Brokers' three big mistakes

Correcting these common missteps can help a brokerage generate new business and attract more partners, writes Brian Freeman

Brokers' three big mistakes



The business insurance world is always evolving, and thousands of insurance brokers in each market are vying for an employer’s interest to retain and win new business. To stand out, it’s critical that insurance brokers be strategic and intentional when reaching out to prospective customers.

In short, brokers must always be confident and knowledgeable about the issues that matter most to a company. But that’s easier said than done. There are three common business missteps that, when redirected, can help your brokerage attract more business and generate new partners.

1. Assuming your customer service is best in class
Employers researching brokerages are similar to consumers evaluating a new physician, buying a new car or weighing which real estate agent to use. We are trained to research price, service and outcomes; as such, that data should be readily accessible and provided by an independent third party.

Our society is no longer a referral-based one. Now, business reputations are based on actual customer feedback. The same is true for insurance. If you have phenomenal service, it shows up in ratings and reviews.

Your ability to design creative solutions is what will set you apart. Your ability to provide great customer service is what will ensure you retain clients. The customer experience is – and always will be – important, but exceptional customer service is a baseline standard for this industry.

2. Over-generalizing the data
With any decision of this magnitude, employers expect detailed data to drive  decision-making. Often, insurance agents might repurpose generalized data to persuade an employer to adopt a specific solution. Employers can see right through this. Use localized benchmarking data for that employer’s industry. You wouldn’t select a new technology for your business based on national trends, so you should use micro-targeted data that will resonate with your client.

Also, be sure to verify that all survey or benchmark data is from an accredited, independent source. This confirmation is a crucial step that will provide an additional level of validation and credibility for your brokerage, and this attention to detail will go a long way in establishing your dedication to accuracy and transparency. More often than not, the broker with the most thorough and research-driven presentation of coverage will win the employer’s business.

3. Waiting until renewals to engage
Do you know who your competitor’s top prospects are? Your biggest clients. If you are not proactive with your customers, someone else will be. As in any business-to-business sales environment, insurance prices and policies can change over time due to demand, market shifts or inflation. To keep current customers satisfied and informed, brokers must be proactive about informing and updating their clients when policy changes or pricing dynamics shift.

Brokers shouldn’t wait for clients to flag emerging trends or question market changes, whether positive or negative. To develop transparency and trust, brokers must keep a steady stream of communication open with their clients throughout the year. This continuous line of communication provides a constant reminder that an employer’s business is important to the brokerage and top of mind for the broker. In the end, employers work with insurance brokers for two reasons – to save time and to save money. At a bare minimum, make sure your brokerage is delivering on those expectations.

Today’s interconnected, Amazon-driven world requires brokers to be more proactive and intentional when communicating with clients. Additionally, brokers should establish a strong online presence by publishing positive ratings and reviews from former and/or existing clients directly to their company profiles. Highlighting clients’ positive experiences and interactions with a broker can help employers make a more personalized and well-informed decision. Thoughtful communication, detailed-oriented proposals and expert knowledge of the industry will lead to happy clients and a growing book of business. 

Brian Freeman is the founder and CEO of Mployer Advisor, a national digital marketplace for insurance advisor ratings and reviews that seeks to redefine the way employers search for, evaluate and select insurance advisors.

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!