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How To Escape the Commodity Trap

November 14, 2011

beyond insuranceHow to escape the commodity trap and put excitement, passion and purpose back into your sales process?

In our last blog post, we chronicled Barney as a highly intelligent producer who was stuck in the commodity trap.  He was angry, frustrated and losing confidence.  With the help of a few simple questions, Barney realized that he could fight through the Trap.

How To Escape the Commodity Trap

The light bulb went off in Barney’s head when he understood that his primary goal was not to sell insurance. Rather, to protect the assets of those whom he served.  When he realized that he could help his clients with solutions outside the boundaries of the insurance transaction, he whole business changed.  Over the next month, Barney worked feverishly and enthusiastically to design a differentiated process focused on the identification, measurement and mitigation of risk

I gave him a formula entitled I3.  The I3 process stood for Issues, Implications and Interventions. 

beyond insuranceThe next year showed amazing results for Barney.  His career took off.  He did $200,000 in revenue the first year he used the I3 system.

To determine if you have been commoditized, I encourage you to see if the following five statements relate to you:

  1. I seem to be losing my passion for the insurance business.
  2. I cannot seem to change the consumer’s perception of me.
  3. I often get angry and frustrated with the 90 day bidding process.
  4. The consumer does not see me as a trusted advisor like their CPA, attorney or banker.
  5. The insurance transaction is getting in the way of my ability to learn the customer’s business and its “issues”.

If you are commoditized, take a few moments to consider the lessons learned by Barney.  Barney was able to escape the “commodity trap” when he realized that:

  • The consumer perceived him as a commodity.
  • The consumer does not like buying insurance.
  • The middle market consumer needs help identifying exposures.
  • His competition is not adequately helping the middle market consumer to perform exposure identification.

I3 — Issues, Implications, Interventions.  This may be your best and most powerful weapon to escape commoditization. 

Scott Addis

For more ideas on how to break the commodity trap connect with Beyond Insurance on:

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The author, Scott Addis is the President and CEO of The Addis Group and Addis Intellectual Capital, LLC (AIC). AIC is a coaching and consulting company whose purpose is to transform the process that insurance agents, brokers and carriers use when working with clients. Scott is recognized as an industry leader having been awarded the Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award as well as “25 Most Innovative Agents in America”. Scott can be reached at or 610-945-1019.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 14, 2011 4:13 pm

    Another powerful piece, Scott. I only hope that insurance industry professionals will take you up on your message. This is a key strategic issue that will change the industry in a positive way. The post-Great Recession is a terrific opportunity for everyone to set their boats on a better course. Your antidote to the “commodity trap” is a vital way to do that. I trust many more industry professionals will jump on board. Best, Peter

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