Summit Management Consulting Group, LLC works with carriers in several ways.
1. Direct consulting, whereby some specific project or initiative is identified, and for whatever reason the carrier does not have the staff, the talent, or the expertise to create and execute a particular project plan…or the carrier simply wants to accelerate the timetable for the successful completion of a project, and contracts with Summit to assist in that project acceleration. Consulting projects include: merger, acquisition and due diligence assistance; workflow analysis & system/procedure development and fine tuning; staff talent assessments; expense savings/cost control projects; succession planning; new product releases; strategic planning; off-shoring assistance; initiatives to get at root causes of recurring regulatory audits and fix those problems; and team or individual coaching and development. The direct consulting engagements all involve unique, customized needs analysis and engagement plans, and more information can be obtained through discussions with a Summit consultant. This is negotiated on a project basis, and fee/investment is determined by the nature and time involved in the project.
2. Customized, in house training – involves a needs analysis of your organization, in some cases a talent assessment, and then the development of a training program provided to select staff within the carrier. In some cases this involves a short training seminar that is part of a regional or national meeting, in other cases multiple sessions, for multiple offices. In most of these cases an individual from your organization is identified for sales training certification, and/or sales management development, so at some point you can take the training over, an reduce your costs over time as well as further evolve, and customize the training. This is negotiated on a project basis, and goals, scope, timetables and success measures will be mutually agreed upon.
3. Sponsored/Subsidized programs, or carrier “value added” programs for agents & brokers. Clearly it is in the enlightened self interest of a given carrier to strengthen its distribution system, make sure that partnerships are secure and lasting, and position itself as a favored market – maybe even with an “unfair” advantage over other markets. One way to do this is to subsidize, or fully sponsor training for your VIP agents, or better yet, all of your appointed agents. These programs are individually negotiated based on the scope, type of training, and time involved in the training.
The relationship between the independent agent and the insurance company, or carrier, is a unique one, and often somewhat challenging to manage. The carrier is often one of many markets that the agent represents – and the challenge (and ultimate goal) for the carrier is to get positioned as the number one “go to” market for that agency. You want start by having your field personnel negotiate realistic sales plans and annual premium targets, you want the producers in the agency or brokerage to understand your underwriting appetite (and u/w standards), you want producers aggressively going after target business, bring solid and complete submissions to you, and have the depth and quality of relationship with the prospect, as well as the sales competence, so they can indeed win the business if you approve the submission and not have you waste your time in a carrier “beauty contest” that ends up being steered to another carrier, or worse yet, having the agent lose out to a competing agent. You don’t want agents wasting underwriter time, and have your agents block you as a market in cases where they never really intend to submit the business your way, and you certainly don’t want adverse selection from any agent. You want to be in a position to be the recipient of quality “book rolls” and never be the victim of the same, and you want a straight shooter as an agent, who projects a professional image on your behalf, feeds you complete and timely information, and at the end of the day wants the book to be as loss free as you do.
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SUMMIT MANAGEMENT CONSULTING GROUP: Newbury, New Hampshire - T. 603-398-8888