Everyone has heard some story about how a business did well from going the extra mile for a customer.
However, it's not often that you hear about a professional services business with a standing process for going the extra mile because it continually improves sales results and profitability.
Tony Vidler, CFP and financial adviser coach says that one of his clients does exactly that, and converts 70% of the "uninsurable" cases that would not ordinarily get started.
Advisory firms lose a serious amount of time and effort in cases that are declined, deferred or loaded heavily by insurers and do not end up proceeding.
“That sunk cost that the majority of firms write off has been turned around, however, by one boutique insurance practice,” says Vidler. “It assumes responsibility on behalf of the client and the insurer to manage the placement of the business proactively.”
The adviser goes into overdrive and learns more about the condition that caused the problem – not from the client or their doctor, but from another medical practitioner. A suggested action plan to manage the health issue is put together for the client, including any alternative medicine and therapy methods.
“In contrast to the standard insurance proposal situation when a client is considered a bad risk and simply declined or priced out of the market, resulting in the adviser raising their hands in surrender and saying ‘sorry, I can't help you’, this particular business rolls its sleeves up and goes to work for the client quite proactively.”
After three to six months of building closer relationships and a healthier client, they try again on the insurance. Vidler says that the adviser pays 50% of the specialist or medical reports for the case, and the client pays the other 50%.
“In over 70% of the cases the adviser is able to get the client acceptable coverage and terms within about 6 months.
“Often there is additional premium in the form of loadings, but just as often there is not. The average proposal size is larger however in these cases, and with a 70% conversion rate on otherwise lost business, it is proof that there is money along the extra mile.”
Although the firm is a New Zealand practice, Vidler says that anyone who is in the business of providing life insurance advice can benefit from thinking and acting the same way, whether in Australia, the US or South Africa.
“Clients are inevitably moved rapidly up the loyalty ladder, and usually become excellent sources of referrals.”
How do you go above and beyond for your clients?