Whether you are just getting started in the insurance business or are a seasoned broker trying to get out of a sales slump, specialty insurance programs might just be the key to growing your book of business. Moreover, specializing in a niche area of an industry will go a long way toward retaining the customers you worked so hard to get.
If you are the type of broker who is familiar with many industries, you will have the best success when pursuing the industries other brokers are passing over. Knowing even a little bit about a certain facet of an industry can be a start to finding your niche and give you the opportunity to solidify a niche market in an underserved industry before other agents catch on.
Targeting a niche market takes a little more time and effort in the beginning, but the benefits will pay off eventually. Specializing it will help your agency stand out among the crowd and will help you garner a reputation for serving a particular industry – better than anyone else.
Furthermore, targeting a niche market to grow your agency will allow you to fine-tune your prospecting and marketing activities. Over time, your sales cycles should shorten and your conversion rates improve.
Once you have new clients on the books and they have earned your trust, you will have new sources of referrals. Once those referrals become clients, you will gain even more trust and have yet another new source of referrals.
Ready to go all in on a niche? Here are 10 of the attributes that we see in the most successful specialty brokers.
- Solution-Focused Attitude
Look for solutions, not roadblocks. Listen to your clients’ needs but supplement that with questions about their business and even a walk-through that might uncover exposures that should be addressed. Source potential solutions among carriers, and build customized protection plans that address the client’s unique problems, business exposures, and needs.
- Strong Sales Skills
Learn from top salespeople both within the industry and beyond. It is useful to know what works for other producers in your industry, but for a fresh approach, pay attention to top B2B (Business-to-Business) sales professionals in other disciplines, too. Master the sales basics, such as cold calling, lead generation, presenting, overcoming objections, and closing.
- Attention to Detail
Have a disciplined approach to generating and following up on leads. Establish and meet daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goals. Update your contact management system religiously with notes, progress, and reminders to follow-up on leads.
- Ability to Adapt and Pivot
We all had a crash course in adapting to change during the pandemic, demonstrating the need for flexibility. Even the best-laid plans sometimes require a pivot. Do not fall in love with your ideas, be ready to change at a moment’s notice based on market conditions or your client’s needs.
Sometimes the differentiator is simply being the first to respond. Master multiple channels of communication and use the prospective client’s preferred channel.
- Tech Savviness
If you haven’t already, now is the time to harness and master technology. Your tech tools are vital for lead and contact management, data analysis, and more. Tech is the key to efficiency and communication. Keep up with new tools or get left behind.
- Good Time Management
Know how to prioritize and manage your time. Learn when and how to delegate and to collaborate with service staff to ensure an excellent and seamless customer experience. If you aren’t sure where to start with this one, keep track of how you spend your time throughout the day and look for ways to be more efficient and effective.
There is no such thing as failure, just a new lesson to learn on the path of continuous improvement. While breaks are necessary from time to time, try looking at an issue or sales call with a fresh perspective or consult a mentor on your strategy instead of throwing in the towel.
Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. If you can’t help a client, be honest with them, even if it means they won’t do business with you. They will appreciate it and likely come back to you when you can meet their needs.
- “Whatever it Takes” Mindset
Go the extra yard to serve and delight your prospects and clients. Don’t settle for “good enough” with your clients or your own business. The extra effort will pay off.
For more tips on specializing, check out this AM Best Special Presentation featuring NIP Group CEO Richard Augustyn and other insurance thought leaders on how transitioning from generalist to specialist has broadened their opportunities for success in the insurance industry. Click here to learn more and watch the episode.