Educate Your Prospects
We hear it all the time. You have to educate your clients, educate your clients, teach them how to do business with you. I’ve got news for you today. If you’re not training your prospects, they’re never going to become your clients. Think I’m nuts? Keep reading!
Prospects Don't Care About Coverage
We hear about it all the time. You have to educate your clients on how to do business with you, and you have to educate them about coverage. Here’s a fun fact. You have to train your prospects, or they’re never going to become your client. Here are the things you have to realize. Number one, people don’t care about insurance coverage. They don’t. They just want to make sure that it’s there when they need it, and for you to educate them, the easiest way for you to do that is to demonstrate you know just enough more than the prospect, so you are needed. Nobody needs you to come in and give them a doctoral thesis on additional insured endorsements. What they want to know is when somebody asks for a certificate, and they need the endorsement, am I in compliance?
Set the Service Expectations Early
Educate them on your service standards. People complain all the time. What are the two things that irritate most clients, at least in my world? Number one, service of certificates, they don’t get them fast enough, and number two: audits. They hate audits because they always owe money. Neither one of these things creates a need for you to go out and get a nuclear physics degree to solve the problem. You just need to execute. So in my firm, we use E-Certs Online. My clients can pull their certificates in real-time. Their end-user has them faster than what it would take for my client to email me asking for it. We give that to every one of our clients that has a certificate need. We educate them about the audit because we know that there should never be a surprise with the audit. We know the rates when the policy’s bound. Why aren’t we giving them a spreadsheet with built-in formulas so that when they’re bidding a job, they can enter the amounts? When they’re reconciling their books at the end of every month, they could key the payrolls in the sales in, and it’ll automatically compute that month’s pro-rata share of the annual insurance premiums? What does that do? It removes all doubt. If we need to make a midterm adjustment, we make a midterm adjustment. It’s that simple.
Teach Them How to Buy
The other thing we have to do, though, we have to educate these prospects on how to shop. I hear people all the time talk about going in and competing against four or five other agents on the same piece of business. What that tells me is not that this is necessarily a price shopper, it tells me that nobody has ever taken the time to educate this prospect on what it means to conduct a broker selection process.
Explain Broker Selection
If you’re not engaging in agent and broker selection processes only, forget it. The deck gets stacked against you from the beginning. How are you going to compete against five agents that are going after limited markets, blindly negotiating their pricing and coverage terms against other agents and other companies that they don’t even have access to see what they’re doing, and expect to win with that? That’s like Russian roulette. So if you’re in that situation, don’t ever be the person actually to execute on that. Take your time. Go in, ask questions. “Out of curiosity, I think it’s interesting that you have so many agents engaged in this process. Did you ever contemplate just doing an agent or broker selection, as we find that’s a lot more efficient?” They more than likely don’t even know what that is. Most people bid insurance because that’s what we’ve trained them to do. Until you take the time to educate them on doing an actual agent or broker selection, you’re going to continue on the same road the hasn’t been productive for you previously.
Set the Table
The other thing you have to do is you have to educate your prospect on precisely what they have to do to fire their existing representation and come and use your firm to represent that, and that doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable conversation. I’ve talked about it in other videos. You can make your case by asking a series of questions and getting their buy-in. Your final question simply becomes, “Does it make sense for you to hire our firm to demonstrate that we can execute all of the things we talked about today?” When they say yes, your very next conversation is, “Listen, I understand you’ve had your existing agent for several years. For you to do this, I’m asking you that you terminate your relationship with that.” Now you’ve agreed that everything we’ve talked about makes sense, and you decided that it logically makes sense for you to do business with my firm. For you to do that, you’re going to have to terminate your relationship with your existing insurance agent and hire my firm to do that for you.
Teach Them How to Fire Their Agent
Now, listen, I would advocate that you contact them and let them know that this is going to happen because the carriers are going to let them know anyhow. The last thing you want to have to deal with is an agent that’s represented you for five or six years that gets a call out of the blue that says you’re not their client anymore from anybody other than you. It’s going to lead to a litany of phone calls begging you to take them back. It’s going to lead to a litany of excuses as to why they aren’t delivering the same value that we’re bringing to the table, and it’s just a massive waste of your time. So if you proactively get engaged and you call or email them and let them know that you’re no longer going to have them represent you, it will nip it in the bud much quicker.
That is basic prospect education. It’s a whole different animal helping your clients navigate doing business with your agency once they’re on board, but don’t put the cart before the horse. You’ve got to get them in the door before you have to worry about that. Focus on educating your prospects on what it takes, and you’re going to kill it in commercial insurance.
Until next time: kill or get killed!