3 Ways to Market Investigation Services for Steady Growth

BRIAN

DeANTONIO

CEO & Lead Design

Your job, market investigation services, but the investigation business can be cyclical, seasonal, sparce, and sporadic. Sometimes you never know when the next case is coming in, other times, you wonder when the client will stop assigning work on the same file. If you are prepared for the rollercoaster ride, your business will have a much better chance of succeeding out of the gate.

Who to market your investigation services to?

There are many of you fighting over the domestic files every day. By paying for some Google ad space, or Facebook ads, you get a few phone calls, of which fewer people commit to any services. There must be a better way, right? The answer is yes, if you know where, and who to call.

In this post, we will look at a few ways to generate sustainable growth. If you get the work to start flowing in, make sure the quality is sufficient to keep it moving.

"If you get the work to start flowing in, make sure the quality is sufficient to keep it moving."

SIU and Claims Professionals

The insurance industry has notoriously provided millions of dollars of sustainable investigation work, primarily surveillance; however, after the Internet, the investigations services have broadened significantly. Internet mining, background checks, medical canvasses, and much more, have become quite common during a claim’s investigation.

So, just call the insurance company and get the work, right? Sounds easy enough, but not so fast. Historically, this work is delegated to one of several “nationwide” investigation business. There are several reasons for this mandated workflow.

First, these businesses become a graveyard of former insurance claims and SIU executives who are often brought on to turn the faucet of work from their former employer. Another reason, rebates. A check returned to the client for providing a set amount of annual business. These rebate checks can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they usually only serve to influence poor decisions.

So how do you get your foot in the door? Market investigation services to the lowest levels of the claims process, the insureds. Your local businesses have a say in who does their insurance related investigations.

Insurance companies, third-party administrators (TPA), and sometimes the nationwide investigation businesses will require the insured to sign a liability waiver for you to perform the work. This is a scare tactic meant to intimidate the insured. The insured is completely covered by your insurance, and you should add them as an additional insured if you’ll be doing a lot of their work.

What to do now…

  • Start by targeting the largest employers in the local area.
  • Focusing on warehouses, manufacturing, construction, labor agencies, and even hospital “networks”.
  • Start calling the human resources rep, or in bigger organizations, the risk manager, and ask for their business.

Discussion points...

What is the quality of the investigations they have assigned in the past? To properly market your investigation services, consider transparency, professionalism, and overall quality of work. Remember the process they have experienced –

  • they alerted their broker of the claim,
  • the broker calls the insurance company and initiates a claim,
  • the claim is assigned to an adjuster,
  • the adjuster assigns surveillance to the SIU coordinator,
  • the SIU coordinator assigns the case to a nationwide vendor,
  • they find a local vendor they use,
  • the local vendor then looks for an “investigator in the area” who works the assignment.

Wow, that was a mouthful!

That is a long arduous process with many opportunities to drop the ball. Your job is to explain how focused the relationship with you will be, how focused the updates will be, and effective communication with you both will improve the overall results of the investigations and ensure the insureds money is well allotted and spent.

Benefits…

  • Cost savings for the insured
  • More streamlined and focused investigation
  • Communication at the most knowledgeable level
  • Keep the work! No matter who the insurance company is, you will always get the work.

Just remember, ask for the work when you get there. Is there a case they are working on now, getting ready to assign, or one that has been an issue for the insured? Ask for it, work it, and keep their business for good!

Small Business Risk Manager

Large companies often staff an entire risk management department, usually as an extension of their HR department. If there is a threat such as an issue with employee termination, layoffs, active shooter management, background checks, and more, they engage their risk management team and shut down or mitigate the threat.

Small to medium size businesses do not have that luxury, but they can. This is an opportunity to create a threat assessment plan for that business, a plan that will require a consulting agreement with your organization.

A threat assessment plan will contain some, or all the following:

  • Active Shooter Training, Drills, and Procedure Management
  • Safety Assessments, Training, Drills, and Procedure Management
  • Workers’ Compensation Internal and External Investigations
  • Proper Reporting and Tracking
  • Theft – Employee (Internal) and Third Parties (External)Employee Violence
  • Premise Liability
  • Elevated Risk Employee Termination – Preparation and Execution
  • Even COVID prevention management

What to do now…

For larger businesses, you may be able to support a plan already in place and augment their existing plan with services they cannot offer.

Get involved with local business associations, such as Business Network International (BNI), the local Chamber of Commerce, and other similar groups.

Start calling smaller businesses that may need your services and assistance.

Devise relevant service-level packages the businesses can buy into. An annual fee plus cost and expenses is usually the most advantageous for both parties.

Discussion points…

It cannot be ignored; the world has changed for the worse. My hope is the country can recover from this as we have in the past, but in the meantime, your services can effectively protect vulnerable small to medium size businesses.

Educate through education and market investigation services to prospective clients with accurate and relevant Use Cases. Show them how they could benefit from having a business like yours “on-call” for emergencies, threats, and basic risks.

Benefits…

  • Proactive responses will mitigate potential damages, costly damages
  • Provide an affordable service, not otherwise financially possible
  • Employees feel safer with a proactive security approach

One concern you should keep in mind is your ability to be able to assist during an event that effects multiple clients, or an entire city. For instance, a natural disaster.

CCTV Capture & Storage

Even businesses with the best CCTV technology struggle to hire employees, who upon hire, can use the hi-tech CCTV system. This opens an additional opportunity to fill the investigation schedule as this requires year-round vendor support.

Your job? Arrive onsite, access the CCTV system, extract the video onto a cloud service, or a physical storage device and store it for probable future use in litigation.

CCTV systems catch people stealing, but they also catch slip and falls, staged accidents, customer fights, and much, much more. Your service will prove invaluable when the court date pops up and they have an exact copy of the accident, or other incident.

What to do now…

Find small to midsize business chains with a decentralized model. For instance, a small chain would be a business like a regional restaurant chain or franchise group, a medium size business, would be a large regional supermarket chain. Remember, whatever you choose, you must be able to cover the geographical area.

Build a process to sell to your prospective client. Show the clients your ability to prepare, and execute, and in addition, show them how easy accessing the required video can be.

This is a service where you can throw out a lost leader. Do the first video retrieval at no cost.

Maybe include in a Small Business Risk Management Plan.

Discussion points…

Unfortunate incidents can cost businesses without the proper preparation in advance. Again, Use Cases here can show the prospective client that not instituting a program like this can be costly.

Another approach would be to involve their insurance company, or TPA and have them support your idea of capturing and securing the video evidence. Claims handlers need this evidence to support their clients claims, so adding a foolproof process, well, it’s just smart.

Benefits…

No loss of evidence

Long term agreements, long term clients

Shows a proactive claims “confirmation” process

Have a great nationwide network? Go after the bigger fish in the pond, like Family Dollar, The Dollar Store, Olive Garden, and any other business with a decentralized support system.

Always Market Your Investigation Services for STEADY Growth

A business hits its hardest time during the startup process. Unfortunately, we’re seeing another way now, this pandemic; I won’t digress.

Getting started is so difficult because the income doesn’t match the expenses. Budgeting is key but being able to market your investigation services to the right individuals can provide consistency unmatched by just placing and ad and hoping for the best.

Conclusion

There is no need to change the advertising path, just find time to market your investigation services directly a few times a month, or week. I would suggest no more than an hour or two worth of calls per sitting. You’ll get more no’s than yes’s but be persistent, you don’t need a lot of steady work like that to stay busy.

If anyone has any questions, reach out to me atbd@casewatch.io.


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