The end of the year is the perfect time to set goals for the year ahead. Here's part one of a list of 22 ways to make 2022 your most successful year yet.
The end of the year is the perfect time to set goals for the year ahead. As the new year creeps closer, here is part one of a list of 22 ways to make 2022 your most successful year yet:
1) Develop “nichepertise." Identify two to three industries to focus on in 2022 and beyond. Become an insider, join associations, subscribe to trade journals, join LinkedIn Groups and gain an understanding of the business risks prospects face in these industries by speaking with underwriters, reviewing supplemental applications and interviewing subject matter experts.
2) Create your top 100 researched prospect list. Go deep instead of wide. Focus on building relationships, sharing insights and discussing risks with 100 businesses that you've qualified as your perfect client type. These characteristics may include revenue per account, industry-specific risks, geographic location, number of employees and ability to leverage centers of influence.
3) Identify three to four themes for prospect discussion. Prepare for the types of conversations you want to have in 2022 by gaining clarity on the challenges facing your prospects. Your themes should be relevant and help you pique the curiosity of your prospects by demonstrating that you understand the risks your prospects are most concerned about and ones which they may not yet be aware exist.
4) Develop a compelling client-facing value proposition. Your value answers the question your prospect may be thinking, but not asking: “Why should I choose you versus any other option in the marketplace?" Be careful not to fall into the value proposition trap of making it about you and your agency. Instead, focus on why you do what you do for them.
Craft your “why statement" and consider developing a “how statement." Your how statement communicates your process for engaging with prospects. It expresses how your approach addresses your why statement. Finally, nail down your “impact statement." Your impact statement states the results your prospects can expect to achieve as a product of engaging with you and your agency.
5) Create email, phone and voicemail template messages for 12 topics. Become more efficient in 2022. Instead of starting from scratch each time you reach out to your prospects, develop templates that align with the broad themes you've developed. Ideally, you'll have three to four topics supporting your theme. Creating these templates in advance will help you make the best use of your business development time.
6) Develop responses to the most common objections you receive. If your plan for 2022 includes reaching out to prospects, you can expect to receive a few objections. The good news is there are only a handful of objections you'll likely encounter. Instead of being pressured to respond in the moment, make a list of the most common objections you receive and develop responses to them. Make sure your responses are empathetic and include pivots to help you remain in control of the conversation and advancing language that invites your prospect into a dialog about their business and business risks.
7) Identify 10 existing accounts for cross-selling. Business risks are interrelated. Yet, oftentimes producers don't have a strategy to partner with their colleagues to address those risks. Working with your personal lines counterparts, you can focus on protecting the personal assets of your clients. Engaging with your employee benefits peers can help your clients address fiduciary risks that often arise out of plan designs. Not only will you increase revenue for you and your agency, but you'll also help to better protect your clients.
8) Ask your top 10 accounts for a referral. Referrals are a powerful way to gain new customers, but few sellers actually ask their clients for referrals. In 2022, make it your mission to ask your top accounts to make introductions to one or two of their business colleagues. Better yet, do a little research and identify two or three businesses you want to do business with and share the list with your top accounts, asking if they'd be willing to provide a testimonial or make an introduction.
9) Create three case studies. Your prospects want to know that you've helped similar businesses overcome the types of challenges they're facing. Case studies are a perfect way to memorialize and leverage the success you've had with others. At the same time, they demonstrate to your prospects that you have the skills and capabilities to help them.
10) Identify three professionals to interview about the secrets to their success. Get out of the echo chamber. To get a fresh perspective, consider interviewing successful professionals outside of the insurance industry to find out how they are winning new business and growing client relationships. You'll likely gain a few pearls of wisdom that you can use as you work to grow your book of business.
11) Get social. LinkedIn and other social media platforms are effective at helping you to showcase your knowledge and share insights with your prospects and clients. Leverage the themes and topics you're focused on to create posts. Be sure to include thought-provoking questions to engage your readers and get them thinking. Keep in mind, consistency is the key to success. It takes time for your prospects to recognize your name and find value in your insights. This is a long-term strategy that requires persistence and consistency over time.
Need more? Look out for your News & Views e-newsletter next week for 11 more ways to rock 2022.
Susan Toussaint is vice president, Growth Solutions, U.S. with ReSource Pro. For over a decade, Susan has been training, coaching and developing programs to help insurance professionals overcome barriers to organic growth. In 2006, she started Injury Management Partners, and in 2009, she co-founded Oceanus Partners with her partner, Frank Pennachio. Today, she is a full-time trainer and consultant focused on developing products and training that help clients attract, acquire and retain profitable, right-fit business.