Defense is important, but you can't win without scoring. Insurance can provide a great career and income to the producers that survive. Our industry is highly competitive and residual income is the name of the game. However, you need to get the customers before you can renew them. I have been selling insurance for fifteen years and can tell you from experience that getting a new customer is probably ten times harder than keeping one. This entry will explore why new business offense is more important than renewal business defense.
Not many people like change. This includes business owners that may want to consider a new broker, but fear the hassle of shopping and moving process. Even if a prospect opens the door to give you a shot at their business, chances are very low that you will earn the business the first year. Commercial insurance accounts can take two to three years or even longer to earn the business. Typically the larger the account, the harder it will be to earn. The fact that change is difficult for most also makes it hard for your customers to leave you. Not to say that you can slack on your customer service (defense), but you should work on perfecting your sales (offense).
It's easier to call an existing customer than to call a prospective customer. Calling your customers is defense. Calling prospects is offence. Producers get complacent and plateau because they get too busy playing defense. A defensive producer will stay at that plateau because it's comfortable. An offensive producer will give small accounts back to the house or to new producers. This buys the offensive producer time to prospect for more large accounts.
Offensive producers trust their team. An aggressive producer will allow their service team to handle the servicing of their accounts. A defensive producer takes control of renewals and takes on too much service work because they don't trust their team. Trusting your team to do their job is vital to time management and growing a book of business.
So, what kind of producer are you... offensive or defensive? If you were thinking of excuses while reading this like "I don't have the time", "I don't have the right team", "My customers only want to talk to me, not my team", then you are a defensive producer. If you landed at an agency with a bad team, look in the mirror. Bad producers complain about problems, good producers fix them. And here's a tip you should memorize, new business fixes almost any problem. So, time to play more offence... You need to have a healthy inventory/prospect list to constantly be working. Insurance sales is very much like a football game. You have opportunities to drive the ball to a score, but may repeatedly get stopped or even lose possession. Defense is important to the game, but you simply can't win without offense. Plus scoring a new account is FUN! What type of football game do you prefer to watch, high scoring or low scoring great defense? I know what which I prefer.