Corporate trainer, author and businesswoman Nikki Heald of Corptraining unveils how every insurance broker can build their brand and boost their firm’s success.
Business is not business – business is personal and people do business with people they like, trust and perceive as being credible. The insurance profession is based on relationships so we need to consider how we can maintain this in today’s digital market. Each day we are confronted with a mass of technology, and there are certainly many benefits to working in a digital world – streamlined processes, ability to work remotely, increased speed and a multitude of choices.
However, in a digital environment the greatest competitor to insurance brokers is the direct market. Unfortunately, there seems to be the perception of ease and accessibility around purchasing insurance online. Additionally, people think that it’s not only quicker to jump online to buy their covers, but more cost effective.
So, how does this impact on insurance brokers when selling insurance? Well, it now provides an opportunity for brokers to promote their value and the benefits of dealing with one individual. Something the direct market cannot offer, nor compete with.
VALUE OF THE BROKER
The value of retaining a broker ensures personalised attention and this enables clients to build a genuine relationship with one point of contact at the brokerage. There is also the advantage that brokers are experts in insurance and can carry out policy comparisons, saving time for their client. Additionally, brokers have knowledge of a client’s history and experience, so are in a prime position to ensure correct covers are placed. Of course, the value certainly comes into play at the time of a loss, when clients have direct access to their broker who can provide support and guidance.
Another way of promoting your value is to increase your professional visibility and you can do this through personal branding.
Personal branding relates to the way that you market yourself to the outside world and what message you project. It relates to how others see you and thankfully, you do have some influence over it. As we know, perception can be a powerful persuader and your personal packaging speaks volumes.
Personal branding incorporates:
What you are – values, morals, ethics
Who you are – history, skills, qualifications
How others see you – reputation, credibility, trustworthiness
Authenticity – promoting a genuine and honest brand
Perhaps you have not thought about your personal brand, however, research has demonstrated the way in which you are perceived can influence a client’s purchasing decision. Getting your personal branding right may be the difference between making or breaking a potential business opportunity.
‘NO FRILLS’ OR ‘QUALITY’?
Additionally, personal branding has a profound impact on career progression. If you are an emerging leader intending to progress within the insurance profession, ensure you promote your brand both internally (for promotions, opportunities, etc.) and externally to clients and colleagues.
Your current personal brand will influence whether you are perceived as ‘no frills’ or ‘quality’. People like to be associated with quality so it’s worth striving towards developing a credible and authentic brand proposition.
So, you may be thinking what is the value of developing my brand? Well, you may know how fantastic and wonderful you are, but other people may not be so aware! What we do know is that some brands are simply more credible than others. When you think of Mark Bouris, Lisa Wilkinson or even Lara Bingle you will think of a series of terms which you identify with their particular brand or profile. Interestingly, the perceptions we have of those brands will have a huge impact on whether you want to do business with them – your clients are no different. Consider your current personal brand – grab a piece of paper and write down a few terms which describe you. These could include enthusiastic, the go-to-person, solutions-based, creative, dynamic, passionate and knowledgeable.