Posted on 12 Nov 02
One of the biggest issues that Consultative Brokers face is the development and delivery of quality presentations. After all, a successful broker knows that it is not only about the insurance policy or the price. A first class presentation demonstrates beyond question the value of your organization and how you are in a unique position to reduce your client's costs.
Just for a minute, take yourselves back to the days of your early sales training. Remember, we were taught the difference between features and benefits. As a budding sales professional, we were told that showing a buyer features without benefits led to a futile sales presentation. Yet, as I review many large sales proposals, I see many pages of features capped by a premium summary page. What is missing...? How a buyer can reduce costs and receive superior value by appointing you as their broker.
For some time we have been talking about the need to develop conceptual sales skills. These are the skills that allow you to demonstrate your value without using insurance carriers and price as the differentiator. These conceptual sales presentations are only effective when you couple your unique capabilities with the potential impact on the client's balance sheet. Anything less is simply a listing of the features you offer, which usually falls short of motivating a client to change brokers.
Here are some thoughts on conceptual presentations:
The Buyer Must be Prepared. Conceptual presentations are most effective when the buyer has already been introduced to your ability to deploy resources. This is best accomplished during the prospecting cycle by uncovering issues and giving the buyer a small "taste of the candy". Show them how your firm has benefited others and then create a conceptual presentation around these issues.
Use Evidence-Based Pro-Formas. Our industry abounds with statistics concerning how client costs are reduced by implementing pre and post-loss strategies. Use these statistics to demonstrate how your client's costs can be reduced as a direct result of your specific solutions.
Never Retreat. Don't use a conceptual presentation as a method of getting "first choice" of the carriers. Brokers that do this are merely stepping right into the trap of a marketplace selection process. When this happens they give up any of the advantages they gained by demonstrating their capabilities.
Maintain Your Confidence. The first time you use a conceptual presentation to compete for an account it may feel strange. That is because we are not using anyone else to carry our water. If we know the client's issues, the solution, and the quantifiable evidence-based impact, there is very little room for other interpretations. Your confidence will soar!
Consultative Brokerage is about translating client/prospect issues into presentations that allow firms to differentiate themselves. The best conceptual presentations provide quantifiable benefits. Anything less is like a late Fall day in my home state of North Dakota... Cold, with no chance of improvement on the horizon.
For more information on Consultative Brokerage and C.R. Ekern & Company, please visit our http://www.crekern.com For a free subscription to The Consultative Broker Briefing, visit http://www.crekern.com/briefings/main.htm