5 benefits of post-renewal meetings with clients

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Group insurance renewals can be hectic, especially during the fourth quarter. Once open enrollment meetings have been completed, approvals have been received, and outstanding items have been resolved, it can be tempting to put those clients on a proverbial shelf and move on to new projects. But you may want to consider adding one more item to your renewal checklist - a post-renewal client meeting. Sitting down with each of your clients to revisit their renewal experiences can provide you with valuable information, and strengthen your client relationships for the coming year. Here are five benefits from conducting post-renewal meetings with your clients:

1) You can learn what went wrong. Chances are, everything did not go according to plan at renewal. You and your client were likely in “get it done” mode and may not have had the time or brain space to discuss any problems. A post-renewal meeting allows you to approach the problems clearly and calmly with an eye towards improving the process for the next renewal. It takes a certain amount of bravery to sit in front of a client and ask what didn’t go well, but it shows that you want to make things better, and gives you the opportunity to create an action plan to tackle problems quickly rather than letting them remain unresolved.

2) You can learn what went right. After discussing what went wrong, and coming up with an action plan to fix it, ask your client what went right. Take detailed notes, and assure your client that you will do these things again at the next renewal. (Then save those notes and make sure you review them as part of your next renewal preparation.) Making statements about the wonderful things you are going to do in the future is a strategic way to get your client to see your relationship as long-term.

3) You can reinforce your value. A post-renewal meeting is a great opportunity to summarize the value you bring to your client. Did you negotiate their large group rate increase down from the original offer? Secure a two-year rate lock on one of their voluntary lines? Implement a Section 125 plan to create payroll tax savings? Do you pay for services like COBRA, telemedicine, health advocacy? Know the value of these services, and remind your client that these are the benefits they are receiving because they work with you.

"Post-renewal meetings can be a great source of information to help you serve your clients better."

4) You can learn about future plans for the company. A post-renewal meeting is also an opportunity to ask your client about any strategic plans they have for the coming year. Perhaps they are looking to acquire a competitor, move locations, or implement a new software system. Learning about these plans now can allow you to tailor your services to their upcoming needs. And you may find an opportunity to make a fantastic referral to one of your strategic partners, which can reinforce your position as a trusted adviser to your client.

5) You can ask for referrals to other prospective clients. Once you’ve had an opportunity to address any outstanding items, talk about plans for the future, and reinforce your value, you are in an excellent position to ask your client for referrals. This could be in the form of a referral letter, a LinkedIn recommendation, or a quick introductory call or email to a neighboring business. Give your client the opportunity to help you build your business in the same way that you have helped them to take care of theirs.

Post-renewal meetings can be a great source of information to help you serve your clients better. And they can be an opportunity to connect with your clients and strengthen your relationships outside of the hectic renewal environment. I like to conduct my post-renewal meeting within the month after the renewal effective date, and I send an agenda to my clients a few days before the meeting so they know what I want to discuss. The agenda includes suggestions for improvements for next year, a list of value items I am providing, and any outstanding items I am working on. I also invite my clients to send me any items they want to add to the agenda. I hope these tips inspire you to conduct your own post-enrollment meetings with your clients.

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