The Second Submission
We have all been there. Excited about a case, anxious for an offer and optimistic about our chance of success. Then we receive the offer. It is not what we want. Worse than that, the carrier tells us that they have already seen this case, and the offer we received is identical to the response to the first submission. Where did this go wrong, and what do we do now?
Aside from the obvious client control issues (do they really expect us to do our jobs without all the data?) what can we do to move this case into the win column? The first thing we need to do is understand the carrier mind set. Virtually every reputable carrier has a policy of giving the second agent or agency to submit a case the exact same offer as the first one! Why? Well, think about it from the first agency’s perspective. If the next guy in submits the same file, but manages to obtain a better offer, what does that communicate to the first agency? It says “thanks for all the business, but we really like this other guy more than you”. Not exactly a warm fuzzy feeling to say the least. So does that mean that the second agent or agency should just walk away from the case? No way. This is where we separate the men from the boys, so to speak.
There is really only one key that unlocks this type of case, and ironically, it is the client who holds it. Our job is to show them the door to use it on. Here is what I mean:
The one strategy that allows a carrier to improve an offer is to submit new, favorable medical documentation they can use to upgrade the case. That would be the door. That kind of medical documentation is not usually just sitting there waiting for us to find it. It takes a team effort to create it. The key that unlocks the door is the client’s willingness to go to their doctor for that additional test or bit of information. Sure, there is no guarantee the client will receive the favorable result we need to upgrade the offer. At this point, however, there may be nothing to lose. The client will not accept the offer as it stands, and we are not going to see a commission check without a change in strategy.
Conceptually this is great, but how do we identify that one test, that one lynchpin of the case? Two steps here. The first is to have a clearly defined target. What do we need to place the case? What is the policy design? Which carrier do we want to use? The second step is to understand the reason for the offers we received from the carriers. Knowing it was the lab results or medical history is not enough. We need to know the specific lab value or aspect of their history. Then and only then can we design an action plan including the steps we need the client to take in order to move the case forward.
Sounds like a lot of work? It is, and it takes a strong team to make it work. A team that includes the carrier, agency, agent and client. Does this sound like a case you are working on? Perhaps one you worked on earlier this year? Let’s get to work and put a couple more cases in the win column before the calendar flips to 2012.