Making the Second Sale
Selling Your Account to an Underwriter
So, you finally have the chance to turn that long time Prospect into a Client. Congrats, one sale down and one to go.
The client is onboard but what about the underwriter? There are a few tried and true steps you can take when approaching your underwriter that increase your chances of getting a great quote and speeding up the process at the same time. These are fundamentals that are all-to-often overlooked.
THE FIRST STEP: A SIMPLE PHONE CALL
Picking up the phone and calling your underwriter can have a dramatic impact on the quote you’re working on right now and the quotes coming up in the future.
Taking the time to speak to the underwriter on the phone shows how serious and committed you are to writing this risk.
Get on the phone and tell the underwriter why the risk is great and why you want to write it with them. Talk about the owners, talk about the operation, talk about it all. Even talk about the tough exposures on the account. Get the tough exposures out in the open and discuss your plans on how to control them. This helps build trust.
It’s a time to show the underwriter that you’ve given this risk time and consideration. It shows that you have a detailed understanding of the exposures and you’re ready to work together with the underwriter in quoting the account.
Being excited to talk about a risk can help the underwriter get excited too. Then they’ll want to work on your account for you.
When underwriters want to work with you guess what? Your accounts move to the top of the pile. Or, you could do the opposite: attach the ACORD apps to an email with instructions: “please quote.”
Why were you complaining about slow quotes again?
NEXT, DRAFT A NARRATIVE OF YOUR RISK
Underwriters love this. They love it.
Recap what you discussed on the phone and provide an overview of the account. The narrative does not need to be 10 pages. The objective of a narrative is to accurately and succinctly describe the risk and its key exposures. Often times this can be done in two or three paragraphs.
Spend more time on the narrative if the account is large or exceedingly complex. Giving an overview of the account and the exposures gives the underwriter a specific idea on what to underwrite. This speeds up the process.
FINALLY, PROVIDE A COMPLETE AND DETAILED SUBMISSION.
This takes additional time on your part. Make this a priority. A complete submission means fewer questions, less confusion and quicker quoting.
A quick submission (with missing information) could be put together in no time but then brace yourself for the onslaught of underwriting questions. Or be prepared to face the facts: underwriters will work with the best submissions first. They’ll make time for a poorly assembled submission once the good ones are gone.
This should make you happy. You talked to the underwriter on the phone, wrote a descriptive and succinct narrative and provided a complete submission.
Well done—you sold your underwriter.