No selling please, I’m just looking

Dorman office - Ryan

I’m just looking thank you, I don’t need want your help.

People like to buy, but they don’t want to be sold to.

Except for insurance and then they just want to run….away….fast….

Whoa, that could be bad news for me because that is how I put food on my table…


I would rather just buy it online

Yeah, at least online I can put the brakes on in case somebody tries to sell me something extra.

I get it, I am an insurance consumer too and sometimes it’s tough writing that check for a promise to pay for a future event that might or might not occur. However, I have been in this gig long enough where I see people trying to get by on the cheap or because of incomplete information, and when it’s needed they were highly disappointed in the outcome and of course blamed the insurance company and/or the agent.

But I am a gambler risk taker, nothing bad is going to happen to me; stuff like this happens only to other people.

Guess what; this is what the other guy is saying about you.

The government will take care of me then

There ain’t no free lunch and there is also something to be said for social responsibility as well. Unfortunately, too many people already have their hand out because insurance wasn’t in their budget.

It’s not perfect, and sometimes it is expensive, but it sure is nice when someone shows up with a check because you took the time to provide the appropriate information to ensure the proper amount of coverage was available; no more, no less.

I’m here to provide you with money when you need it most.

Stop it; insurance still sucks

If you put lipstick on a pig….

I am not trying to glamorize it, but if you are going to buy it (and yes, most of you will) then you might as well do it right; get what you think you are getting and make sure the expectations are established up front to minimize any chance of disappointment if and when the time comes you will need to use it.

My arena is the business world so there is less resistance here because most consider it the cost of doing business; still, most don’t relish stroking that check every month, or every year.

Well then, what good are you

Plenty good; if you want to treat us like a vendor and think the whole lot of us are interchangeable regardless of years of service or credentials or capabilities, then have at it but we probably won’t be doing business together.

I’m only interested in making your business more profitable and driving dollars to the bottom line, not having you pay the insurance company too much. We do this by helping you be as safe as possible, assist you in having sound hiring and training practices, and guiding you efficiently through the claims process if and when that calamity occurs; we make sure the risk management program you have is the program you need, not some off the shelf product that might or might not be a good fit.

My main objective is to make the business owner look good; the best of the best. This allows him/her to attract the best talent and always have a competitive advantage over the owner who thinks shopping each and every year serves them best and never takes into account the soft costs and dollars they are losing out the back door.

Why doesn’t everybody do this?

Beats the heck out of me; I guess that’s why one size doesn’t fit all and it behooves us to only work with customers who are savvy enough to understand this and walk away from those we won’t be able to help anyway.

As an industry, we have trained business owners to think shopping their insurance serves them best which ultimately turns us into only a vendor. But if your employee turnover is 2 1/2 times your competitor because your wages and training suck and you have to build at least 5 more widgets just to break even every time you have to replace an employee; if you don’t see that as a true cost then maybe you just need to keep shopping your insurance anyway.

Seriously, did you just do a whole post on insurance? 

Apparently so, huh?

Our biggest challenge is getting in front of enough people to tell our story and be able to show them why we are different. If we can get that first meeting, we establish quickly if it’s going to be a good fit or not. Sometimes however, if you are patient you can convert the shoppers and eventually turn the renewal into a continuation process and greatly reduce the stress, time and money surrounding just this event alone.

The second biggest challenge is getting the business owner to fire who they currently have so we can come in and work for them. Business owners have egos and most can talk a good game, but when it comes time to pick up the phone and tell somebody you have been working with a long time you have decided to go in a different direction; that can be a tough call to make.

Yep, there are a lot of us insurance guys and gals out there and some think this is an easy business because of all the fun that goes along with being in sales; it is what it is, probably no harder or no easier than most businesses, it just happened to be a good fit for me.

I will close by saying there is good and bad in any industry and like to think we are the good guys at Lanier Upshaw, Inc. We are not perfect and as shocking as this might sound, I too have taken that phone call where my services were no longer needed. But we are always trying to get better and we always want to do what’s best for our customer, not our pocket book; because when we do this, everything else will take care of itself.

So when can I see you; next Tuesday at 10:00 am or Thursday at 3:00 pm, I won’t waste your time…:)?




8 thoughts on “No selling please, I’m just looking

  1. Hi Bill, Believe it or not, I always enjoy your posts about insurance. Crazy, right? But when you talk about insurance what you’re really doing is talking about the secrets to your success. You really care about doing the job right as well as your clients. Yes, there will always be some who want the lowest price no matter what but the first time they need to collect on the insurance they will realize the value of what you’re selling.

    I play racquetball with a guy who has his own insurance agency. What impresses me about him is that he really cares about people. He will follow up later if you tell about him something you’re and ask you questions later about how it went. He must be successful at selling insurance because he has time to play racquetball with us three times a week!

    Thanks for sharing the secrets of your success with us, Bill. We can apply those lessons in other areas of life, even on the outside chance that we never embark on a career in insurance.

    • Thanks for the compliment; unfortunately, we have allowed ourselves to be treated like vendors (Geico, Progressive, etc); but with insurance you are usually building long term relationships. Essentially, if I ‘write’ somebody’s account they are hiring me so I need to set the bar pretty high so it’s tough for someone to do better.

      There has certainly been a lot more highs than lows, I just wish it was easier to get in front of more people. However, because the decision makers insulate themselves they have seen it all and sometimes we all get lumped together.

      We’ve just scratched the surface on effectively using social networking to solidify our branding but we are moving forward and I think that will help open some more doors.

      Hope all is well; good to see you.

    • We may doze, but we never close…:). Yes, I have been in people’s houses, at their business, in a restaurant; you name it.

      One of my classics was going to a nursery/greenhouse in August in long sleeves and a tie for about a 45 minute meeting. I tried to be cool and calm but man did I soak that shirt; I think the guy was holding me up on purpose to see how much I could stand.

      Because we have to fight extra hard to be treated like a trusted advisor on the same level as their CPA, attorney or banker; sometimes these prospects don’t respect our time and don’t show up for a meeting, or late or distracted, etc. Eventually, these are the ones we won’t be doing business with.

      It’s a mixed bag; fortunately I roll with the punches pretty good. See you on Thurs…:).

  2. Lovely post on insurance, Bill. What? I cannot believe I have written this. We Swiss are an overinsured lot and I think with all the money I have paid to insurance companies over the years I could fly to the moon and back.
    I respect and appreciate my insurance friend and my feelings are reciprocated. That’s the gist of the whole thing, no? Respect, appreciation and confidence stemming from a long term relationship.
    If I were in the US I’d come to you!
    Nice closure with the 66 % winning chance for an appointment, I remember it so well from my sales days …

    • Easy now, as I tell all my clients, you can never have too much insurance…:).

      Actually, you can become insurance poor and that’s why we try to determine what the real needs are and only use insurance as necessary. When people know you are looking out for them it makes it a lot easier for them to tell their friends and open other doors for you.

      I’m in it for the relationships, take care of that first and all the money you will need will follow.

      Good to see you.

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