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Client that calls repeatedly

Sometimes you have to fire a client.

FE agent... I've fired a few like this. My stuff is simple... and I don't want clients who make it complex... poor business model.

It's the old 80/20 rule.

So when you guys decide to fire a client, do you tell them, or do you just stop communicating altogether, Not telling them as well as not taking any emails or calls?
 
The client has all the veto power. Always has. You can pull out of engagement at any time.

So can the agent.

However, you don't know what's going on with your agent. Your agent has a personal and professional life. Things happen.

I would suggest that you send a message that, based on your timeline, that if you don't hear back by a certain date, that you may need to look elsewhere. However, I will say that, if I got a message from a client who seemed to be more trouble than its worth... I'd let you know to go ahead and start over with someone else.

Unless you want to start over with someone... be patient.
 
A proactive termination of a client relationship should be done in writing with the provision that they will need to find someone else to help them service their accounts/contracts.

https://www.advisorperspectives.com/articles/2018/05/23/how-to-fire-a-client-1

Thank you for the information.
 
Thank you.

I find myself in a situation where I am trying to figure out my level of ethical responsibility to an agent.

He has done a lot of annuity sale preparation work for me, quite likely at the level many agents would consider PIA client level. Last Friday I called him to find out where the application was and to clarify that we were having some communication difficulties because he was doing some work creating information I did not ask for. He disagreed with that, (which was the second reason-after attempting to stress the urgency of my getting the final version of the product application we were working on, that I called him.) I followed that with a detailed email.

Our phone call included some significant conflict over when and how I should use the Indexing income payment option in the Athene annuity.

He did not respond further Friday, over the weekend or Monday. He has not responded to texts Tue, Wed, or Thur. He has not responded to text or email today. (I detest texting by the way.)

He purchased an out of state Kansas license in order to do business with me.

My personal (unverified) opinions at this time are:

When he took me on as a client, he probably thought I knew more about annuities than I really do and he could help me get an annuity quickly and easily. That was not the case. (And following @rousemark 's advice about reading documents before you sign and @somarco 's advice about "trust but verify" created some additional delays and complexities in the process.)

And, I suspect he may have thought some about the phone call and just decided to walk away.

I have urgency to get this annuity and some other ones in place very promptly. If I can't do it with him, I must find someone else soon.

So, what would an insurance agent think my ethical prospective client obligation to this agent is after a week of attempting to communicate with no response?
However, you don't know what's going on with your agent. Your agent has a personal and professional life. Things happen.

This is very true. We have had delays over a period of three months, some coming from him over precisely those kinds of issues and some coming from me with my difficulties in reading and really understanding insurance documents.

However, I am out of time. I have some health concerns and I am also only 5 months away from the maximum age for purchase of one of the products I want to buy. Reading and understanding documents for additional products is going to take time and be difficult for me. I need some annuities in place a month ago.

However, I will say that, if I got a message from a client who seemed to be more trouble than its worth... I'd let you know to go ahead and start over with someone else.
I understand that too, however it seems a bit extreme to do that when an application is only one small change away from being ready to submit to the carrier.

Unless you want to start over with someone... be patient.
I haven't wanted to do that but I dont feel like I have time to be patient any longer.

I guess the thrust behind my original question was to see whether an outside observer would think that one business week (including 4 daily texts to the agent's business phone) is an adequate wait period before i go to individual carriers and ask them for agent referrals.
 
I'll offer one possible tip (that is carrier dependent): If you complete the application, it could buy you some time so you can get them funded later and 'save age', even with annuities.

Granted, I haven't done that regarding issue ages. I have done that regarding just getting a suitability review done.

Annuity companies are taking their time (and with interest rates being what they are/were, they're swamped). The older the age, the longer it just may take to get suitability approval by the annuity company.

Sometimes... it's not all about you.

I just add that as food for thought.
 
I'll offer one possible tip (that is carrier dependent): If you complete the application, it could buy you some time so you can get them funded later and 'save age', even with annuities.

Granted, I haven't done that regarding issue ages. I have done that regarding just getting a suitability review done.

Annuity companies are taking their time (and with interest rates being what they are/were, they're swamped). The older the age, the longer it just may take to get suitability approval by the annuity company.

Sometimes... it's not all about you.

I just add that as food for thought.
Thank you.

I will keep that in mind.

However, in this case,

I exchanged emails with Athene, They told me that applications must be handled by an agent.

I have been working with this agent for something like 3-4 months, dealing with communication delays caused by both of us and grappling with understanding some annuity issues in general and some annuity issues specific to Athene.

I have done a phone interview with the agent to create an application and have gone through something like 5 corrections, including correcting 1 serious error which I don't think an experienced professional should have made. (Thank you to somarco for trust but verify.)

There is now an application in existence in that agent's files which is all correct except for 2 Acord form changes. After my phone call last Friday, I can't get the agent to respond to any of my requests to correct and send me the revised application so I can get it signed and have him submit it to Athene. That is not me, it is him.

(The general tenor of the phone call on my part, accompanied by total lack of response from the agent is why I think this time he has probably fired me rather than being in the middle of a health, family or competing business problem as before. If he's done, it would be nice if he would tell me. If he has conflicting issues and timeframes and tells me, then I could do your email thing and say that I regret this but I now have significant time problems too and If I don't hear back by X, I will have to discard your work and start over with someone else. Since I am concerned about the amount of work he has done and the money he spent for a non-resident license, no response is a bit more challenging to work with, but I can think on your comments above and make a plan for that too.)

And your email about time frames is worrisome to me because it may mean the time window needed for me to get one other product I want may have already closed since I am 5 months away from its max issue age.
 
There is now an application in existence in that agent's files which is all correct except for 2 Acord form changes. After my phone call last Friday, I can't get the agent to respond to any of my requests to correct and send me the revised application so I can get it signed and have him submit it to Athene. That is not me, it is him.

You may be able to reference that application number with another agent appointed with Athene and do a 'broker of record' change to a new agent to continue it? It's not usually done because it's still pending, but at least you should have the application number.

Btw, lately I've had network issues with a particular company getting things e-signed and paid (not Athene). Maybe they had AT&T for their IT?
 
"So when you guys decide to fire a client, do you tell them, or do you just stop communicating altogether, Not telling them as well as not taking any emails or calls?"
Your annuity has not been issued?
If so you are not a client.
When a client becomes bothersome, I don't answer his call but send a text or an email, "What can I help you with"
I will respond with a detailed answer, if the calls keep coming, I will call the client to get to the root of the problem.
Sometimes based on the questions asked, I know the client is talking to another agent.
After the conversation I will send a letter to the client.
Based on our conversation, you are not happy.
Your whole life policy requires one review a year when the dividend is declared.
I am happy to continue to do so.
You can ask the company to assign you a different service agent and no further communication between us will be necessary.
You could replace your policy (HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED) with another carrier.
Please advise on how to move forward.
I keep very detailed notes and will send a copy the client signed along with the letter

I have had some leave, most stayed and some replaced the business.
You can't keep 100% of you clients happy 100% of the time
 
You can ask the company to assign you a different service agent and no further communication between us will be necessary.

This caught my eye in your post.

Generally speaking, over a range of companies, does a change in service agent also mean a change in who gets commission, or does the original agent still get commission while another agent services the policy?

-----------------------------

Backstory to that question. A number of years ago I needed to have an operation. It seemed like a serious thing to me and I was afraid. At that time I was unemployed and I had a life policy that was a significant amount of money for me and my wife. Before my surgery, I wanted to talk to the agent who issued the policy. He ignored my attempts to communicate with him.

After I got out of the hospital, I decided I did NOT want that guy making any more money off me. I attempted to get the commission receiving agent removed from my policy and changed to someone else. After a lot of turmoil, the details of which I no longer remember, I was put in touch with an agent who said I could talk with him about policy questions but it would not be possible to change the agent who got commission.

I could use more life insurance today, so my next action may have been to my long term disadvantage. I was still unemployed so I couldn't really afford the premium at the time. I also cared less about who I talked to with a policy question than the fact that character was getting monthly commissions from my money. So I just let the policy lapse.

Hence my question.

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Thanks for any comment you'd care to make.
 
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