I came across an article about how Charles Barkley's agent met him and how their relationship has evolved since then. For those of you who might not know, Charles Barkely is a former NBA star and current sports analyst. Needless to say, he's a very busy guy. So, how does his agent, Glenn Guthrie, maintain communication when they're both incredibly busy people? Simple: he's more like a friend.
I know you can't have that personal of a relationship with all of your clients, nor do you really want to in certain situations. You're their advisor and insurance liason above all else. But, if you want me to be honest about how I think you could be a better agent, I would still say: try to be a friend.
Charles Barkley's agent was actually familiar with him before his NBA days. He watched him play basketball in college, having known his family for a few years prior. Eventually, Barkley asked Guthrie to look over some tax papers for him, and they've been together ever since. I'd like to point out a few things I think Guthrie does really well to maintain a meaningful relationship with his client:
- He keeps regular, unscheduled communication. Guthrie makes it a point to consistently check in with Barkley. He doesn't have a set schedule for communication with him, but rather he'll just give Barkley a call or send a quick email to make sure he still feels good about everything and doesn't have any questions. Agents can efficiently do this by setting activity reminders for themselves in their agency management system or by setting up an email campaign. For instance, an "check-up" email could be sent every couple months (or whatever time frame makes sense for this specific client). Trust me, you won't be annoying your clients. They want to hear from you even if all they'll do is respond with "everything's fine!"
- He provides appropriate updates. As part of their ongoing communication, Guthrie sends a quick update if anything changes within Barkley's account or if there's any other information he feels Barkely would care about. Again, any agent can do this with the help of activity reminders and email campaigns. Agents could set up an automated email campaign for this one where an email is sent based on triggers like policy changes or renewal reminders. Staying ahead of things for your clients will build trust in the relationship. They'll know they can count on you to update them with any pertinent information. Not to mention, it'll build retention for you.
- They have a personal relationship. Beyond Barkley's account information, Guthrie and Barkley have a personal relationship. They meet for dinner when Barkley is in town and they have conversations outside of account information. Guthrie makes an effort to know Barkley on a more personal level. How can agents do this? Well, like I said: try to be a friend. Your client relationships will become more meaningful and your business will benefit from it.
Want to build more meaningful relationships? I can't say enough that all depends on how you're managing your client data. The better grip you have on that, the better you can serve and communicate with your clients. To see what I mean, check out our Email Campaigns feature within AgencyBloc. It will help you maintain consistent and meaningful communication with all of your clients without you having to put forth a ton of effort or time.