Failing at the Point of Sale
If you’re failing at the point of sale, it’s for one reason, and one reason only. It’s because you didn’t set the table right, and I don’t blame you. Many people still need to realize that selling a product is nowhere near as effective at solving a problem, but the problem is, you don’t know how to set the table the right way.
I had one of my guys that’s new to killing commercial email me this week and said, “David, I need time with you. I’m failing at the point of sale.” I got to believe there’s a lot of people out there that are in the same boat. And you have to remember something, if you’re making that transition of moving from a price and product-based sale, IE, insurance, and moving more to a value play, IE, the total cost of risk, you got to set the table the right way. You can’t wait until you’re at the closing table to deliver value. You have to provide value along the way, and that is how you get hired before you ever worry about the placement of an insurance product. I do three things regularly that allow me to drive value before I ever ask for the close.
Experience Mod Audits
The first one’s going to come as no surprise. It’s an experience modification factor audit. It’s an easy way for us to get information and demonstrate value by showing a prospect precisely what’s causing issues inside their workers’ comp. Now, before all of you comp junkies out there decide you’re going to throw off on me and tell me why the mod is not the most important measurement and all of that. People, I get it. It’s not the only thing that I do. I’m not a one-trick pony, but it is an easy way to articulate things inside a workers comp program to a prospect. They only know what we teach them. Now is an excellent opportunity to educate your prospect on the different things contributing to their experience mod. If there are mistakes, you can highlight those and drive a wedge very, very quickly.
The second thing that I like to do is I like to talk a lot about audits, especially audits that have not gone the right way. I want to talk about them so that that prospect will allow me to review that bad audit and see if maybe I can find an issue with it. But also, I want to be able to show them how we solve that problem from now on with Florida Risk Partners. At Florida Risk, we have an audit spreadsheet that we provide to every one of our clients so that audits are never a surprise. It’s straightforward to put together. As long as you have the exposure data, you know what the rate is, so every month, they can go into a spreadsheet, key in their sales or payroll, whichever the policy gets based on when written. We automatically calculate it through our formulas to show them how much premium they used that month.
In addition, we have how much they bought for the entire year. We subtract whatever the cumulative monthly total is from that amount. When the client hits the inflection point that an audit will have them paying an extra premium, we can decide whether or not we’re going to adjust mid-term and increase installments. Otherwise, they may choose to accrue cash and pay it in a lump sum at the end of the policy period. But the fact is, it is never a surprise, and it’s something every agency should be doing.
The third thing that I love to talk about when I go in there, in just a very simple way to demonstrate value, is certificate issuance. We use ECertsOnline because it is an easy portal for a client to log into, to generate their certificates. My clients have their certificates in the end-user’s hand faster than they can email me to ask us to cut one for them. Now, we’re not issuing certificates like it’s the wild west. There is an approved template, and as long as it’s within that language, the certificate goes out right away. If it’s not, we get pinged. If we have to add an endorsement or add language and get it approved by an underwriter, we do that manually. But we don’t touch 90% of the certificates that my agency issues.
Talking about those things, creating that value at the point of sale or before the point of sale, instead, is paramount because you’re showing people things they don’t have. And people want what they don’t have, so if you can paint that picture, by the time you get to the point of sale, what you call the closing table, you should have them eating out of your hand, ready to hire you and fire their existing agent. Because you’ve demonstrated things that they’ve never heard of before, you’ve taken the time to educate them. But most importantly, you’ve identified problems in their organization and shown that you have the solution.
If you can convert your thinking and completely forget about the insurance piece during the sales process, you’re going to kill in commercial insurance.