Become The Broker That Roars

I wish I had a hundred dollars for every brokerage who has said this to me:  'We’re just as good as any broker. We have great resources, a smart team, and we’re really focused on our clients. It seems like we have difficulty getting and keeping the attention of the larger buyers. It has become hard to actually differentiate ourselves.’

Or, how about this one: ‘We have excellent resources in risk control and claims. They are the best. But, when we compete against others, many have similar resources... so we all look the same.’

Does that sound familiar to you? Come on now, be honest.

Here is your solution . . . Become the Broker That Roars!

First let’s agree on one thing. Your firm is just as capable as any other broker, and in many cases better. You have all the resources, brokerage skills, marketplace leverage and expertise required to do a better job for your clients. At the end of the day, if the prospect or client understands this, you are the obvious choice because of your ability to act nimbly on their behalf.

But, here’s your problem… you can’t prove that, so your voice is being lost in the noise of other firms who sound like you!

I hate to tell you this, but just having solid resources doesn’t make you the best . . . it’s what you do with them that matters. That along with the ability to actually prove your results!

So, here is how you become the Broker that Roars...  

  • You show your prospects and biggest clients what the analytic results of your firm have been (or will be.)

  • You take away the resource ‘feature’ language and replace it with your quantifiable impact.  

  • You redesign your large account strategy around the proven and known results of your organization.

  • You take it to the competition and make THEM prove what they have done.

  • You seize the initiative by forcing them into a position where they just can’t compete.

  • You make it ‘put up or shut up’ time for them.

Of course, some of you may be thinking, ‘This all sounds great, but we just can’t achieve all that.’ Well, you might be thinking it, but remember one thing... This is not 1975. You DO actually have the ability to do this if you understand Analytic Brokerage™ and work with TCORCalc® as your source for Analytics and Client results.

If you chose not to, that is your concern. But, know this, you will chose to continue to fight the same way that you have for the past 30 years. How is that working for you now with the latest C-Suite expectations around metrics and results?

So, it is time for you to stand up on your two hind legs and ROAR! You have the ability to do it. You have made the investment in resources, expertise and have a stellar reputation.  Your firm is one of the top brokerages in your region. Now you just need the skills of Analytic Brokerage™ powered by TCORCalc® to amplify your voice!

Go get ‘em Tigers.

Best Regards to Analytic Brokers™

Rob Ekern, CAB (Certified Analytic Broker™)
Chairman, TCORCalc®

Straight Talk to Brokers

It’s time for some straight talk, OK? Many of you have been reading the Consultative Broker™ Briefing for years (now the Analytic Broker™ Briefing.) So, I hope by now you know that we are one of the few voices in the brokerage industry that has consistently provided you with meaningful information on larger account production.

Ready for some straight talk? OK, here it comes.

Those of you who intend to be in the middle and upper/middle market business better hop to it! You need to change your entire perspective and do it quickly. The world of outcomes and analytics are here to stay, and most of you don’t know yours. If you did, you would be hitting the ball over the fence right now.

Virtually every middle market broker can’t answer these important questions from a client: ‘How have you impacted our financial outcome over the past several years?’ Or, ‘What will your impact be on our firm if we appoint you as our broker?’

Some of you are saying, ‘Of course we can answer that question!’ Then you provide a litany of information that all revolves around loss ratios, coverages, carriers and terms. With a bit of ‘Value Added’ services thrown in for good measure. You and every other insurance broker within a 100 mile radius. Oh, come on!

Now look... I’m being hard on you for a reason. If you don’t wake up and smell the coffee, your time will have come and gone. Take it from a grizzled veteran of the insurance brokerage world. Your top clients and prospects are not going to allow you to continue to operate like it’s 1975.

So, I want you to think about this: Let’s say you’re sitting in your office and the phone rings from your largest client. Here’s what she says:

‘We have a new CFO and he would like you to demonstrate the financial impact you have made on our firm over the past 3 years. Please don’t make your presentation based on the marketplace or risk management strategies because he‘s interested in results.’

Here is what the CFO actually wants to know... ‘How has your representation impacted our firm in the following ways?

  • What was the impact on our profit?

  • How have you helped us reduce and recapture our Financial Leakage?

  • How have you added to our shareholder wealth?

  • What are your firm’s results with other clients like us?

If you can’t answer those questions, you’re doomed. Why? Because that same CFO is able to turn to his analytic dashboard and find a big hole in it. The hole is the information that you have not provided him. As a result, you have a client who feels under-served.  That is trouble for you!

How did this happen? Because, you did not make the effort to learn and grow in the business you are now in... Providing clients with a financial impact that is superior to your competitor’s. Period. If you can’t demonstrate your true impact, then as Dr. Deming says, ‘you are just another person with an opinion.’

Now, I know it’s not really your fault. Until recently, the technology and analytics simply did not exist for you to be able to consistently quantify your client impact and track record, and then demonstrate that to your largest prospects and clients in a meaningful way. Fortunately for you, times have changed.

You might have had the opportunity to do all the things that the ‘New CFO’ was asking for, you just didn’t have theability to do them. You didn’t have a way to get there . . . unless you were an Analytic Broker with TCORCalc®.

So, wake up. Smell the coffee. Those of you who keep up with your clients’ and prospects’ demands for knowing ‘what you are worth’ will prosper. This is selling to the highest degree.

Isn’t that what you have been trying to do for years?

Click here to watch a quick introductory video entitled 'Welcome to Analytic Brokerage™' and you're on your way. 

Best Regards to Analytic Brokers™

Rob Ekern, CAB (Certified Analytic Broker™)
Chairman, TCORCalc®

5 Key Points of Sales Analytics for Brokers

March 25, 2015

If you are a firm who represents itself as an organization that professes to provide client outcomes under the banner of aValue Proposition, please ask yourself these questions: “Is it my opinion, or fact? Can I actually demonstrate it on a client’s financial outcome using credible data, or is it just my opinion? Does my competitor share the same opinion?”

Here is what you can be certain of... every single one of your largest prospects are now running their business on analytics, outcomes, KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) and financial results. Many make their business decisions based 100% around these principles. They call it Decision SupportThey want and need facts, not a salesperson’s opinion.

While you offer resources and client services, and you profess to be the “Broker of Choice,” as Dr. W. Edwards Deming once said:

“Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.”

While you are at it, ask yourself this question: “How would my income increase if I could call on a new account and show them what their improved results would be by appointing us the Broker or Agent?”

Would you like to sell that way?

Of course you would. You would have done it a long time ago if you could have. But, the technical ability to do it did not exist. The facts are now arising from the world of Big Data and Cloud Computing and can’t be ignored. Imagine the power of telling a prospect as part of your close... “When you appoint us as your Broker, here is what you can expect your cost structure to reduce by. In addition, here is the how the reduction will impact your earnings, ownership value and production costs.”

So, here are some things that you should know about selling from this point forward. SELLING HAS CHANGED FOREVER. Data and analytics are not buzzwords, but outcomes. Without them, your entire business model is now on a shaky platform.

So, if you want to get out of the opinion business and into the outcome business, here is what you should know:

  1. The financial buyers of today do not buy processes. They don’t have the time to investigate the potential. You need to tell them about the outcomes first, then they will change a process.

  2. A prospect needs to understand quickly how your proposed outcome will impact their current metrics and KPI’s. Many are making all their main business decisions based upon how these key metrics can be improved.

  3. If you stay only on the insurance discussion, you will get stuck. Frankly, there is only so much you can do. Risk financing costs are just a small part of the client cost equation and don’t provide much leverage, other than moving from one mechanism to another (eg. First Dollar to Deductible to Captive, etc.)

  4. You already have impacted your clients’ outcomes and costs... you just don’t know what the actual impact is, and you can’t prove it. Any of you who provide clients with resources such as risk control, claims, third party resources or even carrier loss control, have an established financial outcome. It’s time to take credit for your hard work and expertise.

  5. If you are planning to stay in the middle and upper/middle market brokerage business, you need to start moving now. A recent Accenture/GE Capital survey indicated that 89% of business respondents indicated they were investing heavily in analytics and business outcome metrics. THOSE are YOUR prospects and clients! How are you going to support that?

So, here is the bottom line for those of you who are part of a sales organization... You probably need to change your sales platform to better serve your clients and prospects. Those brokerages that do this in the next 18 months will have a place at the table. Those who do not will be peddlers of their opinion, and you know what they say about opinions... everyone has one.

Oh and one more thing while I have you. It might be worth your time to check out the link I have embedded to TCORCalc®. TCORCalc is now providing Brokerage Analytics, Metrics and Data that answer the important question: “Why should I appoint YOU as our Broker or Agent?”

Best Regards to Analytic Brokers™

Rob Ekern, CAB (Certified Analytic Broker™)

Chairman, TCORCalc®

Analytics Are For Selling

Those of you who have written large accounts, as I have, know that you are always under the sword of proving your value. Whether it’s a new member of the C-Suite, an investment banker or change of ownership. And that doesn’t include the competitive pressures your fellow brokers exert when they want your position on the account!

For decades you have worked under the banner of “Value Added” services, showing clients how you have done an excellent job in reducing placement (insurance) inefficiencies, improving coverages and compressing losses.

But here is the truth (and you know it.) If push comes to shove, you really are hard pressed to answer the question: “How have you improved our business model?”

Now look, let’s not kid each other. If you actually believe you are in the selling business, shouldn’t you be able to show a buyer how much better off they are by doing business with you? Isn’t that an essential component of any selling strategy?

For years you have talked about the importance of differentiation. But then you go back to the same strategy that was developed 327 years ago at Lloyds Coffee House (circa 1688) and talk about coverage, terms and price.

And speaking of coffee, it's time for the insurance brokerage industry to wake up and smell it!

You now have the ability to actually call on a client and show them how your firm will impact their cost structure, earnings, ownership valuation and productivity, to name a few. Isn’t this what you have always wanted to do?

Imagine the power of calling on a new account and KNOWING that your firm will improve their outcome and business results. How does that change your entire new business approach? What about your hit ratio and income?

Now you would say, “How is that possible? Because, if that is true, I want it on every new business call I make!”

Not only is it possible, but it is currently being done by selected Analytic Brokers™ across North America.  

So, if you want to not only smell the coffee, but be able to make it, here is what you must accept RIGHT NOW:

  1. The world of Analytics is changing business at a speed that we have not seen since the adoption of the computer.

  2. Your Analytics must be around your impact for clients and include much more than simply the insurance costs and loss ratios.

  3. Your Analytics must be in real-time and change with the improvement of your results for clients.

  4. Your Analytics must be attached to the actual results of the prospect with their current broker.

  5. Your improvement must be translated to the buyer’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) - They all have them.

  6. You must have the ability to replicate this method with all clients and prospects.

Notice I said RIGHT NOW. That is because if you don’t, the industry will pass you by. As will your clients. They want you to work this way, as they have set up their business to measure results with dashboards that keep them advised in real-time. They are looking for brokers who can help them impact these results and help them measure them.

Analytic Brokers™ are now providing their clients and prospects with all that I have mentioned above. Through TCORCalc®, they have the client data they need in real-time to ALWAYS compete on a basis of Broker of Record. They know their own Metrics and Analytics and are able to project and present them to a new prospect. They are guaranteed a future in the large account buyer’s world, while their competitors move into obsolescence.  

Best Regards to Analytic Brokers™

Rob Ekern, CAB (Certified Analytic Broker™)

Chairman, TCORCalc®

Writing Large Accounts Using Big Data

For the past year or so, you have been inundated by insurance carriers and service providers endlessly discussing their “Big Data” strategy with you.  But, when you look deeper into it, you are learning that the vast majority of it is about underwriting information, management benchmarks or exotic marketing strategies that most don’t have the ability to implement.

As we used to say... ‘That’s all great, but what does it have to do with the price of tea in China?’  In other words, ‘What do we need in order to compete at a higher level and actually grow our market share over our competition?’

Property Casualty brokerage firms have been extremely slow to adopt meaningful analytics, metrics and outcomes that show a client how they have impacted their profits, EBITDA, productivity and other important business goals.  The Property Casualty brokerage industry is woefully behind every other industry in this regard.

Yet, virtually every one of your C-Suite buyers operates their business based upon metrics, KPI’s and analytic performance.  If you don’t believe that, ask your top clients what KPI’s they use to judge their performance.  Then hold on because you will hear everything from turnaround time to CAPEX, shop rates to shareholder valuation, EBITDA to revenue per item, etc.

Then ask yourself this question:  'How have we really impacted their important business metrics?'  Then throw in one more: 'Can we actually prove it with data-driven results?'

Some of you have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in resource capabilities. Yet, you can’t answer those two important questions.  A bit frustrating isn’t it?

Oh, you can tell them about the reduced loss ratios or the reduced claim costs and even about how you have impacted their risk financing structure.  If you are lucky you can even show them how you have reduced costs around the collateral on a self-insured program.

But, here is what you probably can’t tell them... the specific impact your firm has had on their business goals and what it has been for all your top clients.  In a new business presentation you probably can’t provide Business Intelligence that will predict what the prospect’s results would have been.

So, it is time for the insurance brokerage business to join the rest of the business community in actually providing a quantifiable value that is based upon credible data and outcomes.   Up until now, it was not your fault.  The capabilities and data standards did not exist for middle and upper-middle market accounts.

But now they do.  TCORCalc® has changed the way that Analytic Brokerage firms attract and retain middle/upper-middle market accounts.  The TCORCalc Members and Analytic Brokers have access to information and client delivery tools that are broker-based.  TCORCalc members have a huge advantage over their competitors.

They know not only the price of tea in China, but exactly what their client results have been.  They are able to translate it to buyer KPI’s, metrics and analytics.  A strong currency in any language!

Learn More About TCORCalc Now

Best Regards to Analytic Brokers™

Rob Ekern, CAB (Certified Analytic Broker™)

Chairman, TCORCalc®