Actions always speak louder than words. We teach this phrase to our children and strive to live by it ourselves though we often fall short. That’s why we need to stop occasionally and ask the question. Am I really practicing what I preach? We ask it not just for ourselves but also those we work with, our staffs, clients and carriers. The fact is, we are only as strong as our resolve to keep all our commitments in both and word and deed. We work hard to maintain strong relationships with our carriers and work to achieve true win-win partnerships. Most of the time we succeed– but not always.
Negotiations with carriers can be tricky. No one should expect to get everything they want – on either side. At the same time, both sides must bring demonstrable value to the table. As agents, we want to serve our clients in the best way possible and create the optimal coverage packages at the lowest rates. For their part, carriers aren’t going to give it away. They want profitable business and expect us to help clients understand the relationship between the risks they face and the cost of covering them.
When a carrier pledges cooperation, we take them at their word. Yet we’ve had situations in which we will go into a negotiation with a carrier, tell us what they want and what they’re prepared to deliver and we walk out thinking that’s the most one-sided arrangement in the world. And the result? We walk away. I have heard members tell me after such a meeting they will go back to that carrier only if there is no other option. Happily, these instances are not frequent. We respect the carriers’ position and work to earn their respect. We will meet everyone halfway. We expect nothing less.