Passion seems to be held in high esteem among many insurance and financial product professionals today.
The common belief seems to be, if you are passionate about a product, you will dive through walls to make sure you understand it deeply, design and position it properly, sell it only when appropriate, and move mountains to ensure customer satisfaction.
That’s certainly an admirable quality, but some of the passion talk is so buttery, it appears slippery. One wonders what lurks beneath the smooth speak.
The comment that “the lady doth protest too much, methinks,” in William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet,” comes to mind. By insisting so strongly that something was untrue, the lady (the queen) actually had conveyed the opposite message–that the denied thing was in fact true.
Among some of today’s passionate product advocates, a somewhat similar process sometimes occurs. The declarations of pro-product zeal are so intense, they seem to lack depth or truth. The person seems to insist too much for the product.
This is not to say that people should not be passionately engaged in their work, products and services. In fact, that’s the ideal work experience. But they need to convey their advocacy convincingly–with good measure, not heavy-duty hype.
On several occasions, I’ve heard product advocates declare, “I am so passionate about this [product, service, upgrade, etc.]; I just know it’s going to be a hit.”
Based on what?
Too often, the rapturous statements are not backed by facts, case histories or research. Often, the support amounts to no more than hunches or gut feelings.
Now, hunches and gut feelings can be right on the money, as business leaders know very well. But when asking a customer to deposit large sums of money into a product, or when asking an insurer to commit substantial budget to a product’s development, the advocate needs more than hunches and passion. He or she needs to supply solid information that gives shape and substance to those hunches, feelings and all that passion.