While at an insurance brokerage, we are not flying multi-million pound jets and lives are not at stake, a lot can still be learned from how pilots in the Royal Air Force prepare for flights—.
When pilots take to the air, they often spend more time briefing each flight than they actually do flying. On every single mission, they strategize on everything from airspeed, flight manoeuvres to how they walk out on the tarmac as a team. Everyone is accountable, from the most senior officer on down. Brokers can take a lesson from these pilots on how to prepare.
What’s your attitude indicator?
There are countless switches and dials in a cockpit but the biggest one in the dead centre is called the attitude indicator, indicating the plane’s angle in relationship to the ground. It is easy to lose focus, but you must remember the attitude indicator at all times – not only for better efficiency, but for your own survival. For most insurance brokers, the attitude indicator is retention and growth. In organising your meetings with your team, keep a laser focus and efficient structure on that goal and purpose to drive your brokerage securely skyward.
Create a deadly effective weekly meeting
Given the importance of your central task, one could easily argue a monthly meeting is simply not enough. A broker sales meeting should be weekly, highly focused and deadly effective at accomplishing the mission. A sample agenda would be as follows:
- New business written that week (two-minute summary on how it was written)
- Referral programme (most brokers claim this is how they get business yet do not have a formal programme in place)
- Competitor analysis (Have you beaten another broker recently? Then everyone in the firm should know who and how and get after their clients!)
- Business lost (why did the competition get it and what changes need to happen to ensure it doesn’t happen again)
- Opportunities looking to close that week
- Sales metrics (closing ratios, etc.)
- Ideas to get prospect intro meetings (drip marketing campaigns, calls, etc.)
- Account rounding
Dive deeper each month
In addition to weekly briefings, continue monthly meetings to focus on strategic issues. The monthly meeting can be longer – enough time to do real problem solving – and added topics can include training and brokerage branding.
- Training would cover things like elevator pitches, overcoming objections and mock presentations. You think you don’t need that? Well, imagine the ego of a fighter pilot, and yet they are continually training to improve and be the best. This type of commitment is expected if you want to be perceived as world class. You have the best people and service? Prove it by raising the bar internally and making training a priority, which will drive results.
- Brokerage branding would be discussing where you are winning and why you are losing. Check your ego at the door and have frank discussions. Do research on lost opportunities. Learn from these discussions and make adjustments to what you can deliver. This will be time very well spent for both brokers and account managers.
If you are focused on the mission, discussing the battle plan every week and have the team training to be the best there is, then everyone will come out a winner. Except perhaps your competition.