In the last week, a customer left, no news there, but I have donated to a fundraiser they did and do sort of know them. Yesterday, another customer came in with a gift for me and one of our team. Actually very tasty olive oil. The first one checks more “boxes” that most companies look for and spent at least twice as much with us. The second spends half the amount of money and doesn’t “fit” common profiles of what a company wants. Below was written May 2014 and has only been updated thanks to Grammarly.
Circa October 2010, none of these really need/deserve a full reboot and it looks like I made slight updates in May 2015
First, let us take a moment to thank Grammarly. Like you, I’m busy and miss things. Old posts had lots of silly, mostly lazy, mistakes.
Your updated disclaimer; I value time more than I did in October 2010 and, as my available time seems to diminish and priorities shift, even more than in May of 2015. What does this mean? Well, I am not sure that I held back then and the only stuff I hold back now is proprietary stuff. Even that is shared with certain audiences.
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;
I lose some sleep and wake up thinking about yesterday’s “loss.” Not really a loss more like a time where everything seems to match up but it just doesn’t. Everything is there;
- was referred by a trusted person(is there any better way)
- has been with me a few years(yup, 98+% stay)
- had actually met in person(shocking but happens)
- helped with a non-insurance thing(helped get one a job)
So you go into the renewal time ready to follow the plan and this time it doesn’t work. Factually the overall plan always works. But, within that plan, sometimes the sub-plan doesn’t get the expected result. Take the other set of circumstances;
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)?
Let’s say it costs less than $20 to acquire a customer(it should) and most times can just be measured as a fraction of fixed operating costs since there is no official advertising expense? Is this really possible? Yes,yes and yes!!!
Even if we broke down all your fixed costs, which are hopefully almost ” to the bone” and put some slight variables in you are hopefully at a very, very manageable daily cost.
Is being hired by one new household per day unreasonable? NO NO NO. If it is, time to change business.
So I was in a moment of frustration and tweeted this out;
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.