Phillip Walter, chief executive, Insurecom SME is not a good term from a marketing perspective. To achieve any success markets need to be segmented into small, medium and larger corporate.To group them all together is one of the principal reasons why brokers fail to really punch through.

SMEs form the majority of businesses, but are the most difficult market to tackle and the market most often chased with minimal success.There's way too many of them to do the large corporate approach, and using a small company-wide net approach is just, frankly, throwing money away.

Most SMEs are privately owned and management is now really sophisticated at filtering out approaches from firms they don't know, and they generally have a good connection with their client base and they expect people dealing to understand them.

So they feel like they're a big fish in a small pond and the key decision maker at an SME wants to be treated like it.

If someone comes through the door and starts talking about a generalised aspect of their business and it's obvious that they don't know what they're talking about, they are going to be shut down very quickly. An SME that a general insurance broker is wooing wants to feel like he's being treated one on one.

The key is personalisation and the key to personalisation is prospect identification, which essentially is information, and efficient business processes.

Service is vital to retaining SMEs, and that's yet another mantra, easy to say, harder to maintain. The day of an SME automatically renewing is fast approaching the sunset.

So what does a broker need to do? A quality introspective look at business processes and organisation structure never hurts. There aren't any magic bullets, every business should always be looking to try to find 50 little things that each get you 2% towards your goal.