Major League Baseball opening day!
(Ignore any snow still on the ground.)
We share a ton of information with a candidate.
We want folks to enter this career with eyes wide open.
We warn them about how hard the first year will be.
That it’s often joyless.
That it may be the worst year in their sales career.
Candidates often compliment us for NOT overselling the career.
Yet, talking to folks we place, these 2 commercial insurance “inside baseball” surprises confound them.
- Underwriters. The elusive “sale behind the sale”. An insurance company underwriter can muck up a producer’s perfectly good sales opportunity. As a recovering underwriter, I confess. Best advice: Make your underwriter your ally. And, always have alternatives because relying on one insurance company underwriter is dangerous.
- Countermanding letters. Smart brokers know that a Broker of Record (BOR) letter is the best way to get a sale. The client fires their current broker and hires you. Then, you can go ahead and fix the insurance program. Oh, the joy of victory. You run around the office celebrating like it’s Mardi Gras. But wait, the old broker comes back within 10 business days with a countermanding letter. You storm around the office asking “what the @#$& is a countermanding letter?” (Good question. I’ve never seen or heard the term “countermanding” outside of commercial insurance.) The countermanding letter trumps your BOR letter. The client just un-hired you as the broker. The client’s old broker takes back the account. Oh, the agony of defeat. Best advice: Set the ground rules for commitment with the prospect all the way up to when they sign the BOR letter. Then, prepare the client and walk them through the process of rejecting the old broker’s plea for a second chance. And, know that sometimes, even with the client’s commitment, you’re going to lose a few BORs to countermanding letters.