It’s funny, over the years I have watched the insurance industry with awe. There are agents, brokers, consultants, and producers and each will tell me things that I find humorous if they weren’t so sad. One of the main things I hear from the masses is that “my clients don’t care how I am dressed”. I am here to tell you that it does matter and whether you want to believe it or not, how you present yourself is just as important or even more important than the presentation you make in the sales process. It amazes me how many times I hear an apology from a carrier representative or producers who come to our offices. Not that I really care although by my making mention of it in my blog, it will seem that it does matter. They will always start a conversation with something like, “Hey, sorry for being so casual today, but I am traveling” or “I’m sorry about the way I am dressed today, I was just in the area”. Again, don’t get me wrong, everyone runs their business the way they see fit. My problem lies in the fact that for some reason, they feel it necessary to apologize. That tells me that they know they would be better prepared if they had dressed professionally. By the very fact that they are apologizing, tells me they are not as prepared as they should be.
Many years ago I heard a great line and it has stuck with me over the years. “You can sell blue jeans to someone if you are wearing a suit, but you can’t sell a suit if you are wearing blue jeans”. Stop and think of the presentation you are making with your clients. Do they see you as someone trying to sell them a suit while dressed in blue jeans? Are you presenting yourself as the knowledgeable professional insurance agent or as their next door neighbor who just got back from the golf course? I am a firm believer in wearing work clothes when I am working and casual clothes when I am not working. Anyone who has known me over the last twenty years or so can be pretty sure when I am in work mode versus non work mode. I make it easy to tell the difference. Are you sending mixed messages to your clients?
With the future of our industry going to a situation where trusted, professional, and knowledgeable advice is going to earn top dollar, now is the time to re-evaluate if your image is what you want it to be. If you want to be seen as someone who can be of value to your clients, then set yourself apart. Change the way you present yourself. Would you go to a doctor who was in a pair of cut off jeans and a dirty tee shirt? If you are telling me that your presentation doesn’t matter than you should have no problem in such a doctor. If you want to earn more, you have to look as if you are someone who can provide more. Just by simply wearing a suit or jacket, you will find people will treat you differently. Try it for a few weeks and see what happens. Make an effort to look the part of a professional and see if you don’t start to see results. Unfortunately, most of you won’t take this advice. Another old adage goes something like this, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. Have a great 2013.