two people shaking hands

A consumer’s relationship with their insurance agent or banker is one based on trust. They have placed the security of their assets in your company’s hands and you are the human face of that company. Although you’ve been successful in making the initial sale, it doesn’t stop there. Relationships take maintenance. Your ability to maintain a strong connection over time may be tested by your ability to effectively communicate with your client. Here are ten tips that will help you manage those client relationships.

  1. Use simple language in your communication. While industry jargon may be impressive when you’re conversing with another industry professional, your clients need to be able to understand you clearly. Acronyms are confusing. Try to avoid those when sending communications to your customers.
  2. Keep it brief. Your written communications, in print or online, should be short, easy to scan and contain relevant information. Ask yourself if what you’re sending is useful before you send it. You want your clients to value what they receive from you, not immediately disregard and delete it or toss it in the trash.
  3. Frequency is important. You want to find that sweet spot between sending enough communications to maintain that important relationship and avoiding becoming nuisance mail/email. One of the most important factors is to send something when you really have something to say. Don’t hide your message too deeply in your communication. Make sure you’re doing a good job of valuing your customer’s time.
  4. Send things that are relevant and timely. What’s in the news? What are the things your clients are concerned about? Make sure you address those things in your communications with them and let them know how/if you can help. If you can’t help directly, point them to a resource who can.
  5. Accuracy is critical. Your information must be reliable. Check your facts, have someone else proof your communication and make sure your grammar and punctuation are correct. Nothing makes a professional look unprofessional faster than an email or letter with typos or poor grammar.
  6. Personalize it. Although you may be sending out a large mailing, consider taking the time to sign your name. Sometimes those personal touches make all the difference. You’ve moved someone into feeling like one in the crowd to someone you know and care about.
  7. 7. Social media can be a great tool for keeping in touch. But, know your place. Be aware that for every “Go #Cardinals!” that you tweet, you may be judged by a #Royals fan among your client followers. My advice is to keep your personal and professional social media profiles separate. You can keep things friendly and professional in one space and be free to exercise your personal interests in the other. Social media is never as private as you may think and even those personal opinions may be seen. Be smart and use good judgement.
  8. "Build it and they will come” only works in movies. For websites and social media, you must have some drivers in place to push people to your online communications. Consider emails with links, including your website and social media info on all print communications and business cards, or even some low-cost ads to get the ball rolling. Make sure when they follow you in social media that there is something for them to see. Going to your company Facebook page and seeing the last post was two years ago doesn’t help build audience or relationships.
  9. Know your audience. Not everyone will be tech-savvy. Make sure you’re diversifying your communication plan to serve all of your client’s needs and preferences.
  10. Be yourself. Try to convey your personality in your communications. Help your clients get to know you and trust you by starting important conversations. The ROI on that investment is usually pretty impressive!