A beautiful sunrise caught me off guard this morning, and what happened next was unusual for a Monday.
I turned off my computer and sat with my coffee, doing nothing but watching the sunrise until all the pink was gone from the sky.
I was shocked at myself, had I actually just turned off my computer? Why did a sunrise take priority over my full inbox, voicemails from the weekend, and my constant desire to check Facebook? Somehow, the sunrise cut through my ever-present “background noise” and became top priority.
As brokers, this is the exact phenomena you have to create for prospects when you’re selling. You have to be different and you have to be necessary if you want prospects to make you a priority. You can do this by approaching the prospect with a solution to an unfulfilled need instead of approaching them with a traditional marketing pitch based on price.
What does this look like?
I recently spoke with one of Zywave’s partners who was able to spark the interest of a key decision maker at a large agricultural company (let’s call him Jim). Jim had repeatedly said he had no interest in speaking with a new broker, and it was clear a traditional marketing pitch wasn’t going to cut it.
How did our partner get a meeting? With a simple question: Does your current broker provide you with a customizable safety manual? Jim had never expected a broker to help with creating his company’s safety manual, so he made time for the meeting. Soon after, armed with a fresh look at the role a broker could play in his business, Jim handed over the BOR.
Just like the sunrise I witnessed this morning, this broker was able to capture Jim’s attention by cutting through the background static of the “price conversation” and offering to address an as-yet unfulfilled need.
Why is this important in 2015?
Brokers who are able to open the eyes of prospects to the wider role a broking partner can play in their businesses are going to shape the future of the industry. As any broker will tell you, the insurance marketplace is evolving. The soft market we’re experiencing is having a direct impact on brokers’ top lines, and there are no signs of hardening on the horizon. Commissions are shrinking and competition is rising. If we want to survive as an industry, we need to move out of the vendor sphere and into the role of advisor. Customers are willing to move to a new vendor to get a lower price, but they usually don’t trade advisors.
Think about it, how many of your clients would move to a new lawyer to get a lower price? The value you can provide as an advisor is your true strength as a broker. We need to shift the conversation away from premiums and move it toward the business services prospects are desperately in need of (but may never think to ask their broker for).
Now, You Try It.
Zywave just published our 2015 Canadian P&C Insurance Market Outlook, one of the many fantastic documents available in our Broker Briefcase solution. Instead of leading your next prospecting meeting with a price discussion, start it with thought leadership. I’d love to hear how it works for you. Email me at Nicole.Bulanda@Zywave.com.