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Are You Your Wholesaler’s Target Customer?

David Huss - Oct 21, 2021

Defining the target customer is one of the most important things a business can do. Why? Because if you don’t understand who your target customer is, you can’t build your business around their needs.

And if you don’t build your business around your target customer’s needs, you won’t deliver great service. In fact, you may as well resign yourself to mediocrity.

The shotgun approach to defining target customers sabotages generalist wholesale insurance organizations. That’s because based on their behavior they typically define their target customer as ‘any retailer with a submission.’ To them, it doesn’t matter who they are, or what the opportunity is. These generalist organizations want to get business on the books any way they can. That’s a problem, though. If everyone’s a target customer—no one’s a target customer.

True specialist organizations—like Ethos—don’t have the luxury of a shotgun approach to defining target customers. That’s because, for a true specialist wholesale brokerage like ours, good service isn’t good enough. We have no choice but to be great at what we do. That’s why we’ve developed a crystal-clear understanding of who our target customer is and what their needs are.

So, who exactly is Ethos’ target customer?

At the highest level, our target customers are retail agents and their support staff members that need help solving healthcare professional liability problems. This means they need help placing risks that fall into the categories of Medical Services, Aging Services, Life Sciences, Social Services, or Managed Care. But that’s just the beginning.

At Ethos, we partner with agency-side people that act as business consultants, not insurance salespeople. They know their clients’ operations very well, and their highest priority is making sure they provide their clients with the coverage they need—at the best terms and conditions available. Ethos’ target customers are also not reactive. They are proactive. They do their best to manage their clients’ expectations, and always strive to provide their clients with great service.

Ethos’ target customers are ethical people that consistently act with integrity. They appreciate what we do for them and value our mutual relationship, but they don’t shy away from a difficult conversation. Every submission they send us is their business and our opportunity – not the other way around. Still, they consider the impact on our business resulting from the decisions they make about theirs.

Through the years we have come to realize that out of all the retail agents and support staff in the U.S with HPL problems, perhaps 25% are a good fit for Ethos. In fact, that number is probably much smaller. That doesn’t mean the other 75% are shady actors. To be sure there are dishonest people on both the retail and wholesale side. But most simply work for agencies that incentivize behavior that isn’t compatible with our business approach.

Do we lose sleep over the business we miss out on because we are selective about who we will accept as customers? Absolutely not. We know that if we continue building our business around the needs of our target customers, we’ll have all the business we’ll ever want or need.

Are you Ethos’ target customer? Give us a call.

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