Have you ever been to an awful meeting?
Most people don’t like meetings. Meetings are frequently inefficient, repetitive, twice as long as they need to be, and don’t end in action.
Is your agency contributing to the problem? How many producers at your agency run effective meetings?
After your team works hard to earn a new business meeting with a prospect, don’t blow it by creating a bad first impression by running an awful first meeting.
Don’t be that guy or gal!
The easiest way to implement better meetings across your agency, and especially with your sales team, is to implement a simple before, during, and after checklist.
What is a before, during, after checklist? If you have ever flown, you’ll appreciate that the pilot runs through a before-takeoff and before-landing checklist.
Don’t crash your opportunities! Borrow my before, during, after checklist from my agency days. Basic. Easy to comprehend. Straightforward to implement. Do this a few times and it will become muscle memory.
- Prepare a list of similar clients
- Does the prospect match your Ideal Client Profile?
- Weak Ties: who do you know that has a connection to your prospect?
- employees, clients, centers of Influence, carriers, underwriters, etc
- Prepare a Prospect Snapshot PDF by printing each webpage:
- Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram
- Data sites: Manta, ZoomInfo, BrightScope
- Government / Public Data: WC Bureau, Secretary of State database, Department of Transportation, Assessors, State licensing authorities, legal filings, etc
- News search
- Risk Management
- Read their website (their literature).
- Know their lingo / lexicon
- If you’re selling a Marina, you better know what a travel lift is, stormwater pollution measures, etc. If you don’t know their language, you won’t be positioned to ask good questions. Also – if they use lingo you don’t know – you can ask!
- Relentless Preparation
- Have a written Agenda, every time
- Know the first three questions you will ask
- Send a confirmation email, phone call, text message
- Create a folder on your computer with next step documents
- If, halfway through the meeting, the prospect asks: great, how do we get started? You should be prepared with broker of record, market assignment, loss run request letters, both printed and ready to go to get digitally signed.
- In Wunderite, you can have these ready to go in seconds–whether for print or to be digitally signed in Wunderite
- For producers: Leverage your team. Prepare (write) an intro letter written (snail mail, email, linkedin, text message, whatever suits your style) from your CEO, or commercial department manager, and ask them to review and send when the timing is right. This helps create your prospect know they have access to management
- Prepare a handwritten thank you
- Set the Table
- “The purpose of this meeting is …”
- “By the end of the meeting we will …”
- “After wards, we will …”
- How does that sound?
- Concise overview
- 30-60 second overview of yourself
- 30-90 second overview of your firm
- Shorter and sweeter the better
- Ask Questions, and Listen
- Prepare a set of questions (at least three) you want to ask
- Active listening means nodding, responding, taking notes, digging deeper
- Be prepared for “what does this have to do with insurance” or “can’t you just get me a quote”
- Conversation, not Presentation
- Watch and listen for signs of engagement
- Wow! Really?
- Never heard someone understand me like this
- Didn’t know this was how insurance could be
- Heard something new they like
- Be ready to go with Next Steps
- Second meeting, Gap Analysis, Risk Management review, Broker of Record, etc
- Whatever you set out to do
- Set next meeting date / time
- Great, so we’re agreed, next steps are ABC?
- Set up next meeting
- I’ve taken a lot of notes, will connect with my team later today, and plan to discuss at the next meeting
- Summarize Succinct details, needs, next steps
- Bring in / handoff as fast as possible to team member who is good at follow up (personality depending)
- Send thank you letter
- Team Overview
- Introduce the broader team
- “I will quarterback, you can always reach out to me. I am often in meetings like this, I will forward Cert requests to your Account Manager John, but you can always skip me or cc me and likely get faster response
- CEO Welcome Letter
- Plan for next 18, 24, 36 months
- This is the beginning of a long term relationship, not a 1 year quote
Co-founder & CEO