On a recent coaching call with a new member, he made the comment that in order to survive, he was going to have to become more of a consultant. By his statement, it was very clear that he has seen himself as nothing more than a vendor, just selling a commoditized product.
Let's look at why so many insurance and benefits producers devalue the impact they have on the businesses of their clients and how they see themselves in a vendor role rather than one of a consultant.
Here's how a vendor approaches selling a commoditized product:
- Quotes as many lines of coverage as possible for as many "prospects" as possible.
- Convinces the owner to move in order to save a little money
And, here's how a consultant would approach the same situation:
- They sit down with a prospect/client and evaluate whether or not they have insurance needs based on overall goals of that owner (of which price is only one consideration)
- Once a need is established, they go out to the market and find the best solution.
- Once the solution is found, they come back and put that solution in place (enrollment, education, etc.)
Once I explained this to our new client, he said, "Well, in that case, I've always been a consultant."
Who's getting paid for which pieces?
Here's the reality. Most producers have both vendor and consultant in their approach. Unfortunately, most producers identify much more with the vendor role because they think they are getting paid for selling a product. The reality is that it's the carrier who gets paid for the product.
The producer/agency gets paid for everything else: evaluating the need, finding the right solution, and putting that solution in place.
Now, if you can step back and see how much value that brings to a business owner, your confidence in the impact you make should grow significantly. And then, when you realize that insurance needs are just one of countless ways in which business owners need help, your opportunities grow significantly as well.
Business owners need help with Wellness, Communication, Compliance, Attraction/Retention, and the list goes on and on. And with every one of these needs, you have the opportunity to help and get paid. All you have to do is what you've always done:
- Evaluate whether or not there is a need
- Find the right solution
- Help implement that solution
And guess what will happen when you do? You will get paid for being the consultant you have always been.
Photo by Kalyan Chakravarthy.