Insurance Industry News from ProgramBusiness.comThe Personal Connection
I was attending an Ozark Auction recently with some friends. As the auctioneer warbled on, one friend asked me if I had seen an interesting article in the newspaper about a local insurance agency. I asked why and she replied, “Because it made some really good points about human resources.” After a few more questions, I finally confessed that I indeed had seen the article because I had written it.
The purpose of the article was to promote some value-added HR services being offered by the agency in conjunction with Workers’ Comp and Health & Benefits. It highlighted one person within the agency who had achieved the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) designation and the formation of an alliance with a local HR consulting firm. Fairly dry reading for the most part.
As it turns out, my friend had been attracted by the opening paragraph that quoted HR attorney and consultant Don Phin. Don’s comment was that most employers would be much happier in their work if they didn’t have to deal with employee issues. Business owners could relate to that comment, thereby attracting them to read the article.
One of my core beliefs is that business is based on a connection between two human beings. Some factor of commonality, respect or caring binds the two together into what becomes an eventual transaction. However, press releases, marketing, promotion – even websites – generally fail to take into consideration the human factor – the factor that creates the interest!
So what makes up this “connective” factor? Unfortunately it is easier to say what it is not, than what it is. On the agency side -- good service, years in operation, experience are not good connectors because everyone uses them. On the personal side – years in insurance, designations, career history and promotions are not high on the connector list either. Although alumni of colleges and even high schools may have a propensity to identify with other alumni.
People identify with people. People identify with similar likes, hobbies, activities, etc.
Parents with young children can quickly identify with other parents of young children. Ditto parents with children in college. Antique car enthusiasts identify with other enthusiasts – and the same goes for any other hobby or sport. Perhaps that is why golf is such a common denominator for business dealings.
The problem lies within today’s busy world. Basically you don’t have enough time to really get to know prospects, even some clients, well enough to find this points of commonality.
I recently rewrote the personal bio’s for all of the people within a client agency for their website. And I mean everyone, including the telephone receptionist. Although the bio’s contained the required information about career and education history, here are some of the other comments that can now be found within the bios:
“Sport hobbies include golf and race horses. He and his wife, own interests in about a dozen race horse that have run in The Kentucky Derby, The Belmont, The Illinois Derby, The Travers and The Super Derby in New Orleans.”
“An avid golfer and skier, most of his time is spent at the horse stables and soccer fields with his four daughters. Between his wife, four girls and two female cats, he admits to being totally outnumbered (and sometimes out-maneuvered) by the females of the household.”
“The mother of 2 children, she and her husband of 13 years, enjoy spending as much family time as possible at Disneyland. She is also very active at her church, singing for weekend services and participating in the drama program.”
“An analytical and organized problem-solver, she likes to relax with her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews. She also enjoys travel, having recently returned from extensive travels in Hong Kong and Japan. Other non-work interests include gardening, cooking, food-related reading, running, hiking anClick for the whole story...