As the year comes to a close, many families are preparing to review their annual finances and set new goals.  They will reflect on their accomplishments in the last year, as well as on what they wish to accomplish in the coming year. With 2015 just around the corner, we are all reminded that a new year means a new resolution. Moreover, the New Year reminds all of us that we can do better, save more, buy less, and spend more wisely. 

For insurance agents, the New Year is an excellent opportunity to shape these resolutions. While most people aspire to be their very best selves this time of year, they don't necessarily know how to do so. They may not have the necessary tools or expertise to put their ideas into action.

That's where you, the insurance agent, come in. By encouraging your clients to set up a meeting or phone call for a yearly review, you are helping them get ahead. You can not only assist them in making decisions, but also become part of their success story for 2015. 

Why Provide a Yearly Review?

Nothing says excellent customer service quite as much as showing your clients you care. Customers who feel like they're truly appreciated and heard are likely to stick with you. Stress the importance of their financial well-being, act as an adviser, and show support. Above all, help them meet the goals they've set for themselves. Doing all this helps take away the focus from yourself and puts it where it matters most. 

Helping out your clients also puts you in a great position. Your excellent customer service can help keep clients, improve referral rates, and increase customer satisfaction.  Only good can come from putting in your best effort, so this is the time to give it your all and really push for those end-of-year reviews. They may not know it, but your clients probably want a collective overview of how they did and how they can do better. Your clients look to you for financial guidance and expertise— they see you as an authority figure.

Helping them achieve their goals will make them more likely to associate you with positive feelings. Clients also want a good, honest agent. An approach that focuses more on their needs rather than on your products will show that you are one. 

What to Include in the Yearly Review

You want to tailor your approach to each individual situation. What you include depends on the type of insurance you sell and on your client's current holdings.

Basic Goals and Plans for 2015

You're probably not the only financial expert your client is consulting. While you may not have much to do with their retirement package, your client can still share some basic goals with you. Listen to what they’d like to see happen in the next year and find places where you might fit in.

Overview of their Current Insurance Policies

You'll want to review your client's policies, premiums, and any discounts that currently apply. This is your opportunity to increase or remove coverage. Some coverage might not make sense for their situation, and some might be just what they need. 

New Products and Services

If you see gaps in your client's coverage, now is the time to address them (and possibly increase your own earnings while doing it). Emphasize that insurance exists as part of a comprehensive financial plan. Drive home that one cannot exist without the other.

Discussion of Future Plans

Although your client might not be ready for some insurance types, they can still plan ahead. Asks about plans for marriage, kids, buying a home, or retirement.

Any of those plans or life changes come with huge financial repercussions. This way, even if they don't need the insurance right then and there, they'll remember your suggestions once a situation arises. 

Reaching Out to Clients during the Holiday Season

It's already that time of year where we reach out to important people in our lives. Insurance agents can use this time to personalize the process.  Showing your clients that you're always thinking of them and their well-being will only say good things about you and your competence as their agent. Use your creativity and find ways to engage clients that take advantage of the holiday season.

Already sending out holiday cards? 

Drop a few lines about your personalized review process and how your clients can access it. If you frame it as a free gift to your customers, you might be able to entice them even more.

Getting ready to release an annual, quarterly, or monthly newsletter? 

Be sure and include your end-of-year services, including financial reviews. Use the New Year angle to your advantage. Over 50 percent of Americans try to make and stick to a resolution for the New Year. This is your chance!

Active on social media? 

For many people, social media is a way to unwind and relax amid all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. It's also an easy way to advertise for free. Tweet at your client, or post something on your page to remind them about yearly reviews. Be a visible and amiable part of that process by providing an outlet for their financial worries.

Prefer a more personalized approach? 

A phone call can go a long way in making a more solid, lasting connection with your clients. 

Present yourself as part of a solution. Hearing you explain an end-of-year review may benefit the client more than reading a lengthy e-mail.

A Better 2015 for Everyone

While the rest of the working world winds down for the holidays, insurance agents are still hard at work. We must use the holiday season to our utmost advantage to make sure goals will be set and met. Make the most of the season to reach out to families and individuals who need a little extra support.

You already know that financial success requires a long-term outlook and an eye on the future. Share that wisdom with your clients and enhance your own annual earnings while you do it. After all, it isn't called the season of giving for nothing.