How to make improving the protection process one of your New Year’s resolutions

National Account Manager for Protection Craig Bryce explains why improving your protection process is a New Year’s resolution worth sticking to…

After a strong year for protection, I am looking forward to building on this in 2018 by helping even more advisers through tailored guidance and support. But what makes a really effective protection process, and how do you successfully embed one? The exact answer to this can be different for each firm, but here are a few ideas that I find can really help boost protection sales…

Make it a mortgage and protection conversation

It is key that the client knows early on that protection will form an important part of the mortgage process. This makes it clear that protecting their finances is seen as an essential part of the conversation.

Helping them allocate a percentage of their budget to protection early can really help embed the idea. This makes protection seem less an afterthought or selling tool, and more part of the overall advice.

Set up regular client reviews

Turning down protection is not uncommon during the mortgage process, as clients are often focussed on their finances and want to keep costs down. This is why catching up with clients regularly helps ensure they have more than one opportunity to receive protection advice.

Some types of protection may not initially have been the right fit for the client’s circumstances. But this can change quickly, which makes reviews important to ensure they are always looked after.

Be armed with the right answers

There are many ways to tackle consumer objections and to help illustrate the importance of protection. Cancer survival rates, the likelihood of prolonged work absences, and showing the reliability of provider pay outs can really help debunk prevailing myths.

Misinformation still sticks to the industry and it is always surprising how many assumptions are made about employer cover and state support. Let the clients realise the problem of not being protected against worst case scenarios, and allow the cover to become the solution.

Become an expert

One of the biggest barriers to selling protection is confidence. Knowing how products work and which ones to recommend your client is a challenge in itself. Understanding how protection suits different lifestyles and circumstances ensures the right products are recommended.

To support advisers, we deliver a range of protection training events throughout the year. Our adviser website also has webinar presentations from providers, and sales aids you can order online.

Tell the right stories

Using real life protection stories can be an effective tool to help clients understand the impact a lack of cover can have on their lives. Work done by charity-led campaigns such as Seven Families, also helps advisers illustrate exactly what can happen when a worst case scenario arises.

Good news stories are effective as well. Showing examples of how clients have made use of added-value benefits is one idea, as well as testimonials from clients that have been relieved to know they had protection in place when they needed it.

Talk about the benefits

Being up to date on all the benefits that providers offer as part of their policy is a great way to get clients excited about protection. These can include medical and legal advice, bereavement and counselling support, and incentives and rewards.

Explaining how these extras work is a great way of bringing products to life. Sending reminders to clients about the benefits of their policy is another way of keeping them regularly informed.

Utilise your staff

Whether it be paraplanners, trainee advisers or administration staff, there are many ways you can delegate non-advisory responsibilities to your team. I have seen firms that get this right see significant improvements in their protection sales.

Although advising and fact-finding with clients is not allowed by non-qualified staff, there are ways your team can help free up time to spend with clients. This includes chasing and preparing quotes, handling queries, research, pre-underwriting support, and chasing medical information.

Adviser support!

We have several fantastic services to support adviser protection sales. This includes our Protection Helpdesk, who deliver guidance on protection terms, and marketing materials and datasheets to help educate and prepare clients.

Join our award-winning Mortgage Network as an appointed representative, or become a member of our Mortgage Club, to start benefiting from our fantastic range of comprehensive services and support. Call the Broker Support Team on 0845 130 7446 (opt 1) to find out more.

“I love being the voice of protection for Mortgage Intelligence. Going out and talking to our advisers on a personal basis is an integral part of what we do as a network”