Super Agent

The Complex Insurance Sale

Let’s face it, selling insurance and risk management solutions is challenging. As producers, you’re faced with a multitude of challenging buying scenarios ranging from inexperienced or commodity buyers, to boards of directors and the often reluctant to change C-suite. The problem is, it isn’t likely to get any easier. We know through the extensive research of the corporate executive board that there are more buyers at the table, in fact 5.4 of them. This alone increases the complexity of your job.

Today, more than ever, you must understand group-buying dynamics and the challenges which arise from within. And there will be challenges. Unfortunately, group-buying dynamics tend to favor the incumbent, not the outsider.

So how can you take control and navigate these choppy waters?

First, you need to identify a true champion within the group. This may or may not be the CEO. It will be the person who is advocating for change. This champion is the one who can help you and influence other members of the buying team on your behalf.

Secondly, you’ll want to make sure your champion is clear on your process for engagement. They must understand not only how you engage, but also, why you engage in the manner you do. They will need to be armed with insights about your capabilities and resources, and how they will help the team avoid risks and improve outcomes. This is not a features and benefits presentation. They need to be able to answer questions as they arise and help you build consensus with what problem the group is actually trying to solve.

Next, it will be important to understand challenges, barriers and concerns members of the team have. This is where an assessment can be particularly helpful. Your assessment will likely identify where silos exist in the organization. While you’ll want individual feedback, you won’t want to get caught in the trap of trying to solve individual problems. Doing so will only increase the complexity of the sale. Again, you’ll want to continue to gain consensus amongst the team as to what problem or problems you all agree must be solved.

Your champion will act as a coach to the team. Because you’ve taken the time to help them understand your process and they have an insider’s view of the group dynamics, they will help you navigate and overcome challenges.

As you progress through the sales process, you’ll want to educate each member of the team. You’ll want your training to remain focused on the large issues facing the entire team. If you identify disagreements as to strategy or issues being addressed you’ll want to take it on. Ignoring challenges could end up costing you the sale.

Following these steps isn’t going to be easy. In fact it’s going to seem like you are spending more time trying to manage a dysfunctional team then selling them something. And you’re right, you will be. But that’s what it’s going to take to win.

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