Large Accounts: The Way Forward!

The purpose of Consultative Brokerage is primarily one thing: To help you attract and retain larger accounts. That is the only way that you can outrun the marketplace and your competition. Why? Because those are the accounts that allow you to create value no matter what the marketplace dictates. Also, your carriers will always need you in the upper end of the market with accounts that require “hands on” expertise.

As you begin planning your production for 2011 here are a few things to consider:

The Soft Market will continue to expand its revenue eroding run.  In fact, in the past 21 years, 19 of them have seen softening prices.

  • Some carriers will begin to provide you with mixed signals.  As their revenue base continues to shrink, some carriers will continue to experiment with “multiple” distribution channels.
  • Your clients and prospects will continue to be under financial and business pressures.  Those who have survived the “Great Recession” will remember the lessons.
  • Your competition will go into a feeding frenzy.  Remember you are not alone.  Your competition will continue to target whatever they can get their hands on, driving your revenues even lower.

The purpose of Consultative Brokerage is primarily one thing:   To help you attract and retain larger accounts.  That is the only way that you can outrun the marketplace and your competition. 

Why?

Because those are the accounts that allow you to create value no matter what the marketplace dictates.  Also, your carriers will always need you in the upper end of the market with accounts that require “hands on” expertise.

Oh, there is one other thing you should know:  THERE IS LESS COMPETITION AT THE TOP THAN AT THE BOTTOM!

I can hear you right now: “Easy for you to say, Ekern. But, how do we do it?”

Here are some universal truths about the production and retention of large accounts in the current marketplace and economic environment:

  • You must approach accounts from a perspective of Business Risk, rather than simply hazard.  These are the risks that impact productivity, profitability, competiveness and human capital.  These are the important issues to CFO’s and do not revolve around insurance pricing.
  • You will need to learn and practice the language of CFO’s.  This will give you the confidence to have business discussions rather than insurance meetings with buyers.
  • You must have a Value Proposition that can be translated to the financial statement of buyers.  By doing this, you can overcome the “transactional” nature of the insurance placement.
  • You need to produce exceptional Stewardship and Conceptual Presentations. These documents show your clients and prospects ways that your firm differentiates itself.
  • You need a prospecting methodology that stands the test of time.  It comes as no surprise that many larger accounts do not buy based upon simply the fact that you have called on them.  In some cases the buying cycle of these accounts may involve several people and involve longer than 1 renewal period.  That becomes problematic to some agents and brokers who focus only on the transactional renewal date.

We formed C. R. Ekern & Company in the depths of the last soft market (before the 2 year reprieve in 2001 & 2002). Our mission was a simple one: To provide you with the training knowledge and tools that will allow you and your organization to prosper.  To that end we have created learning tools, consulting services and client development tools that all point in one direction . . .Larger Accounts.

So, as you look toward 2011 and beyond, remember this.  The business you will be in going forward may consist of a perpetual soft market.  There comes a time when you must say . . . “How’s that workin’ for ya?” 

You can go forward, or backward.  Larger accounts are the way forward!

- Rob Ekern

For more information on how to quantify TCOR, manage projects, build a value proposition, and consistently deliver stewardship reports and new business presentations to your customers, check out the Major Account Development System (MADS), an on-line consultative broker's toolkit. Available now!

Ready to learn more about Consultative Brokerage Sales Training? Visit the Consultative Brokerage Academy.

To learn more about C.R. Ekern & Company, please visit our website

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