Projects - The Mother's Milk of TCOR

Project is a word that consultancies use. They denote an action that will lead to a quantifiable outcome that benefits the client. They are not the typical insurance sales activities. By always having at least one project in progress, these astute brokers are able to demonstrate their ongoing “Value Proposition.”

Consultative Brokers™ know the huge importance of client “Projects.”  These are the actions taken and performed by their organization on behalf of clients.  The critical nature of these projects is very simple.  Without being able to demonstrate their projects, eventually they know that they will be fired by the client!

Project is a word that consultancies use.  They denote an action that will lead to a quantifiable outcome that benefits the client.  They are not the typical insurance sales activities.  By always having at least one project in progress, these astute brokers are able to demonstrate their ongoing “Value Proposition.”

Here are some examples of Projects that virtually all successful brokers regularly provide to clients:

  • Claims Review Projects – A regularly scheduled review of claims with analysis and suggestions of how to change the claim outcomes.
  • Experience Modification Reviews – An analysis of the workers comp emod using one of the fine programs that allow brokers to trend losses.
  • Risk Control Programs and Analysis – The study and implementation of risk control programs that will reduce loss costs.
  • Behavioral Modification Programs – Providing the training to employees that will improve their behaviors and reduce claims (Drivers Training, Ergonomics, etc.)


Of course there are many more examples.  Here is the key point, however.  If you don’t have any projects going you are not able to demonstrate how you impacted a client’s Total Cost of Risk.  Projects are the Mother’s Milk of TCOR!

I know that many of you are attempting to sharpen your Total Cost of Risk skills.  Without projects you can take no credit for helping a client reduce costs.  In these cases the client’s Total Cost of Risk is entirely dependent on luck or insurance carrier pricing.  This is a one dimensional view of TCOR.  As you know, insurance is the smallest TCOR expense.

It has been stunning to me over the years how some brokers avoid the discussion of projects with clients.   In some cases they either fail to offer them or assume the client didn’t care.  The worst transgression is to offer the project, have the client refuse and then drop the subject.  All of these hapless brokers will hear a common response from their client at a future date . . . “We think we have outgrown you.”

So, if you really intend to create value for your clients and wish to use a Total Cost of Risk Value Proposition, here is what you need to do right now on all your top accounts:

  • Speak with your risk control and claims personnel.  Ask them this simple question; “What one thing should we be doing right now to help this client?”
  • Prepare your client for the importance of the project you are offering.  Show them how this project will help them reduce TCOR in the coming years.
  • Sharpen your skills on leading a team.  If you are to be a successful Consultative Broker you must be perceived as a “gatekeeper.”
  • Feature your projects inside your Stewardship Report.  This is the point of differentiation between your firm and the other brokers.
  • Don’t take “no” for an answer. In the event a client rejects your suggested project, you must either press your point or find another project.  If you don’t have one, you will not be able to demonstrate your value and eventually fall victim to invisibility.


The delivery of Client Projects is the most important skill in the establishment of the TCOR Value Proposition.  These projects allow you to demonstrate how a client’s losses, indirect loss costs, and administrative costs have been reduced based upon your partnership.  So, you must ask yourself this question: “Do I have a project currently going with all my key accounts?”  The answer will determine whether you can sip the sweet “Mother’s Milk” of a TCOR Value Proposition, or suffer the bitter consequences of a value proposition based only on price and luck.

By the way, we built an extensive project management module into our Major Account Development System, giving users the ability to easily capture, quantify and create reusable templates for their project & resources. With the help from top industry risk management professionals, we've even provided key benchmarks to take away all of the guesswork on value quantification. Take a look.

- 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

Topics