Overcoming Objections – My Agent is my Friend!

Listen, if you’re in the sales game, objections? That’s the nature of the beast. We’re going to take the next few articles to talk about common objections all of us face. Today’s one of my all-time favorites, though, “But my agent’s my friend.” How are you going to fix that? How are you going to get past it?

If you’re in the sales game, objections are just part of what we encounter. Let’s face it, gatekeepers are good. So are decision-makers. They know all the right things to say to get you to shut up and leave them alone, don’t they? One of my favorites is when they give me the old, “But my agent’s my friend.” Yeah, is he? Is she? Let’s talk about the results they’re getting for you. Listen, if you do your research before you call on somebody, which is what we talk about doing all the time, there’s never an issue overcoming objections. You should be armed to the gills with the information that you need to get past those objections.

Do Your Research BEFORE You Call

It is not a secret at all that I like to lead with worker’s comp. There’s a reason for that. There’s a myriad of reasons for that, specifically in the state of Florida. One of them is, I can know what the experience mod is before I ever pick up the phone and call somebody. So my advice is, number one, before you even attempt the call, make sure you’ve done your research. Make sure you have something that you can use to drive a wedge and overcome the objection, regardless of who the agent is. We like the experience mod because it’s quantifiable and because it’s their numbers. They earned them and cannot argue that.

Explain the Cost in Premium

So when I call an account that has half a million dollars in workers’ compensation premium, and their experience mod is a 1.5, I get the objection, “But my agent’s my friend,” my response is something along these lines: Listen, I’m not sure how good of friends you are with your agent. You guys might be lifelong buddies. Here’s what I know: right now, you’re paying at least 50% more than the average companies in your peer group for your workers’ compensation on the half-million dollars of premium that you’re paying per year for manual premium in your organization. If you don’t do anything at all to improve, and you continue to rely on your agent’s friendship, as opposed to their qualifications and ability to execute, you’re going to pay a million dollars more than you should for your workers’ comp over the next four years, assuming no changes.

Explain the Long Term Effects for the Wow Factor

Is this a million-dollar friendship that you have, or is a guy that’ll take you to the country club on a Friday afternoon to hit a bucket of balls, and maybe catch a quick nine. You bending elbows with this person for happy hour, or are they coming in and doing the midyear claims reviews, and things necessary to control your experience modification factor? Are you spending time telling jokes and hanging with the guys with your friendly agent that you’ve known for how long?  Or are you taking the time to do a risk management action plan to make sure that the things vital for the success of your organization, both from a risk management standpoint and a financial standpoint, are happening? How good is this friend?

Explain the Agent’s Compensation

Listen, if this is a million-dollar friendship, and that’s what you’re going to hang your hat on, I commend you. That makes me want you as a client even more because that tells me your loyalty has a price tag of more than a million dollars because that’s what your company is spending that they shouldn’t be. Listen, if the increased premium alone isn’t enough to get them going and salivating, and ready to disband this friendship to hire you, the other thing you can always use is the flawed compensation model in the workers’ comp arena, right? So what I mean by that is for the higher the experience mod goes, the more the agent is making in commission.

So using the example that we’ve used, not only will this person be paying a million dollars more than they should for their workers’ comp, and that’s if we’re getting them back down to 1.0, which is average. The other issue is that over that same four years, their friend has made $100,000 due to their misfortune. People, this is not a friendly game. Sales is a game where you’re going out there in a cutthroat world, and it’s kill or be killed. Paint the picture of the increased premium. And then also make sure they understand their friend is getting a reward for their misfortune. I can assure you that it is going to help you absolutely destroy your competition. You’ll overcome the objection of the agent being their friend. You’re going to kill it in commercial insurance.


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