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Fear of giving away too much advice online?

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My first sales trainer in the insurance business discussed the concept of “spilling your candy” in the lobby to me 15 years ago. What does spilling your candy in the lobby mean for insurance agents?

“Spilling your candy” in the lobby simply describes anxious sales agents that are so excited to address their customer’s needs and problems, they “solve” them before they are able to present. In essence “spilling your candy” means, providing solutions to a prospect without the opportunity to get paid.

The scenario looks like this:

    1. An excited agent filled with solutions meets with a prospect.

    2. The prospect discusses a problem.

    3. The agent immediately tells the prospect how they can fix this problem.

    4. The prospect goes to their current agent (the incumbent, who they like more) and explains the issues.

    5. The incumbent agent fixes the problem and the excited agent loses.

If you are an insurance agent, there is a good chance you have experienced this scenario first hand. The question is: In today’s digital world, is the concept of “spilling your candy in the lobby” still relevant?

Let me explain. Today, every prospect and customer has a wealth of information right at their fingertips. They can search “mother Google” from any location to obtain facts and data. While this doesn’t make the information insurance agents provide irrelevant, it does adjust the way agents need to position themselves.

Consumers don’t need your information as much as they used to, but they still value your advice in implementing the information. 

Many insurance agents, maybe even you, fear sharing their knowledge and giving too much value away online for free. This could be in the form of emails, blog posts, status updates, white papers, or eBooks.

There is a hesitation that giving away free information online is much like “spilling your candy in the lobby.” While this hesitation is a valid concern, today’s consumers expect free value before they will take you seriously.

Now, you must prove you are credible, helpful, and likable, before you can become profitable. Does this mean you should not expect to get paid for all of your hard work and valuable information? Of course not; you just have to be smart.

Here is how this spilling your candy in the lobby digitally can help you win:

    1. You provide a “real value” online consistently through email newsletters, videos, blog posts, or status updates.

    2. You prospects view your information and begin to gain your respect and trust.

    3. The prospect realizes that the information you are presenting online can help them, but they are not sure how to utilize it.

    4. They contact you to help them analyze their specific situation and provide advice.

    5. You help them apply this information, earn their business, and realize that you just got paid for spilling candy in the online lobby.

The bottom line: Insurance prospects today have access to unlimited information. You no longer hold all the cards.

The information may be at their fingertips on what to do, but they need someone they trust to teach them how to do it. I am not telling you to work for free. I am telling you to provide enough “free” value online, that prospects couldn’t imagine paying anyone else.

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