Combining an expert knowledge of insurance with a good head for business, find out what it takes to be a Commercial Account Executive
Any business owner needs to protect their business from a multitude of dangers, whether physical, cyber or something unseen. For this, you need an expert knowledge of the insurance market. How do you find the right person for the job?
Enter the Account Executive: responsible for safeguarding their clients’ interests within their area of expertise, Account Executives work with companies from across the market, in areas as diverse as technology, manufacturing, retail and Financial Services. In an economic landscape that is currently being transformed by new regulations like GDPR and MiFID II, as well as the upcoming Brexit deadline, the Account Executive plays a key role in ensuring their clients are informed about the upcoming factors affecting their business and ultimately, mitigating the risk by providing specialist advise on insurance cover.
But what do you need to know if you want to succeed as an Account Executive, in a market that can often be very competitive? We at IDEX Consulting sat down with a recent client, Mark Robinson of Finch Insurance Brokers, to find out more about what makes a good Account Executive great.
The day-to-day job
Mark was hired as an Account Director to build out a specialist niche in the technology sector, using his expert knowledge of insurance to aid clients, and keeping track of new technologies and legislation changes made within the UK or EU. He then advises his clients and prospects what risk and insurance protections they need to put in place, the better to protect their businesses and balance sheets.
His job- and that of most Account Executives working in Insurance- is to make sure the risk exposures the client faces are covered at the right price, and with the correct wordings to ensure that their business is protected in the event of a loss. In a market wheremany firms are still reelingfrom the slew of new regulations that have come onto the market in the past two years, this insight can prove vital in protecting them from damaging mistakes. Though competition is fierce, with many brokers competing for the same business, the job brings with it a lot of positives: Mark’s role has seen him develop strong, lasting relationships with a broad range of businesses, further expanding his knowledge of the sector and the challenges faced by his clients. Indeed, as a result of immersing himself in the market, he’s now found that he’s able to refer his prospects and his clients back to one another.
The changing market
One of the key responsibilities of Mark’s role is to source fresh business by building up a solid portfolio of clients. This is nothing new: in the competitive market, many companies are looking to guarantee future growth by sourcing long-term, sustainable and profitable business, which is where the Account Executive comes in. Rather than focusing on short-term financial returns, the job has changed, and Account Executives are expected to build up strong client relationships; to understand their client’s business inside out and become a trusted advisor to them. In return, the client benefits from dealing with a broker who truly understands their business and has their best interests at heart.
However, finding that broker can often be difficult. Standing out from the crowd as an Account Executive requires a very specific skillset, and one of the best ways to forge your own path in the changing market, according to Mark, is to: “Stand out from the crowd. Be a specialist so you can differentiate yourself from the competition. This means you will achieve more and propel your career forward quicker.”
However, diversifying into a particular niche is only the first step. To thrive, Account Executives need to combine their expert knowledge of the market with a good head for business. This means knowing when to pick your battles, rather than chasing new customers with a low probability of converting. Many insurance firms and potential clients are also placing renewed stock in the value of “service” rather than adopting a “price-driven strategy” regarding their insurance requirements.
Indeed, a recent survey from the Institute for Customer Service found that a 60% majority of insurance customers are not prepared to compromise a good service for a cheaper deal. Given how the switch to digital has changed our expectations of client service, today’s Account Executives need to be digitally savvy, immersing themselves in their client’s world and challenges, the better to become a trusted advisor to their business and prepare themselves- and their clients- for the future.
Finding the perfect role
The unemployment rate in the UK currently stands at a forty-year low of 4.1%, making the insurance industry fertile ground for professionals looking to take the next step in their career. However, candidates need to be certain that the roles they’re finding are well-matched to their career aspirations, values, and skillset; this is where IDEX Consulting comes in.
Mark’s own experience with our team was extremely positive. With an excellent reputation for placing senior professionals in the broking market with quality employers, Mark worked closely with Paul Davey, who “provided detailed advice about opportunities in the market, and was able to make introductions to senior decision makers in the regional market, meaning I could identify the very best fit for my career ambitions.” Nearly six months into his new role, Mark is still praising IDEX Consulting for their approach and support, with the culture of Finch Insurance Brokers and the people really standing out.
Take your next step with IDEX Consulting
Are you ready to take the next step in your career? We’re looking for great new Account Executives to place in roles all over the UK, with companies where you can really make a difference. Start your search for roles in General Insurance today- or browse our blog for more insights into the market.