But what if we are measuring the wrong things

**GEARED towards brokers/agents,   feel free to read on regardless of who we are**

1. So if you have a customer and the service/product you are providing has not improved but you are now charging more for it, is this right?

2. So last year you had 100 customers to start and ended the year with say 120.  BUT 30 of those are completely new because you lost 10 of those you started with.  Is this good?  Why did you lose them?  Was this avoidable?

3. Do you really need to have a fancy website with blogs, tweets, news articles, etc?  Well did your customer ask for it?  Are the articles actually articles that people want?  What is the purpose of the articles?

4. Think about this, the key to all business is building a group of humans who likes you enough to give you money.  Pretty simple.  Step two is keep them happy enough to continue to pay you.  The problem here then becomes why isn’t step three or step one and a half to make sure you are good enough that these people want to share you.  Instead you spend time and money to find new people and not doing all you can for your current people?

5. Is it really bad to not grow your customer base but increase the revenue per household?  Yes, if you charge more but do not bring any more value.  Instead become more efficient.

6. How many entities are in a transaction?  In our case it is agent, consumer and company.  Can you make it better for all them?  YES and it is easy

7. Tough to balance the responsibility but the reality, as I see it, is this; First you are responsible to yourself and your morals, then you can list in family, your god, etc but when it comes to business I think you really need to look at your customer first since without there money there is no transaction.

8. When it comes to companies, if they are not willing to keep up with the life we are in and the technology then maybe you need to stop working with them.

9. I’ve found that even though you may have 20 or more options when it comes to companies to work with, if your customers fit a certain demographic you can have a 70+% closing ratio with five options.  And remember, for at least the foreseeable future the companies really need you.

10. The future is now and I just heard about it.  May take a little bit to take hold but so does any new awesome thing.


Not ready yet?

So in a previous post I dove into some things I thought were not so good about the shopping sites I tried to use.   Most of those comments were positioned from the consumer angle.  Yes, a little slanted since I have been helping people with insurance for eleven years but still from the consumer angle.  Well how about from the agent side

1. Its proven time and time again that the more policies a person/household has with an agent/company the more likely they are to stay.  That being said, quoting one line of business will not cut it.

2. Insurance is pretty ruthless.  Simply building a business around generating traffic/leads is an expensive proposition.

3. Back to that whole ruthless thing and factoring in combining lines; if you can only quote my auto insurance your sunk. The pool of people only wanting/needing auto insurance is not so big and for the most part is made up of price shoppers not people shopping for value.

4. Oh and if you do get someone interested you/the consumer needs to factor in losing a multi-policy discount.  YES, it is possible in fact I am about to do it but it is not often.  Figure you are on average in need of at least $100 in savings just to break even.  That’s tough considering a good savings on an auto/home/umbrella package is $300.

5. So the one company is basically on its way out so you would think the shopping model makes sense.  But then again State Farm owns all their data and Allstate can buy out their agents whenever they want.  In fact they might be able to do it for less than what you pay for a lead.  Could be interesting

6. I’ve stumbled into people bringing a lot of tech into the insurance world.  This is a good thing.  But then again old habits can die hard.  You/we can flip the industry on its proverbial head but we need to do it gently.

7.  PLEASE think more like Zappo and Amazon and less like the Lead providers of the early 2000’s

8. Oh and on the note of lead providers, it worked for me for a while.  Right up until I realized how poorly the companies were treating their “leads”  HUMANS that is who we are serving not leads.

9. And another thing, the insurance industry is not exactly growing.  Remember, each year people stop driving and each year people start driving.  If the total dollar volume grows it is a reflection on lazy consumers and greedy companies not a growing customer base.

10. You can bring tech to the insurance industry but not all at once.  Remember, the majority, which is where a lot of the money is, will not change all at once.  One step at at time.

The personal insurance industry is long overdue for improvements.  But, the way you are doing it now is ignoring some basic financial laws/rules.  In many cases you have needlessly lowered the bar and are actually making the customer worse off.  NOT GOOD, please stop this.  Help the customer and you’ll benefit for much longer than if you don’t.

Just some thoughts.