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Today's Viewpoint: A MarshBerry Publication

Have you heard this before? “Our firm was founded in 1954 by my grandfather…” or “Our firm provides comprehensive coverage to our clients with superior customer service.” Sound familiar? These are phrases often used on agency or brokerage websites to showcase why clients should select their firm. But what is the why behind these phrases?

In Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why,” he notes that few can clearly articulate why they do what they do. Specifically, “By why, I mean your purpose, cause or belief – why does your company exist? Why do you get out of bed every morning? And why should anyone care?”

To help your firm rediscover your firm’s institutional why, here are four questions you should answer.

  1. What is your story? This is the ‘big idea’ that your organization was founded upon. It’s important to tell your story and inspire your people to believe it as well. In the insurance industry, firms strive to solve client problems. Remind people of that problem and then remind them again. Never take for granted that your firm has a solution for their problem. 
  2. Why should a prospective client do business with you? If your answer is back to “our firm provides comprehensive coverage,” that’s not a compelling answer. To quote Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Start by defining your value proposition clearly enough that your entire team can articulate it and use it as a reason why clients should do business with your firm. It’s not enough to just sell insurance in today’s market. Clients want to understand how your firm will help them solve a problem.
  3. Who do you aim to serve? This probably seems like a broad question but all too often, a firm will say that they are a generalist, they serve everyone. As an organization, start by defining your niche and create practice groups that allow you to showcase a value proposition that identifies you as an agency or brokerage of choice.
  4. Does your why remain consistent over time? Stay clear of the “shiny object syndrome.” Shiny new technology, without a strategic plan in place with a targeted return on investment, can waste time – and a lot of money. Temporary crazes or fads tend to run out of steam quickly. It is critical to your organization’s success to institutionalize your why so that it’s less of a message and more of a belief.

Top performing firms already know their why – largely in part from their leadership team’s ability to inspire their personnel. If any of the questions asked resonate with you or, if you are struggling to answer them yourself, reach out to a MarshBerry consultant to discuss how you can implement strategic planning with your firm to help solve for the why.

If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint or would like to learn more about transforming your business please emailor call Tony Longo, Senior Consultant, at 616.773.1134. Subscribe to MarshBerry’s Today’s ViewPoint blog for the latest news and updates and follow us on social media.  


MarshBerry continues to be the #1 sell side advisor in the industry (as ranked by S&P Global). If you’re considering selling your firm, we are the best choice to help you through the complicated process. If you don’t hire MarshBerry, hire a reputable advisor that can help you navigate one of the most important business decisions you will ever make. You will be much better off having an advisor in your corner that knows the industry than trying to do this on your own. 

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