Insurance is a sales business.
Without the sale of an insurance policy, none of the actual work of insurance can get done. However, over the next five years “How” we sell insurance will drastically change.
In the modern marketplace winners and losers are determined by who can attract the most attention to their brand.
Attention is the currency of the Internet and there work we must do now to ensure we’re able to attract the attention we need three, five or even ten years from now.
In episode seven of The Show we examine the one skill undeniably more important to your future success over the next five years than sales:
Today we’re going to step back from our normal tactics-heavy format of the show and take a wider view on a bigger problem that you’re going to have to solve in your agency, in your insurance business.
If you’re sitting there and you’re thinking about the future of your business, if you want to thrive in the attention-driven marketplace that we operate in today, then it’s going to get more competitive as we move into the future.
If you want to thrive in that world, you’re going to have to lose today.
This is actually a concept that I got from Gary Vaynerchuk, so full credit to Gary:
“See, the thing that people that don’t realize is you want to teach people how to fix things without paying you for it because that builds up leverage. You give up a sale in the beginning but you get all the sales in the end.”
You lose the microgame, you do the things in the micro that may not get you the best counting numbers today.
You may not look like you’re winning on paper today but what you’re building are deeper, stronger relationships.
You’re building the Seth Godin tribe that we talked about in Episode 3.
You’re creating the connections and the infrastructure and the product fit and the consumer knowledge and the data.
You’re doing those things today so that 5, 10, 20 years from now, you’ll stand out from everybody else, because no one’s doing it today.
The writing is on the wall.
More from Gary Vaynerchuk:
“We have to start getting into meritocracy. Somebody should lose if they’re not seeing where the puck is going.”
We operate today in a marketplace where attention rules all.
Those who can attract attention, those who can keep attention win the game, and if you’re not doing the work today that sets you up to succeed in that marketplace, then you’re just not going to be able to compete because there will come a day when no matter what you do, your competition can attract more attention.
Even if your offering to the marketplace is better, no one will hear it, no one will see it, nobody will care because someone else will have their attention.
Unfortunately, we’re already seeing this take place in the independent agency space today.
The Directs, the Captives, your Geicos, your State Farms, your Farmers, they are just pouring money into TV, into radio, into banner ads.
The places where it seems like if you’re counting impressions, you’re getting a ton of attention today.
But if you look at the amount of money they have to spend to get that attention, you can tell that they’re not optimized.
So this actually creates opportunities for us and I’m an incredible believer in content marketing and telling your story and digging and being that value provider, giving without expectation or reciprocation.
There is a reason that I preach this. It’s not just fancy buzzwords or things that I think I can sell to you.
I honestly believe that the organizations that win this game over the long term, I’m talking 5, 10, 20 years from now, are going to be those who are laying the groundwork today to win attention.
What does that look like?
That means are you capturing data.
There are agencies out there that aren’t even capturing e-mails still. You guys are toast.
If you’re not getting cell phones and e-mails from every one of our customers, you are on your way out. I don’t know what else to say. There’s just no way of competing in a world where I have your customers’ e-mails and you don’t.
I will beat you every single day.
It doesn’t matter how strong your offline relationship is because eventually, me the marketer will wear them down and get them out of your office because you just won’t be able to compete from a communications standpoint.
That’s just the basic stuff.
Capturing simple pieces of information is just the basics.
Do you have this infrastructure in place to maneuver with the market?
Do you have an agency management system that’s maneuverable?
Are you still stuck in something that you have to have a rack server in your back office? Not maneuverable, doesn’t integrate.
If your agency management system tells you that you have to pay $10,000 to integrate with another system, get rid of them.
That’s crazy. APIs are wide open today and it should be easy for you to plug in new tools and take tools out. Super, super simple.
Double Down on Attention
At Agency Nation, we’re doubling down on content.
We’re not backing off it.
We’re putting more content out there.
In this game of attention, you have to be fulfilling people’s needs in every aspect of their life.
Some people like to read articles. Some people like to watch video.
Some people like to watch podcasts, and most people like to do some crisscross variation of all three and some people like micro content like the Instagram stories that we’ve been putting out that are kind of like a behind the scenes view of everything that goes on at Agency Nation and trustedchoice.com.
That’s our story.
That’s how we tell our story and you need to be doing that, too, and there’s literally no excuse.
You don’t like to be in front of the camera? It’s not an excuse. Find someone who does.
You’re not a good writer? No excuse. Find someone who does.
Gary Vaynerchuk, the guy who I referenced before, is a four-time New York Times bestseller and he can’t write a word. He dictates it to someone else and they put the words on paper. You can do that, too.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]There has never before been a time in history when the ability to attract attention was so valuable.[/tweet_box]
This isn’t the 1960s where you can run an ad in the paper and attract tons of attention to your business.
You have to be more strategic, you have to be more thoughtful.
The volume of content needs to go up with the quality of content and therein lies the rub.
If content is king and context is queen, quality is your ace in the hole.
No one can be you.
No one can create at a high level like you can.
No one can talk in your voice like you can.
You have to tell that story.
That story has to be told, whether it’s you’re writing for a big, huge enormous brand or a little tiny local shop or it’s just you and your spouse sitting in the office.
That story needs to be told and your ability to tell it is as important as your ability to sell insurance policies because that’s the only way that you’re going to attract the attention that you need to survive in the new digital marketplace.
And it’s only moving faster and there’s only going to be more pressure for you to create, and if you don’t have the assets in place, if you haven’t created that content for people to find and dig into and become part of your agency before they even meet you, then they’re not going to choose you.
Your phone isn’t going to ring. We have to do this work.
You have to be willing to lose the small game. You have to be able to lose today.
Losing today means taking time out of your prospecting schedule to work on legacy technology.
It means thinking about processes and strategies that normally you just take for granted.
It means thinking about the way that people answer your phone, thinking about, thinking strategically about the customer experience that you provide to people. It means instead of making 10 more cold calls, writing a blog post.
Because most of your competition isn’t going to do that.
It means instead of just waiting for referrals come in, answering questions in simple bite-sized videos that allow people to learn more about your business.
It means giving content away for free.
It means building deeper relationships, taking 20 minutes with that customer who’s just a home and auto because you never know who they’re going to refer to you and what they’re going to say about you out in the market.
It’s taking that extra time with people and building that deeper relationship that’s going to pay dividends down the road when normally you just pass them off to someone, transact the business, and get them back out the door.
It means encouraging people to contact your agency, not considering those who don’t contact your agency to be your best customers.
More from Gary:
“Scaling the unscalable is where all the action is.”
The truth is this is a really hard concept to describe.
I can’t tell you what all the small things are.
What I can tell you is there’s day-to-day tasks that you do every day, which seemingly keep the place running, and some part of you knows that they’re not the things that are going to help you grow in the future, and it’s making the conscious decision to do those things.
Most importantly, tell your story in a digital space, whether that’s Instagram stories or blog posts or videos or podcasts or whatever, Facebook Live videos, I don’t know.
Taking the time to do them today is what’s going to win you the attention that you need 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now.
Your competition is not doing it, the Direct and Captives aren’t doing it.
They’re not building these assets.
They just keep pumping more and more into advertising.
That’s opportunity for us.
Grab on to that opportunity. I am.
I’m doubling down on our team.
Everything we do at Agency Nation, you’re only going to see more of it.
- Elevate is going to be bigger.
- The blog’s going to be bigger.
- This video show is going to be bigger.
- The podcast is going to be bigger.
We’re going to add more voices, more resources because attention wins the game and I want you to come along for this ride and I want you to do it at whatever scale you can in your agency.
Lose today so we all win tomorrow.
Music by – David Cutter Music
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