3 Steps for Creating Stories That Attract Clients

By Bill Whitley | August 1, 2011

If I asked you or one of your staff members why I should do business with your agency, how would you respond? When I ask agents that question, I hear responses like, “It’s our people” or “We have great service” or “We have over 110 years of experience.”

These broad claims fail to demonstrate your value or differentiate you from the competition. Fortunately, there is a much more powerful way to answer. It’s called a Client Attraction Story. Once it’s mastered, it will become your most powerful differentiator and business development tool.

I recently asked several agents to give me examples of times when their advice helped a client avoid a financial challenge. One agent said, “It’s my job to understand your unique situation and then help you get the most complete coverage for the least amount of money.”

He paused for a second, and then continued, “For example, I have a customer who’s a college professor. One day he was driving home from work and it started to rain. He pulled up to a stoplight to make a right on red. He looked left to check on traffic. When he made the right turn, there was a guy running across the intersection to get out of the rain. My customer didn’t see him and hit him… $900,000 later, the last medical bill was paid. Fortunately, one year earlier, this customer bought a $1 million umbrella policy from me. There’s not a time that I see him that he doesn’t thank me.

“By the way, if he hadn’t bought the policy, a typical chain of events would have occurred. First, he would have exhausted all his savings to pay medical bills. Then, he would have gone into debt and eventually declared bankruptcy. But because he bought the policy, there was almost no financial impact. So like I said, it’s my job to understand your situation and then help you get the most complete coverage for the least amount of money. Would you like me to do that for you?”

What a powerful story. Every time people hear that story, they are reminded of the need for proper insurance.

If you would like to develop your unique Client Attraction Story, follow these steps:

1. Find the Right Story

The best stories have two key characteristics. First, they are what I call “everyman” stories. In other words, they are stories that could easily happen to everyone. Try to avoid bizarre situations that are not likely to happen to your prospect. Second, good stories have an advice component. Based on your advice or insight, the client avoided difficulty or achieved a goal. Here are five questions to help you find the right story:

  • Which piece of advice did I share with a client that made the biggest impact?
  • Do I know anyone personally who benefited from having the right insurance? (Or anyone who suffered financial loss because they didn’t have the right insurance?)
  • Who is my happiest client?
  • Which client had the best result?
  • Which client had the biggest challenge

2. Write the story

There are five classic parts of a well-developed story. You have known these five elements since you heard your first good bedtime story:

Once upon a time, there was a hero
Who had reason to go on a journey
Where he/she/it met a huge challenge
To which there was a hero-inspired way out
And he/she/it returned home safely

Keep these five parts in mind as you develop your Client Attraction Story.

Introduce the hero and give us a little background. In a client attraction story, the client is the hero. The client begins the journey. In a client attraction story, the journey is the goal the client wants to achieve.

The client runs into an obstacle. No matter how hard he/she tries, something holds him/her back. With your help, the client overcomes the obstacle. This is the most important part. What steps did you and your client take to overcome the obstacle?

Results. Thanks to the options you helped the client implement, life for the client has changed for the better.

3. Practice the story, make it a sales asset

Write your story exactly the way you would tell it. If possible, share the story with your client, the real life hero of the story, and document the dialogue you had with your client and any thoughts they had before, during or after the claim.

Edit your story and include the dialogue. Practice telling it out loud to yourself at least 10 times. Share with your sales team and share with prospects.

So, before you squander another opportunity, take 10 minutes and write your best story. Practice it, get good at sharing it and have fun attracting clients.

About Bill Whitley

Whitley is the author of Eight Secrets of the Top Performing Agents and is a speaker at insurance sales conferences across the country. He can be reached at 704-996-2800 or bill@billwhitley.com.

From This Issue

Insurance Journal West August 1, 2011
August 1, 2011
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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