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Archive for the ‘Workers Comp’ Category

New Workshop: Nailing Large Accounts In the Workers Compensation Space

 nailing large accounts workshop july 21-22

Establish a new value proposition that will get you in large accounts.

Uncover why incumbent agents in large accounts are so vulnerable.

Learn about the “big agency” tools & resources now available to you.

Nailing Large Accounts
​In The Workers Compensation Space

Chicago, IL July 21-22

learn more and register

Are You Losing Out on Large Account Sales?

  • Tired of losing out on large account sales because you can’t get in the door?
  • Do the large accounts you have tried to sell end up staying with the incumbent or a larger agency?
  • How do you disrupt the status quo in large accounts and start helping companies protect themselves?
  • Are you fearful of losing the large accounts you do have to your competitors?

Click Here To Get The Full Workshop Details

Join us in Chicago for our 2 Day Large Account Workers Compensation Work Shop

Registration Is Now Open!



Don’t Overlook This Forgotten Treasure

When addressing injury management practices and processes, the person most likely to be overlooked to provide improvement in this area is the front-line supervisor. Supervisors are forgotten treasures in the injury management outcomes equation. Consider this:

  • They have firsthand knowledge of the injured employee, the work environment and the opportunities that exist in modified work assignments
  • They can directly influence the tone and message sent to injured workers on behalf of the employer
  • If they have an existing relationship with an employee based on trust and transparency, they can be made available to answer questions about their health and safety

In an interview with EHS Today, veteran of the chemical industry Paul Balmert said, “The guys doing the work pay a lot more attention to their front-line supervisor than they ever do the plant manager or the vice president,” Balmert said. “The biggest single mistake I saw in my 30 years was when managers didn’t understand or appreciate [that] and therefore didn’t take maximum advantage of that tremendously powerful leader out there.”

So, how can your clients make the most of this important asset?

Reviewing their training practices is the first step. Does training reflect and encourage return-to-work? Are supervisors encouraged to communicate and empathize with workers? Are they able to identify modified duty and transitional work assignments?

These are all good questions to ask when thinking about the best way to engage supervisors, and to ensure that a work culture of mutual respect exists. Having a conversation around supervisor training with your clients is a great way to help them discover the importance of focusing on better outcomes.

What You Can Learn From a Hot Dog Eating Champion

Authors of Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt didn’t use a PowerPoint presentation during their keynote address at the Live Your Story conference; instead they spoke to the room about the power of stories by telling stories. One of these was an account of competitive hot dog eater Takeru Kobyashi who decided to try his luck in a hot dog eating contest when he and his girlfriend were low on money.

He began to train using techniques he found, through experimentation and practice, to be most efficient—he separated the dog and the bun, dunked the bun in water so he wouldn’t have to take time to drink it separately and squeezed the bun into a ball that was easier to chew and swallow. Picturing it might make your stomach turn, but Kobyashi smashed the record by eating 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes when no one before had eaten more than 25.

So, what does Kobyashi’s story teach us?

-          Never accept the status quo barrier or limit.

Most decision-makers are currently satisfied and are unaware that there are any significant risks to their business. They see no unavoidable reason to change or look for alternatives. Are you offering new insights in your sales conversations, asking disruptive questions and developing the skills to steer prospects away from the transactional process that leaves them at risk? Successful producers help prospects discover what exists past that status-quo barrier—better outcomes, decreased risks, and a mutually valuable partnership.

-          Redefine problems and solutions to discover the story that no one else is telling.

For example, maybe a prospect believes that one of their problems is the high cost of their workers’ comp claims, and the only way to reduce that cost is to bid on their insurance. By engaging in honest dialog you can help them redefine the problem. Are their injured employees getting the right treatment by the right doctor at the right time? Is their experience mod incorrect or mismanaged? By leading them to reshape the problem they become aware of the real factors playing into their coverage, and you’ve created the emotional catalyst necessary for them to change.

Sales Process vs. Technical Knowledge: You Need Both

We often talk about the importance of having an effective and repeatable sales process.  Subscribing to a process shortens the learning curve for new producers, provides prospects with a consistent engagement experience and, most importantly, helps them self-discover what risks exist that threaten their business, and what they hope to accomplish. But ultimately, it’s just as important to have the technical knowledge needed to step in for your clients when things are going wrong and correct dangerous situations.  

For example, in a complex business transaction between two or more entities, you have to know what the rules are with respect to experience ratings and experience mods. If you leave a situation up to chance and let it play itself out, you could be unnecessarily costing your clients tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

It’s not enough to simply talk about reducing risks—improving technical knowledge will not only improve sales outcomes, it will also allow you to rise to the occasion with confidence when there is a lot at stake, and provide measurable value to clients.

Do you feel that you have the depth and breadth of knowledge needed to understand issues and identify opportunities? It’s not easy, but it’s essential.

Common Sense: Truth or Trickery?

Common sense is typically a good thing. Because of it, you don’t swim in the ocean when a red flag is posted at the life guard stand, you avoid letting the fire on a match stick reach your fingers—you can make the connection between an action and the bad things that might happen if you ignore the warning signs. But, your intuition isn’t always right, and cause and effect isn’t always so clear, especially in complex situations.

For example, most people would assume that when the economy falls the frequency of injuries and work comp claims would increase. After all, wouldn’t someone afraid of being laid off rather be on workers’ compensation than unemployment? The problem with this logic is that it isn’t supported by the facts. Counter-intuitively, the number of injuries actually decreases in a bad economy because people are more likely to hunker down and endure an injury without reporting it. According to the data, frequency of reported injuries and work comp claims increases when the economy is on an upswing.

Our industry is complex, risks are continually changing and evolving, and if an employer’s common sense is leading him astray, many producers won’t step in, engage in a dialogue, and have the difficult conversation needed to show them a better way. Why? Because persuading someone to change their beliefs is difficult. John Kenneth Galbraith said: “Faced with a proof that their belief is wrong, ten percent will accept the proof, while the other 90% will immediately get to work defending their belief.”

But, those producers who follow an effective sales process, and possess the leadership and the gumption to tackle those tough conversations will open the doors to a world of opportunity that includes achieving better outcomes for their clients and themselves.

Bring a Sense of Urgency to Your Conversations

Employers face many risks and threats to their employees and companies, and they are often completely unaware of it. Because of this, agents can play a vital role in helping them recognize and decrease those risks.  For example, I recently had a conversation with a producer who told me this story:

A company sells and installs chair lifts in people’s homes who need help getting to the second floor. If a customer were to fall down the stairs because of a malfunction or other issue with the lift, the company would be liable. The employer  assumes they’re covered if an issue like this occurs because they have general liability insurance, but the producer discovers that they have no Products Coverage, so they’re covered for slips and trips on the showroom floor, but not when a customer is injured using their product at home.

This is an urgent situation! The employer is at a significant risk because they don’t know that their number 1 risk isn’t covered. But, the producer insists that they are “insured by ABC insurance company who I don’t represent”, or “their renewal date is too far away so I’m stuck.” The producer ends up leaving the employer in fast-moving traffic instead of snatching them out of the road and taking control of the situation.

It is important to bring a sense of urgency to your conversations when a situation is urgent. Gain agreements with the employer in order to move forward with the relationship in a way that will benefit both of you—work on a fee-basis until renewal, or become the agent the same day and worry about placing the policy later.

“It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.”- Winston Churchill

Pick Your Customers

A recent blog post from marketing guru Seth Godin focuses on the importance of choosing your customers before deciding on what product or service to provide. He says: “too often, we pick the product or service first, deciding that it’s perfect and then rushing to market, sure that the audience will sort itself out. Too often, though, we end up with nothing.”

In our profession, we’re in a great position to pick our customers and decide what kind of buyer we would like to do business with before engaging. For example, do you like working with blue collar folks? High-hazard, high-work comp, high-general liability is probably the right way to go for you. Once you know who you want to work with, you can become an expert in an industry niche and set yourself apart.

Agencies can choose to develop distinct capabilities from a wide array of services to assist employers—the important thing is to be better than your competition at something unique and important to the success of the clients that you serve.

According to HBR contributor Daniel Gulati, “The choice between staying general and specializing is a difficult one, but often, the specialist wins. Those who successfully typecast themselves can seize new job opportunities, deliver value quickly, and move forward with confidence.”