Trading the USP for the WYSA

As we do here at the insurance pro blog from time-to-time, I’m taking a slight diversion from all things related to life insurance and personal finance to talk about something else that I think needs to be discussed.

If that doesn’t interest you…I understand.

Not to worry, we’re not abandoning the core of what this site is all about but today’s post is gonna be more of a rant if you wanna know the truth.

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to see a post from a friend on Facebook that caught my eye.  And it wasn’t a picture of a basket full of kittens either…what a concept?

No, it was referencing a new book that was just put out on the Kindle platform–The #1 Way to Increase Your Close Rate: Define What You Stand Against (The 7 Steps to a Successful Business in a Changing Market)

What You Stand Against by Michael R. Drew

The title immediately caught my eye.

Actually it was the subtitle to tell you the truth.

Now, I’m not one to buy tons of books on “how to improve your business” or “21 ways to close more sales this year” type stuff.  God knows I’ve spent enough money and have enough of those books in my possession already to furnish a library.

So…I’ll admit it was free and short.  That sort of sealed the deal for me.

Just looked, not free anymore but it’s only $1.99…totally worth it.

Anyway, I grabbed it and had a bit of time to read it. And now that I’ve finally traded in ye ole’ Blackberry for a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (my phablet), I can read kindle books on my phone anytime I have a couple extra minutes or while scarfing down my lunch.

I read the whole book in about 45 minutes or so.  Score!

Nothing better than a writer who can get to the point, make the point, and knows when to shut up.  The hallmark of excellence in my mind.

I’m working hard to extend the same courtesy to those of you still trudging through this rant.

Drop Your USP and Your Mission Statement

My advice to you…if you own a business, work with customers, are in a sales position, have patients, clients or just generally give a damn about the people who pay you or your company for a product or service…buy this book, read it, read it again and then trash your mission statement, your slogan, and by all means your unique selling proposition (USP).

I discovered in this book the best expression of our business philosophy.  Drew writes, “In recent years, far fewer people have fallen for manipulative advertising. Sure, devious tactics can still persuade some consumers to buy certain products and services, but such marketing has just a short-term effect.  People wise up quickly.”

He just summarized my entire “sales philosophy” in two sentences…can you hear my ego being crushed?

But seriously, I was smiling from ear to ear.

How does it translate to the life insurance industry?

It means don’t spam me with things like this:

Brian Kay Scam

Click on the image above to read this drivel

Oh it’s not spam in the true meaning of the word. They’re using the email advertising service provided by a publication I subscribe to.

But the message is pure spam…including that extra special gelatinized stuff at the top.  Tasty.

Why do people think this is good?

We don’t.

We don’t view our clients as a means to an end.

I don’t see everyone we work with as a ticket for me to “take 2 months off in the summer to spend with my family”…who does that?  Gimme a break.

What I Stand Against

You know what I stand against?

I stand against those in the life insurance industry that see every client as an opportunity to make the most money possible.  I stand against companies that only train their agents to be salespeople. I stand against using emotionally manipulative sales tactics to guilt people into buying life insurance.  I stand against people like Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey and Art Williams who freely dispense financial advice with very little consideration for the truth (pesky little details).

I’ll leave you with one last bit from the book…

Why should your customer care about what you’re selling? What’s in it for them?  You see, there’s one word people love to hear most whether they will admit it or not.  This word has only three letters (and no, as Roy Williams says, that word is not “sex”). This powerful word is none other than “you”.  When searching for answers to their problems, your audience doesn’t want to hear a story about you.  They want to hear a story about themselves.

How will you:

-Make them money?

-Save them money?

-Reduce their stress?

-Improve their reputation?

If the idea of having someone try to give YOU what YOU want sounds appealing…reach out to us. /end rant

Brantley Whitley


4 Responses to “Trading the USP for the WYSA”

  1. Brandon Roberts says:

    You had time to read a book? I am obviously not delegating my to-do list appropriately.

  2. Trina says:

    Brantley,
    I am writing to thank you for giving me an hour of what I am sure is valuable time today. I am copying this to your blog because I tried three times to write there and being a product of the “peck” generation, it disappeared before I was done.Where I don’t know. Anyway… After months of trying to figure out the ins and outs of the WL product and finding essentially squat; one phone conversation and one podcast(btw I have never listened to ANY podcast in my life) I learned more than ever. It was like living in the insurance MATRIX and just taking the right pill made it clear. I ended up cancelling my appt with the “big” agent tomorrow. My husband the skeptic of all that affects his truly hard earned money agreed. He did say though that no matter how impressed I was with the conversation, you were still a “salesman”- Something he does everyday. I know we are not “big” money but I want to do this right the first time. I am guided by my gut and my gut says go with you.Now granted my gut said that I could make some money breeding my great Danes 10 yrs ago and all I got was 5 Danes eating me out of house and home. I loved them dearly but you get the point.You guys make a lot of sense and the fact that you didn’t hang out in my kitchen selling me a product is beside the point. I just wanted to say that your site is crucial to people like me looking to get the facts in a easily understandable format. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks,
    Trina

    • Brantley Whitley says:

      Trina,

      I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation today and I’ll have some things for you next week. And your husband is right, we are “salsesmen”…but hopefully you both will find that we’re honest, fair, and that we’ll give you all the facts to make the decision that best suits you and your family. One thing, I can promise is that we’ll never pressure you one way or the other. Thanks for reaching out to us and we look forward to helping you guys any way that we can.

  3. Jeff Hexter says:

    Trina, I’ve not (yet) done business with these guys, but I can verify that that are all that Brantley says above – they go far out of their way to make sure you understand what you are buying before you spend a dime, and if they think you’ve found something else good enough they’ll let you know that, too.

    And for anyone else reading this, I’ve found them to be very responsive to my questions and comments here. I’m continually grateful I found this website.

    Oh, and their sense of humor about this industry is refreshing.

    -Jeff

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