This is the fifth in a series of blog posts inspired by a conversation I had via webinar with Brett Rosen, VP of Mergers & Acquisition at Digital Insurance. During our conversation we discussed the “5 Surefire Ways to Catapult Your Benefits Business”.


One of the most self-damning aspects of the insurance industry is that the financial reward for mediocrity has been too high. It has allowed us to succeed, often times in spite of ourselves and without a focus on growth. That’s changed. Growth is no longer a luxury. There have to be growth goals, aggressive goals that come with accountability.

There are certain things that high-growth insurance agencies are doing to drive success, and through a series of blog posts, I am addressing each of those five ways. I will also share some action items you might use to help catapult your own business.

Previously posted strategies

Surefire way #1 – The best agencies embrace collaboration.

Surefire way #2 – The best agencies find a way to stay young.

Surefire way #3 – The best agencies invest, wisely.

Surefire way #4 - The best agencies put the right people in the right seats.

The next strategy

Surefire way #5 – High growth insurance agencies understand a truly differentiated value proposition

Non-growth agencies fail to have anything that truly differentiates them in the eyes of the market. Their best attempt at differentiation comes from trying to argue that they are a better version of what is expected and experienced in the market. They’ll argue, “We’ll get a better price” and “We provide better service.” And in all fairness, an argument of “better” is the only option for those non-growth agencies competing in a commoditized world.

High growth agencies, on the other hand, understand that better is not a differentiator. High growth agencies refuse to be a commodity; they create new categories of truly differentiated offerings.

So, what does it take to stand out from the competition, to truly differentiate?

You can’t buy it. Non-growth agencies will claim they have a differentiated value proposition because of their people, service, or the free stuff they give away; they will continually chase a competitive advantage by looking for the next bright and shiny to dangle in front of their prospects/clients; they look just like everyone else.

High growth agencies understand that true differentiation isn’t about what product they have to offer; it’s about the problems they are able to solve. They understand they will likely need to make a financial investment to address new problems, but the most important investment is the time they invest to research/understand new problems and the expertise they develop in order to fix those problems on behalf of their clients.

High growth agencies understand their differentiation doesn’t lie in what they have to sell, it lies in “how they work” that enables them to deliver results not offered by their competition.

A spreadsheet levels the playing field. High growth agencies refuse to play on a level playing field; they will only compete on a field that is tipped in their favor. High growth agencies understand that a spreadsheet is synonymous with commodity and they see the ridiculousness of competing with something that makes them look exactly like someone else.

High growth agencies work in a way that is genuinely consultative, is based on gaining a broader understanding of the buyer’s needs and then creating a plan of how they will improve the overall situation, focused on helping the buyer achieve what they want. It is their plan of improvement that differentiates them from the same spreadsheet offered by the rest of the market.

Selling starts with marketing. Non-growth agencies believe their sales process starts with the first face-to-face meeting with the prospect. High growth agencies understand that 60%-90% of the buying decision is made before the buyer ever meets with the producer.

High growth agencies understand that the sales process starts with effective marketing and they develop marketing messages that make it clear what type of results they can offer their of their target market; they make it clear how they are able to deliver such results; they create a compelling reason for the prospect to want a meeting. They understand that through effective marketing, the sales process becomes infinitely easier.

Action Items

  1. Evaluate what you are saying. Look at your top 3 competitors and compare their message to yours. Could a prospect really tell how you are different?
  2. Define how you work. How is it that you work that is truly different, and what are the results that it delivers? (If you don’t have an answer that is a TRULY differentiated value proposition, you need to find an answer.)
  3. Collect result (success) stories. Identify your own success stories. Analyze what allowed the success to happen. Define how you can replicate it on a regular basis. Start building these stories into your marketing efforts and sales process.

Yes, this is going to be hard work, but it is this kind of hard work that is catapulting others to unprecedented levels of success. You may need help with this process. If you feel that’s exactly what you need, give us a call; we may have a few ideas of how to help you get your team aligned with your goals to make you a feared competitor in your market.

Photo by © Mquirk.

 

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