O Christmas Cards, O Christmas Cards

I realized this morning that Christmas cards were the analogue version of Twitter or maybe Facebook.

Think about it: if you send a Christmas card to someone, they send you a card (and sometimes that very long and boring letter recapping their year). If you stop sending that person a Christmas card, they take you off of their list of people to send cards.

Christmas cards = analogue version of social media.

We can go back further in time to find a similar trend: it only took the telegraph one year to replace the Pony Express.

Of course we are only now weaning ourselves from Gutenberg’s invention in 1450. But there is hope, always hope, that we can move from the printed page to the digital ether before another 500+ years elapse.

What examples of movement from analogue to digital should we expect in the next 3 – 5 years?

Published in: on December 24, 2009 at 8:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Life Insurers: Managing The When & How of Meeting Clients

No, the above title is not a typo. I mean ‘when.’

The matter of ‘when’ has been changing over the decades. Back in the quite olden days of the husband working in an office and wife busy at home with 2.something children (and a dog),  life insurance clients or prospects could be reached after dinner if you wanted to talk to both spouses. That was ‘when’ was quite straightforward.

And so was the ‘how’ – a phone call. And that phone call was to a landline (or wireline if you prefer).

These days the ‘when’ is much trickier. Both spouses may be working; one spouse may be working and the other spouse is out of work but looking; both spouses may be looking for work; the stay-at-home spouse may be working at home or taking care of the children and off-and-about doing errands. Or possibly one or both of them are retired and gallivanting hither and yon.

Of course, the technology options that can be used to reach any of these people has become quite a full palette of possibilities.

Here’s one list of suggestions to reach potential life insurance prospects:

  • Gen Y or younger Gen X: MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter (if the ‘following’ arrangements with each other are in place), texting  or other Instant Messaging (IM), or cell phone (do they even use a wireline phone?!)
  • Older Gen X: FaceBook, IM, e-mail or cell phone
  • Boomers: e-mail or wireline telephone (or possibly cell phone if you have a strong relationship with them)

And for those prospects of more complicated life insurance policies or annuities of some flavor – LinkedIn.

But what about a calendar service on the Web? Agents could upload documents for clients to view or print if they want. (Of course, agents could also create a document of potential meeting times and information to be reviewed, upload to a portion of their agency web site and send the URL to the prospective clients before the face-to-face takes place.)

How do you determine when to meet life insurance clients? What technologies do you use to arrange the meeting? To share information before the meeting? What technologies are your clients expecting or asking for to conduct business with you?