If you have read our blog for any period of time, you have heard us discuss the dangerous perception that brokers are a free service.
- Wendy recently wrote about an "industry expert" who, in a very public forum, expressed frustration that the general public just doesn't understand they can have an insurance broker for free.
- We have written about why it's a bad idea to give away additional services (Value Added Services) for free, mainly because this results in underutilization and under-appreciation of the resources.
- We have encouraged producers to get out there and discuss with their clients (at least those you want to keep) how much they're being paid and the value they provide in return.
- We have reminded you of what we all know – if something is free, that is exactly how much value the recipient assigns to it.
I recently saw this play out with a new member agency in our network.
A young producer, with whom we have worked in the past, made the bold move of starting his own benefits agency (he's off to a GREAT start by the way). He signed our member agreement and, of course, knew exactly how much it was going to cost him to join.
Because of our history with him, we made ourselves available to get started with him right away, before we received any payment. Of course, with any startup, he had a lot of things on his plate and didn't really take advantage of our offer to get started early. However, when I received his first payment, there was a sticky note attached. It read, "Hey KT. Now that I'm actually writing the check, I'm REALLY ready to get started!"
It wasn't that we were free, or even that he thought we were free, but he wasn't compelled to truly use our services/resources until he had to go through the act of writing the check.
Making the conscious decision to pay for a good/service will always result in you better appreciating it and ensuring you receive the benefit.
- When your clients write you a check (or at least understand how their premium payment includes commissions to be paid to you), they will want to know exactly what they receive in return.
- When they know what they are supposed to receive, they will be more inclined to become an active participant in ensuring it's delivery.
- When they are active participants and those promised Value Added Services are actually delivered, they receive real value.
- When clients receive real value, well, you know what happens then.
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