Hard Market?

Unless you have been living under a rock you have seen that the insurance market is HARD. If you are selling on price you could find it a lot more difficult to win new business. Here are 3 tips to selling in a market like this:

1. Don’t sell; Educate

This applies regardless of Hard or Soft Markets but is much more impactful in a hard market. Clients want to understand why their rates are going up – and NO it is not good enough to say “well there has been a lot of catastrophic storms over the last few years”. Yes, that does drive rate increases across the industry and you should make your client aware of it. However, if that is all you are bringing to them they are not going to be satisfied.

They want to understand what drives rates as a whole and what they can do to better control their costs. They want options. They want solutions. Help them better understand how the insurance buying process works and you will build a much stronger relationship that is not just based on price.

2. Don’t Focus Solely on Premium

Premium is a big part of what a client is concerned about but it is not the only cost associated with Insurance and Risk in their business. See bullet point 1 above and EDUCATE them on the other costs that they should also be concerned about. If you can help them control those costs (which are often much larger than the premium) you can show them way more value than a 5% savings in their premium.

3. Be Proactive

The worst thing you can do is not communicate with your clients right now. You want to control the message around the Hard Market. If you are waiting for your client’s renewal or for them to call you, you are putting yourself in a tough position. The last thing you want is a competitor calling your client and controlling the message.

You want to be out in front of your clients and EDUCATING (bullet point 1 again???) them on what’s going on and how they should be reacting. When your competitor calls, your client better be saying “Oh yeah, I know it’s a Hard Market. My agent already talked to me about it and we have a great plan in place for our business”. Click. Line goes dead.

The best retention strategy in a market like this is to not give your competition a chance to win your Client’s business. Period.

As I think about summarizing this entry into the annals, I realize that this is probably pretty much the advice I would give you in ANY Market. Success Principles apply regardless of the environment we are in. Get out and educate your clients, focus on the broader costs and be proactive!