This is why many advisors hold back in targeting a specific audience or focusing. Do they dump them? “Sell” them? Give them away? This indecision is expensive. There is a better approach. Keep them in your system. You don’t have to do anything with them. Just make sure they continue to be serviced while you develop your new target market. You don’t have to give up the renewals (such as they are), the new business and the referrals that can come from long standing clients. In fact, tell them about your new approach and let them know that you will still be helping them with their needs. They might even be able to help you with your new efforts and appreciate that they are still part of your business. Here are a few ways to handle these “non-focus” clients:

Add a junior associate and help them get started by servicing them. Imagine how much better you might have done learning at the knee of a master.

A word of warning: Be careful about how you write the letter to clients introducing your new associate. I saw a letter the other day that made the reader feel like they were dumped even though they were still on the client list. No one likes to feel dumped. Remember high school? Be very gentle and sure that the client understands that the benefits of the new servicing arrangement far outweigh the negatives. A well-crafted letter and a positive, personal introduction in person or on the phone will help this work out. Shuffling off a letter and hoping the client gets the idea is just asking for trouble.

Another way to handle these “other” clients is to have a staff person handle their requests as much as possible. Of course, you can’t have them doing work for which they aren’t qualified or licensed. But they can handle more than you think, especially with you as their backup. They won’t do things like you do. You have to give that up if you want to grow.

Staff can also drive consistent mail and email contact with all your clients. They get the attention they need but it doesn’t tie up your time unless urgent and important. While cutting a block of clients might work for some investment advisors, it is not usually necessary for life insurance advisors. It’s not the most profitable way to operate either.

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