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Advice… an interesting case study - Part 1

06 March 2022 Myra Knoesen

We found an interesting case study on Riskinfo, by father daughter duo, Igor and Sacha Loutkovsky, who claim to have always approached advice a little differently, operating a business model that means they rarely ever meet their clients in person.

Igor, Managing Director and Sacha, Director of Orion Financial Group & Loufin in this case study, share how new technology and the ‘social advice’ movement have enabled them to take their risk business to the next level. At a glance, the company has 30 years’ experience in the advice arena, with 1800+ clients.

A business model hit and miss

According to the case study, for nearly 30 years, Igor has been providing risk advice to clients he has not met in person. His business model is based on bulk referrals, the majority of which are generated through strategic alliances with seminar providers. Igor presents at these client events, alongside other professionals such as accountants and lawyers, on the importance of insurance and wealth protection. After the event, clients who request assistance with their insurance needs are passed on to Igor and his team to follow up, and clients who wish to take out cover have their applications processed over the phone.

 

“The first batch of referrals I got was 250 potential new clients. I had a stack of papers with all these prospects’ contact details on them. And it was the same after each seminar: I’d get all these contacts, which I had to follow-up,” Igor recalls.

As the leads continued to flow in, Igor’s daughter, Sacha, joined the business. “The business started off well and, with Igor’s energy and planning, gained a lot of momentum very quickly. But it was very time consuming. A lot of leads were burnt because we just could not get to them. Our follow-up process was very hit and miss,” says Sacha.

Ongoing client engagement was also an issue she says, “We ended up spending so much time servicing our clients that we did not have time to really engage with them.”

What other advisers were doing

Igor and Sacha realised they needed to maximise the value from their referral sources, as well as engage more effectively with their clients, to avoid losing them to other providers who may have a presence in the clients’ local area operating a traditional, face-to-face business.

“That is why social media and technology is now playing such an important part in our business,” says Sacha.

Looking around the industry, at what other advisers were doing in their practices, led Igor and Sacha to a social advice model. Essentially, social advice is about using digital communication, social media, technology and client psychology to exponentially improve the quality, efficiency and profitability of an advice business. For Igor and Sacha, employing this approach has meant they can touch a greater number of people, in a very personalised way, very quickly.

The next step

They invested in updated Client Relationship Management (CRM) software and linked this to an email marketing system. Now, when new leads are received, they are immediately entered into the client database. An automatic introduction email is then generated, which includes a link to an online pre-interview questionnaire, as well as to the company’s Facebook, YouTube and website links.

This process has the added advantage of putting the next step back on the client. “Before we had this system, I had to contact each lead. Now, we can see if they are really interested by asking them to fill out the online form,” says Igor.

The application follow-up process is also systemised, utilising the CRM database’s inbuilt task manager. “We can create reminders and tasks that need to be done in the future. So, when you come in each morning you do not have to worry about what you are doing, because you have a systemised task list right in front of you,” says Igor.

“With bulk emails, you can never be 100% sure they will reach their intended target. They might end up as spam or go to the wrong address because of a mis-spelled entry on the form. So, a couple of hours after we send the email, the client will get a text message saying: ‘Hi, it’s Igor from Loufin. We have sent you an email. Please let me know if you have not received it,” says Sacha.

In part two, we take a look at other engagement strategies.

 

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