There’s no sweeter feeling than receiving that fee schedule for the first time, looking it over, and feeling like you just hit the jackpot. You ask if they normally receive claims in your area, which they confirm – however, they’re split amongst a collection of other adjusters.
You understand that the potential of this client could be great, but sharing these claims with multiple other adjusters could really suck. If you receive an average of 3 claims per week, while the other adjusters (let’s say 5) also receive 3 claims per week, that’s 15 high-paying claims you won’t be receiving or being paid for. If you’re working with a high-paying firm with easy guidelines and a simple upload process, it’s your duty to work toward collecting those claims! This is business, and it can be cut-throat. You’re either dominating or waiting to be dominated – which you will, especially if I move into town.
Here are some core principles you should maintain to ensure the domination of your territory:
Independent adjustment firms typically have a single contact person with their clients, you do too. Your primary contact is the person who oversees the dispatch of claims. This could be multiple people, or (hopefully) it’s a single person. Cultivate a positive relationship with your dispatch person. This person is helping you and your family succeed. You owe it to that person to maintain constant contact. Treat this person as your friend, that includes asking that person about their personal well-being after discussing claims-related matters and mailing them a small gift during the Holidays. It’s been proven time and time again: People would rather work with people they like over those who may be more qualified. Have you ever missed a promotion you worked hard for because they gave it to the “brown-noser” instead?
Secretly (when I can) I write notes during a phone call about the person I’m speaking with so that I don’t forget what’s important to them and what they enjoy. That way, 8-months later, after I’ve made thousands of dollars by having them as a client, I can surprise them with that bottle of whiskey they said that they loved.
Frequently remind your claims manager, dispatch person, and anyone else within your client’s company that you are flexible and are there to promote the overall growth of the company. Remind them of your (already) large territory and that you may be able to travel outside of this area if you ever need help. Offer to assist with the occasional less-paying claims to get them out of a jam.
This industry is riddled with unqualified and unsavory adjusters — this creates opportunity. Often, adjustment firms are faced with dealing with adjusters who have abandoned with claims without notice or have abruptly left their territory to attend a cat-event. Remind your client throughout your relationship that you are not a catastrophe adjuster and that you are the king of your territory. Literally, call yourself the king, because you are and they’re beginning to figure it out.
4. Work Ethic
The proof is always in the pudding. Realistically, the first 3 principals are easy to achieve with the hardest task being the selection of a Holiday gift. Work ethic will require the most effort. While you should still maintain consistent contact with your claims manager, you should also establish a relationship that doesn’t include frequent claims being made to answer questions. You should be known as the “turn-key” adjuster—to close claims quickly and painlessly, they should just be sent to you. No call-ahead needed, no follow-up calls, nothing. You should be known as the person who submits his/her assignments within 24 hours under most circumstances. Work toward mitigating the most unnecessary contact with your adjustment firm. Occasionally, I may call another adjustment firm manager to ask a question regarding a claim for another company – for the purpose of showing that I respect that person’s intelligence in the industry. Regardless, if you can go 2 weeks with the only communication just to shoot the shit, then you are winning.