By guest blogger Sue Mason.

I recently read the book Start With Why by Simon Sinek. The lessons in this book went straight to the heart of the insurance agency business. Agencies are trying to reinvent themselves because they have always sold their services as a commodity, forcing them to respond to the market as opposed to driving the market. The Affordable Care Act has given brokers a new focus. If you are not running your business by asking the "Why" questions first - your purpose, the reason you get up in the morning - you will be missing the boat as it ventures into uncharted waters.

As this author so eloquently points out, if the railroads had been running their business by saying "we are responsible for the ever changing world of mass transportation", they might still be in business today and probably running the aeronautics industry. Instead they defined their business as building railroads, so when that was over, their customers moved on to the bright shiny penny that provided what they wanted next.

Brokers need to realize that selling insurance should not be their "why". Agents are more than selling insurance; they help make businesses better. Insurance is a secondary issue, a commodity, if you will. You need to inspire others with your "why".

Apple is a fine example of starting with the why. They are no more innovative than most technology companies. They have customer loyalty because they came up with the idea of telling their customers they were not in the business of computers but they were in the business of innovative ideas. This is their "Why" factor. They stopped calling themselves Apple Computers and just kept the name Apple.

Customers need to believe in what you believe in to develop a fruitful, loyal and long lasting commitment. Sell people your core beliefs and the purpose of your agency. If they believe what you believe, a relationship will flourish.

Remember your "Why" is your purpose – enjoy the next adventure of your career. Embrace the changes and learn how to inspire others around you, whether it is your clients, your employees or your community. The Why is your new path.

Sue Mason is President and co-owner of Preferred Benefits in Ada, MI. She is a member of Benefits Growth Network and is actively making changes in the way thier agecny operates, both internally and externally, to better serve their clients. We are delighted to share Sue's ideas with you and hope they inspire you to to rethink your own "Why".


Photo by stepanpopov