Insurance Marketer, Ask the Right Questions

November 15, 2016

Who do YOU want?

It seemed a simple enough question. The young producer had just told me one of his key requirements to determine if a suspect was truly a potential prospect was “ability to pay.” “Okay”, I responded. “If that is a key, tell me specifically how will you determine their ability to pay?”

His totally blank expression would have been more humorous if it hadn’t been replicated by nearly everyone in his sales class. It was an expression I was all too familiar with by this time, having already seen it in response to queries such as:

  • It’s great you want to make money. How much?
  • You want to be successful. How do you define success?
  • Your boss says he hired you because you were a “proven winner.” So tell me, how will you know if or when you’ve “won” in this career?
  • Many producers find that one of the truly amazing upsides of this career is also the most threatening downside — you can sell anything to anybody. No territories, no limits. So who do you want to sell to? Why?

That last question is often the real killer. And, to compound the problem, it isn’t only the producer who struggles with the answer. Far too often his or her manager’s strongest advice boils down to, “Just get out there and sell something!” Carriers send out field reps and marketing materials whose primary message is, “We want good business, and more of it.” Well, duh!

In a world where almost every motivational speaker and heralded success guru avows the true winner feasts upon more choice and freedom of action, the biggest stumbling block to success is the lack of the exact opposite — specific directions and defined measurements.

The biggest stumbling block to success is the lack of specific directions and defined measurements.”

Consider for a moment those “proven winners” who are so desired by hiring folks everywhere. We know whether or not they “won” because they played games with specific rules, goal lines, scoreboards, historical statistics  — in other words, they knew exactly what it would take to achieve their goals and how victory would be determined. What successful college, professional or Olympic coach ever said, “Oh, just go play and let’s see what happens.”

So how would you answer the questions I posed to our young producer? Or more precisely, how would your branding-marketing-advertising campaign answer? Are these even the right questions for your goals? If not, what are they and how are you measuring them?

Is your marketing still based upon these clichés?

  • Blogging is great to position yourself as a content expert.
  • If you’re not tweeting or creating video, you’re a dinosaur.
  • Digital is the future. Nobody with a brain wants to cold-call or direct mail anymore.

Or is your marketing based on your specific goals and target audience?

  • Who is my blog designed to reach, and how do I increase the odds that my specific audience will find it?
  • Are the most desirable suspects for me most reachable on Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook or at the local meeting of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers?
  • Considering my target prospects, would Facebook really deliver effective ads or just the digital equivalent of billboards along the interstate?

What questions are you asking? And if you don’t understand how to define your target audience, how do you know they are the right questions?

Hey, grasshopper, it’s your future. Define and conquer!

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