No More Dogfights in 2014

Here is a truth that now exists inside our business... You have a choice as to whether or not you continue to participate in Dogfights. Perhaps you enjoy the racing pulses, sleeplessness, pots of coffee and constant stress. But, if you don't enjoy them, make the decision to do something different in 2014.
Now that the year-end renewal and new business season is finished, it's time to reflect on your results.   

I hope that all your renewals were put to bed profitably and that you wrote all the new deals you worked on.  I also hope for World Peace and the Cubs to win a World Series.

Unfortunately, some of you found yourselves in a Dogfight for your key renewal.  You know the one.  It is the account that pays you a huge income, is vital to your revenue stream, and is a prime target for your competition.

Maybe your firm has had it for many years and has done a good job managing it. It was with the right market and your premiums/fees were competitive.  Yet, this year, the buyer decided to keep your firm "honest" and placed you under competition.  

Even if you kept the account, the results were not optimal, as you likely experienced a reduced income and a much higher expense load.  Not to mention the impact on the morale and energy of your staff as they all focused on keeping this key account.

Had enough?  Are you tired of Dogfights?  Well, now you get to make a choice for the future.  You can decide right here and now that:

  • You will no longer be a participant in these Dogfight exercises

  • Your largest accounts will gladly renew with you at the price you require... and they won't shop you

  • Your top producers and rainmakers can focus on doing new large deals instead of putting out fires at renewal time

Here is the reason why you found yourself in a dogfight.  You did not give the buyer a quantifiable way to judge your performance throughout the year.  For whatever reason, you did not provide a Value Report (or Stewardship Report) that objectively demonstrated to the buyer how you had reduced their costs and increased their profitability.

Because of this neglect, your back door was left open!

So, let's make a New Year's Resolution that matters.  Here it is . . . No More Dogfights.

Here's how you do it:

  1. Select your largest accounts.  These are the ones that are consistent targets for other brokers and pay you the lion's share of your income.  In total they may add up to 40% of your revenues.

  2. From this point forward, plant the seed in your client's mind that helping them reduce their costs is your primary goal.  Discuss with them the TCOR Method of valuing a broker's impact on their financial metrics.

  3. Make certain that you have several legitimate projects working on behalf of your client.  These projects should be in the vein of Risk Control and Claims Management.  This takes you outside the insurance transaction.

  4. Do all the above with the intent to provide the client with a legitimate Value Report six months into the program period.  This Value Report is the key to securing the client's acceptance that the renewal is simply another project, not an event.

  5. Make certain that your Value Report is translated into the client's Key Performance Indicators such as equity valuation, productivity measurements or human capital ratios.  These are the things your clients truly care about, not the rate per thousand of insurance.

Here is a truth that now exists inside our business...  You have a choice as to whether or not you continue to participate in Dogfights.  Perhaps you enjoy the racing pulses, sleeplessness, pots of coffee and constant stress.  But, if you don't enjoy them, make the decision to do something different in 2014.

You can chose to continue the same way and expect the same Dogfight results.  Or, you can learn something different and enjoy the Holidays in 2014 with your key renewals and new business put to bed. It's your choice.

All the best to Consultative Brokers,

Rob Ekern
President/CEO
C.R. Ekern & Company


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