Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Providing A Reason To Believe

Earlier this morning, your intrepid blogger went to the funky little town of Benecia to record a voiceover for one of our television ads. It's the one you can see on the front page of our Web site.

Advertising is an interesting medium, one undergoing tremendous change in recent years. In days now gone by, pretty much anything above tacking signs on telephone poles announcing a yard sale involved doing things on a professional level; i.e. buy ad space in your local newspaper or other media, be they regional or national. Now? What once were want ads are now on eBay and/or Craigslist. The selling of products and services has developed into where it now embraces a much more direct approach. Good for sellers and consumers in that the cost of buying ads no longer needs be factored into the selling price or rate charged for services rendered; bad for newspapers and other media in that advertising is the vast majority of their revenue which now is dwindling at an ever increasing rate.

So how does this apply to insurance?

The independent agent today faces a situation not unlike that presently confronting tax preparation services competing against the appeal for consumers to deal with the IRS themselves by using any one of the available software packages designed for such purposes. It's not enough to believe having been around for X number of years automatically guarantees customers will always come to you first. When confronted by a self-service competitor touting both a lower cost and the usually unspoken but nevertheless omnipresent ego stroke of the consumer being more than able to do it all themselves, what's an agent to do?

Selling insurance today involves far more than pitching the appropriate product to potential clients. First and foremost, you have to sell yourself. Certainly matching the appropriate carrier and coverage to the insured's needs remains vital. However, without first successfully closing the deal on being the one the person or people sitting across from you have reason to believe is going to do a better job of taking care of them than they can by handling matters themselves, you'll never get to the point of matching carrier and coverage to client.

So how does one go about this?

Some thoughts about this tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, it's impossible to say "reason to believe" without thinking of the classic song by Tim Hardin as recorded by Rod Stewart:

1 comment:

  1. Jerry - I totally enjoyed this blog. You are right, we all like to think we can handle our own matters without the help of professionals. You can even get legal documents online with instructions how to complete. I believe people will do it themselves until there are consequences for doing such. Writing an insurance policy is fairly easy, but are you covered correctly? Are you exposing yourself to financial ruin? You will not know until a loss occurs and at that time, it will be too late. Who can you blame, no one but yourself.

    Selling insurance truly is about selling yourself and giving your customers a "reason to believe" that you care. It is one of the strongest reasons why I like to place my clients with CSE. CSE is truly a company that cares about the people and I have a "reason to believe" in CSE.