NEOS Adviser Resource Center
COVID-19 and the necessary response to it, has certainly presented us all with challenges, both personally and professionally. While we can’t change the circumstances we find ourselves in, our goal at NEOS remains unchanged – we want to make your job as an adviser as easy as it can be.
That’s why we’ve developed this resource center. We want to help you navigate through these times by providing some NEOS-specific tools, as well as advice and tips applicable to life insurance and running a risk business.
Our resource center is broken into four key areas:
We’ll continue to update the information available to ensure the content remains relevant – we welcome any feedback on improvements, send them through via your BDM. In the meantime, we hope you’ll find this site useful!
Marketing tips & campaign ideas
Like many advisers, you may be concerned about the impacts COVID-19 is having on how you interact with your clients and importantly, whether it will result in reduced demand.
While there is no doubt that COVID-19 will have some negative impacts, it can also present us with many opportunities.
As an adviser, you play a critical role in reassuring and supporting your clients through times of crises and ensuring they have the protection they need. COVID-19 therefore provides the opportunity for you to connect with existing clients, review existing life insurance cover and to provide that additional reason why new clients need cover.
So, if you haven’t already done so, now is the time to be touching base with both new and existing clients to make sure they’re informed and reminded of the importance of life insurance. Messages such as these will not only provide comfort to your clients, they can also support the continued activity of your business even when times get tough.
A helpful way to structure your marketing approach is to consider how we adjust and adapt to COVID-19 over time, which can be broken down to three phases: immediate response, pivot and adapt and market revival.
Read on to find out more.
The three phases of response:
Phase 1: immediate response
- Time of significant change, uncertainty and in some cases, fear
- People are ‘grieving’ for the ‘life’ they’ve just lost
- Looking for ‘trusted’ information sources
- What’s needed:
- Monitor situation
- Provide support and reassurance
- Keep people informed via timely & straightforward
- “This is not a time to sell; it’s a time for community support”
- Response is largely reactionary to the changing landscape
Phase 2: pivot and adopt
- The pace of change has slowed
- People are starting to adapt to their changed circumstances
- What’s needed:
- Help people to find the new ‘norm’ by providing resources and information
- Foster community unity and positivity
- Continue to provide timely updates on the situation
- Response can be more planned, but we’ll still need to adapt as required
- Ongoing assessment to identify right time for recovery campaigns
Phase 3: market revival
- The new ‘norm’ has been established
- There’s greater capacity to engage with things beyond ‘immediate survival’
- People are cautiously optimistic
- What’s needed:
- Establish “new normal” communications
- Engage and inspire through CTA campaigns (e.g. webinars, reviewing existing client books, marketing campaign tactics)
- As with phase two, response can be more planned
Here’s three email campaign ideas for you to try:
1. “We have you covered”
A campaign to clients with insurance in place to let them know they’re covered over this period and to highlight if they can claim for COVID-19
2. “Is your insurance up to date?”
A campaign for clients who have cover but for whom a quick review may be worthwhile. The objective is to make sure their cover is up to date and right for their current circumstances
3. “Why life insurance is more important than ever”
A campaign for potential clients who do not have any insurance in place (this could also be a good email for referral partners to send to clients)
If you have any questions or need any help building out your campaign assets, speak to your NEOS BDM.
Ten key marketing steps you should be following right now:
In addition to the above campaign ideas, we recently read an article by Jenny Pearse in RiskInfo which provided some great suggestions about how you should be approaching your marketing effort right now. We’ve provided these tips below or you can read the full article.
1. Consider who you are talking to
Financial advisers often use a broadcast approach in their digital marketing to speak to the masses. Remember, when you broadcast you aren’t always speaking with the people who you actually do business with. Be targeted in your approach and speak with the people that are part of your community.
2. Apply active listening
Apply active listening and be engaging, whether it is through your social media activity, via email or over the phone. Listen to the pain points of the people you are engaging. These are indicators for what your content should be addressing.
3. Content is still king!
Don’t sensationalise, but inform and educate. You are part of your client’s circle of trust. Be the calm voice that they may not be hearing from anywhere else.
4. Curate content
Don’t have time to whip together an article or video? Share content from a valued and trusted source and add your commentary to it.
5. Use pictures
Images tell a story and we use them as a key element in all forms of marketing. The key to this is to use the power of your images to set the tone for the message you want to convey.
6. Use email
Get your message across in more than one way. Email allows you to provide a personal message and get to the heart of things.
7. Don’t be generic
People like to receive communications that address them and their situation. It elevates you and your client and provides a sense of intimacy.
8. Know the role you play
When it comes to predications, just don’t! You are not a medical or environmental expert so whilst it is important to be a conduit for information, you are not the expert on what’s next in this crisis.
9. Be honest
Be honest, be transparent and be consistent. If you don’t know something, that’s okay. Your clients will respect you more if you communicate it. Communicate often!
10. Take action
If you are taking action on behalf of your client, use the above steps to take them through what that action looks like. When you set out your intentions, your clients know what to expect. Use your communication channels to keep them informed.
No one can predict the future, but we can prepare for it.
Have a plan – not only for your financial advice – but for your marketing. Invest the time to prepare a communication strategy that allows you to move swiftly when dealing with a crisis. Make sure you are aware of the technology you have at your fingertips that can help get your message out and make changes quickly. Finally, be prepared to think outside the box if you need to. It’s in times of crises that we must innovate in the way we communicate.
NEOS Tools & Resources
All of our NEOS tools and resources are available under the ‘Tools and support’ section of our website. However, we thought it would be worthwhile to call out some key resources that you may not be aware of or have need of right now.
NEOS COVID-19 webpage:
Here you’ll find the information you need to know about how NEOS is responding to COVID-19 events, implications for existing cover and claims, our underwriting approach for new clients and other important updates. This information can help you when responding to client questions or drafting client communications.
NEOS sales tools:
When explaining the benefits of a NEOS Protection plan to a potential client, it can useful to share our product brochure with them. Alternatively, if you’re uncertain about what makes NEOS Protection unique when compared to other products, then you might want to read our ‘unique features’ flyer. Finally, to help speed up the SOA process, you may also want to refer to our SOA wording examples.
These resources and more are available on our sales tools page. Check it out here!
NEOS claims approach and process:
We understand that during times of crisis, you may receive more questions about claims. While all questions that relate to COVID-19 are answered in our COVID-19 FAQs, you may also be interested to understand more about NEOS’ claims approach and process.
At NEOS, we call our claims function ‘NEOS PR1ORITY’ because every customer who claims immediately becomes our number one priority. You can find everything you need to know about NEOS PR1ORITY here.
Adapting to the new way of doing business
While there’s a lot of resources focused on how to engage your clients remotely using tools such as Zoom etc., we think it’s also important to ensure that your team is feeling engaged as well. Nurturing and growing a great team culture is essential – both in the physical and the virtual office.
Here’s a few ideas on how to maintain team spirit and motivation:
- Use FaceTime instead of a regular call: it’s amazing the difference seeing a friendly face can make.
- Save your inboxes: where you can, use chat instead. Your colleagues will thank you!
- Monitor the team vibe regularly using a collaboration space: we use Heelix, and our leaders regularly review the reports available on how the team is feeling.
- Introduce regular all-in Zoom meetings: it’s important that your team remain connected. We suggest adding a twist to team meetings to make them more interesting. Fancy dress is always a hit!
- Be mindful of your emails: while emails are great, they lack the behavioral cues that indicate the feeling or emotion behind what we say. As a result, the tone of our messages can be misinterpreted. Now that we’re relying on email more than ever, it’s important that we carefully consider how our words are interpreted.
- Find new social forums: while Friday night drinks might be off the table, consider having your team join a virtual yoga class or perhaps a masterclass in cooking. There’s a million ways your team can still engage in social activity together, but virtually.
- Acknowledge their effort: working from home can present challenges for many people. The distraction of kids and lack of a dedicated workspace can make work that much harder. Keep your team motivated by reminding them of the great work they’re doing and how appreciative you are. And show that appreciation with simple rewards. We recently had a NEOS pizza night where we arranged for pizzas to be delivered to the home of each employee and their families.
- Help with the home office set up: support your team to get what they need to make their home offices comfortable – whether it’s a monitor to connect their laptops to or a proper office chair, these things can go a long way.
- Consider security: while this isn’t a tip to keep your team culture alive, it’s an important one if your staff are dealing with sensitive client information. Firstly, make sure your team have all secured their home Wi-Fi by resetting their default router passwords. They can also hide or change they’re SSID or Wi-Fi network name to something less obvious – it’s easy to google default passwords. And finally, remind them to use a shredder if they’re printing sensitive documents. And if they don’t have, buy one!
With no clear end date in sight, it goes without saying how important it is to find virtual ways to bring your team together. As always, chat with your BDM with feedback or if there’s anything we can help you with.
Your well-being and growth
It goes without saying that taking care of your well-being has never been more important. The more time we spend looking after ourselves and our mental and physical health, the more resilient we become and better equipped we are to support those we care for, our work or businesses and our communities.
The time that we now have available to us also presents a great opportunity for personal and/or professional growth. We’ve listed some suggestions below.
Looking after your mental health
COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty and worry for many of us, not to mention the extra stress created by being largely confined to our homes and not having our usual social, sporting or other outlets. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find that our mental health is suffering.
We therefore encourage you to take advantage of the many resources available which outline strategies for keeping healthy physically, as well as mentally, during this time.
As a first step, we recommend visiting the Head to Health website. They have a vast array of articles providing guidance on how to look after your mental health during this time, tips for getting a good night’s sleep and how to manage stress and anxiety.
Importantly, remember that it’s ok to ask for help. Beyond Blue has a help line if you need someone to talk to. They can be contacted on 1800 512 348.
Finding opportunities for growth
With fewer social engagements and events to occupy our free time, now can be the perfect time to explore opportunities for continued professional growth and the development of new skills.
Here’s a few ideas:
- Build up your CPD hours by participating in additional accredited courses and webinars – including NEOS CPD accredited webinars
- Tap into industry association resources such as what’s available on the AFA or FPA websites
- Hone your business, leadership or communication skills by joining online courses and seminars or reading related books and articles. For example:
- Spend time further developing your professional network through forums such as LinkedIn
- Listen to some TED talks – they cover a diverse range of topics from developing a great team culture, to being a better public speaker or negotiator
- Keep across ASIC initiatives to provide relief for financial advisers