Becoming a Virtual Advisor

Author: Milner Group Annuity Director, Chris Long

It goes without saying that the ability to conduct business remotely has become paramount since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Major tech companies like Alphabet Inc, Facebook, Spotify, Salesforce.com Inc, and Slack Technologies are anticipating their employees will be working remotely until 2021, at the earliest, according to a May 16, 2020 blog post from MarketWatch (Swartz, 2020).” Twitter has officially announced that they will likely have employees operating remotely permanently to some capacity.

Working remotely is not a 2020 concept. Many organizations have been constructing the capability for certain departments to work from home over the last decade. Although the stay-at-home orders will eventually be completely lifted and returning to a resemblance of ordinary, everyday life is inevitable, developing the ability to conduct business virtually will remain a vital skill in staying connected to your clients and making sure you are always available to serve them. It may seem like a daunting adjustment, but most agents do not even realize they have been developing these valuable skills over the last few years.

Agents have been scheduling appointments with their clients over the phone, monitoring policy values online through their agent portals and submitting applications electronically for years. The ability to get information to clients, and from the carriers, without any face-to-face to contact has been a normal aspect of an agent’s daily operations. It is reasonable to assume that moving forward, the ability to conduct business virtually as an agent will be a determining factor in gaining an advantage over their competition. After the last two months, clients know that most of the sales process can be done virtually; so moving forward agents will likely be encountering clients that will expect that type of service.

The Milner Group has been working diligently to enhance our online platforms, as well as our mobile application, to help our agents with marketing, case design, contracting, underwriting, new business, customer service, compensation, and much more. We want to make sure that our agents have all the tools available for them to be an effective virtual advisor. We have constructed our new agent onboarding process to be completely remote, so that agents who would like to partner with us can be contracted and ready to write business without ever having to leave their office.

We are embracing the importance of offering a virtual solution to all our agent and client needs. The future is uncertain, maybe more so now than ever. One of the things we take pride in at The Milner Group is our ability to adapt to the current environment and provide our agents with everything they need to succeed. In 1979, we hired computer programmers to design the first brokerage-specific, multi-company application processing system. 41 years later, we are still making efforts to enhance the virtual capabilities of our organization and making sure our agents can assist their clients as effectively and efficiently as possible.

References

Swartz, J. (2020, May 16). Internet/Online Services. Retrieved from MarketWatch: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/work-from-home-productivity-gain-has-tech-ceos-predicting-many-workers-will-never-come-back-to-the-office-2020-05-15

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