Skip to main content

Insurance Producer or Risk Manager? (Part 2)

By December 1, 2020June 14th, 2021Agency Management Moments

In part two, Scott continues to engage us.  He compares an insurance agent’s process to that of a medical doctor. Scott recommends agents meet with local risk manager’s to compare notes and gain inspiration. In this section of the podcast, Scott invites Iroquois member agencies to use the free tools his company has put into place. These tools include,  assessments on Sales Leadership, Producer Growth and Organic Growth. Scott has so much to share with us. Find episode one of this two part series here. Don’t forget to connect with Scott Addis on LinkedIn.

Image portrays how an insurance producer or risk manager can better describe their services to a potential client. How price can really be more of a process.


Edwin K. Morris (8s):
Welcome to the Trusted Advisor podcast brought to you by Iroquois Group. Iroquois is your trusted advisor in all things insurance. This week, you’re listening to Charlie’s corner, a segment hosted by our very own Charlie Venus.

Charlie Venus (22s):
So, Scott, you know, once you say that an agent does put that process in place. You know, one of the issues that I’ve seen happen is that the process goes in place and you, I believe you have to make a decision. If that client doesn’t want to use your process, that you need to walk away from that opportunity. I mean, what’s your advice to agents when, when that happens, when they go out and talk to a prospect, they lay out the process and the prospect says, well, I’m not really willing to do all that. And this is, I just want you to give me a quote,

Scott Addis (1m 4s):
Charlie, and I’ve always used medical terms. Let’s use medical terms. Let’s assume that someone very near and dear to you is ill. You would hope the physician goes through a five step process. Number one, they consult with the patient. They diagnose a condition. They then go ahead and communicate to the family, the potential treatment options. Then they treat, and then they monitor the success of the treatment. So once again, the, you consult in step one, you diagnose in the step two, you convey the treatment options in step three, you treat in step four and then you go ahead and monitor the success of treatment at step five.

Scott Addis (1m 45s):
Charlie, what would it be called if I’m a doctor and I come into you and say, Charlie, we’re going to go right to treatment tomorrow. I don’t have time to consult, diagnose or give you treatment options. I’m just going to try to treat. That could potentially be what?

Charlie Venus (1m 60s):

Scott Addis (2m 0s):
Exactly. And I truly believe that we have to convey to the customer. Yes, I can go to step four. I can get you bids and quotes, but my real value, much like a physician is to consult and diagnose the risks and the issues facing you today. And then come up with solutions. And I truly believe that the silver lining of COVID-19 has never before has a consumer been more willing to say, okay, I get it. I live every day, personally and professionally with so much risk and uncertainty. It’s crazy. I want a different breed of agent or broker. It’s interesting. As we’re talking today, we have a virtual program going it’s called goodbye agent or broker, hello, risk manager. It is simply a challenge to say that every agent or broker must go ahead and view themselves as a true risk manager.

Scott Addis (2m 46s):
And if I could go a tangent for a second, I would suggest to anybody on the call, call a large organization near you that has a risk manager and go to lunch or talk to them on the phone. So let me give an example. A very dear friend of mine is sitting in Virginia Beach, named Dave Jewell. I met Dave when he was the risk manager of PetSmart in Phoenix. He then moved to dollar tree. So today Dave’s a risk manager at dollar tree. I called him a few weeks ago to say, Dave, what’s happening in your world? And he said, Scott, I have never, ever been more challenged. He said, you can imagine a dollar tree with thousands of locations. He said, we have so many risks and uncertainties. It’s crazy. So having said that, it is so challenging.

Scott Addis (3m 27s):
I cannot tell you, but I am living every step of the process. Every day I’m trying to identify the risks and uncertainties. I’m trying to assess the impact globally and a per store location. I’m trying to evaluate options, put action, take action, and then monitor. But he said, Scott is challenging as it has been. It is so darn rewarding. If somehow you feel as though the consumer does not value you for who you are and they value you for simply the price you get. I can tell you if you simply adopt the mindset of saying, I want to go ahead and deliver a process oriented approach, do it. So I’m going to, I know it’s much too long an answer, but the answer is I cannot, I would tell a customer, can I start in step four and get you a bid?

Scott Addis (4m 8s):
I can, but I don’t think I’m properly doing the job for you. I would tell them that. And the other thing is steps one, two, and three do not take a lot of time. And they’re very, very empowering.

Charlie Venus (4m 18s):
What’s your advice in terms of whether it’s producers or an agency and how they go about changing that mindset to get to that process orientation, kind of that trusted risk advisor that they want to be to their clients.

Scott Addis (4m 36s):
So I truly believe we have to first start with mindset. How do I grow? How do I learn? And as Dave Jewell said from dollar tree, take this as a learning experience as how do I serve? How do I grow and how do I go ahead and to become the person that I really want. So with mindset, I truly believe you have to step back and say, how do I best serve the customer? And I truly believe that allowing them to empower them, to identify the risks uncertainties, and then deploy different techniques is really what they’re looking for today. It’s not that big a mind shift. It’s really not. I detest a name producer. I use the term risk consultant, risk advisor or risk architect.

Scott Addis (5m 19s):
A producer is one that is producing product on behalf of an organization. So I first think of the mindset is to maybe repackage who you are and call yourself a risk consultant or business risk analyst or something of that sort. And with that, try to soak up who you really are. But I just see this as a, as challenging as it is. There’s a huge opportunity. One other thing is the word price. If I could touch on that. So many people say I can’t move beyond price. And I’d like to give an acronym, Charlie, that might be helpful. And I’ve used it a hundred if not a thousand times. And given to others when someone actually is price driven, I would say, Charlie, I know that cost is an impact. It Impacts you. And I know that, but please take a moment to understand the price I offer.

Scott Addis (6m 3s):
P for process, R for deep relationships. I as intellectual capital, C as creativity, and E as energy. I bring before you a different price. I have a process oriented approach to better protect you and your business or family. I want to go ahead and deepen our relationship. And I also have relationships in the marketplace can impact you in a positive way. I have tremendous intellectual capital. I have creativity and energy to go and serve you in a very unique way. So that’s something I’ve used. People said, okay, I’m going to give the guy a chance to move beyond simply the cost of risk.

Charlie Venus (6m 36s):
Yeah, and I think from a price standpoint, what people experience from a COVID pandemic, you know, they were paying for coverage in some cases, and they didn’t have the coverage that they needed. And, you know, that’s become much more of an issue. And I think that speaks to those survey results from, from that nationwide survey that we mentioned earlier,

Scott Addis (6m 58s):
Do you think that’s a positive or negative? So let’s assume that you didn’t have the business income you thought might there, do you think that’s a positive or negative today for the, the Iroquois partners on the call today?

Charlie Venus (7m 8s):
I think you’ve got to look at it as a positive, you know, you gotta, you gotta take this whole situation and make it as positive as you can given what happened. And, and I think the positive is that, you know, a lot of people didn’t understand the coverage that they had. They didn’t understand the exclusions that were in the policy. So from an agency standpoint, you move forward and say, look, I’ve got to do a better job in conveying what’s covered, what’s excluded and reviewing, doing a coverage, review, a coverage analysis for all of my existing clients. And even doing that on the go-in with my perspective clients.

Scott Addis (7m 49s):
Yes. And think about where they were from February of 2020 to now, they’re much more receptive say, okay, I know I need to take the time to have somebody explain in layman’s terms, what I actually have, because unfortunately I didn’t do it before. And I got, I got burned.

Charlie Venus (8m 9s):
There’s just, you know, there’s just so many coverages out there. It’s very difficult. I mean, it’s difficult on the agency side to understand all the coverages. And when you put that on the consumer, I mean, it’s, it’s really difficult. All the nuances between, you know, D&O, E&O, cyber, crime, then you throw in, you know, pollution, you know, if they’re real estate owners, or if they’re contractors that have a pollution exposure, it’s really overwhelming to the client in terms of how much they have to know. And they need somebody that they can rely on as the, that trusted expert to guide them on what they need to buy and, and go through, you know, was it avoidance for, you know, retaining, self-insurance, transfer by insurance or contract?

Charlie Venus (8m 59s):
How do they handle that exposure?

Scott Addis (9m 1s):
Exactly. And it goes back to that mindset, it’s a risk advisor mindset. And today people want a risk advisor,

Charlie Venus (9m 6s):
One of your big issues is response time. Being as responsive as possible in terms of timeliness.

Scott Addis (9m 14s):
If I could let you know, in the midst of COVID-19, we have made huge strides in the development of some, some tools that your audience may wish to use. And a number are complimentary. So on our portal, which is, we actually have three assessments. We have a producer growth assessment. We have a sales leader assessment, and we have an organic growth agency assessment. So let’s speak, for example, a producer growth assessment. An individual goes online, takes 34 statements and they push a button, they get a score called unrealized growth potential. So it could be, Charlie goes on and gets his score of 27% saying at this point in time, you still have 20% unrealized growth potential.

Scott Addis (9m 58s):
And what it does, it then takes you into 10 different verticals. And we’ve actually looked at what we think are the 10 most important verticals to be a successful in the business of insurance and risk management. And it could be value proposition. It could be useful social media, prospect pipeline, growth mindset’s another area. So what it does gives you an unrealized growth potential. It also says, here are your developmental needs and what I’m getting at is it doesn’t matter what if someone is 26 years old or 66 years old, we always have to be refining our skills. So what this is is called the sales accelerator program. And behind the survey, we actually have created 10 self-paced, very high quality modules, which allow one to go at an increase their skills.

Scott Addis (10m 45s):
So what’s cool about it was you do the assessment, you got unrealized potential. It points you to the skills you need to work on. You can go right in there to the, the sales accelerators at a very efficient and very fun way. If anyone is a sales leader in their organization, the sales leader assessment does the same thing. It gives you a score in sales leadership, and then there’s a program supporting that. The other is a organic growth, same thing, survey and program supporting that. So what we’ve tried to do is help the agent or broker community, number one, assess what they need to do to be successful and then build programs to support.

Charlie Venus (11m 20s):
Scott, what else would you have that you could use from a technology standpoint, in terms of the process and, and as a risk management or trusted risk advisor?

Scott Addis (11m 34s):
Charlie, we have a group of agents around the United States called the beyond insurance global network. And that group, we actually deploy something called the intelligent quotient of risk management. The IQRM. May I explain?

Charlie Venus (11m 49s):

Scott Addis (11m 49s):
If you think about in life, all of us have been quantified. We get early on an IQ score. We get grades in school and then junior year we get our IQ score. I’m sorry, SAT score. And our parents say, Charlie, depending on the SAT score, here’s a band of schools you can consider, but work hard. This summer, take, take a preparation course, increase your score. Then we get into life and we have a credit scores and sports has earned run average and quarterback rankings and yards per carry and shooting percentages. So in our industry, we have something called an experience modification factor. To me, that’s the only one indicator I know that’s really a good indicator. And what that does is help the consumer understand the correlation between a factor and safety as well as workers’ compensation.

Scott Addis (12m 34s):
So what we’ve done, we have built out 26 individual modules from cyber to fleet safety, to business continuity, to products recall, products liability, and the list goes on and on, to go into consumer risk, ask a series of questions, push a button and they get a score. And that score is basically saying at this point in time, this is your IQ RM score of 63 74. And then we build an action plan to improve the score. It’s very simple. It’s very powerful. So that’s one way we’re actually using a quantifiable assessment tool to empower the customer, to understand more about risk and uncertainty, and then building a plan. Today, it is not statistically valid. I can guarantee to the underwriting community.

Scott Addis (13m 15s):
If someone goes from a 64 in safety in the workplace up to a 97, we can’t guarantee that the reduced frequency severity of claims having said the underwriting community is going nuts because if they can say, okay, here today is, we’re sitting in October, what’s today, October and Charlie, you take a score on safety and you score a 67. And then on December 5th, we do it again. And you can demonstrate what you’ve done to improve your score and go from 67 to 92. If we can show to the underwriter, here’s an account that on the 28th of October scored a 67, they now scored a 92. We could show you what they’ve done.

Scott Addis (13m 57s):
The underwriting community is going nuts about this. So that’s been a big effort. And what we’re now trying to do is take it into industry groups. So it’s much harder. It’s, it’s simpler to take a, a risk issue and go deeper there, but you can imagine whether it’s construction, hospitality, retail, but that’s where we’re headed is really taking that kind of assessment into different industry segments.

Charlie Venus (14m 23s):
Yeah. I mean, that’s, you know, that would be great if you can get into, into those specific industry analysis, because there’s, you know, just unique exposures for every different industry out there. And if you can address those and monitor those and show relative improvement and, and I’m sure it can go the other way too, when you know, you’re always looking for improvement, but just because of changes in personnel, changes in different things,

Scott Addis (14m 48s):
And, Charlie, it goes back to mindset. I mean, it’s the same thing we did individually as an agent broker or an agency principal, as compared to someone running a business, what is their mindset? Are they camper and camping out? Are they willing to go ahead and move to the next level? And it varies. It varies by community, it varies by industry, it varies by agency. So I really think the coolest thing about our industry right now, and I see Iroquois as a great leader because what you’re doing, you’re inspiring people to grow. Iroquois inspires people to say, okay, let’s put your climbing boots back on and let’s get to the next level. And I think that’s what a great organization does.

Charlie Venus (15m 24s):
Well, thank you for that feedback. And you know, it’s an appropriate closing for this. I’d really love to have you back again, Scott.

Scott Addis (15m 33s):
I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Charlie Venus (15m 34s):
Thanks again for being with us today.

Edwin K. Morris (15m 37s):
Thanks for listening to this edition of Charlie’s corner brought to you by your courtroom. I am Edwin Kay Morris, and I invite you to join us for the next edition of the trusted advisor podcast.