Apply Cutting Edge Thinking To Marketing
“Cutting edge” thinking should be focused on reaching and attracting new customers, not just developing new products, as is more customary.
In fact, given that growth is a primary objective within most companies, the concept of “cutting edge” might be better applied to marketing and distribution.
At its recent annual meeting, LIMRAs president, Richard Wecker, suggested to attendees that all policies sold as replacements might pay renewal commissions only.
It is a provocative concept, substituting behavior modification for seeming absence of innovation.
But, it is also well-intentioned, born from collective frustration over a lack of growth in the number of new life insurance policies sold throughout the life insurance industrya problem that has persisted for nearly 20 years.
Beginning with the “cutting edge” invention of universal life, companies and agents alike have focused too long on replacing value (i.e., death benefits) already held by existing customers, instead of creating value by adding new customers.
Beyond insurance, the term “cutting edge” is often linked with technology. And, when we think of cutting edge technology, value is usually defined by what it enables, not merely what it saves us in price.
But, that seems to have been the industrys definition, as “cutting edge” as evolved into aggressive reinsurance treaties, underwriting programs, “dial-down” term riders, etc. The industry seems to have moved away from the sale of life insurance as a solution, to the shopping of life insurance as an opportunity.
While UL might have been deemed “cutting edge” when first introduced, it didnt change the fundamental underlying benefit (i.e., death benefit protection). It merely recompiled existing product components.
However, this in no way diminishes what Tillinghast did, because the fundamental probability and aggregated savings concepts behind life insurance leave little room for real “cutting edge” creativity.