Pound That Rock… and Thrive
NBA team, the San Antonio Spurs is one of the most successful sporting franchises in the world. Since 1999 they have claimed five NBA titles and 22 overall division titles; they have won at least 50 games in 18 consecutive seasons.
The Spurs’ staple is the concept of ‘pounding the rock’. The adage refers to a dedication to process rather than a fixation on results. If you trust the process, the outcome will eventually take care of itself.
During the 2018/19 financial year, general insurance brokers have produced solid growth results. As insurance prices (rates) rise, several firms have produced double-digit growth, which translates into increased commissions and revenues.
Many of these firms point to their strong organic growth results as the primary reason for their success. In reality, their existing clients are paying more for insurance coverage; that is not true organic growth.
Once you remove the price (rate) increases, the real organic growth rate for many firms falls to low single-digit figures. According to some experts, the market is in year three or four of a positive six to seven year upswing in the global underwriting cycle.
What is solid organic growth?
100% retention of your top accounts. You successfully retain the top 20% of your clients – those who generate 80% of revenues.
Selling more to existing clients. You provide additional value to clients through cross selling products and services to your category A and B clients.
Acquiring new business. You target prospective clients that are clones of your top clients (category A and B) and generate a steady stream of referrals and introductions to further prospective clients.
To start ‘pounding the rock’ in your business, follow these three steps:
1. Implement a continuation process.
Don’t simply renew accounts; you must also continue relationships. With a continuation process, you avoid a situation where everything depends on the one day of the year a client has to make a decision. A good continuation process begins with the renewal and ends with a stewardship report to the client.
2. Design a marketing process.
An effective marketing process is your system for generating leads and creating opportunities for your business. It helps you to gain attention and attract prospective clients to fill your sales pipeline.
3. Develop a sales acquisition process.
This is your system for converting leads and opportunities into clients. It allows you to nurture prospective clients until they are ready to buy, and helps turn opportunities into new clients and greater revenue.
Top performers trust their processes to produce long-term superior results. These three processes are the corner stone of ‘pounding the rock’ for your business. You will achieve sustainable performance, and develop long-term, relationship-based accounts instead of commodity price-driven accounts.
What goes up must come down. Many brokers who might be celebrating their results right now are playing the commodity game, which is always based on price. As prices rise, clients are experiencing ‘sticker shock’ and some will start to shop around and compare services. Your competitor’s best clients are your top prospects.
If yours is one of the firms that master ‘pounding the rock’, you will thrive and soar higher during the good times, and suffer less of a fall during tougher times. You’ll be able to defend yourself successfully against competitor attacks, acquire your competitors’ top accounts, and sell more to your existing clients.
That is the real definition of organic growth. ‘Pound the rock’, trust the process, and the outcome will eventually take care of itself.
That’s how champion top performers do it – year in and year out.