Organization International Property Insurance Company
Trainees Risk Control and Underwriting new hires
Types of Presentations Risk Control participants deliver site-visit findings to clients. Underwriters manage sales meetings with insureds and brokers.
Training Goal To develop baseline communication skills for newly hired employees and help them understand their role as stewards of the brand when out in the field.
Business Challenge This large company hires dozens of underwriters and risk control employees every year. The onboarding program is staggered across multiple weeks and takes twelve months to complete. One of the most important takeaways for the new hires is comfort being the face of the company in the field. Our client, a member of the learning & development function, knew that without a communication module, onboarding would be incomplete.
Solution We developed a plan to train dozens of new employees very quickly. This training focuses on two areas. First, we provide the new hires with an easy-to-use strategy for framing their meetings in a consistent manner regardless of who they’re speaking with. Second, we grow their self-awareness so that they understand how they come across to their audience members. As their self-awareness grows, they become more comfortable representing the organization. This program started in 2011 and continues today.
From a LearnerI have never been recorded speaking in public and watched it played back! I absolutely loved this because when I saw my video back I realized that I came across very different than how I initially thought–and luckily that was a good thing! I feel more comfortable now speaking in front of a group–and as crazy as it sounds, I’m looking forward to speaking in front of a group so that I can utilize the new skills I learned!
Trainees B2B Sales teams made up of three people: the sales person, a software engineer, and the tech support lead
Types of Meetings Team sales meetings (often virtual) that include a product demo
Training Goal To help each of the team members clearly and persuasively articulate the benefits of a product perceived as a commodity and to help them establish trust quickly with buyers.
Business Challenge Each of the individuals on the sales teams had a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. The greatest challenge was that they were selling a product buyers perceived as a commodity. This meant that the teams’ sales presentations, product demos, and the relationships they developed had to become a competitive advantage.
Solution We created a three-step training program to help them meet their sales goals. The program included (1) a pre-workshop webinar to set a baseline for how to prepare as a team, (2) a workshop where they practiced delivering their content and building relationships, and (3) a final webinar to practice handling pushback.
Organization International Property Insurance Company
Trainees Account Engineers and Underwriters
Types of Meetings Account teams managing client meetings
Training Goal To help the account teams work better together, prepare more efficiently, lead with benefits, and establish long-term relationships with clients and brokers.
Business Challenge At this corporation, every client is assigned an account team. The teams are made up of two people: one playing a sales/account manager role and the other an engineer. Each team needs to work closely with its clients and the client’s broker, responding to their needs appropriately and effectively. That requires trust and teamwork. The teams need to plan for each meeting efficiently; they need to keep the meeting focused on client business needs (not simply insurance), and they need to gather information and manage the conversation in a way that builds and maintains the goodwill of the client. The client was running a week-long workshop to address these needs, but it was out-of-date and in need of revamping.
Solution After observing the existing workshop, we designed a shorter and more focused workshop to help the account teams meet their goals. First, working with leadership in the organization, we developed a meeting planning document for all teams to use. This gave them a practical tool and a common approach.
The face-to-face workshop focuses on helping the teams work together, develop the skills needed to engage clients in a fruitful conversation, manage the delivery of technical information clearly, lead with benefits rather than features, listen well and respond, manage client concerns in the moment, and reach appropriate next steps. An industry-specific case study is used for the final exercise. The case study exercise is enhanced by leaders in the organization playing the client and broker roles. This program was developed in 2016 and continues today.
From a Leader… nice work with the re-vamped class! I thought it ran very smoothly and provided the attendees with good constructive feedback to help them have more effective meetings. Though I didn’t sit in on one, I know how helpful the video review sessions are, so that is a great addition to the class. I think the class proved very helpful to the various attendees and it will help them lead more impactful meetings going forward. Thanks for having me be a part of it. It was fun, plus I learned a lot along the way! -Senior Account Engineer and Case Study Role-player
Trainees Members of the Facilities Management Group ranging from maintenance workers to senior architects
Types of Meetings Anything from formal blueprint reviews, to team huddles, to informal conversations in the hallway
Training Goal To help attendees understand how to advocate for their point of view and demonstrate better internal customer service.
Business Challenge The new leader of this sizable group recognized that most of the team members did not see themselves as having the authority to contribute anything in meetings. There was a lack of confidence in many and customer service across the university was in need of improvement. “Even the person changing the light bulbs needs to understand that they have a responsibility to be pleasant and helpful when a staff or faculty member walks by. I also want them to step up and advocate for their point of view in meetings”.
Solution Working in small groups, we provided the trainees with an easy-to-use tool for gathering their thoughts and framing conversations that are clear and friendly. We helped those who lacked confidence find their voice and be able to advocate for their point of view in meetings without being confrontational.
From a LearnerThe series of discussions and seminars such as … Orderly Conversations… have given me a deeper understanding on how to manage conversations that are critical for the people involved, and how volunteering is part of the engagement.