Prospects want the usual fare of benefits, but they want it differently.  That means you must be different from the rest. 

You may be familiar with Seth Godin’s breakthrough book “Purple Cow.” You are among a herd of Holsteins. You are the only purple one. Guess who is going to stand out to the prospect? Be different. Talk different. Offer innovative solutions that are different. You will grow your book faster if you just heed the idea of being different. I have seen this success many times.

What specifically do prospects want today that will cause them to buy from you, the differentiated seller? They do not want you to show up and throw up razzle-dazzle value-added services anymore. They want you to know what causes them pain and to demonstrate how your technology tools make the pain disappear. Educate the prospect on your technology. 

Make the prospect’s job easier

Tools that make the prospect’s job easier include payroll solutions, easy-to-use online enrollment and electronic benefit administration services, and the biggie – help with human resources. Most of your prospects swim in a toxic soup of HR regulations and they need help. Be different and offer help.

Show your prospect tools that can make work faster and easier.  These tools abound on the Internet today. Buy a few and give them to prospects in return for an AOR. 

Prospects want information to make better decisions and for compliance. Make digital content available to them, but do not give them a big clunky library. Allow your customers to pick the digital content they want from your value-added tool set. The days of giving every customer the same sandwich are over. Customers want to pull content that they choose. They do not have time to read a book.

Develop and maintain digital relationships. Wean yourself off in-person relationships for small accounts. You need them, but they are financial losers. You cannot afford to call on them anymore. Digital relationships seem strange at first, but other industries have digital relationships with their customers and it works. The technology is less expensive and allows you to touch more customers at a time.

I create technology companies in the insurance space. It is a weird stock in trade. Technology in a sale works magic like nothing I’ve ever seen. It is the seed that enables the seller to be different. Value-added technology transforms your sales presentation, but you have to be good at using it. Too many producers buy technology without training; or they ignore the training, and wonder why their technology purchase does not produce the promised premium on sales production. I worked with one broker where for about three years we sold, on average, 20 new groups per month of all sizes.  It is true. Your prospect wants a smashing presentation of your technology and then they will buy.

I offered you a snapshot of ways to be different and garner more sales and happier customers. I would like to hear from you now. Remember today is not like yesterday and tomorrow will be different still.  Be different.

Davidson, CEBS is principal at Davidson Collective LLC and a management consultant to insurance brokers across the country. He is also on the faculty at the Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.  Reach Craig at

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