Top Tips for Brokers’ On How To Achieve Business Growth
Tue Aug 17 2021
As the Managing Director of Premium Credit, Ireland one of my favourite aspects of the role is the opportunity to regularly speak with our broker partners. It’s good to share collective views and experiences and to learn how we can best support you in these challenging times.
Increasing business development opportunities is a constant desire for us all and is on the minds of every broker I speak to. With the fiscal year well advanced insurance brokers throughout Ireland are monitoring progress made having been given ambitious sales targets to meet and exceed. In this short piece Owen Thomas, our Chief Sales Officer at Premium Credit gives his view on what practical steps can be taken by brokers to increase sales and improve service for their clients.
I hope these top tips give you food for thought and backs up your own thinking.
“In what has been a challenging year, brokers may be facing increased pressure to reach previously set sales targets, having been hampered by the prolonged effects of Covid as well as a range of wider economic factors. I always enjoy speaking with others in the industry, sharing ideas and methods with each other to maximise sales opportunities. Here are my Top Ten Tips which work for me:
1: Planning: Create a formal plan illustrating how your client’s insurance needs will be met over the next 12 months. Without an agreed plan there is no road map for the year ahead.
2: Know your client’s budget cycle: Be certain of when monies are available. This sounds obvious but can be overlooked. Like many things in life, ‘timing’ is everything and no more so when it comes to selling insurance or risk management products.
3: Give them payment options: With increased insurance premiums common place at the point of renewal, particularly in some classes of business at the moment, I recommend brokers have alternative payment solutions to offer their clients. Cover needs to be obtainable, even if the renewal quote seems initially out of reach. Premium finance is a strong option.
4: Be clear about where revenue and profit will come from:
Existing clients: already acquired are sometimes overlooked as a priority option for repeat and expanded business, but this should always be your first port of call.
New clients: are vital for business growth both in the current year and in subsequent years. This also gives an indication of the ongoing health and attractiveness of your business.
Changing risk: We live in unprecedented times where no one month is like the next whether it’s due to political, economic , health or environmental factors. What risks are applicable to your client base, what cover do they need? It is highly likely they will be facing more risk now than over the past few years.
5: What does success look like? Good communication is at the centre of every successful client account. Agree in advance what the client is looking for with regards to insurance cover – how do you both achieve your business goals? Closely monitor the sales process, manage, report and agree what success looks like. Flourishing relationships rely on free flowing, honest, two-way communication.
6: The How: Avoid thinking in a traditional way about the renewal cycle. We should be journeying with the client outlining ‘Moments of truth’ that affect them on an ongoing basis – what products are most relevant and which give wider scope for increased sales.
7: Building capability: What skills do you need to drive your sales plan? Where does people development and incentivisation sit? At Premium Credit we have a capability team whose sole aim is to provide bespoke training; much of it CPD accredited, to our broker partners. The team has had a significant and positive impact on client experience, revenues and brokers’ commission. Our support ensures that front line insurance broker staff are properly equipped to best serve the needs of their clients.
8: Engage with your sales team: The best sales managers engage effectively with their teams involving them in the client journey from planning through to execution and evaluation.
A winning team is a unified team.
9: Think differently: Doing the same things with the same people is going to get the same results. Standing still is not an option. We constantly need to innovate, evolve and develop our value proposition. We also need to reflect. What’s working, what’s not, have we got the right people in the right job within our teams, do we have ‘best in class’ products to sell, what is being achieved?
10: Listen and ask: Last in my list but perhaps most important of all – I always advise my sales teams to listen before they pitch for new business. It’s so easy to assume we know what our clients want. Before presenting your proposition it’s vital to know what the client’s insurance needs are and how they intend to pay for cover.
These are some of my thoughts in brief and I hope they resonate and help you develop business. I’m always keen to hear opinions from others in the industry and learn from them. Next time we meet, let’s have that conversation and compare notes.”
Owen joined Premium Credit in June 2019 as Chief Sales Officer. Prior to this he worked for RSA, where he led global broker relationships worldwide, strategic account management across UK commercial lines and sales & distribution for the Global Risk Solutions P&L.
At RSA and previously at Aviva, he led sales and relationship functions to deliver improved results across multiple marketplaces, including the creation of new client and broker propositions.