We’re in an interesting industry. People generally relate to their insurance and their agents in
a manner similar to the way they relate to their garage door openers and coffee makers. Let
When things work well for us, when the garage door opener and the coffee maker works the
way we expect them to, we generally don’t think much about them. We take them for granted
and may not even recall who the manufacturer is. It’s only when they don’t work that we pay
attention. Then our attention gets focused on the product and the perhaps the people that
made the product.
This trait of human behavior is especially important to make note of when it comes to the
business of insurance. It’s pretty evident that when your policyholder has a claim, you have
the opportunity to really shine – to stand out from the crowd – to deliver more service than
they expected. The challenge comes when everything is working well! Just like the coffee
maker, when things go well (as expected) you’re hardly ever thought of. The insurance is just
there. Its “works” the way they expect it to, and therefore you and the insurance are taken
for granted. There’s often very little connection or relationship with the agent. Some
policyholders will just view you as the salesperson that was there to sell them insurance.
The bottom line is that when you don’t have an ongoing connection with your policyholders,
you’re subject to being picked off by someone with a little lower rate or by someone who
happens to come along at the right time and is able to build rapport with them.
Agents who retain clients in the face of rate increases, poor fund performance and increasing
competition understand that they need to connect with their policyholders in ways that address
some of the eight universal needs that people have. These universal needs are:
- Sense of Accomplishment – People want to feel that they’ve accomplished something
through their efforts.
- Sense of Belonging – People want to be part of a winning team. Make certain that you
communicate just how much your team is winning.
- Direction – Communicate your purpose and provide your clients and prospects with the direction to achieve it.
- Sense of Empowerment – Expect the best of people and they will rise to your
- Recognition – Everyone, to one degree or another, loves recognition for a job well
- Respect – Treat people the way you want to be treated. Understand that although we
all have different hopes and dreams, we all have them.
- Sense of Significance – Make sure you help your policyholders understand the
significance of their efforts towards reaching their goals and achieving their purpose.
- Sense of Purpose – I believe that everyone craves a purpose. We want to be
passionate about something (anything!).. Take advice from great motivational professionals like Richard Jadick to be able to be clear on your purpose and develop the purpose of others.