The difference between a good broker and a great broker is in the technicality.
A great broker is well-versed in the technical side of the insurance industry and has a better and more holistic understanding of available products and coverages than the competition, according to Brenda (Ballard) Austenfield, president, national property practice, RT Specialty
Speaking at the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) U40s Executive Panel in San Diego, she said: “Every broker has their own style of how to sell a product and communicate with customers, but what’s most important is integrity and doing things the right way. Your reputation is literally all you have as a broker. You’re not only selling a product – you’re also selling your service and yourself.
Celebrate excellence in insurance. Join us at the Insurance Business Awards in Chicago on October 26.
“Your reputation can be gone in an instant. That’s why it’s important for brokers to have that drive to be better and to truly understand the technical side of insurance, because that’s what differentiates great brokers.”
Gaining technical insurance expertise straight out of school is no easy task. It takes effort, dedication and patience – an attribute not often sought after in a sales-driven broker. Being willing to “go the extra mile” is what makes a broker stand out from the crowd, according to Austenfield.
“It’s not anybody else’s responsibility to help you reach the next level. It’s your responsibility,” she told the audience. “It’s important for you to find the right mentor to help guide you along the way – and there are lots of us out there who want to help you become a superstar - but you have to be willing to go the extra mile to make sure you stand out from the crowd.
“Another thing you can do is learn from the people around you. You’ll meet a lot of people throughout your career and you’ll pick up on different styles. It’s important – not always to learn what to do, but oftentimes, what not to do.”
So, the makeup of a great broker is someone with top-of-the-range technical expertise, a willingness to go the extra mile, and the ability to sell and cut a deal. Think you’ve got what it takes?
How do you breach the gap between baby boomers and millennials in insurance?
Insurance company? No, you’re a media company now