Are You Missing the Mark or Creating Value for the Customer?
Meet Kelly, a successful agency principal who cares deeply about each and every member of her 50-person firm. During a Beyond Insurance workshop, Kelly confided that she was perplexed about the performance of Ryan and Chase – two of her senior producers. Kelly stated that “both men are polished, passionate and extremely professional. They are team players who effectively utilize the agency’s value-added services and resources. However, I cannot comprehend why Chase lags so far behind Ryan in business development performance.”
It was obvious that Kelly cared about Ryan and Chase and truly had their best interests at heart. Yet, she was pained by the fact that Chase’s book of business was hovering around $500,000 in revenue after 10 years with the firm, while Ryan boasted a $2,000,000 book of business.
“Chase has an amazing work ethic. He is personable, attractive, and technical. He is adored by our staff and the community. I don’t get it,” said Kelly.
After carefully listening to Kelly agonize over the “performance gap” between Ryan and Chase, Beyond Insurance suggested that Kelly accompany both individuals to a handful of first-meeting prospect interviews to study each individual’s “value proposition.” Kelly loved the idea. She created a scorecard to evaluate both individual’s value proposition in the following three areas:
- The ability of Ryan and Chase to articulate how they create value.
- The consumers’ ability to understand and appreciate each individual’s value proposition.
- The degree to which each person’s value proposition was differentiated from others in the marketplace.
Two weeks after leaving the workshop, Beyond Insurance received an enthusiastic phone call from Kelly: “I figured it out. The only difference between Ryan and Chase is the quality of their value proposition statements. Ryan’s is clear and concise. The consumer is able to understand and easily identify with how he creates value. On the other hand, Chase is missing the mark. He speaks eloquently about the agency’s unique process and services, yet does not demonstrate the impact to the customer. He uses too much insurance jargon.”
Kelly had uncovered a common flaw in many well-intentioned producers. They do not reach their performance potential as they lack a compelling and attractive value proposition.
Over the next month, Beyond Insurance worked with Kelly to repackage Chase’s value proposition. Before we could help Chase formulate his value proposition, we asked him to answer the following questions:
- What do you believe the consumer values?
- What are the biggest challenges facing the consumer as relates insurance and risk management?
- What unique abilities do you possess to assist the consumer with these challenges?
- What will be the outcome if you can help the customer with these challenges?
- Who is your competition and what are they delivering?
- What can you provide that your competitors cannot?
Accompanying the five questions listed above, Beyond Insurance sent Chase a document to be posted in his office which stated, “A powerful value proposition is not about you. It is not about the products, services and resources of your firm. It is all about the customer. Your ability to articulate how you are uniquely qualified to help the customer will distinguish you from others in the marketplace.”
With guidance and inspiration from Kelly, Chase retooled his value proposition statement. He boiled down the complexities of how he creates value into something that the customer could easily grasp, identify with and remember. Chase’s new, irresistible value proposition statement was all about helping the customer discover issues and create solutions. It was also about differentiation. Chase realized that to be successful, his value proposition had to be differentiated and superior to all others.
Recently, Chase discovered that he is having the best year of his career. He said, “I now have a clearer picture of who I am and my role in serving the customer. I had no idea of the importance of my value proposition statement. My new value proposition pinpoints my ability to uncover the customers’ issues and deliver solutions to address these problems. The shift in my thinking about how I create value has impacted my confidence, attitude, and results.”
He now not only reached his performance potential, he exceeded his agency principal’s expectations! His Value Proposition “Success Indicators” were evidenced by:
- Enhanced reputation and brand
- More referrals
- Elevated perceived value of your diagnostic tools
- Improved new business hit ratio.
How do you create value?