Build relationships and drive value with compliance
How many employers view insurance (and thus, their insurance agent) as a box to check? Yes, it’s essential, but checking that insurance box allows them to move on with their daily lives and not think much of it.
Unfortunately, so many agents in the business today help perpetuate this view, approaching prospects and clients alike with bids and quotes to help them save money.
The interesting thing is, if agents really wanted to save their employers money, they’d focus on preventing incidents, not insuring them after they happen. Operating a business is full of risks: safety incidents, employee turnover, compliance penalties, lawsuits, and so much more.
The most effective agents today make their relationship about problem-solving and prevention, not finding the lowest quote. We’ll talk about how to accomplish this with simple compliance audits and guidance that any agent can offer (even if you aren’t an expert in OSHA, EEOC or HIPAA).
Because employers view insurance as a needed commodity and nothing more, they generally aren’t motivated to make a change—especially if they have a long-standing relationship with their current agent.
The promise of finding a lower quote isn’t likely to entice an HR professional or CFO to take a meeting with you. Even the promise of ‘value-added’ technology or resources doesn’t often work, as they’ve heard the same promises from many an agent before.
The way to break out of that pattern and truly distinguish yourself as an agent is to offer value even before you ask for the AOR. You want to make the employer know, like and trust you at least as much as their current agent before you bring out the sales pitch.
The way to earn a prospect’s trust and successfully get in the door is to focus on business challenges outside of insurance, like those business risks we mentioned earlier. The right insurance coverage isn’t going to prevent a fatality or a hefty compliance penalty.
But before you start talking about risks and compliance, you need to educate the employer to break them out of a complacency mindset. Many employers don’t think about the risks until something bad happens and it’s too late. That’s why many employers, especially ones who haven’t suffered a big loss, get stuck in complacency mode while caught up in the day-to-day work of operating the business.
Break through a complacent attitude by sharing a few examples, like the California fatality that could have been prevented with simple safety procedures, or the EEOC lawsuit due to disability discrimination, or the $50,000 fine a company paid after failing to perform required inspections.
When you look at most examples like this, a simple policy or procedure could have preventing expensive and catastrophic incidents.
Once the prospect starts thinking about the countless safety, monetary and reputational risks lurking in their organization, it’s time to offer a short audit to dive into their own operations.
Choose just one topic, whether it’s OSHA, employment regulations, safety policies, regulatory compliance, or anything else. Walk through an audit checklist to help employers self-identify compliance gaps (and give yourself valuable knowledge on where you can help). Find compliance checklists easily online, or we can provide them here.
Finish with a written report of your findings to hammer home the impact of the risks hiding in their current operations.
Don’t stop here. Too many insurance agents, consultants and advisors help illuminate problems, then require the prospect to sign a contract before they offer solutions—or never provide solutions at all!
This is your opportunity to truly shine. Examine their gaps and provide the resources to close them, whether educational guides, templates, sample policies or training. Let’s pause to note that you still haven’t asked for their business. You’re establishing yourself as a trusted expert and partner even before they sign on the dotted line.
Offer to move on and audit a different area of their business, providing resources and solutions. In my experience, getting through three of these audits will double your chances of writing the business.
You don’t have to rely on promises of the services and resources you’ll offer. The prospect will see and feel the impact, question why their agent isn’t providing the same, and begin to see you as the obvious agent of choice.
As I mentioned before, audits, checklists and resources around business risks are widely available online. But if you want a turnkey solution, consider ComplianceCheck. Agents across the country use ComplianceCheck to:
Even better, when you use ComplianceCheck, you don’t just get a software solution. We offer extensive agent training to help you learn the topics, prospect with confidence, and blow the competition out of the water. Learn more today.
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