Fulfilling a contract, earning votes, re-election

My thoughts are a bit, but not much, different as it pertains to our crazy system of elections 

Most of my commute is littered with silly yard signs promoting various candidates as is my mailbox.  Although I watch shows, I do not watch cable T.V. or listen to the radio so I avoid that noise.

Metaphor and simile’s; I suppose the deeper one gets into a subject(insurance), and wants to help people understand it, the more similes and metaphors you can use.  Although insurance is a bit dirty, it is unfair to compare it to politics since that is much dirtier…sort of.  But where does it make sense?

Claims.  Claims are supposedly why you have insurance, just in case.  The truth is, likely 90%+ has it because the law or a mortgage requires it.  But, when a claim doesn’t go well, what happens?  Well, the claimant first feels the brunt of it.  Then, if there is an agent/broker they feel some of it.  Depending on when during the policy period, at some point the agent/broker now finds out the customer wants to leave.  BUT, here comes the catch.  If you were regularly reviewing your rates, there is not an artificial buffer keeping your rate high.  So, you go to switch and it becomes HIGHLY unlikely that you can since you now have a claim on your record.

Behind the scenes; nice enough couple starts with a $2400 rate and is thrilled.  You run the CLUE report and find 5 occurrences over a 5 year period.  2 of these are using towing, total payout $124.  1 is a relative’s so we exclude it.  That leaves you with a comprehensive claim since his vehicle was vandalized while parked and she hit a deer.  New rate?  $3800  WTF?  Nope, just insurance.  **Yes, there are dozens of things behind this but scenarios like this are not unusual.

Sort of like; taxes are up, standard of living is down, your town/city/state’s reputation is not good, you might even be involved in some “shady” stuff but you are getting re-elected because you or your party has the money to do it.

ADVERTISING But when your signs go out are you advertising to new votes or old votes?  In theory, we are in a connected world.  If you received 1000 votes last election, how many of those can you depend on to vote for you again?  BUT, bigger than that, how many of those can you depend on to encourage another person to vote for you?

It is very rare that we receive a phone call specifically requesting a company be used. Like Sasquatch rare, * Saw SmallFoot, usual story but still fun.  Nice Soundtrack**  BUT, most of our calls come based on the name of one of our divisions, our parent company name or one of our team.  Wondering why voting is that much different?  Kind of like a new candidate having an office two doors from office and to my knowledge, no hellos have been exchanged.  Then again, ignoring small business is just what New York does.

It goes back to some basic stuff; be worth sharing.  Give people reasons to share you. Don’t advertise to advertise.  Focus on being worth voting for(buying) and the rest seems to take care of itself

Convenience, a bad compliment

So apparently I was buying a lot in September of 2012 and just had to write about it  https://theinsurancebill.com/?p=202

If you are a broker, people leave.  Period.  No one is 100% for more than a year or two.  People die, people move, people get rid of cars and homes, etc.  To think you can keep your policy count and customer count growing is a better goal than keeping 100% of your customers.  Often they leave without warning.  This hurts, sometimes.  But, most of us maintain customers because the effort to switch doesn’t match either

  1. The possible savings
  2. The uncertainty that comes with new

But, taking “negative advantage” of these scenarios is not a good idea.  It is why insurance is where it is.  It’s why some of what EZLynx’s rating engine is interesting.  It is why seeing Covera test a theory that I have executed on for 6ish years really interesting.

On the other hand, I firmly believe that a review that starts with ” They saved me a lot of money….” or ” WOW, they helped me lower my price…”  including an arbitrary “our average savings is $572 per year…”  Is some of the worst advertising you’ll see.  Sure, maybe a fact is being shared, but wanting to be known for this is not a wise idea.

Consider an alternative; try being the person who offers what people consider a consistently fair price. Seriously, leading with the lowest price does some long-term damage to your business it also sends some bad signals out to the universe.  Price Consciousness is normal, sadly we are in a consumerist culture that has ruined, or at least hindered capitalism.  Sure, you are “happy” that you saved them money.  Nothing wrong with this, but what else did you do?

I wrote about being willing to “overpay” for some convenience because I am.  Actually, most people are.  If you are a broker and reading this you better know that well over 50% of your customers can lower their rates today but they stay.

Just consider looking at things from your business side as well as your personal side a bit differently.  Feel free to take a piece of our formula;

” We’ll try and improve your coverage and improve your rate.  Hopefully both”

Timing is important

Sat in on a webinar a week or so ago.  The title of it intrigued me since I could not figure out why it was setting such a low expectation for a certain metric.  Then I gave them an hour of my life and they basically explained why.

Some people don’t think big enough  

Kind of reinforced me to not pay much attention to consultants who are paid for time not necessarily results.  Anyhow, Lots of goofy ideas where talked about but two stood out;

  1. The times you should be cross selling a current customer/client
  2. The times to ask for referrals

Both are very valid things to talk about.  There are likely dozens of ideas and concepts that have been written about and that those writers will say work.  Cool.  A couple of questions to consider;

  1. When I make the time to call you, I am likely calling to handle something specific.  I may be stressed, busy, on my lunch break, etc  Why would you think I am giving you permission to take more of my time?
  2. What correlation is there between changing a car on an auto insurance policy or refinancing my home with asking me for more money?

Now, I absolutely agree with just about every study surrounding account rounding and the more lines of business in a household.  On the other hand, I am confident to know that whatever I have already done for you should have been done in such a way that you see the value in me.  That value and hopefully personal connection we have made is a very powerful thing and can undo most stats.  Consider this as an alternative; what if you politely kept in touch over the course of a year without trying to sell me anything?  Think about it, you politely keep in touch with this nice person who is already a customer.  By doing this you can hopefully bring additional value and maybe a smile therefore keeping the door open for me to buy something else.  Any way you look at it, me buying something from you is way better than you selling something to me.  Besides, you should have enough people to work with that you do not need to depend on forcing/selling anything to anybody.

On that note, I think asking me to introduce you to friends and family is almost as bad.  Why?

Quit being lazy!!!  Bring value and participate in Social Media!!!

That’s right, I think you asking for referrals, many times, is simply lazy.  I also lump it right in with interruption/spam marketing if you are asking me for referrals when I am calling for some other reason.  Some thoughts;

  • Just like me buying from you, isn’t it better when I proactively share you with friends?  How can you make this easy for me?
  • Is paying for referrals really a good idea
  • If I am only referring you someone so I can enter a contest, is it really a referral?
  • Are you even referable?  Think about it.
  • Really, if we were missing in person do you still think putting a notepad and pen in front of me is a good idea?  **Please say no***

It’s only fair to present some alternatives;

  • Where are we connected on-line?  Hopefully where I am comfortable.  P.S.  do you really think I am sharing canned insurance articles
  • I am not at all opposed to saying thanks with a gift or money.  I hope you are not either.  But should I be offering you money in exchange for your friends contact info?  Do you like it when your email is sold to random vendors?  Do you like it when you are added to a newsletter list without opting in?
  • Seriously, ” you can enter our contest for a t.v. if you refer us to a friend….”  Come on.  Keep selling on price as well and let me know how that works out.   leads us to the next one
  • Be referable.  Seriously, I’ve been thanked several times for referring one person to another and a part of my response is always, ” no problem, thanks for being easy to refer…”
  • Still  one of my favorite “techniques” and still one I have nor will never use.  Try the digital version of this and become a connection on Linkedin.  All of their connections will see it.  How about you like/share something of theirs on Facebook and see what happens.  Even better, how about you proactively refer them in some way or bring other value

Anyway, just some thoughts.  Thanks for letting me share.  Do whatever you think works for you but remember, the world has adjusted and much of what used to “work” doesn’t.

Never end the referral loop

Here is what referrals would look like if they were a “symbol”;

Thanks Charles Petzold

Pretty simple, where the intersection takes place is the referral/sharing moment.  The idea being that the referral takes place and the Referrer and the Referee continue on the path and eventual pass and receive another  referral.  Reality is in perfection it is more like this;

thanks Etsy person.

A continually growing chain of infinity symbols that interlock with one another therefore allowing a continual stream of referrals and sharing to take place.  If at some point you choose to cut the loop you hinder the ability to give and  subsequently receive referrals in the future.  Why would you want to do that?  No idea.

Keep the chain going.  Keep sharing.