To mark the third anniversary of the first lockdown our Senior Key Account Manager Paul Ingleby talks about his experience working with brokers after Covid.
In a world where nothing can be taken for granted, what is the secret to working successfully within the Insurance Industry? Communication and Relationships. The Covid Pandemic threw in a curve ball and forced us to change how we work, and how we communicate with each other – whether this be loved ones, or indeed professional communication and meetings.
Like many others, I had never had a “Teams” or “Zoom” call before. I had spent years, travelling to offices daily and sitting in front of my brokers, phone at the ready, enjoying a coffee or a meal and building those relationships. In a blink of an eye this was gone – I had to adapt and learn a new way of daily chatter. I struggled, I resisted but like everyone, I adapted.
Business during this time was very successful. It had opened our eyes to a “new way of working”. The travel time was removed, which enabled me to add additional productivity to my day – gone was the “dead” time, whilst sitting on the M25. I was able to look at the Property Portfolio that had been presented to me. I was able to respond quicker to my brokers.
As an MGA, we were very quick to adapt as a company. Our IT is fantastic, and the quality of staff is second to none. This enabled us to provide the same if not better service as pre-pandemic. Brokers were able to contact us and trade more easily than ever. In many cases, business levels increased when we received enquiries that we may have not been considered before.
Now that we are a few years on, the meeting model during Covid has evolved further. Hybrid working was born. Some companies have chosen to work with Hybrid working and some have not. Of course, it doesn’t work for everyone, whether this be due to company preference or down to individual worker preference.
For Commercial Express and myself, this works, and I feel it provides the best of both, which enables me to still build relationships but also work with the individual broker preference. I can move quicker, when needed by my brokers and look at specific risks that I may have not been able to do whilst “on the road”. Meetings can be alternated between face-to-face and virtual and of course I can reach further geographically on a Teams call.
Communication is key and we have now discovered many new ways of providing that communication. This important thing however is that you mix things up a little. Teams calls are great but you need also to have a physical presence.
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this and how you were affected, and indeed how you adapted. Also, do you prefer virtual or face-to-face meetings, you can let me know below.