In the business world, an inflection point happens at a critical moment when a situation calls for new thinking and a different strategy. I believe that this is that moment for virtually any organization in any industry that you might find yourself in. Whether you’re leading a business, a non-profit or a ministry, previous assumptions about the way we do things are no longer accurate. If we don’t see the need to change—and change now—many of us will lose those who we are engaging with, and perhaps even lose our businesses or organizations.
The world has rapidly changed over the past decade—we can see it happening all around us. People have taken control of their consumption patterns across all industries and markets. Retail was the first to become affected by this paradigm shift. However, no industry is immune to the encroachment that digital services has on their customer base. And, although we must deal with the reality that virtual engagement is the new norm, we should not fear it. For it will never take the place of what a human can offer. A relationship based on trust, guidance and transparency. A relationship that is built on what I call the “Discussion Partner Model.” Even though my model was developed for the insurance industry, I have come to believe that its principles are applicable to virtually any organization.
To thrive in today’s environment, it is necessary that we move our organizations from a transactional model into a relational model. The nature of whatever we do as an organization will always require some transactional services. However, we need to change the perspective of what the people we serve see in “the front of the house” versus what we do in “the back of the house.” Don’t assume your customers know what you are doing for them. Transparency goes a long way in building trust and lasting relationships with your people.
Today, people engage with those they know and trust. They do more business with someone they think of as a “Discussion Partner.” Someone they can come to for guidance and advice without the threat or worry of being “sold” something. In a couple of clicks anyone can find anything they want to know about any industry. Even your community has figured that out. Your “customer” today is not coming to you for information they can easily find themselves on the internet. They are coming to you for your expert advice, opinions, and recommendations based on their individual needs. They are coming to you for an open dialogue. Developing authentic relationships with those you serve is more important than ever before.
The days of canned services are over. Now is the time to begin making changes in your organizations and to move from transactional to a relational model of doing business.
We want to create a seamless ecosystem for those we serve. We’re going to put our community first in everything we do. And when we do, we will watch our organizations thrive and grow like never before!
This article was extracted from Issue 2 (Summer 2020) of the AVAIL Journal. Claim your free annual subscription here.
Troy Korsgaden is a highly sought-after insurance and financial services consultant. He is the principal of Korsgaden International, which specializes in global marketing, distribution, agency building and technology strategies for many of the world’s largest insurance carriers and financial services companies.
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