Sales Skills

The Secret to Getting Larger Accounts

Jack, a new producer, tried explaining the Beyond Insurance® process during a cold call to a large-account CEO.  He offered, should he gain the business opportunity, to serve as the organization’s outsourced risk manager and said he would help the prospect identify, mitigate, and manage risks.  So far, so good, right?  Wrong!  Although Jack passionately spoke about his diagnostic approach, he succumbed to the request to start with a competitive bid.  Jack ultimately failed to get the business.

How could Jack have turned that around?

  • First, Jack tried to “sell” his process – He cold-called instead of finding an influential raving fan to refer and recommend him.  People like to know that they are making good decisions, and they want to deal with someone they can trust – someone that their friends or business colleagues have used and continue to trust.
  • Second, Jack agreed to give the prospect a bid early on – Encouraging the focus on price and product…fuels the commodity war.  Without an emotional connection that transcends price or product, Jack’s value was reduced to just a number on a sheet of paper.
  • Third, Jack failed to use his Prospect Criteria Filter –  He assumed that his new process would overcome the prospect’s comfort level with his incumbent agent.  Had Jack used his Prospect Criteria Filter, Jack may have understood that prior to implementing the risk management process, the current prospect was not an ideal fit for his pipeline.

Getting into larger accounts is no different than positioning yourself with mid-size accounts – it’s all about building trust.   Jack failed to incorporate the following necessary ingredients to achieve Trusted Risk Advisor status:

  1. Create an experience that differentiates you and your firm in the marketplace.  You must show your dedication to go above and beyond value-added services to demonstrate an experience that separates you from the competition.
  2. Build relationships based on credibility, integrity, and authenticity.  Your relationships with large-account CEOs, CFOs, and HR managers won’t be built overnight, and definitely won’t be built with a cold call.

Recent research indicates that 75% of today’s consumers, more than at any other time, select a service provider because they:

  • Have a deep, existing relationship with him or her, or
  • Were referred to the service provider by a trusted, influential source.

This same research becomes even more startling as 89% of the consumers surveyed said that they would switch to a different agency if the incumbent agent or broker did nothing to establish, preserve, or deepen the relationship. Those who did switch said the incumbent agent did not stay in contact or generate consistent, on-going value.

This takes us back to the process that successful Trusted Risk Advisers follow. 

They differentiate themselves by going beyond the basics.  They do much more than just staying in touch.  They deepen the client relationship by building trust over time, delivering on-going value, giving the CEO or CFO meaningful reasons to refer them, while demonstrating that they are diagnostic, consultative professionals – people the large account clients can rely on.

If Jack builds a customer experience journey with the goal of creating raving fans who will refer him, builds relationships with prospects, and takes time to show them that he is trustworthy and diagnostic, he has a significant opportunity to get the business next year.

How can you use the next 12 months to build a relationship with a large-account prospect?

For more ideas on how to break the commodity trap connect with Beyond Insurance on:

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