Apparently, I forgot to hit publish in September 2013
Enough already, so sad that industry publications continue to write articles about direct writers (state farm, allstate, geico, liberty mutual, etc.) and how the independent agents are competing against them. Are you really? Maybe it is time for a solid look in the mirror. While you are at it maybe you look at your business plan as well.
Some things to consider;
1. Do you really want their customers? I like leftovers but my wife is a great chef. Her leftovers are the only one’s I eat, I’m not interested in anyone else’s. The lesson, focus on what you want instead of what they do not want.
So I get a call from someone at a fairly large, established agency. Had a few questions, was trying to “help” someone out. Nice enough, but not necessary. I appreciate the effort, I really do.
About two hours later I was on the phone with a new friend(some say client/customer) and was binding their policies. Could be coincidence that this person was with the same agency that the other agent worked at…or maybe it isn’t. Lets dive a little deeper;
AKA My and the Insurance/Banking industry’s simultaneous biggest problem and opportunity
AKA What #insurtech should be trying to solve but outside of me and maybe some people I have not found yet, is not.
Really it is two paragraphs. One that comes from a standard document that you’ll find in your policy forms. Yes, I know you likely do not read them. Also, the version in your state may be different. The other is a direct quote via an email. I see or hear variations of the second one every week. So here goes;
Reality is this; insurance companies are run by other members of our human species. They are also influenced by their surroundings both human and inanimate. They are influenced by many of the same ideals, both positive and negative as the rest of us. There is a lot of talk about “disruption,” #insurtech, #fintech, and #bigdata. The industry is “ripe” for change, blah, blah, blah.
Yes I have many of my own thoughts, heck it’s my blog so of course they are my thoughts. This dawned on me the other day;
Maybe the insurance industry is just a reflection of society. But how? In what way(s)?
And I meant it. Let me elaborate. I read Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness and really, really, enjoyed it. I also realized that many of the things they were doing, I already was successfully using as well. People really liked being treated good. They liked the lack of pressure. They liked the random but thoughtful gifts. Honestly, I have never even ordered from them and my wife has only used them a couple of times. But the fact is we really like them and if they had the products we needed we would buy from them.
Dear Big National Insurance company who I want to bring more business to;
We have had a nice relationship so far and I think we both like each other. I’m confused though, some days it seems like you just don’t want my business. Now I understand you won’t want everyone but I am still left disappointed. See we know each other pretty well, I have a nice understanding of who you want insured but somewhere in there somethings not working.
So most of us have friends. They come in all shapes and sizes. You are closer with some more than others. Some you hang out with more often. Some are “on-line” friends or “work” friends but they all get the label friends. They all on some level have a place in your world.
At the same turn, each of them needs or wants something from you. Some need/want more than others. At various times one or more of them may need a lot from you. Over time some friends sort of increase in value(feelings) while others get less. But they are all still your friends.
One thing that seems to continually bother me is when the wealthiest people and companies choose not to really do the world some good. When they choose profits over people. When they are genuinely in a position to change an industry for the better which will increase their profits and genuinely help the American public and they choose not to. Baffled by it.
Why write today?
Because every time I receive another letter from you I wonder why another tree branch had to die.
Because I wonder why a huge company allows their product to be so diluted by advertising.