Super Agent

Why Adaptability is Key

In recent years there has been a lot of concern and talk about the changing role of the insurance agent. McKinsey released a report suggesting that in order for agents to succeed in the future they will need to develop new capabilities and tailored expertise. In response to ACA, headlines on industry websites and magazines included things like “Brokers Seek to Preserve Role in Marketplace”.

There are agents and agencies who choose to deny that they need to respond to the changes and those who are embracing them, but overall there is still uncertainty on all sides. Added to the effects of evolving technology and the impact of health care reform is the fact that buyers today are risk averse, they stick with the status-quo and most view insurance as a commodity purchase.

But even in the face of all these challenges, there will still be agencies and agents that not only survive, they’ll thrive. How?

Consider this story on about a travel agency facing a “growing army of internet competitors”: Elaine Osgood launched her travel agency before the explosion of online sites like Expedia and Orbitz threatened her business. But rather than panic, she listened closely to what her customers wanted and answered the call by adapting her capabilities to suit their most pressing needs. She offered them better data made available by new technologies that helped them see “which airlines flew the same route and how much might be saved by consolidating all travel …or how much could a customer save by consistently booking 14 days in advance rather than 7?”

She combined access to these metrics with new self-service tech that provided her customers with instant access to Atlas agents able to take care of any unforeseen problems that might disrupt travel plans. In other words, she assessed what her capabilities were, how she might grow or adapt to better serve her customers and provide them real value, then made necessary changes to ensure her continued success.

In our industry, the disruption exists in various forms—“Big Data” isn’t going away, commodity transactions will increasingly be performed electronically, health care reform will continue to create uncertainty…

But, the good news is, we firmly believe that these challenges are actually opportunities for those agencies willing to embrace and leverage them. For example, are you utilizing the power of “big data” to help employers effectively bend their health care cost curve in the right direction? Are you pairing your knowledge and expertise with a consultative and consistent sales process?

In today’s ever-changing and complex marketplace, adaptability is key.

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