Great fencers never stop developing their skills. They hone their expertise, consider all options, and never stop thinking of new ways to become a cut above the rest. Top brokers think along these lines too, for without imaginative marketing and new business development, a brokerage will contract in size. So it's vital for continued success to give this area careful thought. Even the very best brokers lose around five per cent of their existing business a year, mostly because of takeovers, mergers and bankruptcies.
The traditional source of business for most brokers is existing clients, the referrals they generate, and the directors' contacts.
Many brokers rely on a charismatic and widely-known chairman to generate business contacts, but it's important to go beyond this. All senior managers and directors should make a point of networking within the local community.
However, most brokers recognise business growth depends on a number of different approaches. This is because:
- local networking can dry up
- other marketing and business approaches are being used by competitors
- other approaches can be more cost-efficient
- A balanced, integrated business approach often produces the best results
- networking contacts can be lost if key individuals retire or leave the company.
Marketing and development tactics
Brokers are enterprising people, and approach business development in a range of different ways. Although no broker uses all the options available, there are a number of tactics that will put a business on the road to success and increased profits. This is a summary of the various techniques that can be used. Not all of them will work for every broker, and many require a period of experimentation before paying dividends.
- target marketing
- direct mail and database marketing
- seminars and workshops
- affinity marketing
- press advertising
- local radio advertising
- newspaper coverage
- local TV
- Yellow Pages
- marketing material
- personal lines business.
For more in-depth detail on each of the above, please refer to the latest edition of The Cutting Edge Report.
Part 3 of The Cutting Edge Report is available from your local CGU branch.