I recently attended a seminar where the speaker before me was speaking on Sales and Increasing Your Bottom Line.
He went through several charts of what was important to the client and important for the selling broker/agent to understand to make the sale and create the long-term relationship. The presenter put up the chart that contained several “bubbles” of what might be important. When he pointed to the “bubble” with “knowledge of the insurance products” he asked the audience how important this was to their potential or current client. A boisterous “not important” rang out from the first two rows. The presenter then put an X through the bubble and moved on.
In all my years of sales, which dates back to the early 1970’s that bubble was the one that had a big red check mark on it . Back in the “olden” days when I started there were not nearly as many schools and methods to really learn insurance. I was blessed with a mentor that not only was a true student of insurance but also a CPA so he brought the technical and financial piece into a cohesive sale. This is not to discount the importance of all of the “sales” training that we all need to know how to get our foot in the door, close the door to the sale and maintain it year after year. But without knowledge of the product and the ability to communicate that to the customer we become just sales people and not business partners with our insureds.
We know that any sale begins with getting “your foot in the door” and that is difficult enough but only affords you the opportunity to present your qualifications and convince the prospect that you are the best person/firm to handle their account. This is a very difficult first step but each of you in the insurance industry want the opportunity of working with the more sophisticated and higher paying premium account.
Many of you in the community know Marjorie Segale. She is a partner (co-creator) of the Insurance Community Center/University LLC and the President of Segale Consulting. Part of her consulting practice is to work with larger insurance buyers in choosing the appropriate broker to handle their account. She may work with them directly or with their risk manager. She goes through an extensive vetting process in matching up the right agent/broker with the account. Marjorie has given the community permission to include her “Criterion for Selecting Your Insurance Agent/Broker.
P. S. from Marjorie
I built my agency on the basis of insurance technical skill. There will always be price shoppers. There is no law that says you have to be just a price seller. Those buyers will still line up to sue you if a loss is not covered because no one is ever grateful for that cheap policy that doesn’t cover their claim.
Click Here to View the Criterion Checklist
Laurie Infantino AFIS, CISC, CIC, CRIS, ACSR, CISR
President, Insurance Community Center
With Checklist by:
Marjorie Segale AFIS, CISC, CIC, RPLU, CRIS, ACSR, CISR
Director of Education, Insurance Community Center & President, Segale Consulting Services, LLC