Have You Approved Your Message: Part Two

Think TED Talks, where speakers have no more than 18 minutes to convey their message. Could you give an overall briefing about what, how and why you do what you do in 18 minutes or less?

  • Email What does your electronic correspondence say about you and your agency? Do your emails look professional? Do you and your staff use a consistent format or is every greeting and signature different? What are you doing to ensure that the grammar and spelling are correct? Are you checking up on how your correspondence appears to your clients and carriers?
  • Stationery I realize that most people aren’t using a lot of stationery these days (and I’m grateful that I’m not in that business). But when the occasion calls for a letter or some other “official” correspondence, does your stationery or corporate letterhead make a great first impression? Is it attractive and current or worn and dated? Does it look crisp and professional or did you design it yourself using a template?
  • Client Experience As we’ve said many times before, your overall client experience creates either a “Wow!” or a “Whoa!” Wowing a client should elicit excitement: “That was really unique!” Conversely, a client who has been underwhelmed is apt to think, “Whoa! They’re just like everybody else.”
  • Community Involvement Giving back is an important part Of your messaging. Are you making deposits on behalf of the local people and businesses that support you?
  • The Unfair Advantage In any selling situation or competition, someone will have the unfair advantage. Shouldn’t it be you and your agency? Does your messaging support actions that give you the unfair advantage? Think of a time you went to buy something and ended up NOT paying the lowest price. It’s likely that the merchant had a clearly defined message— a story of differentiation—that wowed you enough to pay a little more than you would have elsewhere. How did they stand out and get your attention and ultimately your business?

In your market, does your agency have the unfair advantage? If you’re not sure, ask your team during your next state-of-the-agency meeting (and I’m sure you have those, don’t you?). What do they say that gives them and your agency an unfair advantage? What does the agency do that’s different?

The bottom line

What are the messages you send out to the public, and how well are they received? More important, do you approve of the message, and do your own people believe your message?

I was talking to a regional agency with just over 100 employees. They had just completed a survey and found that 80% of their employees don’t buy insurance from the agency they work for! If your own people aren’t buying from you, what message does that send?

No matter how great your message, it’s unlikely to be heard unless it’s part of your agency’s culture. It has to be something people believe in and are comfortable with to the point that they can discuss it naturally in conversation.

Keep in mind that your agency is sending out messages all day, every day. Have you approved them?


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