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August 6, 2013

Which of Earth’s Creatures Has the Longest Memory?

1 min read

Topic: Insurance Agency Management Insurance Agency Growth Strategies

It’s not an elephant! 

We were having insurance company quarterly meetings this week and in three meetings, with three different carrier representatives, twelve different companies had been worked for over the three people’s careers.  And the careers stretched back over more than three decades. 

As we discussed various insurance agencies, some of whom had been around awhile, these three people had vivid memories of them, knew the people involved and had very definite opinions.  They have the longest memories!  At least memories that matter.

Why is this important?

It’s critically important because how you operate your agency, the kind of business you write (quality or crap), whether you follow guidelines, whether you always tell the truth and whether you always do what you say you will do, is remembered.  Forever!

And the memories move around from company to company and take their memories with them.  So, if you have a problem with an insurance company because of things you can control (see above) you can be sure that the problem (your reputation) never goes away.  In fact, these relationship problems spread. 

Sometimes the negative personal memories actually get engraved in stone for future generations to remember.  The stone is now silicon not granite, but the negative report is out there in cyberspace to hurt you forever.  And the memories aren’t just about agencies, more importantly, they are about people.  Which means you can run but cannot hide.  Even if you start a new agency, in a different location, or go to work for someone else (or hire someone else!) any problems you have follow you.

In our meeting, at least one agency was denied an appointment because of something that happened years ago, in another state with an employee that was hired.  The memory of the problem wasn’t clear to the marketing person.  But the risk was.  No contract!

So, remember following the rules (underwriting guidelines), writing quality business, running a good shop, telling the truth, doing what you promise, aren’t just important for today but will have impact on your entire career, the success of your agency and ultimately your income and net worth.