Opinion: Expect more from your BDM

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Ask yourself if your provider and its BDM are doing enough; today’s ‘expectation economy’ makes their help essential.

We are living and working in the age of the customer. Clients are better informed than ever, have a greater product and provider choice, and can deal direct if they so choose.

As advisers operating in this expectation economy, it is important you are properly supported by your insurance provider’s BDM team. But what can you reasonably expect of it?

Product, policy and underwriting knowledge should be a given; you need to be kept up to date with new or changing products and services. But knowledge is not enough. A good BDM will be a problem-solver, a trouble-shooter and a sounding board for new business ideas.

Your provider should also allow you to quote and buy electronically, call it to talk through difficult cases or refer clients to be dealt with directly by its own advisers. Your BDM is there to provide initial systems training and ongoing support. What is more, a good BDM’s marketing material will provide a useful tool for engagement with clients.

Your BDM will also help you to establish a compliant quote process: from fact-find through to product research, quote pack, demands and needs statements, key facts information and policy documentation. They should help you to keep abreast of changes in legislation too.

When all else fails, call your BDM team. They are there to help find a way through your problems. They should provide the human face and the thinking mind of a process-driven world.

Just as your clients expect more from you, so should you expect more from your BDM. They are there to assist you in attracting new clients, servicing and ring-fencing existing ones, selling products effectively and compliantly, and growing revenue and profit for your business. They should take the time to build a strong relationship with you and make your professional life easier.

It is never inappropriate to ask yourself if your provider and its BDM are doing enough.

Geoff Hall is managing director at Berkeley Alexander