Being in the insurance industry for a relatively short period of time, I still have one foot on the consumer side of the insurance buying equation.
It’s my hope that I never forget this, as I feel its the reason for any measure of the early success I’ve had in this business.
Even though I’m not a 30 year vet, I know just a little more than most who I speak with. But, It wasn’t that long ago that I knew NOTHING about these products.
It’s difficult remembering what it was like as a young 20 something year old, buying my first vehicle, and having to get insurance on my own.
That in mind, and as an insurance professional, being intentional about how I communicate keeps me centered and focused on who I now serve.
So many things about the insurance industry are stale.
The technology, the systems, the carrier mindset, the language we use to describe coverages…
It all just reeks with the attitude “you are required to have what I sell, so sit and go through MY process, understand MY terminology, and work with MY way of doing business”
I know, this isn’t a new thought.
However, if we as an industry (Independent Agents) are going to change the way customers view us, one particularly old and stuffy term has to die, RIGHT NOW.
Put on your customers shoes and try and understand what emotions come to mind when someone hands you a business card and their job title is, “Producer.”
To be fair, I truly believe this title was originally an internal industry phrase. Yet still today, it often bleeds into conversations with clients and prospects.
You probably cringed when your boss introduced you as the “new producer” in the agency. Or when the service agent says, “Ill have to talk with our new producer about this.”
It’s a “nails on a chalkboard” kind of cringe!
How would you honestly feel as a customer?
What does that business owner think with a title like that?
They might think, “are you trying to ‘produce’ me? What does that even mean?”
It subconsciously almost feels, repulsive….
Its completely transactional, completely impersonal, entirely brazen, and almost cocky….
As sales professionals we are sensitive about how people perceive us.
We try and avoid any action or words that would turn off a potential client or prospect.
I’d venture a guess that most of us want this to change; immediately!
Holding On For Dear Life
Yet our industry clings to this term as if its life depends on it.
I understand, the industry needs great sales people to execute the process of selling our products, and thus to survive.
But, there has to be a better way to represent those on the front line who are hustling and connecting customers with carriers.
It’s really the power of perception that I am getting at here.
Yes, the actual sales force needs to know their main job is, sales… It has to be part of their title.
But customers also need to feel and think, “though I am engaging with someone who gets paid based on the decision I make, I don’t see this as purely transactional. I believe they have my best interests in mind.”
Can a “producer” make someone feel that way?
Fact, not every customer is going to care. I would even venture to guess that many will not.
But, when it comes to first impressions, I’d rather do all I can to reinforce the truth that I am here for you.
It’s What I Do
Yes, I make my living selling insurance, but my main goal here is to help you decide whats best for you, your family, or your business.
We can’t fool ourselves, it’s part of the customer experience.
Maybe the most important fact to remember.
“Producers” are the front door to new relationships that agencies form.
We need to set ourselves up for success.
So call me an insurance agent, call me a sales professional, call me a sales consultant, call me an account executive, call me anything you want, but do not call me a PRODUCER…
My time and interaction with you means so much more to me than dollar signs and a paycheck.