It amazes me how many years go by before the average client gets an annual review. Sometimes, it’s many years, and that’s not good for anyone. Policy Analysis and Review (PAR) is perhaps the #1 tool that top advisors use to provide a valuable resource for their clients.
While you may think that clients don’t want to see you for a full review every year, you may be wrong. They at least need the option to say no. And, with the ISN PAR program, a review can be done easily over the phone after emailing the client a detailed insurance portfolio review. This can be looked at together over any geographical distance and within almost anyone’s limited schedules. They want to know that you are on the job and available to help, so make that effort.
This is a big part of building loyalty and trust. It is also a big part of making financial planning practical; every plan needs adjustment regardless of the talent of the planner. The only way to make those adjustments practical and valuable is to do a review regularly and according to life needs. Coverage could go up – but it could also need to go down. Both options will improve your persistency and build rapport.
To keep this short, there are three necessary goals in an annual review:
- First, you must review the changes in the life of your client and the people around them. What has happened that might make a plan change necessary? To make sure you don’t miss any of these questions, check the Annual Review Questionnaire available from ISN.
- Second, advise the client of the changes that have happened in the industry in the past year that may cause them to make some changes to their plan. That might mean that interest rates have changed which require adjustments to UL assumptions, or pricing reductions which make early term renewal more valuable than waiting. Most important is the fact that mortality tables have changed. People are living longer and this means costs are coming down.
- Finally, review their existing insurance portfolio. Discover if there are any benefits they are missing. Are their options they are not exercising? What about LTC riders? What about child riders? Term switch options? Early term renewal or conversion? Underfunding of UL? Dividend option switches? Remember, products evolve over time – and in our industry the changes can be dramatic.
To be most effective, make this meeting more formal. Inject importance to their ongoing plan and use an agenda to stay on track. It’s that last key to making your clients’ financial plans more practical. You can also use our handy “STAMP TOOL” to make it a part of your process.
When you make financial planning practical you have become essential to your clients. You are relevant to their ongoing lives and become someone they need. This is a potent combination for them and for you. Plus, relevance in their lives produces referability, which drives your business. It’s time to make financial planning practical.