I love my insurance and investments guy.
Randy Little is not the pushy type and he focuses more on education than sales. In short: he’s really good at what he does.
Not long ago, Randy and I sat at my kitchen table to chat about my current group of investments and to go over the insurance I have in place to ensure that it’s what I need.
Randy and I have been having a conversation about critical illness and disability for quite some time, given that I’m self-employed and do not have an employer to pay those benefits out should I ever need them, and it’s always been met with resistance on my end.
The conversation often dances around the fact that I could benefit greatly from both, should something ever happen to me and I was unable to work, and Randy is really great at not pushing anything on me, not “selling” me on it but rather educating me around the benefits.
This is one of the reasons I like him.
I know that he only wants me to think about the reasons why this coverage is good versus invest in something I don’t see value in. (He’s brilliant. Truly.)
More often than not, I put forth an endless list of rebuttals about being well supported, having a great team, knowing that my family would step in if they needed to, having a great community, etc. I feel very well supported right now so the idea that I would be in a really tough spot just isn’t a pain point for me.
When we chat about an illness taking me out of my work, I often think that there wouldn’t be many diseases that I could contract or things that would happen whereby I wouldn’t be able to work. Would I eventually get to a point where I’d be so sick that I wouldn’t be able to work? Sure. But, at that point in time, I’m likely close to death so my life insurance wouldn’t be too far down the road. My family could take on debt knowing that it would be returned to them right after the illness was over (aka, after I died). Morbid, right?
This thinking, especially if you’re in the insurance industry, may elicit a face palm or may seem illogical but here’s the thing… I’m just not emotionally invested in it. The idea of not being able to work or getting sick is not eliciting enough of an emotional response to make me care enough about it to invest in the monthly cost. I just don’t see the value in it.
Getting to the Heart of What Matters
As we continued talking, Randy said seven words to me that allowed me the space to explore what was important to me. He said,
“What would take you out of work?”
With those seven words, we began the conversation that mattered.
Randy asked me to simply take a moment and think about what would take me out of work and render me useless for my company. He explored what was important to me. It no longer became about selling insurance or coverage, it was a conversation that I needed to have regardless.
What would take me out of work?
“I suppose… Hmm…” as I thought about it, it hit me and when it did, my hair stood on end. “Randy, Willow getting sick or dying would be the only thing that would take me out of work…”
As I sat there and thought about it, I realized that the critical illness coverage had zero emotional value when the idea was to put the coverage on me but it held immense value if I placed the coverage on her. If she got sick, I would not want to work. I would want to spend my time with her, whether that meant living out our days together or spending the time in a hospital with her, and I would need income to flow during that time.
By asking me to explore my emotions, it elicited an emotional response and the desire to have a specific kind of coverage in place, the kind of coverage he could help me get, made sense to me now. It now had immense value.
He was able to elicit an emotional response and determine my value system and he did it simply by asking me to think about what was important to me.
This story is not a new one.
Marketers have been using emotional response as a way to close sales for ages. However, if you look at your own business, are you doing a good job at creating the opportunity for your audience to not only see value in what you do but feel value as well?
Spend some time this week thinking about how you can more clearly identify the value systems of your customers and then provide messaging that drives those values home.
In the weeks to come, right here on the blog, I’ll spend some time exploring the how behind eliciting emotional response so if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe on the home page of the site to receive notification of new posts.
If you have any questions or feedback on this, leave them in the comments below!