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Your job is to simplify regulatory complexity

An evergreen theme is to ensure you do the basics well. Clients appreciate it when you make things easy for them. The struggle is how to achieve that when almost everyone seems intent on making insurance cover more complicated – insurers and regulators are just two.

Wednesday, February 4th 2015, 6:00AM

by Russell Hutchinson

Product ranges have got bigger, and bigger, and bigger. It is rare for a benefit or feature to be removed, and far more common for them to be added. We don’t see any medium-term change in this trend, so product complexity looks set to rise.

That means you have to be even better at the skill of making it simple.

On the plus side, it also means that you have more items that might hit the client’s wants and needs in a unique way. You cannot ignore the complexity, but you must bring it down to the few items of most interest to the client.

Regulation requires demanding processes almost no matter how you sell. If you offer full personalised advice then you need to document the six-step process. If you offer class advice you will need to have good documentation of the classes and ensure the client knows that they are

receiving class advice. Even if you sometimes sell on a no-advice basis, offering no comparison, you will need to document that well.

Sighing, huffing, and puffing about all these bits of paper in front of the client gets no one anywhere much down the track. We all live in a regulated world. Better to focus on the simple: the one action needed in the sales process right now, made easier by the clarity and focus you bring to the task.

Underwriting is tougher, clients are older, and although it is great that medicine continues its marvelous march of progress it means that almost everyone has a diagnosis of some kind.

That makes the process of underwriting much more difficult. It can mean an extended battle with some of the less helpful members of the medical profession. Managing client’s expectations and providing them with regular feedback is vital. Doctors, and their staff, will often cheerfully blame the insurer,when in fact they are typically the source of the delay. Communicating with the client before they chase us up is ideal.

Although there is a lot of complexity to manage, it should be simplified as much as possible for the client. Only occasionally will the curtain be drawn aside with some ceremony to ensure that the client fully appreciates the value of the whole service you offer – and how your efforts create value by making it all so much easier.

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