Ask The Right Questions When Selecting A Carrier
With much change throughout the industry and with ongoing economic uncertainty, many producers are asking themselves the question, “Am I partnering with the right company?”
This question may not be as easy to answer as it appears. Most producers immediately think of some of the logical issues when reviewing potential partners. (See Figure 1.)
All of these issues, to be sure, are important. Financial strength ratings are a focal point, particularly during this environment. If youre not with a company that has solid financial strength ratings, chances are this is one of the reasons youre looking for a new relationship.
Competitive products, service and technology are all very important–they can help differentiate you in the marketplace. In fact, companies need to be competitive in these areas just to be in the game. Notice that we said the company you partner with needs to be competitive, but not necessarily the best. A company that has a top product today may not have a top product tomorrow.
Its very likely in todays environment that you can find a company willing to throw a lot of money at you. This may be attractive in the short run, but rarely makes for a lasting, long-term relationship, particularly if your new partner doesnt support your business.
Based on our recruiting experience, all of these issues are important to producers, but they are rarely “deal makers.” If youre looking for a long-term, successful relationship–so youre not reviewing companies every couple of years–you need to look beyond these questions.
To find a company thats right for you and to establish a long-term, successful relationship, you need to drill down a little deeper–ask the “Whats in it for me?” questions: How will my business benefit by partnering with this company, and what value will it provide my clients? (See Figure 2.)
Start by finding out the types of programs the company has to support you and your market. Having a product for you to sell is one thing, but does the company have marketing programs to help you sell it?
Lets face it, prospecting and chasing down sales leads is probably the least-loved part of being a producer. It can be a difficult and time-consuming task, and although its necessary, it takes you away from what you do best: sell. The more time you can devote to building or maintaining your client relationships, the better. Make sure your life insurance company partner will help you do that.