Every company has a mission statement.
Your agency has a mission statement…at least I hope it does. Do you know your Agency mission statement? If you don’t, that’s not great news.
If you are stepping foot into your agency, where your role is to produce at a high level, grow and be profitable, but you can’t recite your agency’s MISSION by heart, it’s probably going to be harder to achieve everything you want to accomplish by being in business.
By definition, a “mission” is a critical task that must be carried out. If you are “on a mission” you are determined to accomplish whatever it is that mission requires of you. So then, it’s pretty hard to be on a mission if you aren’t totally sure what the mission is.
When I speak to groups of people, I love to ask for a show of hands from college graduates. Just about every hand in the room goes up. Then I ask them to keep their hands up if they went to college to become an insurance producer. And just about every hand in the room goes down.
The reality is, not many of us planned on being here… we all just sort of ended up here. But the fantastic news is it’s an amazing place to be.
So what is your AGENCY MISSION statement?
If you don’t have one…you are about to.
If you do have one, but it doesn’t just roll off your tongue, here’s a great opportunity to work on it.
The biggest problem with many agency mission statements is that they are too long. And they use words that aren’t part of our everyday vocabulary. And they can sound great when read aloud, but they don’t move people to action.
One of the greatest stories about a company delivering on their mission statement is that of Southwest Airlines: “We connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable and low-cost air travel.”
When every major airline decided to start charging for bags, Southwest asked themselves, “If we do this will we stay true to our mission?” When the answer to that was “No,” they decided NOT to follow suit and they did not charge their customer’s fees for their luggage.
When masses walked left…Southwest sprinted right! Investors initially laughed at this move because Southwest cost themselves hundreds of millions of dollars. However, their CEO stated how Southwest LOVES to be DIFFERENT. It was then that they changed their marketing slogan to “bags fly free!”
What happened next?
Southwest’s business increased and revenues soared well beyond what they would have made by charging for bags. By staying true to their mission of friendly, reliable, low-cost air travel. Southwest had the last laugh in the airline industry.
Let the anecdote of Southwest Airlines help you in creating your mission. Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team members about where you are today:
- What makes your agency different?
- Why do your current customers love you?
- When the price is not a factor why do prospects choose YOU over the competition?
- Why do you love working there?
- What makes YOU the best possible option for the customers you serve?
- Why do you get up out of bed each morning and go to work?
- What do you want to accomplish with your work?
- What do you want your legacy at the agency to be?
When initially answering these questions, do it as a speed writing exercise. Whatever pops into your head, quickly regurgitate it onto paper. Then, keep that list in front of you and add to it throughout the week. Chat with other people in your office to hear their answers.
Ask each customer today WHY they choose to do business with you and what they like most about your agency, and add that to your list.
Remember that our industry is overly commoditized. We don’t sell things, we sell a promise. Humans are NOT built to get overly excited about a promise. Our products and services do not provide a sensory and emotional connection. So we must create it.
So take a look at the answers to your questions about how you’re different and why you’re better. What themes and trends do you see? Where are you now and where do you want to be?
Try this exercise: For 60 seconds close your eyes and visualize the future. Put yourself there, one year from now. YOU just had your best year ever and now you are looking back on it.
- You hit every goal you set.
- You qualified for every program and promotion you wanted.
- Your commissions and bonuses were your highest of all time.
- Visualize how you feel, how you look,
- see that smile on your face?
- that sparkle in your eye?
- Feel that peaceful feeling in your belly?
Now, look back on that best year ever and envision what it all looked like.
- What did you do differently to make it the best?
- What did every single customer interaction look like?
- What did it sound like?
- Why were SO many people SO excited to do business with you?
Next, jot down everything you saw happening while looking back on YOUR best year ever.
Based on your answers from your first list (where you are now), and your answers from your second list (how you envision your best year ever), you can now write an amazing, true-to-your-agency mission statement.
Your mission statement is crucial. Develop it. Write it down. Print it and post it up in the office in visible places. Roleplay saying it together as a team over and over again until it just rolls off the tongue.
And don’t be afraid to share it with your customers. We tell our customers and prospects as often as we can.
So what’s my Agency’s Mission Statement? I’m happy to share it:
Our mission is to be different.
Each day we will do the little things that others don’t and others won’t.
This will allow us to help more people, in more ways, forever.