Do you work in the insurance industry (or a related industry) and are wondering how to use Nozbe for collaboration with your clients? In this article, we present methods and solutions that may help insurance agents, as well as other professionals from this industry, increase their effectiveness and work in a more structured manner.
The article was created based on tips and experiences shared by members of our Polish-speaking community on Facebook.
Krzysztof, who’s an insurance and investment specialist and certified European Financial Guide adviser working mainly in the field of life and group insurance, was looking for a way to make Nozbe work for his business. He mainly wanted a tool that would help him maintain good relations with his clients: it would keep him reminded of their birthdays, of when’s a good time to have lunch with a client, or to follow up with him/her.
He moved most of his projects to Nozbe, but was clueless as to how to approach managing them and getting them done in our app. According to Krzysztof, the hardest part about that was:
“At a particular moment, I may be working with 30-40 clients at various stages (meeting, offer, negotiation, finalization, etc.). Should I add these 40 or so clients to the 50 projects I already have open, knowing that they’ll change dynamically (sometimes, I go to a meeting and close a case in a day, while other times it can take an entire month)?"
Creating your own system – the first step is always the hardest
The main conclusion and first step to success is developing the habit of keeping track of all your tasks and, when they’re finished, ticking them off in Nozbe. And, before that, sparing a day for laying the groundwork for your system – that is, transferring all your data to the app, and adding structure to your projects and tasks using labels, categories and dates.
To create a system that’s optimally-tuned to your needs, you must consider multiple scenarios or, better still, write them all down, and anticipate some initial setbacks:
“I have new tasks popping up all the time: call back X, send GTC to Y, check insurance payments for Z. To make things easier (as it only requires one action), I began putting them in one project I called ‘Ongoing matters,’' but that just made me go from one mess to another :)"
To avoid that, consider the following suggestions:
A piece of advice from Radek: 1 client = 1 project + labels
The first idea, which came from Radek, was to create a separate project for each client. On top of that, he suggested creating labels like “meeting,” “offer,” “negotiations,” “finalization,” etc., and assigning them to projects at corresponding stages.
Keeping your projects organized in such a way that, in just two steps, you can filter clients who are, for instance, at the “offer” stage and start working on preparing offers, or filter them according to the “meeting” label and proceed to making phone calls. When a meeting is scheduled, you can add a task with all its details (including the date and time) to the project belonging to that particular client and set a reminder for it.
This solution was supported by Monika, who also relies on project-sorting in her work:
“I apply the 1 project per 1 client approach as well, which sometimes gives me an overall of 100-150 projects. I usually name them using dates and arrange them alphabetically, but you can also name them after clients and, again, sort them in alphabetical order. On some days, I have 20-30 minor tasks from multiple projects on my to-do list (such asmmaking phone calls, sending e-mails, transferring money, etc.). Without a structured system in place, I don’t know how I’d be able to handle them."
Grouping tasks using categories instead of labels
If you opt for the one-client-one-project method, then, clearly, the project will “live.” Each new stage of a cooperation with the client should be represented by a specific task. Here, instead of labels, you could also use categories.
You can keep all tasks corresponding to subsequent stages in a separate project – for example, “Stages of cooperation with client X – life insurance.” With tasks carefully prepared beforehand, you’ll only need to go to the project, clone the task you want (with a category, like “meeting,” “phone call,” “VIP,” “[city area]” already assigned – remember that you can assign more than one category to a task), assign the cloned task to the project for a specific client and, if you want, set a due date for it.
When you need to, you can simply go to the “You+Team” view to see your tasks and filter them either by the “[city area]” or “phone call” category. Then you can head off to a meeting or grab the phone to make a phone call to a client.
A tip from Łukasz: 1 client = 1 project + templates
“Definitely, 1 client = 1 project or, as a last-last resort, 1 case = 1 project. With templates, it’s super easy – especially, that you can set each successive stage to start, for instance, ‘in two weeks.'
“I have a project template for taking on new clients (contract signing, entering data, assigning an account manager, etc.). Each template contains a ‘control task,’ which is saved as my Priority (Next Action). It allows me to view cases that are ‘formally unfinished’ and still require the completion of some steps. It’s not painstakingly accurate, because I still need to go to that project and check what exactly remains to be done, but I don’t have to star/un-star it every single time."
Even if you don’t like the idea of using a control task, we still encourage you to use templates! If each client entails a similar set of steps, you can create a detailed template (remember: task completion dates added to the template are relative and simply specify the period from today to the established deadline). Use this template to create a new project each time a new client is obtained.
Mariusz’s suggestion: one single project
Using this approach somewhat narrows down your options – it’s more difficult to sort clients, and you can’t use labels. However, for some it might be an optimal solution.
As Mariusz writes:
“Another option would be to create one single project for all clients with names of tasks matching clients’ names. Within these tasks, you could add checklists as comments, tick off items as they’re completed, and dynamically edit the comments when a new task comes up for a particular client.*
At this point it might be worth the reminder that Nozbe allows you to instantly convert any task into a project, which means that if any client or case turns out to be particularly complicated, you can easily turn that task into a project, while keeping all its details. Remember, however, that once you transform a task into a project, it’ll disappear from your task list. So, if you wish to keep it on your list (for instance, for statistical purposes), you must clone the task first and create the project from its copy.
Maintain your system carefully and consistently
Whichever solution works for you, remember: it’s easy to get lost if you don’t put all your tasks and keep track of them in their respective projects in Nozbe and perform daily and weekly reviews.
If you’re curious as to how Nozbe can be applied in other industries, you can check it out here.