My Motivation is Mine… What is Yours?

Last night I was asked a very interesting question that at the time seemed a little out of left field.  I was at a business networking function and was talking with a few individuals I am fairly familiar with through different organizations.  Mostly pleasantries and “How’s business” type talk.  The type of talk that most people dread at these events.

Like most group conversations there was that inevitable lull when we all either look around for a person we’d rather be talking to or daydream of the place we would rather be.  However, instead bringing up the weather or latest article in the Albany Business Review to break the silence, a fairly pragmatic accountant I’ve known for about a year looks at me and says, “What motivates you to get up and write insurance everyday?”

Whoa! What a question… As I’m sure many of you know that is pretty deep for a networking event (Sans some Business Coach trying to get you to attend his/her Sales seminar, no offense Business Coaches, I know that’s your job). Well, needless to say everyone who was standing in our group networking conversation circle was now looking directly at me, very interested in what my answer was going be.

See, it was wasn’t the question that spurred me to write this column, it was my answer. I had never really thought specifically on that question before, so my answer forced by pressure of seven sets of eyes and ears was honest and bold.

“Two years ago I would have said money, not because I’m greedy or selfish, but because I have a family and a mortgage… That’s really not as big a concern anymore so I would say what keeps me going today and will keep me going for the next 30 years is… Abolishing the perception that Insurance is a Commodity.  I want to provide every customer no matter if its personal or commercial, no matter how big or how small with such quality and caring service, such proactive and knowledgeable advice in protecting what matters to them that they look at me and what I do with the same respect that they look at you (She’s an Accountant remember) and John (John’s a lawyer).”

Where the Hell did that come from?

She wasn’t trying to put me on the spot or deflect attention away from herself.  The day before yesterday she had been asked the very same question (substitute Accounting for Insurance) by a client that had come into her office.  She did not like the answer she had given him.  She thought it sounded canned and she was interested in what other would have said.  To be honest I tend to be a bit verbose, using the word “Abolish” was probably a bit much, but its what I said and how I felt so I’ll stand by it no matter how apocalyptic it sounds.

My Motivation is Mine… What is Yours?

The Commoditization of Insurance bugs me SO much.  If you’ve read other columns on this blog you’ve probably gotten that feeling from me.  The Insurance business is a People business.  There are so many amazing insurance professionals throughout the country working their butts off every day to provide their clients with insurance programs that can save their way of life.  Yeah, there is money to be made in the Insurance Business, I’m not a politician, I can hit you with that straight up.  But as an Insurance Professional if you let your guard down for one day, if you half-ass one account, you can ruin someone’s life.

There is nothing more satisfying to me than looking across my desk at someone that just had that “aha!” moment.  That moment when all the little tumblers fall into place and they’re completely bought into what we’re trying to do, how we’re going to do it, why they have to pay X for it and Value in it.  And that “it” is always the same, protecting what means most to them, be it family, business, whatever.

Yeah, it pisses me off when people act like Insurance is a Commodity.  That’s my Motivation… What is Yours?  I would love to read some good thoughts on this…

Thank you and Good luck,

I am Ryan Hanley and this is Content Warfare.