The Wedge Group - February 2019

(214) 446-3209





Many salespeople are coached to believe that what sets them apart and makes them better than the competition comes down to a handful of attributes. Being local — focusing on the community in which they live and advertising that their close proximity allows them to serve it best — is among these attributes. Another is to have a strong knowledge base of the products they sell. Salespeople are also told to differentiate themselves by working with the best insurance carriers, building solid relationships with prospects, and taking good care of their clients along the way. As a result, salespeople believe wholeheartedly that these traits differentiate their agency from every other. They parrot this information when they speak with prospects, clients, and one another. But here’s the truth: Just about every agency can possess these attributes. Anyone can be local, work with good insurance, become well-versed in their product, and build solid relationships with their clients. While none of these traits are bad, they simply aren’t going to differentiate you from the competition. The only sustainable way to set yourself apart is to first change your mindset. You need to shift from high-level thinking to a more pragmatic kind. I’ll break it down further. There are three things that can potentially give your agency a competitive advantage without necessarily differentiating you. These are price, coverage, and service.

Now, some other agencies will be able to match your price and coverage. That leaves service. You can take service and divide it into reactive and proactive. Many agencies are reactive because it’s easy. They get a phone call, and they answer. A client has questions, and the agency has solutions. They are always ready to act when someone comes to them for a service. Being proactive, on the other hand, changes the playing field and can fundamentally differentiate you. When you have a proactive platform in place, you have a chance to win — and win big. A proactive platform should entail many things — a set of tools, resources, and services. It should also include helpful software and a certain ardent mindset. But above all, your proactive platform should be thoroughly understood by you and your salespeople, making it easier to communicate to your prospects and clients. That is why we work on developing very simple, picture-perfect wedges. They are effective and easy to understand, which gives you a big advantage. There are many firms that go out of their way to spend big money on tools, resources, and services that could help them stand out in the crowd. But the problem is they are not using these tools to the best of their ability, or they are not using the tools at all. It might be because they don’t know how to use their resources — software, for instance. Perhaps these agencies

haven’t bothered to sit down and learn how they can get their money’s worth. There are countless reasons why they may not be living up to their full potential. It’s like spending thousands of dollars on a brand-new tool chest for your garage only to find out you have no idea what any of the tools are or what they do. If you don’t know how to use a crucial piece of software or any of the applications within, you cannot differentiate yourself from the other guys. Zenjuries ( and Modgic (Modgic. com) are two great tools. In the commercial insurance business, Zenjuries helps manage workers’ compensation claims. Modgic allows producers to quickly and easily create mods using comparison tools. These brief descriptions are purely surface level, but they are great examples of tools that can be incredibly powerful. If you haven’t checked them out, you ought to! These resources can help differentiate your firm if you use them properly and communicate to prospects and clients how they can help you maximize the service you deliver.

For any questions, give us a call, and we will help set your agency apart.

– Randy Schwantz

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