If you are an advisor, you’re well aware that the group renewal process is one of the most crucial periods for you to demonstrate value and reinforce the relationship between you and your client. The lead up to a group’s plan renewal is a time to check in with your client, reevaluate their up-to-date needs, and further establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
However, if you are only connecting with your clients around renewal time, you’re missing out on opportunities to build stronger client relationships. As the old adage goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”
But you can ensure you stay relevant year-round, and even help to identify potential gaps in coverage as they come up, by engaging with your clients year-round. Here are three simple, non-intrusive ways that you can maintain an open line of communication with your clients between renewal periods.
1. Keep up with your clients on social media
Connecting with your clients on social media is an easy way to keep in touch throughout the year and stay in-the-know about important company updates. Through social media, you can follow your clients’ official company accounts as well as individual plan sponsors on LinkedIn. This way you’ll keep up-to-date with general company news, as well as the professional lives of your points of contact.
Don’t be afraid to like, share, or comment on their posts if you see something you would like to weigh in on, to support, or to give your congratulations – that’s the point of social media! Doing so will allow you to stay engaged with your clients and allow them to see that you support their success on a year-round basis.
In addition to reacting to your clients’ social media updates, don’t be neglectful of your own online presence. Social media is often an under-utilized tool for advisors, but taking the time to flesh out your online public image and engage with your audience can often yield dividends in the form of new prospects and clients. An active social media presence can help to solidify your professional credibility over time.
To learn more about how you can use social media to boost your business, read the article here.
2. Leverage the calendar to check in with clients
There are plenty of dates throughout the year that can act as excellent excuses to reach out to your clients. With a bit of research, you can create a low-effort communication plan and make sure their coverage is up to par with their needs. It’s also an opportune time to send reminders, recommend new plan add-ons, and simply educate your clients on how to optimize their company’s use of their benefits plan throughout the year.
Some examples of dates and accompanying messages include:
- Bell Let’s Talk (January 29): This is a great time to share thoughts on supporting employee mental health. Do your clients have Employee and Family Assistance Plans (EFAPs)? Do they have appropriate coverage for mental health needs?
- Family Day (February 17): Family is often an evolving concept, especially for plan members who are moving in with significant others, getting married, or having children. Why not suggest to plan sponsors that they take this opportunity to remind employees that if their family has evolved in the past year, they’ll need to declare this in order to make sure their coverage is updated accordingly!
- March Break (or other peak travel seasons): This is a perfect time to nudge plan sponsors and have them remind their members about best practices related to travel coverage – before they travel out of country, especially in light of the recent change in OHIP travel coverage.
- Employee Appreciation Day (March 6): What says employee appreciation more than Lifestyle Spending Accounts to provide employees with lifestyle benefits? Supporting employees’ personal expenses in areas such as wellness, fitness, transportation, and education is a great way for an employer to show appreciation to their employees and promote company culture.
3. Send out a regular client newsletter
Taking the time to create and send a brief email newsletter to your clients can be an effective way to nurture your relationship on a regular basis, circulate relevant information and updates, and educate your clients on new plan options and benefits trends.
We know you’re busy, so we’re not suggesting that your newsletter needs to be fancy or go out frequently; once every other month or every quarter would more than accomplish the goal. Topics your newsletter could cover include:
- Relevant industry updates
- New benefits trends and offerings
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- Links to industry-related blog articles
- “Insider” tips related to benefits administration
As an advisor, your business is built upon a foundation of trust in you, your expertise, and the service you provide to your clients. When increasing the frequency of your communications with clients, the key is to focus on being helpful and understanding their needs, while avoiding coming off as intrusive or overly self-promotional. So whether it’s keeping connected to clients via social media, taking advantage of specific dates to reach out to your clients, or issuing email communications, don’t be afraid to find opportunities to stay top-of-mind with your clients and nurture those relationships!