Value Will Sell Faster And Longer


Friday, June 19, 2020  / 09:16 AM  / By Ekerete Ola Gam-Ikon  / Header Image Credit: The Economic Times

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Like many, you have probably received the proposal from an insurer or its representative, indicating that you should consider incepting an insurance policy for your vehicles and employees IN LINE WITH THE LAW. Or may be you are one that has been co-signing such proposal letters going out to many companies (micro, small, medium and large enterprises) from insurance companies?


Whichever side you are now, I am offering this single sentence advice: Do not wait for the LAW anymore to pull or push you, seek and bring VALUE into the lives of your businesses, then watch them grow sustainably!

A Word for Business Owners

Whether you are just starting out or you have been in business for some seasons, value is the element that will build and shape your business into the future. It could be the value of the relationship you have with your investors, employees, customers, regulators, suppliers or even competitors.


If you do not think of the value involved, exchanged and earned, you will most definitely be heading to somewhere you will not like, regarding those relationships. 


Consider how most enterprises, and even institutions, decide who they get insurance contracts from:


  1. Most Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) either respond to persistent calls from friends/relatives or ask around for someone that can provide the insurance needed;
  2. Many large enterprises and institutions, over time and through many shopping experiences, have in-house insurance experts and/or insurance brokers, who relate with their appointed insurers.


Here, I am simply putting forward the situation that enables the latter group to get more value from their insurance relationships than the former; and this has nothing to do with financial strength but just information.


For example, do you know that the cost of getting an insurance broker is the time you spend signing a letter of appointment. It is absolutely FREE!


When MSMEs focus more on value and not help, they will not only receive it but will also be on the way to becoming big and bigger. MSMEs that seek to grow should know that a professional relationship with a credible insurance broker or agent is certainly better than the one with a relative or friend based on sentiments.


Have you not heard of the business owner who called his/her insurer representative to report an accident and got the response from the representative that he was no longer in that company? It is easier to say the representative did not act professionally but you must avoid such a situation.


You and such other business owners have been saved by some insurers and brokers that are now deploying digital solutions to improve your experiences AT NO COST to you. If you value your business and enterprise, these are the ones you should be relating with as COVID-19 persist.


As you appreciate VALUE, let it show in the way you determine your insurance relationships, so that at the end you will get value and not volumes of excuses or arguments.


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To the Insurance Providers

What has brought you this far cannot take you farther could be the statement the Insurance Industry in Nigeria needs to drive the innovation we all desire to have.


Listening more to customers (policyholders) and outsiders to the industry, and working with them on improving insurance experience within the past years have made me clearly understand that the LAW can bring them to you but it is the VALUE they enjoy that will keep them, and active too.


Those that care about your capital base will become concerned when you are either unable to offer the cover they need or settle their claims promptly. What is the value in having a high capital base but cannot drive product innovation?


When you promptly arrive the premises of prospective policyholders to inspect their vehicles and office equipment for determination of the premium they will pay, they expect similar promptness when they have losses and claims to be paid. Can you decide that you will only have Seven (7) questions or steps for your policyholders before they get their claims paid?


When you enjoy speed and convenience in your business with another entity, it is expected that others will enjoy same with you.


When you seek to understand how the other businesses make money and the kind of margins or mark up they get, you will begin to make products based on what they are willing and able to pay, not what you expect based on your calculations.


These are some of the scenarios that bring VALUE to the forefront in your relationship with businesses.  


Today's people, sometimes called Digital Natives, seek to have you in their zone - online and social media so they can express their minds about your offerings and receive your clarifications. You cannot avoid them if you desire to have a fruitful relationship with them and sizeable chunk of their population as policyholders.


These ones have misgivings about government at any level, so when you speak about the LAW as basis for them to insure their assets (vehicles and buildings) and employees, they quickly start thinking of alternatives that technology can offer them to secure their businesses and investments.


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Minimize Focus on Price and Premium

Businesses that focus strongly on price when negotiating with insurance companies for the cover they need, whether according to the LAW or not, miss lots of VALUE they could have heard from the insurers or brokers/agents in the course of their discussions.


There is usually the mindset on the price we will pay, on the part of business owners and the premium we will get on the side of the insurers when they meet. Often, business owners do so without their brokers in the room, or even when they are present, the broker is erroneously considered to be on the side of the insurers.


Putting VALUE forward and into the relationship between insurers and business owners requires a process that both sides are often not ready to painstakingly consider. I have seen many insurance contracts, usually for one year duration, concluded within 15 minutes, then the "forgotten" discussion on VALUE surfaces when claims occur.


Insurance offers value that can only be seen in a sustainable system, which depends on the appetite and temperament of both sides.


Let VALUE determine your take!


About The Author

Ekerete Olawoye Gam-Ikon, MNIM, CPP, is a management consultant with a specialization in Strategy and Insurance. He is available through e-mail

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