Not all relationships are created equal
Today’s property casualty program insurance market is hyper-competitive and for good reason. The retail space has seen and is seeing huge consolidation as aggregators pay record multiples for retail agencies. To work, these deals need to see the acquired companies grow – and this growth requires more and better trained producers with niche focuses. Better producers chasing the business mean more competition, and the most effective response to competition is relationships. Regardless of how “techie” and sophisticated we get, there is one clear siren … relationships matter.
For Glatfelter, it starts with identifying “cultural congruency.” When we coined the term cultural congruency, we were attempting to label what makes us more effective at building relationships with certain agents. After we boiled it down, we were left with the fact that if our cultures are similar, especially as it concerns our values, we tend to have a productive, flexible and mutually supportive relationship. Our cultures are congruent.
To identify these congruencies, we developed a value-based survey that is sent periodically to our producer network and surveys are completed when one of our sales associates visits with an agent. This data is also collected during the onboarding of a new agent.
As our database of surveyed agents grows, we are experimenting with overlapping the values data with actuarial and underwriting data to test the hypothesis, “Agents with cultural congruency produce more profitable business.” Based on the limited data reviewed to date, we believe we are on to something. Find agents that share your values and focus on building those relationships.
As we continue to face an extended soft market, industry consolidation and hyper-competition, these mutually profitable relationships are crucial to position both program managers and brokers for success.
Art Seifert, Glatfelter Program Managers
Arthur is a fitness enthusiast, a grandfather, philosopher and possessor of a wretched wit.
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