Thoughts, real-world observations, and anonymous examples – good and bad – regarding the use of Web/Social/Mobile technology in the insurance industry. Follow Mike Wise, President WebWisedom LLC, for the latest in Social Technologies.
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The game seems to have changed. The art, process, career – call it what you want – of selling is being changed by Social Technology, even in the lagging industry of insurance. Skeptical of this? You have only to look at your most recent sales – or losses. Whether B2B or B2C, do you have a sense that the buyers, BEFORE they decided whether or not to buy, engaged in an effort to “check you out online”? In this due-diligence process, what did they find out about YOU (B2B) or your product reputation and/or brand reputation (B2C)? Was this act on behalf of the consumer as common just two years ago (2008)? How about 2005? Even if it was common in those days, did it carry as much weight in the purchase decision? I think if you really look at the trends, you’d have to admit that the selling process has changed.
Think about it. How would you characterize the most recent selling paradigms we’ve seen over the past few decades. As a B2B sales guy since 1988, I’d say I’ve seen three distinct era’s in 20+ years, certainly with convergence and overlap. Generally speaking…
What do you remember about the pro’s and con’s of these earlier phases? What struggles did you have adapting to the changing paradigms? Any funny anecdotes that come to mind relative to this? How would you characterize what we’re seeing now with Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs and their impact on sales? Consumer/Client rating? Retweets, ShareThis, Recommendations? Email marketing? Podcasting? Viral video? Content syndication?
My own funny story… I remember when I was selling for ADP in Phoenix around ’91/92, a couple years into it, I got my first laptop and bought a copy of ACT! That year I made President’s Club for the first time – a really big deal for me just starting out trying to establish myself as a capable sales guy. Relative to my small patch in east Mesa on the rural areas to the east (Globe, Payson, Show Low) the tools definitely helped me get to the next level. But I now had a new challenge. “Where the frickin’ OUTLET around here???? I need a POWER SUPPLY for my laptop!!!” :-) So much for McDonalds – not outlets!
Selling from a hotel room at a conference.
What do you think of the new look Blog?!?!?? Please comment. (JDo, you rock, dude. Great job on the redesign. And you made the process so painless. V V cool. Great to hear about the new tools from WordPress that made your life easier. Good stuff.)
So I had a call last week with a mid-tier insurance carrier. We had a dynamite conversation and it looks like IdeaStar might be an excellent fit for a project they have in mind for 2010. Here’s the point: When I asked him where he heard about us he said, “I saw a reference to you in a Linkedin forum. so I went to your site, poked around a bit, and then filled in your contact form.” “Did you see my blog?” I asked. “Absolutely!” he said. “Found it very interesting.”
So what do you get out of that story? To me, there are at least 3 really big concepts in play… and several smaller ones. But I’d be interested in YOUR take. Remember, Lurking is Lame!
Check out this Megatrends article sent to me from a fellow PIMA member. The points made are fantastic, IMHO. What do you think?
Oh yeah, while we’re speaking about PIMA, I found out last week that this blog is a Top-10 referring site to the PIMA site for the past 12 months in aggregate. Not to toot my own horn, as my Dad used to say (RIP), but then again, well, OK, I am! :-)
Picture from Sunday after raking all the leaves out to the street. Gotta love Fall in northeast Ohio….
Please comment. Love to hear your voice.