Filed Under:Agent Broker, Agency Management

What new insurance brokers should look for in a firm

Opinion

New brokers have many opportunities, but it's important to find a brokerage that is the right fit. (Photo: Shutterstock)
New brokers have many opportunities, but it's important to find a brokerage that is the right fit. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The P&C insurance brokerage industry is currently rebuilding and growing its sales infrastructure. Older brokers continue to move into retirement, providing a tremendous opportunity for new brokers entering the field.

For those being recruited, it's important to understand that there are essentially two types of operations: the legacy firms that continue to operate by selling on coverage and price and those that have evolved into business-solution organizations. The two types of firms offer very different experiences for an broker.

The firms looking to the future have leadership with vision. They know they need to spend money in order to make money. They offer new brokers the right mentorship reinforced by a sales platform, and they have a plan that gives developing brokers experiences in the spectrum of account sizes. These are the firms that truly offer an ambitious business person a demanding work environment and the opportunity to succeed.

Related: How to motivate employees to work toward agency profits

Traits of strong firms

  • They have leaders who have developed a vision of where they want to take the business, and they have plan for how to get there. They recognize the needs of their buyers have changed and can’t sell to them using the same outdated processes. They focus on building a team and move away from keeping everyone in individual silos. This creates an innovative, high-energy, collaborative work environment.
  • They continue to reinvest in their firms. The firm leaders recognize the need to be able to bring value to their clients other than the price and coverage of their hazard risk. They realize that they need to provide consulting to design and implement programs to lower claims. They do this by creating positions such as claims management, risk control, and safety consultants personnel. They make these resources the center of their sales platform. They develop a sales philosophy built around best practices and the needs of their buyers. This includes a financially based sales message and consistent quantified new business and stewardship presentations. Having a platform in place gives developing brokers a template for success. They can use as the platform as their framework and continue to grow their knowledge.
  • They pair new brokers with the right mentor who believes in the firm’s vision and best practices. They believe that having the right mentor is important for a developing broker to be successful. The mentors are senior brokers who are continually growing and staying ahead of the curve. They embrace technology and believe in providing their clients with a financially based value proposition using analytics. This gives new brokers a sounding board, an advocate, and someone to reinforce the proper brokering skills to keep them on track.
  • They make sure developing brokers have an opportunity to work on large accounts. They recognize that newer brokers need to gain experience working with different types of accounts. They also realize that a new approach on an account could better the chances that they win the business. They ensure this by opening up the prospect list and assigning specific large account prospects to the developing brokers.

Moving into the brokerage world can be very exciting and offer lots of opportunity, but it’s important that new brokers pick the right firm. There are plenty of visionary leaders who understand the importance of resource-based selling and financially based sales messaging, reinforced by a strong mentor and a sales platform. New brokers must take their time and ask a lot of questions. If they do, they’ll find themselves enjoying a rewarding career.

Related: 12 ways to engage millennials in insurance and finance careers

Greg Dunn is managing director and a certified analytic broker at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based insurance agency software developer TCORCalc. He can be reached at greg.dunn@tcorcalc.comOpinions expressed in this article are the author's own.

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