Throw Away Your Rock And Chisel

Today’s large account buyers have moved on. They are being asked to do more with less. They are constantly bombarded with emails, phone calls, text messages, and operational issues that require their time and attention. In order for your message to rise above the chatter in their connected world, you must be able to objectively demonstrate how you will improve their financial metrics.

It is clear we have entered a new era of client sophistication and expectations. I’ll talk more about the dramatic shift taking place in our industry below. But first, if you have been in the brokerage business long enough, see if you remember some of these “rock and chisel” gems:

  • Sitting at your desk, dialing for dollars with the yellow pages or your prospect list, hoping to talk to a buyer who would tell you when their x-dates are.

  • Trying to impress your prospects with the carriers you have access to, the coverages you can provide, where you play golf, and how you insure some of the more famous clients in town.

  • Spending countless hours creating a submission to an inferior carrier that was ‘assigned’ to you by the prospect, and then many more hours creating a presentation for the prospect to deliver your best attempt.

While these activities may have been an essential part of prospecting and selling in the past, their efficiency and value to today’s more sophisticated and increasingly-busy large prospects are on the downhill slide.

Today’s large account buyers have moved on.  They are being asked to do more with less. They are constantly bombarded with emails, phone calls, text messages, and operational issues that require their time and attention. In order for your message to rise above the chatter in their connected world, you must be able to objectively demonstrate how you will improve their financial metrics.

Here is how you do it:

  • Show them how your resources and track record with other large clients will translate into bottom-line benefits for them. You do this by 1) quantifying your impact on your existing large clients’ Total Cost of Risk, and then 2) showing the prospect how their firm’s metrics would improve if you were to deliver the same resources and services if they were your client.

  • Focus your message on delivering a financial outcome. Sure, your golf club, great smile and client list might be positive additions to your approach. But what these sophisticated buyers really need to know is how you are going to help them succeed in business. Show your projected impact in terms of ‘additional’ trucks added to their fleet, beds for their hospital, or widgets from their factory, and you will have their utmost respect and attention.

  • Talk to them about issues that are important. Any broker can talk about coverages, carriers and program design. For example, take it to the next level by discussing Indirect Loss Costs and how their financial statements are bleeding as a result. Show them how many trucks or beds or widgets you are going to contribute utilizing your firm’s resources and services. Your message will stand out because it brings value and objective results, not just a list of features and accolades.

  • Choose your battles wisely. If a prospect is only interested in price, look elsewhere. If your resource capabilities are of no use to them, or if the prospect won’t share their business metrics or discuss sophisticated issues with you, move on. Find the sophisticated prospects who have ditched the antiquated hammer and chisel method of insurance negotiations and have moved on to the new world of metrics, resources and quantifiable impacts.

We all have more than enough demands for our time and attention… but we will always find time and energy for someone who can make our lives and businesses more profitable, efficient and rewarding.

As you continue to elevate your conversations with your largest prospects and clients, you will further distance and differentiate yourself from the masses of mediocre salespeople and brokerages.

Your consistent message of quantifiable results and resources will pay tremendous dividends in our rapidly changing industry. The old Rock and Chisel will stay in the past, where they belong.

All the best to Consultative Brokers,

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

 


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