Are YOU, the Agent, giving our industry a bad name?
Did you know that you don't have to be?
By and large the people in this industry doing the most damage to the industry are the ones struggling to find a competitive advantage without undercutting price by reducing coverages or playing with underwriting.
I get it. There is a natural standoff between a carrier who is making it very difficult to compete in a marketplace and the Agent who has that appointment and not many, possibly zero, other carriers to place an opportunity. It's unspoken, but it's happening in thousands of offices across the country, both captive and independent.
And once an Agent, Agency, or producer has sold themselves on the idea that this carrier is no longer looking to be competitive. They begin to "do what they have to do" to force those square pegs into the round holes.
Gotta hit the numbers. Gotta make a contract. Gotta be a Leaderboard Larry!
And what happens next is the Agent, Agency, producer, reduces miles driven. Hands out discounts that prospects do not deserve. Baits and switches coverages. Straight up never discloses coverage with a driver believing they are getting the ever so weakly sold "apples to apples" policy for a cheaper rate, that was not really apples to apples.
Did you know that rather than doing all these different things that give our industry a horrible reputation, makes consumers leery of what they're being told and sold and further waters down an industry that requires licensed salespeople while allowing an ignorant public to purchase it without us, you could...just...add carriers?
(And if you can't, you can... you just need to get out of your sucker contract and victim mentality.)
Take a sales course and work on value selling.
Role play religiously until every objection has a strong way around it.
Leave the industry and go find a job that you do not feel requires your dishonesty for success.
Take a pay cut and be honest with people.
Go from Agent taking on all the financial risk to producer at a local independent where you are just responsible for your own production.
And on and on we go....
But you are NOT being forced to cheat to win in this industry. You are CHOOSING to cheat to win and it WILL catch up with you.
In an audit. In attrition. In rewrites. In premium hikes. Discounts being removed. And ALLLLLLL of THOSE things require your TIME to try and SAVE and FIX.
So congrats on that new business you picked up. In 12-18 months that policy will be the reason you are not calling the new prospect. It will be the reason that that NEW household you booked just replaced the one that left earlier today. It WILL be the reason that a carrier ultimately pulls an appointment with you when it's whatever magic number they have for your consistent violation of their underwriting guidelines.
And it WILL be the reason you are not moving forward tomorrow because you had to be slick today.
Now you're trying to save accounts. You're trying to figure out charge backs. You're trying to explain broken promises to angry people. And you're trying like hell to protect your E&O.
You do not have to be giving our industry a bad name to survive.
There are many alternatives.
Don't be that Agent or Agency creating stereotypes for all of us to deal with down the road. Be the Agent who is working on themselves to do this the right way. Or the Agent who can be honest enough with themselves that this isn't for them.
Dont keep mucking this great industry up for the people out here honestly trying to help their communities because you were too scared to tell your spouse that you have to go back to managing the diner or finishing your degree.
There is honor and fulfillment, and YES, even big money to all chosen career paths, when done with integrity, passion, and a love for who you serve.