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Insurance is a sales business.
Without the sale of an insurance policy, none of the actual work of insurance can get done. However, over the next five years “How” we sell insurance will drastically change.
In the modern marketplace winners and losers are determined by who can attract the most attention to their brand.
Attention is the currency of the Internet and there work we must do now to ensure we’re able to attract the attention we need three, five or even ten years from now.
In episode seven of The Show we examine the one skill undeniably more important to your future success over the next five years than sales:
Today we’re going to step back from our normal tactics-heavy format of the show and take a wider view on a bigger problem that you’re going to have to solve in your agency, in your insurance business.
If you’re sitting there and you’re thinking about the future of your business, if you want to thrive in the attention-driven marketplace that we operate in today, then it’s going to get more competitive as we move into the future.
If you want to thrive in that world, you’re going to have to lose today.
This is actually a concept that I got from Gary Vaynerchuk, so full credit to Gary:
“See, the thing that people that don’t realize is you want to teach people how to fix things without paying you for it because that builds up leverage. You give up a sale in the beginning but you get all the sales in the end.”
You lose the microgame, you do the things in the micro that may not get you the best counting numbers today.
You may not look like you’re winning on paper today but what you’re building are deeper, stronger relationships.
You’re building the Seth Godin tribe that we talked about in Episode 3.
You’re creating the connections and the infrastructure and the product fit and the consumer knowledge and the data.
You’re doing those things today so that 5, 10, 20 years from now, you’ll stand out from everybody else, because no one’s doing it today.
The writing is on the wall.
More from Gary Vaynerchuk:
“We have to start getting into meritocracy. Somebody should lose if they’re not seeing where the puck is going.”
We operate today in a marketplace where attention rules all.
Those who can attract attention, those who can keep attention win the game, and if you’re not doing the work today that sets you up to succeed in that marketplace, then you’re just not going to be able to compete because there will come a day when no matter what you do, your competition can attract more attention.
Even if your offering to the marketplace is better, no one will hear it, no one will see it, nobody will care because someone else will have their attention.
Unfortunately, we’re already seeing this take place in the independent agency space today.
The Directs, the Captives, your Geicos, your State Farms, your Farmers, they are just pouring money into TV, into radio, into banner ads.
The places where it seems like if you’re counting impressions, you’re getting a ton of attention today.
But if you look at the amount of money they have to spend to get that attention, you can tell that they’re not optimized.
So this actually creates opportunities for us and I’m an incredible believer in content marketing and telling your story and digging and being that value provider, giving without expectation or reciprocation.
There is a reason that I preach this. It’s not just fancy buzzwords or things that I think I can sell to you.
I honestly believe that the organizations that win this game over the long term, I’m talking 5, 10, 20 years from now, are going to be those who are laying the groundwork today to win attention.
What does that look like?
That means are you capturing data.
There are agencies out there that aren’t even capturing e-mails still. You guys are toast.
If you’re not getting cell phones and e-mails from every one of our customers, you are on your way out. I don’t know what else to say. There’s just no way of competing in a world where I have your customers’ e-mails and you don’t.
I will beat you every single day.
It doesn’t matter how strong your offline relationship is because eventually, me the marketer will wear them down and get them out of your office because you just won’t be able to compete from a communications standpoint.
That’s just the basic stuff.
Capturing simple pieces of information is just the basics.
Do you have this infrastructure in place to maneuver with the market?
Do you have an agency management system that’s maneuverable?
Are you still stuck in something that you have to have a rack server in your back office? Not maneuverable, doesn’t integrate.
If your agency management system tells you that you have to pay $10,000 to integrate with another system, get rid of them.
That’s crazy. APIs are wide open today and it should be easy for you to plug in new tools and take tools out. Super, super simple.