If only I had a dollar for every time I heard an insurance agency claim, “What really sets us apart from our competition is the level of service we provide.” If I did, I’d likely be writing this blog from the cabin of my 40’ yacht moored behind my oh-so-big beach house. 

If you find yourself making this service claim, you really need to rethink your message. If it isn’t downright killing your growth, it is, at the very least, holding you way back. 

I do understand the spirit and intent of the service as a differentiator message, but, it’s a total cop-out. Not only is it a cop-out, its doing harm in ways that you never recognize as unintended consequences of the claim. 

Avoid the bad mojo 

When promoting their great service, most agencies are talking about how fast they respond to the needs of their clients, helping them fix something that is broken. They only get to demonstrate their supposed greatest value when something has gone wrong. 

Do you really want every interaction with you and your team to be attached to a negative event? Especially when you are likely the one who advised them to engage with the guilty party in the first place?

No wonder they think all brokers are the same 

This SAAD message is often the go-to play when trying to close a new deal. After you and your competition have all rolled out the same spreadsheet and the same capabilities presentation, you pull out your SAAD card. But guess what? Every one of your competitors is making the same SAAD claim. 

Think of how ridiculous this play is. There is NO WAY your prospect can experience your service until they hire you and something goes wrong with the plans you put in place. (Sounds crazy just typing it out.) This is just as ridiculous as a certain politician stating, “We have to pass this bill so that you can find out what is in it.” 

Minimum expectations 

And, perhaps the saddest part of the SAAD message. If any broker didn’t provide good (even great) service, what do you think would happen? THEY’D GET FIRED!! And, rightfully so. At that point, the broker wouldn’t even be meeting the minimum expectations of the client. 

So, when you are suggesting someone should hire you because you provide great service, you are suggesting they hire you simply because you can meet their minimum expectations. Is this really brag-worthy? Of course not! 

You know it’s true 

Yet, somehow this is engrained in the very fiber of most agencies. We know this is the case because we ask. And, it is this obsessive focus on promoting great service that is holding back your growth. 

When we take insurance agencies through an Analysis to get a clear picture of what is working and isn't working in their business, we always ask, "Would you describe yourself as a sales or service organization?" The answer is almost always an emphatic "Service!"  

Many times, they are very intentional in not wanting to be thought of a sales organization. And, even when the leadership team aspires to be more of a sales organization, there are many on the team who are completely turned off by the idea of selling.  

"Sale" may be a four letter word, but so is "help." When a sale takes place, it is a clear indication that you helped another business see they have an opportunity to improve their situation. And it has become clear that you’ve earned their confidence in your ability to help deliver better results. 

I don’t know about you, but I think most prospects/clients are going to be much more impressed when you promote and demonstrate your ability to proactively help them achieve better results than they are with your promises of great reactive service. If everyone saw themselves as being on the "helping team" instead of getting hung up on the idea of "I don't sell," agencies would have much healthier top and bottom line growth. 

Photo Credit: alphaspirit 

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