ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

THE CONCIERGE INSURANCE AGENCY

Recently I got a call from my family doctor asking if I would take a brief personal survey regarding her services to me. Of course I agreed, and a nice lady asked several questions about the type of service, timeliness and value I receive from my doctor. One of the questions was, “Would you be willing to pay a little more for your doctor’s services if it included guaranteed time service and 24/7 service?”

The following week I had an appointment scheduled with my doctor and she told me she was considering becoming a Concierge Doctor. She indicated that she could lower the number of patients she would see to give each patient all the time they needed, but would have to charge an annual retainer to each patient in addition to the insurance reimbursements to allow her to do so without suffering from the decrease in patient count.

This is a new trend that has arisen in the medical world as the number of doctors diminishes, the demand for medical services rises, and the insurance industry continues to stress the earnings potential of medical professionals. It is called Concierge Medicine and it defines doctors who charge their patients an annual retainer outside of any insurance payments that is used to lower the number of patients seen by that doctor in order to provide the special attention that we remember having from our medical professionals many years ago.

While I am not supporting insurance agencies charging fees and lowering the number of clients being served, the concept of getting services from an insurance professional akin to Concierge Medicine is appealing to a select group of the insurance buying public who desire special treatment and professionals, whether protecting their physical well-being or their assets.

The similarities between the medical profession and the insurance agency industry involve our common protection of our clients’ well-being. We protect their financial-based assets and the doctors protect their personal physical assets. Neither of us can assure that a fire doesn’t occur or that they don’t suffer a physical malady. But both of us will advise them how best to protect themselves.

The similarities between the professions are strong but so are the differences. Both depend on scheduled maintenance and both are also demand industries. But you must SEE the doctor in order to get diagnosed and treated. Too many agents believe that they can protect their clients’ assets by only seeing them at initiation of the association and then the insurance program is self-maintained unless there are changes made by the client. In fact, if we become APM or Concierge Agents, we need to actually SEE our clients often enough to assure ourselves that ALL of their assets are properly protected.

Those visits may be simple “check-ups” or comprehensive “asset analyses”, but they are not done by phone or by mail if you intend to maintain a strong personal relationship with the clients.

The Asset Protection Model of Relationship Selling (APM) is based on a strong grade of service to the clients through client service attitudes and attention to the customers’ needs much different than that of your competitors. Many agents already provide these special services to their VIP clients because of the importance of those relationships, whether or not they treat their standard customers similarly.

Wouldn’t it be properly descriptive if you used the term, Concierge Agency to describe your treatment of clients when branding or marketing your own business? How is a Concierge Agency different from their competitors?

1. A Concierge Agency always concentrates on the best interest of the clients even if it means that the agency doesn’t write an insurance product under certain circumstances.

2. A Concierge Agency will form a close relationship with each client. The client will always speak to someone who knows them, their account and their particular situation.

3. A Concierge Agency will shepherd the client through a claim, not just report it, because the agency knows that claims are shocking and disruptive. They are the sole reason that the client needs the services of a professional agent rather than buying insurance from a box or from a gecko.

4. A Concierge Agency will conduct rotating asset analyses to make sure that ALL of the assets of each client is properly protected, regardless of who writes the insurance products.

5. A Concierge Agency will be in great demand because of the unusual grade of service provided but will limit his practice only to those clients that value concierge-type services.

We encourage you to consider becoming a Concierge Agent to your VIP clients and to your intermediate clients through the Asset Protection Model of Relationship Selling. Imagine only dealing with the top 20% your of clients, expanding that base with clients of similar characteristics, staffing properly for maximum exposure and efforts that involve seeing every client several times each year. To find out how to become a Concierge Agency through the Asset Protection Model, call Agency Consulting Group at (800) 779-2430.