Shifting the Conversation From Price to Value How ‘Daring to be Different’ Leads to Exceptional New Business Growth and Retention happens only when we demonstrate ongoing concern for our prospects and clients — before and especially after the sale. ational advertising beats the com Yes, we “sell insurance,” and sure we’re moditization drum every day, in every looking to earn a comfortable living for media. ourselves and our family. Most of the 40,000 “Give me 15 minutes, and I’ll save you 15 agencies and 400,000 producers view thempercent” is the slogan of the selves in that light. However, there is a day. “Flo” is a household much more noble name, and the “lizard” is People buy from people reason that starts to move us from just everywhere. they like and respect “having a sales job” This trend is to identifying and compounded addressing customer needs that matter: We whenever people and busiSteven Walker “save lives, prevent injury and illness, and nesses are struggling to stay help others avoid financial hardship.” We afloat. A poor economy has need to act in a way that recognizes that everyone searching for the best price. role and search out prospects that will likely As a result, price is where many clients start, especially when they view insurance as view us in that light … prospects that value what we do and make their buying decision a commodity and their agent as just another in recognition of what they really are buying. insurance peddler. Price is where most of Studies of insurance consumer buying habour competitors are living … and dying. its tell us that people buy from people they Therefore, price will be the issue unless you “like and respect.” When prospects like you, have and execute a strategy that differentirespect you and understand the ates you — and focuses on value. real value of the cover Your insureds purchase insurance for age offered, they will many reasons: accept a com• To protect themselves from a significant loss; • To free up funds that would otherwise need to be held in reserve; • Laws require it (i.e., workers’ comp and auto liability); • So that “someone else is looking out for me.” Look at the last reason a little more closely. This view doesn’t happen by accident; it By Steven Walker
petitive price — even if it’s not the cheapest. If we accept that these are the factors that impact the buying process, how do we “get noticed for caring and for offering value?” Get Noticed There are at least seven ways to separate ourselves from competitors. Each differentiator signals that you are different, that you are offering value and that you care about your insureds. Plus, each moves the focus from price to value. Let’s examine them: 1. Focus on niche(s). A specialist in a world of generalists attracts attention. Specialization demonstrates an expertise and an understanding of the problems/risks faced by prospects. 2. Be visible and viable. Visible means being seen and heard in places that matter, such as industry or community associations and publications. Viable means making a difference. Don’t just join an association; be active in promoting its success. Find opportunities to publish, such as a bi-monthly column in a newspaper or industry newsletter. 3. Construct your “value menu.” Create a listing of what your agency, your carrier partners and you personally offer that might be valued by prospects and clients. This list is the source of unique and differentiating questions, and will lead to product and service offerings that offer value at a competitive, but not always the cheapest, price. 4. Connect on a personal level.
Published on Jul 1, 2012
Published on Jul 1, 2012
Agency Management Systems / Insurance Exchanges; Commercial Auto; Digital Product Guide