While in Orlando this past week, I was speaking with a group of independent agents about knowing the customer.

And, I mentioned that one of the keys to successful sales was taking care of the customer’s needs, beliefs and values. Throughout the afternoon, I continuously told the group that in order to tap into that information, they needed to “know where I’ve been, know where I am now…and, know where I am going.”

A successful sale is not about the actual sale…it is about the customer, period. The longevity…the partnership…the trust and the alliance we form are the keys to our success. Know me, and the sale will come.

As independent agents, it is our purpose to build our client base through the gathering of this information.

Know where I’ve been.

From the day your customer was born to the day you are chatting about covering their home…there is a story to tell, and a story to hear. Their needs were derived from that decorated past.

Know where I am now.

From that past, the client has built a foundation for his or her beliefs. What are their interests, passions and principles?

Know where I am going.

Your client has a guiding force…their values. Their path is all lined up…sort of like the Fidelity Investments commercial with the green line showing them the way. Your client knows where they would like for their life to ultimately go…from family, to career…to retirement. And, more than likely, they want you along for the ride.

Whether you are quoting a policy over email, the phone or in person….your obligation is to know each and every path, past and present, for each and every client. Your customers expect it! As independent agents, we need to have our values align with our customer’s values for long-term success!

In my discussions with the group, I brought up the fact that there are three companies that consistently use the phrase, “my pleasure”: Ritz Carlton, Chik-fil-A and Taco Bell.

It is a valuable phrase, from three successful, value-based companies.

Why does this phrase make us believe it is truly their pleasure to serve us? Because we get the sincere sense that it actually is a pleasure to serve our needs! We feel there is genuine interest in our well-being.

Why are certain independent agents successful in business? Why…because they know how to create value for their clients…by knowing them. And, they value where the clients have been…where they are now…and, where they are going. It is their pleasure to know their clients inside and out.

For agents who are struggling with growth, give it a try…show your clients how much you appreciate them by reaching out and chatting about their lives…past, present and future. They, in turn, will tell their friends, family, colleagues and alliances about how you made them feel.

Know your clients.

Value your clients.

You will have their business forever.

Steve Shepherd

About Steve Shepherd


Steve’s entire career has been focused on helping companies to increase sales. He has sold, managed, trained and coached sales and sales management with noteworthy results. Steve’s results-oriented, highly interactive style has the ability to increase sales for many companies statewide. He makes sure the workshops are productive, interactive, and, above all, fun.