The Power of Narrative: Why Telling Your Client's Story Matters
Why would you avoid working with a wholesaler? Many insurance agents cite feeling that when they do, they lose control of their client’s narrative in the marketing process.
Let’s face it—as a professional agent, you work hard to absorb your client’s needs, history, operations, future plans, and so forth. It can be highly stressful to hand that over to a wholesale broker and feel excluded from the process of marketing the account.
No broker can singlehandedly alleviate these feelings. However, it’s important to be honest yourself—what broker behaviors exacerbate these feelings?
- Does your broker understand your client’s industry as well as you do?
- Does your broker spend an appropriate amount of time getting to know your accounts?
- Does your broker have consistent processes to set your client up for success?
- Does your broker take steps to establish proactive lines of communication?
If you answered no to any of these questions, your ambivalent feelings towards using a wholesale broker are understandable. The truth is, if agents and wholesalers don’t understand the client’s narrative and how to effectively communicate it, they do a disservice to both the insured and the carrier partner.
Understanding and communicating narrative is another example of how HPL business is not simply transactional.
Narrative helps the client.
The insured’s story often does not fit on an application. What are their future plans? Will they be expanding into additional services in the next 12 months? Are they looking to execute new contracts this year that will require flexibility from their carrier and/or broader coverage terms? What are the drivers of previous claims activity? What has been done to resolve these issues? Your client deserves to have their story understood at every stage of the underwriting process.
Narrative helps the agent.
Do you feel like you are often having to figure out coverage on the fly? Many of our agents are HPL experts in a particular field or with admitted placements but do not have as much experience with the E&S market. What coverages are—or are not—available? Are this year’s marketing goals realistic? Wholesalers who focus on understanding an account’s narrative can help agents better market accounts and can help the agent communicate coverage details more specifically with their clients.
Narrative helps the carrier partners.
Nothing hurts marketing efforts more than an uneducated underwriter—one who doesn’t know what the client does, or what they’re looking for. Understanding the narrative and being able to communicate it grants confidence to underwriters. This ultimately helps our agents and their clients.
At Ethos, we’re fortunate enough to work with professional agents who focus on understanding their client’s needs, and the complexity of the current marketplace. In this way, we can craft their narrative on every account. Our ideal agents do excellent work gathering important information, so we can tell their stories well. Does your current wholesaler share this trait with you?
Are you working with a client that needs to have their narrative understood? Give Ethos a call.