Preparing for a Hard Market

Posted on

January 24th, 2012

by

I was watching CNBC this morning while I had breakfast in my virtual office.  They ran a quick headline about Travelers.  The anchor explained that Travelers missed earnings, but no need to worry, they have successfully increased rates across all divisions of the business.  Another sign (possibly a flashing red sign) that we are moving toward a hard market.  So how do you keep clients happy and impress new prospects when they are facing significant increases?

  • Refine Your Value Proposition – “We have successfully served our clients for over 100 years” is a nice message, but how you can refine that to make your clients comfortable when their rates jump 15%?  What value do you bring that makes you worth the increase?
  • Evaluate Your Top Differentiators – Everybody preaches competitive markets and superior service, but what do you do and what will you do that is truly unique and different from the competition?  What are the 3 bullet points in your proposal that your clients and prospects will not see anywhere else?
  • Deliver Your Message – Once your value proposition has been refreshed and your differentiators are spit-shined, take them to the marketplace.  Spread the word through email marketing and social media so that anyone who has become skeptical by their growing premium is reminded why they should do business with you.

A true hard market cycle will arrive eventually and there is no reason you shouldn’t spend some time working on the above items so you are prepared.  They will begin paying dividends almost immediately.