Recently, we had the pleasure to work with a young entrepreneur who had started a consulting company and raised over multiple millions of dollars in investments from over twenty different sources. The company had grown from 4 to 14 employees in a year and from $500,000 in actual 2019 revenue to $4 million projected for 2020. His business involves technology and is growing fast.
In our initial phone conversation, he told me he “just needs basic insurance”. We went ahead and prepared a slide show to present in an online meeting with options for general liability, umbrella, director’s and officer’s liability, employment practices liability, crime, fiduciary and cyber liability coverages. Based on his current situation, he has real exposure to losses falling under each of these coverages. How could we leave anything out?
He was completely overwhelmed by the quantity of information. And, I was down on myself thinking I’d completely blown the relationship by “overselling” the account.
It reminded me of a recent experience buying new sheets for a vacation home. I knew I needed sheets – no one wants to sleep in a bed without sheets. I knew what size I needed to fit the mattress – pretty standard. So, I googled king-sized sheets. The browser exploded with sheets for sale from $20.00 – $600 for a set of king-sized sheets. My initial reaction was similar to my client’s reaction – there is no way I’m spending $600 on a set of sheets for a vacation home! What’s the difference between the $20.00 sheets and the $600.00 sheets? What do I really need that the $20.00 sheets don’t have? I was completely overwhelmed and walked away without buying the sheets.
But, there was the unmade bed staring at me. I needed sheets. Then I considered why I need the sheets. They are not just to cover the mattress. The sheets may be the difference between a good night’s sleep and a poor night’s sleep. A good night’s sleep is the first step in realizing a productive and healthy day. Without it, you are immediately behind the eight ball. That’s pretty darn important. So, guess what, I researched sheets – material, thread-count, “size” (because not all kings are alike) and reviews. Once I knew what I wanted, I shopped around and got the best price. Of course it wasn’t the $20.00 set – I would have ended up wrapped in a too-small fitted sheet wet with perspiration because the material did not breathe. And, not the $600 set because, well, come-on, really???? I paid for what would allow me to get a good night’s sleep, nothing less but nothing more.
Of course, I may have been influenced by other’s who sleep in the bed and their requirements. After all, no one wants a tired and irritable family member or guest. This is similar to all the parties who you are involved with.
Back to our prospective account…. In response to a follow-up email after the presentation, we received this email: “Thanks for the note. Will you please send over the deck (presentation) that you took me through? In terms of a next call, I’d like to first talk with some of my peers to see how they are tackling business insurance. When you hear the different options, each one makes you feel like ‘I need that…’ but that would get prohibitively expensive, so I’m planning on doing more research.” Perfect.
This is the ideal process. Evaluate the exposures, present options and assist with the decisions. When it feels like we are overselling, please realize we are simply presenting all the options. What you purchase is always up to you and those you invite into your bed. We are confident that we will help our client make the choices that allow him to get a good night’s sleep.