The story of an insurance broker who used an iPad to streamline his client service and managed to increase his income by over $120,000 per year. Should you do the same?
Are you still relying on paper? Is your company reticent to modernise technology usage? If so, you and your company can be sustaining much more of an opportunity cost than you know.
While sipping a coffee in a café after a 6AM pump class, I looked up to see this fellow tapping away at his iPad. I found his case unusual, so I commented on it. We started to chat. I was speaking with Scott Morrison, an insurance broker.
After a lively half-hour conversation, I found Scott to be a stunning example of how making a few changes and modernising the way one works can make one incredibly successful without working harder. Just smarter.
Scott chose an industry software (called RMS InControl) which integrates across the internet to allow advisers (and their assistants) direct access while out of the office. One of the many benefits is information can be taken directly from the client, entered in front of them and automatically charted for visual emphasis – eliminating the need for another appointment.
Because Scott and the client walk through the questioning process online, all the questions are prompted step-by-step on screen and thus need to be discussed and answered. Some of these questions might be skipped when done by pen and paper. Scott said there’s a significant triple benefit. It insures (no pun intended) he’s comprehensive and more client-focused in his approach. It benefits his clients as they often comment that as a result of the process they better understand their need for insurance. Since using the online process with clients, his overall income has increased by 25% from extra insurances sold from the discussions prompted by the software.
IPAD VS LAPTOP
Scott switched to an iPad to eliminate the barrier that a laptop may make, and he uses wireless. He brings a printout of the questionnaire to each client (with pre-meeting questions filled-in) in case there’s a problem with the connection. I think the proof is in the pudding with this statement. Scott said: “I’ve asked every client before we begin if they prefer to go through their insurance plan with me on paper or on the computer. To this day not one has ever selected paper.”
When he steps back into his car in the client’s driveway, Scott’s able to automatically email them a meeting summary and also send a request to his assistant to start the process of gathering quotations for his advice.
Next – as he doesn’t have to go back to the office to drop off paperwork, he drives to his next appointment. This saves him at least three to four hours a week travel time and petrol. So Scott saves significant down time in travelling, data entry (remember, it’s already done with the client) and cuts out the need for one of the appointments. Think of the client perception of Scott’s service, follow through and speed. Let’s not forget that following the comprehensive questionnaire has increased his income 25%.
MONEY TALKS. FLUFF WALKS
Let’s quantify and look at the dollars and sense of this. One appointment less per new client – two hours plus three to four hours travel eliminated per week. Two hours of report writing and data entry eliminated per week. In all, 7.5 hours a week x 45 working weeks = 337.5 hours a working year, or eight and a half weeks or two months! The industry average commission for a new client is $1,400. So with 7.5 hours a week Scott could fit in at least 4-6 extra appointments. Two would hopefully be with new clients (not to mention increased premiums from seeing existing clients too).
Presuming he had an 80% sale rate, 2 x 45 weeks x 80% x $1,400 (plus Scott earns 25% more) = $126,000 additional income generated. Subtract a 64GB iPad for $1,150. Annual software of $2,000 and throw in $2,250 (generous) for broadband and mobile computing. $126,000 less $5,400 cost = $120,400. Do you think this too high an opportunity cost for comfort?
Debbie Mayo-Smith works with businesses that want to be more effective so they can get more done and grow business easily and cheaply. www.debbiespeaks.co.nz.