Brokers Should Demand More Than Product From Carriers
Many carriers are looking to court the independent broker. They understand that brokers represent an increasing share of their current and future business. They use traditional incentives to woo your business like higher payouts and trips. But is your carrier thinking about new and different ways to reward your business?
You have the right to demand more of your carrier than access to product. Smart carriers help grow your business through marketing. The question is: Are you smart enough to ask?
Define the Marketing Process
Brokerage agencies and independent brokers often lack the resources or expertise needed to execute a comprehensive marketing plan. In its simplest form, marketing comprises three phases: planning, execution and follow-up. Many carriers help their career force with some or all three phases. Since these resources already exist, top brokers should have access to them.
Phase 1: Planning
During this phase, you start by looking at economic and demographic trends to identify markets in which to expand or enter. Many carriers have research departments that generate this information.
After market analysis, brokers should analyze their book of business to segment clients into the identified markets that have high potential. Dig deep into the top clients within these markets.
Have you cross-sold all the products they need? Sometimes examining your client base by market provides a different perspective, allowing you to position the next sale more effectively.
Some carriers can help you with the client segmentation as part of the planning process. Their systems usually can sort your client base by multiple criteria. Discuss with your carrier about its client segmentation capabilities.
You also should investigate whether your carrier targets markets that are complementary to your business. Can it provide prospect leads from its own prospecting programs?
Many carriers provide this assistance to their career agents, but some leads cannot be assigned because there are no local career agents. Where do those leads go? This is a perfect opportunity to support top brokerage producers.
Finally, you have to do marketing planning, a crucialthough not easystep. If you dont feel comfortable with the process, ask your carrier about marketing experts on staff. Perhaps they would help you develop a marketing plan.