Saturday, June 27, 2015

You Don't Deserve My Time, Dunning Kruger Observations

Brian and I have noticed and discussed the inverse variation between our easiest and most difficult clients.  That is to say, that often our most difficult interactions are also the least profitable, while the easiest interactions are the most profitable.  .. See the Dunning Kruger Effect.

People who make it difficult for us to help them do not easily trust our advice because they overestimate their understanding or knowledge in the subject of Insurance or other financial topics....or they are demanding of time.  Many times, these interactions which can be frustrating and time consuming for us also offer the least in potential return with regard to commissions/fees.  We make our recommendations based on need and budget like any good professional, and often times, we are recommending these folks pay incredibly low amounts of premium.  Sometimes we meet resistance from them on how low, in fact, as they have decided what they think is best for them based on some bias i.e. "my daddy had a policy like this."

Inversely, the clients who are the easiest with whom to work are typically financially independent and often wealthy, which means that the revenue from our work with them can be 10x - 50x higher.  These folks usually underestimate their relative knowledge in the subjects around insurance and finance.  In fact, they more easily understand the subject matter and can make decisions quickly when presented with one of our solutions.  These folks are also very gracious and even worry that they could be taking up too much of our time.  My most wealthy client rarely takes more than 15 minutes of my time before thanking me and shuffling me out the door with some encouraging words.  Sometimes he will ask if I have time for a quick anecdote (I always do) and I will listen for the 5 minute long story and remember the life lesson, because it may be profoundly valuable.

This is just a feeling and not based on what is most profitable, but I am happy to equally give my best work to everyone and enough of my time to get them pointed in the right direction... Agents/Brokers and Consumers alike.  I have learned though, that there are people who should be avoided.  Of course, you wouldn't know that until spending a little time with them.  No amount of good advice will help them and your time is probably not well spent.  It it is best to kindly bow out, still leaving them some suggestions on material they can seek out and use to educate themselves.  The people who can more easily recognize the value of good advice and act on it quickly are the type of people who become financially independent or wealthy, if they aren't already.