As I talk to agency owners around the country, I am shocked to hear how many of them feel their market is "completely different" from any other place in the country. I say this with a healthy dose of sarcasm, but I think each actually believes they are truly the exception to almost every rule.
As I introduce them to our services, walk them through what it means to be in the network, and even role-play parts of our sales system, I will regularly hear them say,
"That is awesome! I can't imagine how you wouldn't get a BOR (broker of record) letter every time. And (here's the kicker) if I were anywhere else in the country, I'd sign up immediately. But, you see (they tell me), we're different here. Our market is different than anywhere else."
They will go on to explain their "uniqueness". They tell me, we are . . .
. . . different on the east coast
. . . different on the west coast
. . . too far north
. . . too far south
. . . we are in a big city
. . . we are in a small town
. . . we chase big accounts
. . . we chase small accounts
. . . our prospects are too smart
. . . our prospects are too dumb
Here, all business owners care about is PRICE!!
I get that every market has it own unique characteristics, but I think most markets have way more things in common than they do that make them different. And, of all the things that I mentioned above, the last one is the only one worthy of attention – not because of its validity, but because of its lameness.
It may be true that the only thing your prospects ever ask about is price. However, that isn't a reflection on them as a buyer, it's a reflection on our industry as sellers. If you never tell the market they can expect (and ask for) help in ways other than price, then it shouldn't be a shock when that's all they ask for. And if you wait for them to ask for something different, you are positioning yourself as an industry follower rather than industry leader.
If Apple had waited for me to ask them for an iPad, it likely would have never been built. I didn't know that was something I could ask for! However, once they built it and "told" me how badly I needed it, I found myself waiting in a hallway at the mall at 4:30 in the morning hoping for the "privilege" of spending several hundred dollars on something I didn't even know I needed a few weeks earlier.
So, don't wait for your prospects/clients to ask for your help in new ways. Determine how you can bring unexpected value and take the message to the market. Do so and you will find yourself in demand like never before.
It doesn't matter how far north, south, east or west you are. It doesn't matter the size of your market or the size of your prospects/clients. I have yet to meet a business owner anywhere of any size who wouldn't welcome new ideas of how to become more successful. You need to be the one bringing those new ideas to the market and creating demand in completely new ways, you just have to ask yourself, "How badly do I really want to?"
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