As a multiline agent, I have a lot of policyholders who only have auto and home insurance. Getting them to move to financial planning takes data gathering on my part, and that’s not always easy. Without knowing whether I actually have a valid reason for asking about their personal financial data, some clients may think I’m poking around in their business unnecessarily.
But last year, at a State Farm financial planning seminar, a multiline agent spoke about the win-win results of using a form that, on face-value, simply determines whether your client has an adequate amount of liability coverage in case he injures someone in an accident. Given the huge lawsuits that people hear about, and the threat of garnished wages and sleepless nights, my clients and prospects are eager to share their financial details in this context. For the advisor, this data—all gathered in about five minutes—serves as a tremendous roadmap for developing future financial-services sales and for raising awareness of the diversity of products and services we offer.
So, when the client and I meet, I pull out the form, give him a copy to follow along with and run down the list. It’s pretty straightforward and nonthreatening, and I soon find out all the different assets a client has. So, for example, if he has CDs up for renewal, I can try to replace them with my CDs. If he’s got a 401(k) plan, we can work on rollovers. In the end, this form is a financial products jackpot!
Bill Hume, LUTCF, is a multiline agent with State Farm, and president-elect of NAIFA-Illinois.