July 29, 2014

Say you are in the market for a brand new Ford F-150. You walk into one auto dealership, and you see that they have a selection of Fords, Chevys, Dodges, Hondas, a BMW, a Harley, some ATVs & Ski-Doos, and bicycles. Oh, and the owner's niece has set up a Scentsy Candle booth near the entrance. Across the street is another dealership that sells Ford trucks, and nothing else. Which one would you go to? I'd choose the dealer who specializes in exactly what I'm wanting to buy.

Who is your client?

Let’s take this a step further. The Ford truck dealer has figured out who his ideal customers are - first and foremost, they're men. He's also split them into groups: men who want a flashy, loud, diesel, 4-wheel drive, and men who are in construction, farming, or some other occupation who need a work truck to haul or tow things with. He can keep splitting these groups as much as he needs to, and use those groups for his marketing.

When the Ford dealer can tailor his marketing for his ideal customer, and the customer sees that he "speaks their language" and has what they want, there's a really good chance that this dealer is going to get a sale.

Now let's apply this to insurance sales. The average age in the United States is increasing. That's great news for Medicare Supplement insurance agents, and means your market is getting bigger over time. That does not mean that all those seniors are your ideal customers.

Who's your ideal client?

Think about your existing clients—who do you enjoy working with the most? Who is most profitable? Who gives you referrals? Are they wealthy, lower income, a certain race? Figure out who you'd most like to work with if you could choose your clients, and write it down.

Now, realize that you CAN pick your clients to some extent. Rather than simply being "an insurance agent" wouldn't it make more sense to position yourself as "The Medicare Expert"? That doesn’t imply that you can’t sell Life Insurance, Annuities, or other products, but that you could market yourself as an expert in a topic that is frustratingly confusing to your clients.

Are you their ideal agent?

Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. You see two ads in the newspaper - the first agency is offering Auto, Boat, Motorcycle, Homeowner’s, Renter’s, Disability, Health, Life, Med Supps, and Small Business insurance. The second agency is from “Your Medicare Specialists” and is clearly not trying to be a “jack of all trades”. Which agency will they call?

While there may be some benefits to offering everything to everyone, I’d argue that it’s best to only advertise specific products to your ideal customers. You can certainly sell to anyone who walks in the door, but advertise only to those you prefer to work with. Instead of offering “everything and the kitchen sink”, advertise the Ford truck.

Do you agree, disagree? Let me know in the comments below.

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