You may or may not be aware that, over the past several months, we have been building out the property and casualty side of our sales system. As you might expect, doing so has provided several lessons and insights, while reinforcing others. I will just share a couple here that we've learned along the way.

Lessons

There is a lot more in common around P&C issues and benefits issues than there first appears.

It doesn't matter if you are talking about the benefits or the property and casualty issues of your clients, it almost all comes down to the employees. I am convinced that if companies did the following key things, a majority of the problems they face would disappear:

  • Hire effectively
  • Train at every opportunity
  • Communicate often
  • Fire as soon as you see the need

Insights

The parts of our system we have been building recently are our Cheat Sheets, which are sort of the Cliff'sNotes version of Cost Drivers. Our Cost Drivers are the collection of issues faced by employers that can negatively impact their business –you could contact us, and we'd be happy to explain in more detail. : )

Well, even though I ran an agency that offered both P&C and benefits, my background has largely been benefits-based. So, you can imagine the extra amount of research required to build these P&C Cheat Sheets without having the advantage of extensive experience.

In these documents we summarize the challenges, statistics, financial impacts, and solutions for each Cost Driver, as well as provide an overview for conducting an audit of the current situation for a prospect. For most producers, doing this audit (asking questions and carrying the conversation around new issues) is the most challenging part of our sales system.

Which brings me to the insight I gained from this exercise:

When you read, study, research, and force yourself to explain and write about a topic to someone else, knowing what questions to ask and having the confidence to guide the conversation becomes intuitive.

Reinforced Knowledge

I'm not going to lie; the work we've done to build the Cheat Sheets has been hard. It takes many hours, tons of research, and reading through lots of (let's be honest here) crap information to get down to the good stuff. Even though we have given our producers a great head start, they will have a lot of hard work of their own as they start mastering these new ideas.

Which reinforced something I have known for a long time:

The work is so hard that most of your competitors just flat out won't do it. Sure, it takes discipline, but every hour spent in hard preparation is an hour head start you have given yourself.

Photo by Amy Loves Yah.