An example of Thought Leadership Selling in the Life Insurance industry

September 9, 2010 3 Comments

 

In 2005 the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America created a proprietary sales and marketing tool for its 3,000 financial advisors nationwide called the Living Balance Sheet. The Living Balance Sheet is a web based tool that organizes every piece of each account’s financial picture in one place, and updates the information daily. The tool has lots of features.  It can rebalance clients’ asset-allocation mix, develop wealth-accumulation strategies, alert clients when it’s time to revisit a particular area of their finances, determine the impact of inflation, taxes and debts on their net worth, and even track their airline reward programs and store copies of important legal documents in an electronic vault. Customized reports can be generated with a few simple mouse clicks, and can be accessed on wireless handheld devices.

The tool is useful because of this comprehensive list of features and functions – but not unique. There are other third party and off-the-rack financial planning tools that do many of these same things. What truly differentiates the Living Balance Sheet is that it is a sales and marketing tool that is designed to specifically:

  • Support Guardian’s specific sales process, relationship selling goals and advisory culture.
  • Help clients expand their view of their financial world with revolutionary technology and insight they haven’t heard before

The reason this is an excellent example of thought leadership selling is that while other financial advisory firms interpret delivering trusted advice as barraging their clients with retirement calculators, stock picking advice and newsletters, The Guardian has offered them something that is original, more comprehensive, and focused on customer needs.  The tool is now used by over 1,000 Guardian sales reps to:

  • Differentiate their sales process with a unique tools and insights;
  • Improve the quality, relevance and delivery of the marketing content and sales training material;
  • Improve their sales productivity;
  • Improve client retention.

You can learn more about how to build proprietary solution selling tools like this at the Profitable Channels web site.

About the Author:

Stephen Diorio is an established authority in growth and go-to-market innovation with over 25 years of experience helping CEOs, Boards, and CMOs create new growth and enterprise value by leveraging advanced marketing practices and digital technology. He is the lead analyst in the Forbes Marketing Accountability Initiative and a Partner in Profitable Channels where he helps CEOs, Boards and CMOs create new growth and enterprise value by leveraging advanced marketing practices and digital technology. I've helped hundreds of marketing leaders take advantage of the most current marketing best practices and digital technology to grow faster, differentiate their customer experience, and reduce selling costs. He has helped over one hundred leading sales organizations drive net new growth—including Merrill Lynch, Intuit, Armstrong, American Express, CBS, DuPont, IBM, Janus Funds, Morgan Stanley, Ricoh, SunTrust Bank, Staples, UPS, and US Bank. He a Director of the Brand Publishing Institute, and Author of Beyond e: 12 Ways Technology Will Transform Sales & Marketing Strategy (McGraw-Hill). Mr. Diorio holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in Engineering from Bucknell University.

Comments (3)

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  1. Great writing! I wish you could follow up to this topic???

    Claudia

  2. The Living Balance Sheet gives you a wide-angle view of your financial world by displaying your Assets Liabilities Cash Flow and Protection in one place..In the hands of the financial specialist you choose this tool can help you bring your four financial domains into sync increasing efficiency and allowing you to do more with your existing cash flow…The Living Balance Sheet gives you a wide-angle view of your financial world…Your financial data is updated daily and you have instant access to your personal site wherever you are via mobile device.

  3. hemp says:

    The Living Balance Sheet gives you a wide-angle view of your financial world by displaying your Assets Liabilities Cash Flow and Protection in one place..In the hands of the financial specialist you choose this tool can help you bring your four financial domains into sync increasing efficiency and allowing you to do more with your existing cash flow…The Living Balance Sheet gives you a wide-angle view of your financial world…Your financial data is updated daily and you have instant access to your personal site wherever you are via mobile device.

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