In the blink of an eye, the days are shorter, the leaves are turning, and Q4 2018 is off and running. Fourth quarters, in general, can be a boom—or a bust—for wrapping business for the year. But there are things you can do now to take control and increase the chances of converting submitted applications to placed business. From streamlining the customer experience to refining your own process—even the smallest details can go a long way in boosting the business you place in Q4.
Streamlining the client experience
While it’s impossible to remove all the complexity that’s built in to getting a life insurance policy, paying close attention to the details and the steps you’re following in each phase can help ease the process. Clients remember a convenient and error-free experience, and the chances of placing the business are increased. Here are a few items to add to your to-do list:
- Provide cash with application
Evidence suggests that cash + application + placement all go together, hand in hand. In fact, our records suggest that more than 95 percent of approved applications place when cash is provided along with the application.
- Complete the entire application
Creating a faster, more frictionless journey will lead to an increased conversion rate. To achieve this, ensure that you submit a complete life insurance application to minimize client touches.
- Use carriers’ electronic drop-ticket platforms
Using these tools increases your accuracy and decreases the chances of NIGOs (not in good order), all while saving you time.
- Take advantage of accelerated underwriting platforms
Likewise, accelerated underwriting platforms can streamline a weeks-long process into days. Before submitting the application, review applicable underwriting guidelines and eligibility checklists—it’s important to identify the necessary criteria that could allow clients to qualify for accelerated underwriting.
- Use other available electronic tools
Old habits can be hard to break! But electronic tools—like apps, signatures and policy delivery—are here to stay. Like other contemporary tools, they benefit both you and the client.
Dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s
With just a few months left in the year, it’s a good time to get down in the weeds and take a close look at your own processes to make sure you’re dotting all the i’s and crossing the t’s. Here are some great places to begin:
- Send in your AML training completion certificate with contracting paperwork or when business is submitted
- Provide correct agent name/BGA/broker-dealer numbers on all policies
- Case management
- Load up your pending list by submitting business. By building up your pending list, you’ll give yourself a greater opportunity to place that business by the end of the year
- Review the NAIC Illustration guidelines to be sure you are submitting the full and completed illustration required by compliance (or U588)
- Provide a transmittal page with the correct email and contact information
- Include agent code on the transmittal page if applicable (or broker report)
- Ensure client/owner/agent has signed each page appropriately
- Complete the application in full to prevent going back to the client for missing answers
- If there is to be an unusual purpose, owner, or beneficiary, be sure to provide a cover letter with extensive details
- If the application submitted is for business coverage, provide a cover letter with the listed partners along with details of each (include business percents, titles, etc.)
- Send in all requirements listed on the Cash On Delivery (COD) transmittal of the policy PDF
- Make sure all pages and forms are signed appropriately by the required parties
- Double check for multiple amendment pages to be sure all are signed and returned together
- Check communication of premium being drafted – for example, if the effective date is in August, but we do not receive the requirements until November, four months of premium is required at that time to place
Make it a strong Q4
There are approximately 10 weeks to go until year end. This provides plenty of time to double check your process for completing and submitting applications, and ultimately, getting your cases placed. And remember, customers and prospects may also be looking at their own end-of-year lists, too—which could include making decisions about purchasing life insurance. Now is the perfect time to make those contacts.
Be sure to check out other articles in this issue of Know What Matters for more insights and tips that will help get your business in the door and boost your Q4 sales—allowing you to finish 2018 strong and start 2019 with one foot forward!