smiling businesswoman talking on phone (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Insurance agents get a bad rap. they aren't treated too kindlyon TV either. Agents and advisors with a few years under their belthave gotten that call from a brand new client who decided to back out or "reneg" onthe transaction. What can you do to minimize thepossibilities?

Why does this happen?

The sales profession attracts lots of Type A personalities.These are brash, larger than life and often considered pushy. On TVthey are also portrayed as people who get prospects to "sign here."Many members of the public think of sales as a zero-sum game:There's a winner and a loser. The insurance agent who pushes,pushes and pushes until the client agrees, then hurries out thedoor reinforces this stereotype. If there's a winner and a loserand the broker just ran off smiling, it's pretty obvious who thewinner is. The client assumes they are the loser. They look for away out. It's probably why the cooling-off period wasdeveloped.

A different way to leave the scene

After speaking with successful agents and advisors, I learnedthey have some good, ethical strategies. Here are six:

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1. Positive reinforcement. As soon as they havecommitted, congratulate them on making a good decision.

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2. How it all fits together. Remind your newclient why they have bought this product(s). They had a problem.This helps solve it. Review the reasons. How? Why? This is usefulin case they are explaining what they bought to family andfriends.

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3. Read back the order. Spell out what you aregoing to be doing. There shouldn't be any confusion about what yourclient is buying, how much money is paid now and how much later.You want to be nice and clear.

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4. What happens next? It's also known as "Lifeafter the investment starts." This might be an insurance or aninvestment product. They are going to get mail. How often? Whatwill it tell them? You are preparing them so they don't getconfused. Some of those packets will be pretty thick.

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5. Call and confirm. You might be tempted tosit and hide until the cooling-off period ends. Bad move. If theygot mail on a Friday and couldn't reach you until Monday, theycould be pretty upset. If "They have to for looking for you" itgets them thinking "transaction" or "one and done." When you calland let them know their money has been put to work, it reinforcesthis is the start of a relationship, not just one sale of many youdid that week.

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6. Call at statement time. Monthly statementand reports can be confusing. Imagine if you got paperwork youdidn't understand, showed it to a friend or even worse, a directcompetitor and said "Please explain this to me…" As their agent oradvisor, you want to anticipate this need. Call at the start of thenext month, when their statement likely has arrived by mail or youcan access it online together. Walk them through it. Be patient.Answer questions. This reinforces the long-term relationship youtold them about.

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You want long-term relationships with clients who do lots ofbusiness. Buying one product gets them through the door, but youneed to build that relationship. Years ago, when municipal bondswere very popular, when I handed in the new account paperwork mymanager would say: "This person isn't a client yet. They are aprospect who has bought a bond." There's more work to do inbuilding the lasting client relationship.

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Bryce Sanders ispresident of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNWclient acquisition training for the financial services industry.His book, "Captivating the Wealthy Investor" can be foundon Amazon.

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Bryce Sanders

Bryce Sanders, president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc., has provided training for the financial services industry on high-net-worth client acquisition since 2001. He trains financial professionals on how to identify prospects within the wealthiest 2%-5% of their market, where to meet and socialize with them, how to talk with wealthy people and develop personal relationships, and how to transform wealthy friends into clients. Bryce spent 14 years with a major financial services firm as a successful financial advisor, two years as a district sales manager and four years as a home office manager. He developed personal relationships within the HNW community through his past involvement as a Trustee of the James A. Michener Art Museum, Board of Associates for the Bucks County Chapter of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Board of Trustees for Stevens Institute of Technology and as a church lector. Bryce has been published in American City Business Journals, Barrons, InsuranceNewsNet, BenefitsPro, The Register, MDRT Round the Table, MDRT Blog, accountingweb.com, Advisorpedia and Horsesmouth.com. In Canada, his articles have appeared in Wealth Professional. He is the author of the book “Captivating the Wealthy Investor.”