Fess up, we gripe about agents and their behavior all the time.
“Wah lao, this guy only wants to sell me stuff”
“She keeps pestering me about the savings plan, so annoying”
“They told me it was a survey and a lucky draw, but then I had to sit down for over an hour to learn about financial planning. Sian.”
Truth be told, a number of us aren’t textbook customers either.
(True story: I once took an appointment to meet up with a prospect who told me she lived on the 15th storey. After I arrived at 830 pm and placed an hour of parking coupons, I counted only 7 floors in the building. Needless to say, she didn’t return any of my calls.)
Common agent gripes about customers and prospects:
“Exploit me nia”
“Didn’t want to buy in the first place”
“Lonely with no one to talk to, just wanted some attention”
The last point is actually painfully valid, there are a number of people around that have no friends and use insurance agents for human contact. (I experienced that too while working in a bank as well, some older folk just want attention)
Ok, enough about the negatives. We aren’t about all that, but rather about focusing on our own behaviors and mindset that are within our control.
So as a customer, instead of only looking for the perfect agent to service your needs, why not strive to be a perfect customer yourself?
If you are game to begin a journey of self-discovery and growth, read on.
Step 1: Recognize that you exist in only 2 states
Properly Covered or Not Properly Covered. That’s all there is to it.
Do you have the requisite cover to ensure you can financially cover a serious illness? A prolonged absence from work? A premature death? Disability?
If you are already Properly Covered, congratulations. Do forward this article to a friend or relative that isn’t as fortunate as you.
If you are unsure which state you are in, then you are almost certainly Not Properly Covered. Move on to step 2.
Step 2: Resolve to take concrete steps to become Properly Covered
Knowing is only half the battle. Doing something about it is arguably the more important half.
Look yourself in the mirror and say inspiration stuff like “Andreas Aloysious Alphonso, I want you to do whatever it takes to be properly insured before Christmas.”
If you want to shop around first, as so many other people do, it is perfectly fine. Just be prepared to make the decision to get the cover you need after all your shopping.
Many of us delay making the purchases because of innocuous reasons like:
“I want to wait for my bonus”
“This year going to Maldives, no budget lah”
“I pay finish my credit card bills first”
Which is a reflection of an inability to delay gratification, a big no no.
You are not going to be one of those people!
Speaking of which, here is what the ability to delay gratification does for you.
Step 3: Read up beforehand to ask intelligent questions
Aka doing your homework. No better place than ClearlySurely.com lets you do your insurance homework easily or with as much fun. (We might be a bit biased, but its true)
A good insurance professional would appreciate a customer that is well informed – it makes the process so much smoother, and not to mention a more productive discussion.
Step 4: Make / Accept appointments only if you actually intend to take action. If it is simply price shopping, be upfront about it.
Nothing grinds an agent’s gears more than a prospect that only wants to meet and not take concrete action. It doesn’t mean you have to buy from him or her, but the intention has to be there – only you can judge yourself.
If you don’t find the agent or products suitable, just tell it to them straight. Saying no is a skill, but the crux of Step 4 here is simply meet with the intent to take action.
If you just want to compare prices or get a feel for the market out there, state that prior to the meeting.
Step 5: Disclose fully
Thou shalt tell the truth and nothing but the whole truth.
You can’t expect a doctor to diagnose your illness by not disclosing everything you know. Likewise, your insurance professional cannot do his or her job fully if you withhold the truth about your finances or your goals.
(That is where doing your homework also comes in, you are better equipped to disclose key pieces of financial information that the agent requires)
To have a clearer idea of the fact find process, try out our discover engine here
Step 6: Be decisive
One of the most tiring cliches that you could ever pull as a customer is to say “Let me think about it”.
After all, your needs are clear. The products have been presented. You have the requisite information to make an informed decision.
So be brave and say yes. Or say no. Regardless, just inform them about your decision asap.
If it’s a yes, then proceed with the documentation and get it over with!
If its a no, tell them politely but promptly. You could include an explanation if you wish, but generally speaking, every agent/planner I know appreciates a decisive no over a weak “maybe”.
Much like a relationship – either it progresses or it doesn’t. Lingering on does no one any good.
Step 7: Thank the agent, regardless of the outcome
Perfection means having class. Always.
How does being the perfect Insurance Client help you?
You get to address all your coverage needs, have productive discussions with your agent(s), and make a decision quickly.
Not every agent you meet is going to be perfect, but you can always take steps yourself to be the perfect client.
After all, it is said that most unexpected bad news only takes a moment, so every moment you delay could be one that you regret.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.
Are you the perfect Insurance client? Or are there more points that we should have included? Let us know in the comments section below!