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Opportunities for a New Type of Agent

December 12, 2018

Editor’s Note: In this two part series, we will first examine what it is that your customers are looking for when it comes to risk management solutions. In Part II, we will look at what it takes to assume the role of an outsourced risk manager.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to speak in a conference setting to 100 or so CFOs in the Philadelphia area.  While I was asked to present on the state of the property & casualty industry, I took the liberty of asking each participant to complete the following five-question survey.  The responses to the survey took me by surprise and made me rethink who I am and what I must accomplish in the industry.

Goodbye Agent Survey

What do the results tell you? Are the results good news or bad news?  And most importantly, do you see an opportunity?

Through the Eyes of the Customer

As you continue your journey in the business of insurance and risk management, it is vital that you see through the eyes of the customer.  This includes business leaders and heads of household.  As you know, these individuals are juggling responsibilities as never before.  And there’s one responsibility that needs extra focus — risk.

So, what is risk and why is it so important that you reevaluate your priorities to help the consumer identify, prioritize, measure, and manage it?   Risk is defined as “situations that involve exposure to danger.” Synonyms include endanger, imperil, and jeopardize.  As the above survey indicates, a typical CFO (the insurance and risk management consumer) does not have the time or technical expertise to properly identify exposures to loss.  While the CFO is well-equipped to manage finance and related areas, research indicates that he or she is not equipped to effectively manage risk.  A 2006 Los Angeles Times article stated that fewer than 20% of CEOs believed that their CFO was doing a good job in managing risk.  And the above survey substantiates the fact that the well-intentioned CFO admits that he or she does not exude confidence, expertise, or comfort in this role.

The challenges and time constraints of the CFO create a wealth of opportunities for you. Today’s multi-tasked CFO is starving for an insurance agent or broker who has the desire to go beyond insurance to become their organization’s outsourced risk manager.  The CFO:

  1. Wants you to take the time to understand his or her business and industry
  2. Desperately needs help in identifying, prioritizing, measuring, and mitigating risks
  3. Covets a professional advisor who delivers a systematic process including risk mitigation strategies that impact the bottom line of the organization
  4. Detests the traditional insurance bidding process.  The CFO is looking for a more strategic and disciplined approach to insurance and risk management. Simply put, the CFO does not want to be sold insurance.

Today’s decision-maker is eager for you to “think outside the box”…to demonstrate a curiosity and desire to understand the inner workings of his or her business. In other words, the CFO is searching for a new brand of insurance agent or broker – one who is consultative, diagnostic, results-oriented, and focused on managing and mitigating risks rather than selling insurance.

About the Author

Scott Addis, CPCU, CRA, CBWA is the CEO of Beyond Insurance and is recognized as an industry leader having been named a Philadelphia finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award as well as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America.” Beyond Insurance is a consulting firm that offers leadership training, cultural transformation, and talent and tactical development for enlightened professionals who are looking to take their practice to the next level.  Since 2007, the proven and repeatable processes of Beyond Insurance have transformed individuals and organizations as measured by enhanced organic growth, productivity, profitability, and value in the marketplace.



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