Most industries and markets are dominated by sameness. If you want to leave your competitors in the dust, you need to be different. Here’s how…
New Habit: Look At Things In A Different Way
This habit is what will make you different. And different is better than better.
How do you do it? Here are a few places to start:
1. Stop Copying Other Agents
Agents are always looking for what works. Yes, networks and groups can have good ideas. But consider this:
If other people are already doing something effective, they have a huge head start on you. The best you can do is to narrow the gap.
Differentiation doesn’t come from doing what other people are doing. I mean, that’s kind of in the definition, right?
And if you’re not different, why should you get more than an average share of the market?
2. Start seriously listening to your customers.
Don’t meet customers and prospects just to sell them something. Meet them to learn. The sales will come.
If you’re not learning anything, you’re not asking the right questions.
Your goal is to solve important problems, not just to sell products. That means asking deep questions. Find out where their exposures are. Figure out why they’re dissatisfied with other carriers. Understand the vulnerabilities in their life plans.
If you’re spending more time living in your peers’ world than in your customers’ world, you won’t be different.
3. Build A Better Company Culture
I keep hearing agents talk about customer service as a differentiator. News flash: it’s not.
If everyone is focused on something, you can’t be different by also focusing on it.
And anyway, good customer service is expected. It’s a minimum requirement for keeping customers.
But you can differentiate by delighting your customers.
So here’s a critical tip: employees who are discouraged, afraid, or micromanaged don’t delight customers.
What will really delight your customers is a team that loves what they do and has the freedom and ownership to give customers an experience they aren’t used to.
If your philosophy is, “The Customer Comes First,” that means the people who talk to the customers (your employees) come second. That’s a recipe for mediocrity.
Employees will only care about your company as much as they believe you care about them.
You need a culture where employees feel valued, cared for, and trusted. A purpose-driven culture where everyone is aligned.
Unleash that on your customers and you’ll absolutely stand out from the crowd.
4. Stop Competing On Price
When you allow your business to lead with price, you end up with people and processes that fail to portray value.
You might think you can do both, but “We’re the cheapest AND we’re the best” gets believed zero percent of the time.
Once you’ve told your customers that your relationship is about price, you’ll have a hard time changing that perception.
If a customer came to you with price-based intent, your job is to change that intent. You need them to recognize the value you provide. They need to understand what makes you different. That’s how you unlevel the playing field.
5. Compete With Yourself
You don’t know much about your competitors. Reacting to them means always playing catch up.
But you have all the dirt on your own company. Decide that one-year-from-now you will crush today you. Do that every year. I promise that it’s a target-rich environment.