There’s a critical skill that new producers overlook or ignore because they are unsure how to practice it. Veteran producers ignore it, to their peril, from being overly confident. That vital skill is retention. Most believe the way to grow insurance agency sales is by generating new business. I believe that it is by retaining customers – the right customers, from the day they become your customers.
After 20 years as a producer, working 60 to 80 hours a week, I thought I knew it all. I was proud of what I’d accomplished, rightly so, and I was sure I could handle any situation; dodge and juke my way out of any problems that arose. I didn’t practice or prepare for client meetings. I felt I was past that stage and that I knew how to grow insurance agency sales. Quite frankly, I thought I did it well. I felt confident that I knew the business. After all, I’d hit that all-important one million dollar mark I’d worked so long and hard to achieve.
My Wake-Up Call – Failure to Retain
I got a wake-up call one day, when one of my top clients left me. Initially his total Premiums were around $1,000,000. Over the course of three years, by giving away value-added services such as risk management and safety audits, I’d saved him a quarter of a million dollars in premiums. This came at great personal cost, since that also reduced my own commission from that account. Then, after all of that, with no warning at all, he fired me. Why? Because I’d become a commodity, yes, I’d actually encouraged him to think of me and my services as a commodity. He had no idea what I’d actually done for him, how much I’d added to his business’s bottom line, because I hadn’t told him. I just expected him to know.
He didn’t know. So, he left me and moved his business to another agency. He even told me he thought I’d been over-charging him, because this new agent promised to do everything I’d been doing for far less. Here I was, having saved this client a quarter of a million in insurance premiums alone. I’d made a real difference in his business, and in his bottom line (a fact that he later acknowledged to me).
What I Should Have Done
If I’d known then what I know now, I would have done things differently. I would have focused on the relationship, not the dollar figure. I would have made sure he understood exactly what I was doing for him; the value-added services I was giving him without any extra compensation. I would have focused on the impact I was making on his business. I would have, I should have, focused on him. If I had, I know I would have retained him as a client.
Unfortunately, I can’t go back in time and fix that mistake. The bottom line is that I’ve found a better way, and I want to share it with you. Please visit www.elevation180.com today, and let me help you grow your book of business to new heights through retention.