Getting Started: What New Insurance Brokers Need to Know
Here is an article written for new insurance brokers by one of our associates, Greg Dunn. It was published on August 3, 2016 by PropertyCasualty360.com.
It addresses the steps new or younger brokers can take when starting to build their book of business. Of course, these concepts also apply to veteran brokers who are looking to move upstream.
(The link to the original article is provided following what Greg wrote)
I recently got a call from a new broker working in the Upper Midwest.
He was just getting started in the world of insurance brokerage, and he asked me for some advice on how he could gain traction quickly and begin to grow his book of business.
The challenge for new brokers is developing a consistent approach to build their reputation and book of business. They need a way to quickly make up for a lack of experience in insurance. This is done by using business skills to translate value.
Here’s what I told him he had to do to achieve that:
When talking to a prospect, start by focusing on the business conversation. Most CFOs expect you to talk to them about their insurance policies, but in reality that doesn’t grab their attention and is not front-of-mind. What matters to them are the issues that they are dealing with at that time, such as profit margins, productivity and owner valuation.
By making the conversation about them, you build the rapport and gain a deeper understanding of what resources you can bring to improve their business. That will be the hidden sense of urgency that will drive your prospect to do business with you. Once you have repositioned that prospect’s initial expectation, the conversation will become easier and much more natural.
Establish yourself as a business professional. Before you ask for any information from any prospect, execute a mutual nondisclosure agreement. This will create the perception that you are a business partner and not a vendor. Your prospect signs this document with most other professional-services providers. This will put you on the same level as their lawyer, accountant, and technology consultant, and will elevate you to higher level than your competition.
Focus on your prospect’s business issues. Enter every conversation curious about your prospect’s business. Seek to understand what their pressing issues are. Do not make it about you and your offering. The prospect will expect you to, but do not fall into that trap. Get used to feeling uncomfortable about where the conversation will go, but stay engaged and let it flow. You are the gatekeeper of resources that can help them. As new producer your instinct is to gravitate toward what makes you comfortable and that is usually talking about yourself. Do not do it. Make it all about your prospect.
Understand your firm’s resources. These are your points of differentiation that will help you demonstrate your financial impact. These are the attachment points that that once quantified will give you a clear understanding of your value proposition and will move your prospect to become a client.
Measure your success using a long-term prospecting methodology. Some prospects can take months or years to develop. Identify a scorecard that will help you measure tangible growth of the prospect and to identify the actions required to move them through the prospect life cycle. Avoid looking at sales calls to quote, in order to close ratios. Rather, by using the long-tail prospecting method you will see progress in small steps that will help you sleep at night when you might otherwise feel like nothing is moving.
The insurance world is ever-changing, and there is more room than ever for new brokers to be successful. The roadmap to getting started can still be a difficult one. However, if you focus on your prospect, engage in a business relationship, and keep a big picture perspective of your middle-market prospects, you will gain traction much faster.
Greg Dunn is managing director and a Certified Analytic Broker at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based TCORCalc, an insurance agency software developer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Greg Dunn’s article appeared in PropertyCasualty360.com on August 3, 2016.
Here is a link to the original article on PropertyCasualty360.com. You can create a FREE account with PropertyCasualty360.com to stay up to date on breaking insurance news, industry research and more.
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