I was inspired by Walter Isaacson’s book on Steve Jobs to think about what Steve Jobs would do if he were in charge of an insurance agency. First, I realized that Steve Jobs would not be able to do it. He would have to deal directly with products from insurance companies. We’ll ignore this issue and his negative traits for the remainder of this article.
Steve Jobs’ main focus was on creating great products. Everything else was secondary. The service that an insurance agency provides clients is its product. He would like to offer a seamless, integrated experience to the client. There are too many things people have to worry about, and not enough time for them to pay attention to their insurance problems and needs.
Do you remember the days before the iPod? How was it to buy a stereo system before the iPod? There were many preamps to choose from, CD players to compare, cassette decks and turntables to examine, as well as speakers to complete the package. It was a daunting task to decide which way to go.
SJ Agency will create a system that offers few options and allows prospects to quickly determine their insurance needs. It is crucial to identify the best way to collect information from prospects and analyze their insurance needs. There are many questionnaires that can help you identify potential risk areas. Steve Jobs would create a method to quickly collect information.
After analyzing the client’s needs, he would be presented with a prepackaged plan that offered few options. Jobs would highlight the part of the plan that does not include insurance policies but rather the services the agency provides to the customer to make their lives easier. The agency would send out e-mails to remind customers to update their information, and reinforce the fact that they are supported by the agency.
Steve Jobs believed that it was important for clients to not know what product they need. SJ Insurance Agency would be equally innovative. Regular meetings would be held with employees and key advisers from outside to discuss the current state of the agency and to brainstorm 10 future goals. He would allow employees to brainstorm ideas for improving the product.
Steve Jobs believed that details were the most important thing. Everything had to be perfect, even the parts that were not visible by the customer. This might explain why Steve Jobs spent a lot time creating streamlined processes for his business. His agency would provide the same product/service to all customers.
All departments of the SJ Agency would collaborate as one team. Only after everyone has provided feedback, would changes be made. Employees should expect collaboration and integration. This is essential at many levels. This gives employees some control over the process. Because they were involved in the decision-making process, it creates a sense responsibility and accountability.
Steve Jobs would also use his “reality distortion area.” He would challenge and push his employees to be their best. However, this approach won’t work unless the agency has all the “A” players. He would only hire the best. He would want his employees to be passionate about providing exceptional service for clients. These types of people are difficult to find and often demand higher salaries. They are self-sufficient and can manage their own lives. This is a great thing. It will pay off in the end.
Steve Jobs was the one-in-a lifetime personality who was able change the world. His combination of vision, drive and persuasion enabled him to create and grow new businesses and was able to see the best in everyone. He was able to see the potential in an idea and transform it into his own unique version. This is one of his strengths. Xerox Parc was first to develop a graphical user interface for a mouse and a keyboard. This great idea would have been lost if it wasn’t for Steve’s application in the Apple II.
Business owners can also learn great ideas from Steve Jobs or other successful people, and then make them their own.