Are you still relying on paper? Is your company reticent to modernise technology usage?
If yes, you and your company can be sustaining much more of an opportunity cost than you know.
Let me give you an example, and since I’m a money talks, fluff walks type of person, I’ll quantify what I’m talking about.
While sipping a coffee in a cafe after an 6am morning pump class, I looked up to see this fellow tapping away at his iPad.
I found his case unusual, so I commented on it. We started to chat.
I was speaking with Scott Morrison, an insurance broker. Yes, I admit he is on the younger side of the industry average.
After a lively half-hour conversation, I found him to be a stunning example of how making a few changes, modernising the way one works can make one incredibly successful without working harder.
While this example is based on an insurance broker, it can be translated to any self-employed person, manager or team.
Let’s look at Scotts simple use of technology with clients
Scott chose an industry software (called RMS InControl) that integrates across the internet to allow advisers (and their assistants) to directly work in it while out of the office.
One of the many benefits is information can be taken directly from the client, input in front of them, automatically charting for visual emphasis and eliminating an appointment.
Because Scott and the client walk through the questioning process online, all the questions are prompted step by step on screen and need to be discussed and answered.
Some of these questions might be skipped when done by pen and paper.
Scott says there’s a significant triple benefit. It ensures he’s comprehensive and more client-focused in his approach.
It benefits his clients as they often comment that as a result of the process they better understand their need of insurance.
Since using the online process with clients, his overall income has increased by 25% from extra insurances sold from the discussions prompted by the software.
iPad vs latop
Scott switched to an iPad to eliminate the barrier that a laptop may make and uses wireless.
He brings a printout of the questionnaire to each client (with pre-meeting questions filled-in) in case there’s a problem with the connection.
I think the proof is in the pudding with this statement.
Scott said: “I’ve asked every client before we begin if they prefer to go through their insurance plan with me on paper or on the computer. To this day, not one has ever selected paper.”
When he steps back into his car in the client’s driveway, Scott’s able to automatically email them a meeting summary and also send to a request to his assistant to start the process of gathering quotations for his advice.
Next, as he doesn’t have to go back to the office to drop off paperwork, he drives to his next appointment.
This saves him at least three to four hours a week travel time and petrol, and significant down time travelling and entering data (remember, it’s already done with the client).
It also cuts out the need for one of the appointments.
Think of the client perception of Scott's service: follow through and speed.
Let’s not forget that following the comprehensive questionnaire has increased his income 25%.
Money talks, fluff walks
Let’s quantify and look at the dollars and sense of this.
One appointment less per new client – two hours, plus three to four hours travel, eliminated per week. Two hours of report writing and data entry not necessary.
In all, 7.5 hours a week x 45 working weeks = 337.5 hours a working year, or two months.
The industry average commission for a new client is $1400. So with 7.5 hours a week Scott could fit in at least four to six extra appointments.
Two would hopefully be with new clients (not to mention increased premiums from seeing existing clients, too).
Presuming he had an 80% sale rate, 2 x 45 weeks x 80% x $1400 (plus Scott earns 25% more) = $126,000 additional income generated.
Subtract a 64-gig iPad for $1150, annual software of $2000 and throw in $2250 (generous) for broadband and mobile computing.
So, $126,000 less $5400 cost = $120,400.
Do you think this too high an opportunity cost for such comfort?
Debbie Mayo-Smith works with businesses that want more effective management and staff. www.debbiespeaks.co.nz
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