We see a lot of insurance agency marketing that is just really not good and projects the image to readers that “We don’t suck.” You can do better and owe it to yourselves to make that commitment.

If you were looking for a new CPA and had asked two trusted colleagues if they would recommend theirs and received the following responses, which would you be most interested in meeting with?

#1 – Oh, sure, my guy’s fine. I meet with him once a year to drop off all my paperwork. He is very accurate in completing my return and always has my tax return submitted by the April 15th deadline. Oh, and he is really cheap!


#2 – Absolutely! My guy is AWESOME! I meet with him a couple times a year. One session is focused completely on looking at my entire financial picture and updating his understanding of what I’m trying to accomplish moving forward. During these in-depth discussions, he’s uncovered some deductions my previous guy missed. He filed an amended return and I got back $40,000 from my last couple year’s returns. Even better than that, because of some of his recommendations, it looks like I will be able to retire 3 years earlier than I expected. He actually showed me how to manage cash flow so that I can help my daughter attend that fancy private university. Now, he is EXPENSIVE, but worth every dime!

The choice is yours

Which of the two would you be most interested in meeting?

If you were a CPA, which testimonial would you most like your best clients to be giving about you?

If you were advising those CPAs on the best message to use to market themselves, which would you recommend?

Not even close is it?! All testimonial #1 does is establish that the CPA doesn’t necessarily suck; he can do the minimum requirements of his job. However, #2 speaks to the impact the right CPA can have on the life of a client.

So, why are you (most likely) marketing yourself like the #1 testimonial focusing on your ability to meet minimum expectations; the fact that you don’t suck? We see it in insurance agency marketing efforts all the time.

Here’s what insurance agencies are saying and what clients are thinking

How many of these sound familiar?

“We’ve been in business for 112 years.” – So what?! How does that in any way communicate how you can help my business? In fact, knowing insurance brokers, it probably tells me you are out of touch with the challenges of today’s, modern businesses. Besides, I don’t even have a fax machine to fax you the census you are requesting.

“We’re the 3rd largest brokerage on Elm St.” – So, if size does matter, then your marketing message is actually helpful; I now know there are two better options for me on Elm St.

“Let us give you a free quote.” – Okay, I can check you off the list because I have free spreadsheets from several brokers begging for my business and my head is spinning trying to figure out where any one of those spreadsheets is any different than any of the rest.

A better message for your insurance agency marketing

So, what should your marketing message be saying about you? Well, I can’t say that specifically without discussing how you are able to make a meaningful impact on the business of your clients. But, I can tell you it has to be about:

Ask yourself, “If my best client were talking to my best prospect at a cocktail party, what I want them to say about me?” Would you want them to talk about how fancy the spreadsheet is that you provide? Would you want them to rave about the fact you are the 3rd largest agency on Elm St.? Would you want them to suggest they utilize your willingness to work (quote) for free to keep their current guy honest?

Of course not!

  • You would want them to discuss how the rating their employees give to their benefit program went up 20% because of your communication strategy.
  • You would want them to rave over the efficiencies their HR practice is enjoying because of the technology solutions you put in place.
  • You would want them getting excited about how much more they are in control of their benefits program because of the three year strategy/plan you designed and are executing on their behalf.

And, if you’re not making that kind of impact on the business of your clients then we need to work on the value proposition you offer and the client experience you deliver. But, that’s another post.

One of the biggest obstacles standing in your way is the “we don’t suck” marketing messages so consistently communicated to your prospects. So, as you plan for how to grow in the new year, take a little of the effort you put into dragging pretend new business goals out of your producers and focus on the effort you can put into messaging that will have prospects coming to you.

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Photo by © Tawatchai Khid-arn