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Great Resolution

Posted on 18 Feb 09

If you are like most people, the New Year is a time for resolutions. Here is a resolution that I believe should be adopted and stuck with for all of 2009 and beyond. Ready? Here it is …. “I resolve to be a better business person in 2009.” Simple, eh?

Why is this critical to your success as a professional broker in 2009? Because “becoming a better business person” is the only way you can prosper in a down economy. You will need to adopt an entirely new set of skills other than simply being able to discuss the ramifications of the policies, coverage, and price. These will fall on deaf ears as your prospects and clients focus on the important issues facing them during these challenging economic times.

One of the greatest sales books ever written is entitled, "How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling." It was written by Frank Bettinger in the 40’s, and the message is as relevant today as it was in the mid 70’s when as a young producer it helped provide a foundation for success. One of the key quotes of Mr. Bettinger’s is: “Show a Person What They Want, and They Will Move Heaven and Earth to Get It!” This is a basic tenet of Consultative Brokerage. Helping a business person get what they want.

So, here are some questions you should ask yourself as a business person. Which of these do my clients and prospects want?

  • Do they want to save money; or improve operations?
  • Do they want a reduced price; or increased efficiency?
  • Do they want a lower insurance cost; or increased productivity?
  • Do they want better communication; or reduced internal frictional costs?

    A successful Consultative Broker understands how to translate their value proposition to address all of the questions above. These are the issues that drive business decisions in virtually every industry. They are universal “needs” of any astute business person. For you to continue to be successful in 2009 and beyond, you and your firm must understand how to deliver this without being simply an insurance or risk management vendor.

    To fully grasp this concept you must change the dynamics of your prospect and client approach. Focus on what they want . . . not what you want. Again, this is a simple concept that many brokers and agents find hard to implement. Over the years we have been brainwashed by constant pricing competition brought on by ourselves. Why? Because we have never had to “create a need” in the minds of the client. So, we focused on what we knew; the commodity. The whole time assuming that this was their real need!

    For you to continue to have relevance with clients you must learn how to fill the real needs of astute buyers. You will need to understand how to improve their productivity, profits, and operational efficiencies. That will require that you understand how to be a better business person and provide them with quantifiable value. Then, you will need to be able to translate that inside their business operational model. In a down economy, this is what business people are looking for. So, show how you can bring it to them and “They will move heaven and earth to get it!”

    For more information about the services and products provided by Rob Ekern, visit

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