Insurance Brokers: Read the signs and act…or risk being left behind!

Since I wrote this article it has become apparent that the “problems” that still beset Insurance Broking apply to other Professions too.

…pricing and service “promises” do figure VERY prominently…in expensive marketing campaigns! I can’t help but wonder, “IF marketing budgets were diverted into recruitment and/or training would that mean they would be better able to deliver on these promises?” I hope I have already (above) established how difficult it is for an organisation to change direction. To do so, requires [amongst other things] staff and IT alignment to a worthwhile strategy.

via Insurance Brokers: Read the signs and act…or risk being left behind! « Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK].

UK insurance are you listening yet?: “I am not an SME, you patronising ***!”

hardboiled business card

Image by hartless1 via Flickr

Robert Craven hits the nail on the head again! I read this and cringed on behalf of the UK insurance industry who view SME’s as the means to line their pockets…uuugh!

Most advertisements focusing on the small business market (banks, IT, software, HR services) are not trying to communicate with small businesses – they are not creating (or even attempting to create) a relationship, or demonstrating values important to their target customers. Most ads aimed at the small business are relatively ineffective because the ad agency fails to understand the needs and wants of their target.

Seventy-six per cent of people think that big businesses lie in their adverts; 78% are more likely to buy on the recommendation of others; and still the corporates think that the route to market is about advertising spend.

via “I am not an SME, you patronising ***!”.

Self-help for business: "better questions, new answers" [free White Paper]

So you’re an SME and you reckon you know better than your Bank Manager, Accountant or some Business Consultant, what is good for your business. Instinctively, you’re probably right…but how do you know?

How can you determine that YOU’RE RIGHT AND THEY ARE WRONG?

If you want to find out how to do it without spending a fortune, opening up your business to someone (who may have an excellent CV) who doesn’t know you or your business OR handing-over “control” to people who assess the worth of a business in terms of £’s – read on.

After all, your Doctor will always tell you what you should or shouldn’t do – eat – drink but, whilst you don’t ignore health advice, I doubt you let them run your life!?

I am not advocating self-medication but I am certainly recommending some self analysis before spending big or risking the decision being taken out of your hands. You don’t even have to have any great concern about the health of the business…just a desire to know more about its “hidden” structure OR the determination to make the business the best that it can be. To: measure; monitor; manage and demonstrate it.

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Ingredients for a new recipe to satisfy SME’s & Professions

29% of SME bosses admit to keeping inadequate checks on their company finances due to competing pressures on their time but the picture is likely to be worse than this, with detailed balance sheets and profit and loss forecasts only being reviewed every 18 weeks, on average.  In addition, managers are failing to perform basic due diligence on customers and suppliers; 65% don’t credit check new customers, whilst 76% don’t check existing customers requesting to extend their credit terms.  30% have no formal contract at all with their business customers.

via SME’s Ignore Business Basics At Their Peril | SME Business News.

This is an alarming but not entirely surprising piece. We all know that SME leaders, by definition, are a determined (often proud) bunch whose core skills have led them to pursue their own path. Great. BUT, what this article highlights is that SME’s need help and not the type that is more about the satisfying the demands of greedy [leveraged] growth models, much-loved by Financial institutions or intermediaries infected by a similar “disease”! These organisations do not have enough money to buy what they crave most…TRUST. For the price they would have to pay is TRANSPARENCY and that is a price that they simply cannot afford. Read more of this post

If insurance brokers aren’t "adding value" for SME’s what does your future look like?


Research recently undertaken by QBE makes for some worrying reading…that is, of course, assuming that there are still sufficient numbers of brokers with an appetite for the fight!

I sincerely hope that there is because YOU know that you do your job the way that it should be done. Don’t be shy tell people. Show them. If you do they will tell others because insurance customers are fed up with the mediocrity and hypocrisy that have become a trademark of our industry. Customers want and NEED to deal with people that they can trust.

ASK YOURSELF, how many people and organisations in our industry do YOU really trust!?

If you haven’t succumbed to the folly of a reliance upon unsustainable commissions…that are, probably still well below the levels paid to the “pile ‘em high” insurance salesmen masquerading as brokers…you still have a chance. BUT YOU DO NEED TO REALISE THAT, WHILST THIS IS A TIME OF GREAT CHANGE, MAKING A REALITY OF THE [HOLLOW] WORDS THAT HAVE BEEN ADOPTED AS THEIR OWN AND ABUSED BY THE SALESMEN, ADAPTING TO CHANGE AND LEARNING LESSONS FROM OTHER INDUSTRIES ARE “MUST DO’S”.


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