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10 top tips to achieve business growth

Brokers / 29th January

The first confirmed UK cases of coronavirus were recorded on this day, January 29, 2020 in York. Who could have foreseen the social and economic impact the virus would have on the entire country, one year on?

Many insurance covers, as per their design, have provided valuable protection for thousands of people during this last year, acting as an ‘economic enabler’ and will continue to provide well-being for businesses and individuals as the economy recovers.

In January last year, before the virus took hold, Owen Thomas, our Chief Sales & Marketing Officer provided insight into what steps brokers could take to increase insurance sales, improve service for their clients and to meet their targets set for the year. Despite the impact of the pandemic these top tips are as pertinent today as they were a year ago.

The need for insurance cover is greater than ever – risk and protection are now topics in everyday language as the virus continues to impact. What is different is that in these hard economic times, cash flow for both individuals and businesses is tighter than ever – precious cash reserves often need to be spent elsewhere.

The opportunity for customers to spread the cost of insurance premiums over monthly payments through premium finance has never been more relevant- or, as our previous article explains, part of the changing consumer buying behaviour. If you didn’t catch Owen’s top tips published this time last year outlining how to grow insurance sales, including the use of insurance premium finance as a payment method, here is a reminder:

10 top tips to increase sales and to improve service

  1. Planning: Create a formal plan illustrating how your client’s insurance needs will be met over the next 12 months. Without an agreed plan there is no road map for the year ahead.
  2. Know your client’s budget cycle: Be certain of when monies are available. This sounds obvious but can be overlooked. Like many things in life, ‘timing’ is everything and no more so when it comes to selling insurance or risk management products.
  3. Give them payment options: With increased insurance premiums common place at the point of renewal, particularly in some classes of business at the moment, I recommend brokers have alternative payment solutions to offer their clients. Cover needs to be obtainable, even if the renewal quote seems initially out of reach. Premium finance is a strong option.
  4. Be clear about where revenue and profit will come from:
    Existing clients: already acquired are sometimes overlooked as a priority option for repeat and expanded business, but this should always be your first port of call.
    New clients: are vital for business growth both in the current year and in subsequent years. This also gives an indication of the ongoing health and attractiveness of your business.
    Changing risk: We live in unprecedented times where no one month is like the next whether it’s due to political, health, economic or environmental factors. What risks are applicable to your client base, what cover do they need? It is highly likely they will be facing more risk now than this time last year
  5. What does success look like? Good communication is at the centre of every successful client account- especially during remote working. Agree in advance what the client is looking for with regards to insurance cover – how do you both achieve your business goals? Closely monitor the sales process, manage, report and agree what success looks like. Flourishing relationships rely on free flowing, honest, two-way communication.
  6. The How: Avoid thinking in a traditional way about the renewal cycle. We should be journeying with the client outlining ‘Moments of truth’ that affect them on an ongoing basis – what products are most relevant and which give wider scope for increased sales.
  7. Building capability: What skills do you need to drive your sales plan? Where does people development and incentivisation sit? At Premium Credit, we have a national Capability team whose sole aim is to provide bespoke training; much of it CPD accredited, to our partners. The team has had a significant and positive impact on client experience, revenues and brokers’ commission. Our support ensures that front line insurance broker staff are properly equipped to best serve the needs of their clients.
  8. Engage with your sales team: The best sales managers engage effectively with their teams, involving them in the client journey from planning through to execution and evaluation. A winning team is a unified team.
  9. Think differently: Doing the same things with the same people is going to get the same results. Standing still is not an option. We constantly need to innovate, evolve and develop our value proposition. We also need to reflect. What’s working, what’s not, have we got the right people in the right job within our teams, do we have ‘best in class’ products to sell, what is being achieved?
  10. Listen and ask: Perhaps most important of all, always advise my sales teams to listen before they pitch for new business. It’s so easy to assume we know what our clients want. Before presenting your proposition it’s vital to know what the client’s insurance needs are and how they intend to pay for cover.