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This transcript was auto-generated. Please excuse any typos or grammatical errors.
Hey, Hey. Welcome back to the Bullpen Sessions podcast. My name is Andy NEARY, and this is episode 235. Today, I’m going to talk to you about differentiation. Yes. What you need to do to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Before we dive in, I want to make a quick announcement or a quick shout out to our sponsor. Complete game consulting. Yes, that is my company. And what do we do? We help insurance professionals book more appointments with the right prospects. So if you are an insurance advisor listening in, you’re a sales director of an agency and you know your team should be booking more appointments, but it’s just harder today than it’s ever been, reach out. That’s what we do and that’s who we are.
All right, back to today’s episode. Let’s talk about differentiation. The title of this podcast was The Words You Speak Matter and I want to give credit for this phrase because I heard Jesse Esler use this phrase in one of his keynote talks. The words You speak matter now. He was referencing the self-talk we all have and how what you say to yourself determines how much success you’re going to have.
Now I’m going to take the phrase the words you speak matter in a different direction today. What I’m going to talk about is your marketing, your message. When you’re in front of prospects, the words you speak matter. Which brings us back to today’s topic differentiation. If you’re listening in and you are an insurance advisor or you’re in sales of any kind, your goal is to book more appointments, right?
Open more doors, and you’d have to be living under a rock if you don’t believe opening more doors. Opening doors today is harder than it’s been in a in a while maybe hardest it’s been in your career. And everything changed with the pandemic, right? Building relationships with prospects is not as easy as it used to be. And on top of that, if you aren’t differentiating yourself from the competition, it’s extremely difficult.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today, because your goal is to book more appointments. The problem is what is coming out of your mouth doesn’t sound different. I know you think it’s different, but your competition doesn’t. And that’s your biggest challenge today. You are caught in this Where’s Waldo world, where your prospects are hearing the same thing from every broker they talk to.
I know you believe health insurance costs are a problem. I know you believe the health care system is a problem. I know you believe people are overpaying for their insurance, whatever the problem is. You want to talk about. But your biggest challenge is your competition is talking about the same thing. Now, whether or not they take action on what they’re talking about, that’s a whole different podcast for a different day.
But it doesn’t matter. You’re saying the same things you are, and if your prospect hears the same thing from their broker that they’re hearing from you, you have no shot. You’re not going to win the business. So today we need to talk about how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. Literally look different, sound different, and have your prospect saying, I don’t know what that is, but that is different.
And this thought came to me in preparing for today’s podcast off the heels of a two day workshop I did with an agency in the Midwest last week. Anytime I can go to the Midwest, being a midwesterner myself, I always enjoy the travels back to the Midwest to work with agencies, good people living in the heartland. In fact, I haven’t shared this at all publicly until today’s podcast, but it’s one of the big reasons why Amy and I are actually moving back to Wisconsin over Memorial Day weekend.
So this podcast will be out public before we make the move. And this might be the first time you’re hearing this. We are officially moving back from Colorado, moving from Colorado back to Wisconsin. One of the reasons why I did go off tangent for a second is I have to give credit back to the same Jesse Jesse, where I referenced at the beginning of the podcast.
It was a few years ago I was listening to an interview he was doing and he was talking about the difference between years and experiences. Most people live their life in years, not in experiences. And the example he gave was he asked the gentleman who was interviewing him, Tom, Bill, you how often did Tom see his parents? Tom said A couple of times a year.
He said, Well, how old are your parents? And Tom said, Seven years old. And his Jesse said, Here’s here’s the challenge with the way we live. If you live in years and not experiences, he said, Your parents are 70 years old and you see him twice a year. Let’s imagine your parents live to be 80 years old. You believe you have ten years left with them.
That’s not true. If you only see them twice a year, you have two experiences left with them. And that when I heard it earlier, say that it floored me because Amy and I live 1000 miles away from our family. My parents are now 76 and 75 respectively. Her mom’s 71 and we don’t have a ton of years left of them.
And if we’re only seeing them twice a year, which is our case, man, that’s really not a lot of experiences left. So we have made the decision. We are headed back to Wisconsin. So if any of my Wisconsin listeners are tuning in today, we’re coming back. All right. Well, let’s bring it back now to here I am in the Midwest doing a two day workshop for an insurance agency with Smith, who sells commercial and benefits, commercial insurance benefits.
And what we are working on was their differentiator. And what they were struggling with is they had two products, one on the benefit and one inside the benefits team, one inside the commercial that they felt were different. But the way they were messaging the programs, did that sound different? You know, they believed all the right things. They believe that the health insurance is unaffordable.
They believe that health care, the health care system is full of misaligned incentives, and they believe that most businesses are overpaying for their insurance, which is what a lot of you believe listening in. Right. But how they were messenger messaging, it was very similar to what the competition was saying. So it was hard to open doors. They didn’t get a chance to talk about these unique programs because the messaging, the words they spoke were not causing the prospects to want to know more.
And so we sat down for two days and we whiteboard it and workshopped how they can create a differ and shifting message around these programs so that when they walk in to prospects, the prospects look at what they have to offer and they respond with a I don’t know what this is, but I have never heard this before.
And that’s what we’re going to focus on in today’s episode is what can you do? How can you build your differentiator? So when you’re out meeting with Prospect, you’re opening doors. First of all, you’re intriguing them. You’re opening doors with intriguing marketing, but when you walk into those doors and have a conversation with prospects, what can you say?
What can you do to have prospects looking at you going, Man, I don’t know what that is, but I’ve never heard this before and we need to know more. So the question I want to ask you is how do you make sure you look different than your competitors? And it comes down to two things. What are you saying and how are you saying it?