The Management Series

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May 2018

Numbers Matter

The insurance industry is filled with managers and salespeople who don’t get math and are baffled by finance concepts and jargon.

Many get by, but Elizabeth McDaid, The Council’s senior vice president of leadership and management resources, contends in the Leader’s Edge article “Read the Numbers” that financial illiteracy can cost a firm business.

“It is extremely beneficial to speak in terms that are relevant to [potential clients]. When you can identify how your business solution has real financial impact, there can be an ‘aha’ moment for prospects as they realize that your product can make a big difference to their bottom line,” McDaid writes.

McDaid then outlines various ways to bring yourself or your employees up to speed.

The key, she says, is not letting a fear of numbers intimidate you. Math is far less important than learning key concepts and terms.

“The most important concepts to grasp are measuring profitability, EBITDA, operating income, revenue and operating expenses. Immerse yourself in your organization’s income statements. Study the balance sheet,” she advises.

The Council can help with these basics. It is offering a virtual workshop May 21 called “Finance Is Fun” that will cover the key concepts.