Here are some suggestions based on what I have seen resourceful brokers do about .
Review the RFP carefully. There will no doubt be things you want clarified, either about the process, the illustration guidelines, or both. Make your list and call the consultantpromptly.
In certain cases, particularly where the RFP gives you free rein on the types of products, you will be quite comfortable with the mission. In other cases, particularly where the RFP appears to preclude use of your proprietary product or your favorite carrier, you wont be so comfortable. I will not suggest for a moment that a resourceful broker whose proprietary product or favorite carrier may be precluded by an RFP will (in real life) just say, “Oh well, maybe next time.” I will suggest, however, that there are ways to approach this situation constructively and at least stay within the spirit of the process the company has established.
Knowing the types of products you will explore, choose your carrier(s) and divide the labor of between you and the carrier(s). Both this article and life itself are too short to delve into how brokers should choose the carriers on a particular case. But here are some thoughts:
Remember that you will have to justify your recommendations to the company, both in your response to the RFP and, hopefully, at the presentation. You will have to describe your metrics for evaluating carriers and show how you applied them. Experienced brokers know that the company is looking for metrics that include but are not limited to the carriers financial strength, track record in and commitment to the COLI market, administrative support, and the competitive position of its products in this type of case with this funding approach and this targeted outcome. These brokers are truly skilled at presenting these metrics and illuminating just how well the carefully designed product from their recommended carrier is just right for the companys plan and funding objectives–more on this later. And, as noted, you will be asked to indicate which carriers/products you considered but did not submit, and why.
Each of the competing brokers will be asked to do the same. Therefore, given the relatively small constellation of COLI carriers, it is highly likely that the carriers and products that you submit will be the subject of comments from the other brokers. Those brokers may have some pretty inhospitable things to say about the carrier(s) or product(s) you are submitting. Incidentally, among the most common potshots we hear in competitive situations are: “strong carrier, but expensive products,” “strong carrier, attractive product, but they have gone in and out of the COLI business like the tide so you cant depend on them to support the product,” and “strong carrier, but we have found that their products arent competitive in this particular type of case because”