I would be the first to insinuate that the agent that sold that term policy to you has a better chance of being in another profession now than not. Good reality check. When was the last time they called you just to let you know they are there if you need them?
Far too many agents, and frankly their clients, don’t see the need for annual reviews and client service. Especially an agent who has sold a term life insurance policy. They made all of the commission they will make on that term policy in the first year it was in force. Then the agent goes MIA. I have had agents openly joust with me about their perceived lack of need to stay in touch after that commission check is cashed. To them there’s no more money to be made so time is better spent going on to the next victim.
I call each of my clients every year. I send them an annual review letter that reminds them where they stand with their policy. I let them know how long they’ve had it, how many years are left on the guarantee, how many years they have left on their conversion option and I remind them that I am still here, ready to serve.
I got a call from a gentleman the other day who wanted to know if he would be able to get life insurance any time soon as he had just started treatment for throat cancer that involved the lymph nodes and was also under observation for an aortic aneurysm that had been discovered recently. He called me because he is at the end of his 20 year term and didn’t know where his agent is. He hadn’t heard from him or anyone else with the company for 19+ years. He had changed banks twice and beneficiary designation once. He had changed address twice. Each time he did these things he had to call the customer service line at the home office and get the forms to accomplish each change.
Why provide service? Well, like what you’re paid or not, if an agent sells something that lasts 20 or 30 years, it is absolutely incumbent on that agent to stay in touch to make sure it is still working for them. If that’s done and the time comes that a claim needs to be filed, the widow knows who to call for help and she can be assured that everything has remained in order and in force.
Anyway, back to the new client above. With his current and present health issues there is no way to get him a new policy at this point, but he has a conversion option on the policy he has that, well, is made for just this sort of possibility. We are converting his term policy to a permanent policy at the preferred plus rate class he was approved at 19 years ago.
I’ll make a commission from this transaction and, had his original agent stayed in touch, it is commission that he would have made. Even more important than that is that his customer would have been grateful that he had stayed in touch all those years. Do I serve customers for future sales? The truth. The absolute truth is no. I just feel like service is part of what I sold. But more business, whether from referrals, new term purchases or conversions is a natural off shoot of just staying in touch and being there when you’re needed.
Bottom line. I know a lot of agents, especially a lot of new agents read my ramblings. Take this to heart. Customer service is the right thing to do. It takes time, but you were paid for that when you made the first sale. If there’s anyone out there who needs to know what your conversion options are and you can’t find your agent, call or email me directly. Let’s talk.