How I discovered and codified The Strategic Risk Process.
In 2017 I was in the second year of my membership in The Strategic Coach program (an entrepreneurial coaching program) and I was challenged to discover and qualify what my “Unique Ability” was. As Strategic Coach describes it, Unique Ability is a superior skill or talent that is natural to you, it is something that you have passion for and love doing. It gives you energy, and you seek ways of improving this skill over your lifetime.
Now for the cynics reading that and finding it hard to believe that anyone can find a unique ability in insurance or risk I can tell you that what I learned was that my level of understanding of risk and engagement with a new client was unique, especially compared to my competition. I’ve written previously about how dysfunctional the insurance industry is and how most brokers typically follow a path of trying to duplicate a prospect’s insurance program it at a lower cost; without any investment in research of needs or challenges. Through the Unique Ability challenge I was able to codify the major steps we took with a new client into a process, and then map it in a way to show it graphically.
The result is shown below. We call it The Strategic Risk Process because it goes beyond just the acquisition of insurance coverage; it is a more holistic approach to risk which many mid-market firms have never experienced.
As I have deployed this strategy I’ve learned a few things:
a. Some prospective customers really don’t care about the details. Their buying habits focus on the bottom line more on what’s included or not included in the purchase. Getting “basic coverage” is more important than the process of getting the right coverage. Again, details don’t matter that much. Since these are not “ideal clients”, I’ve learned to walk away from these opportunities. At this point in my career I really enjoy working with people who appreciate relationship and what skills I can bring to them. I believe that price is critically important, but it can’t overshadow process.
b. Fortunately, most decision makers do appreciate process, especially if they run their businesses strategically. When they see our Strategic Risk Process for the first time they are intrigued and want to learn more. These are ideal clients. They “get it” and see the opportunities for not only getting their protection right, but also understand how risk optimization can help reduce friction in their businesses and create better results. The thing about ideal clients matched with an ideal process is that my closing rate has skyrocketed!
c. The other thing I’ve recognized is that presenting a buying process which is different than most of my competition creates curiosity in buyers. If they’ve not seen something like this before they want to learn more about how it works; both functionally and from a marketing perspective. They’ll ask: Does this produce more opportunities for you? Is this process increasing your closing ratio? How did you come to develop this? These are just a few questions I’ve had, and the answer is yes, and yes! Being different and creating curiosity are super differentiators and help build my brand, so it’s been a great experience!
The bottom line?
Being able to illustrate a process (and following it) which benefits the buyer, and is unexpected, unique and adds real value, not only helps the sales process but more importantly it adds lifetime value to the client relationship. Being able to articulate this value at the beginning of an engagement has been a winning strategy for me and my firm. More importantly it’s been a winning strategy for my clients.
Want to learn more about our Strategic Risk Process and how it can reduce costs and control risks for better performance? Give me a call, or drop me an email and let’s get a conversation started!