive in dealing with the enquiries that have come through, and we’re seeing opportunity,” Burgess said.
“One of the themes we’ve seen is that client engagement is significantly up, so the response to the review email has increased dramatically. It’s not the usual scenario where you call them up and they say: “it’s all good, nothing’s changed.” They want to talk to you.”
“We saw post-Christchurch too that people become very aware of how things work, and really seeing the value of advice,” he added.
“People are engaged and willing to listen, so you just have to get out there and do what you’ve always done - just perhaps with a different bent.”