Are you rushing to look exactly like your competitors?  Trying to mirror that concept you have of success?  STOP.  Different may be better. What applies to us as a FMO applies to agents at every level of distribution.  At Gordon Marketing we have built a model that is nothing, if not unique and it is a lot of fun not trying to fit the image of the typical FMO! 

I have had carriers kindly advise me to change almost everything about the way we run our office from the tone of our emails, the videos we produce and the Social Media we post.  I’ve fielded advice from SVPs of major companies to the effect that we should not recruit street level agents and instead concentrate only on large accounts.  I’ve been told – and this is verbatim – “You don’t need to be the Rodney Dangerfield of insurance.”  And to all the naysayers my response is the same: Why change what is working?  I’ll keep taking our shtick all the way to the top of the sales leader boards.

But could we be even more successful if we made our website look like every other FMO’s?  Could we recruit even more agents if we did standard webinars/seminars/trip/incentives?   Yeah, maybe.  We prefer to accept that we can’t be all things to all agents.  By being too bland, and trying to look exactly like the pack, we won’t stand out at all.  Bigger will crush smaller if we stand side by side.  But smaller can win, if we change the rules.  Who though K Mart and Sears could ever be bested?  When Under Armor challenged Nike, no one thought they had a chance

Business graveyards are full of big companies that were “too big to fail” and little companies that “didn’t stand a chance.”

We’d court agents that are looking for a different experience.  You might think there is nothing unique about you, but you are wrong!   We are the only female owned and majority operated by females in the industry.  Naturally we are going to come at the job differently.  Do we attract a lot of women agents?  Yes~ and we also attract a lot of men that like the value proposition Gordon Marketing has to offer.  In our job, I find that there is very little substantive difference between the top 10 insurance distributors (FMO/NMO) in the nation.  We all offer the same products and have similar resumes.  If you look around your town, you too will find that many of your competitors have the same products to offer your community.

So why would anyone choose YOU?

Insurance is first and foremost a relationship business.  People work with us because they like us.  Do they get paid more to broker Humana, Mutual of Omaha, Blue Cross, Aetna, Cigna, Uhc, etc. through us?  No.  Agents most often call our office because they enjoyed our training videos.  We have over 1 MILLION views online and that has allowed agents all over the country to get “to know” us.  Are the videos hokey? Yes.  Our videos are not $4,000 polished, professional productions and that is by design.  We want to project a warm, folksy-what-you-see-is-what-you-get vibe.  The #1 thing that holds agents back from doing their own videos, writing their own blogs and speaking publicly (Lions, Kiwanis, Moose, VFW etc.) is that they feel like they are not professional enough.

Clients want to feel like they know you–as a person, not a business person.

Consumers want connect on a personal level and to feel that you are knowledgeable and trustworthy, but not necessarily a scholar or expert. So be yourself.  If you play tennis, talk a bit about your game.  If you are into crosswords, bring that up.  Show people who YOU are and stop thinking that you are not up to the task.  Every one has something unique and sitting in front of a screen in a suit and tie reciting the ABCs of Medicare is not unique.  Sitting on your motorcycle or horse is.  Having your grandchild asleep in your arms while you film a video about Medicare deductible is infinitely more watchable than another 50 year old guy in a dark suit and tie giving the same information.  You don’t have to wear a clown suit to get views (though I’ve done it and yes, it works) but you should stop trying to fit in.  As Dr. Seuss said, “Why fit in, when you were born to stand out!” _______________________________________________________________________________

Check out Sylvia’s Medicare agent training playlist here