Once I Decide To Leave, I’m Gone!

Image by Simon Howden

Why does it take my leaving to get the best rates? I’ve been a loyal client at an insurance broker for 14 years. Although they wouldn’t have been my first choice, they did manage the program for a very large association to which I’m a member.  Although I’ve enjoyed significant savings for a number of years, service levels on the other hand have gone from great to sub-par.

Like many of us, I stayed with this organization as I believed I was receiving the best rates if not necessarily the best service. After a recent minor service irritant, I decided to investigate the offerings from another association/group and was pleasantly surprised at the savings I would realize along and the enhanced coverage. Additionally, I would be dealing locally instead of a centralized national office.

Ok, so what’s my point? As part of the transfer, a cancellation letter was sent on my behalf by the new agency. Out of the blue, I receive a phone call from my soon to be former agency asking why I was leaving. After explaining my history and new found savings, they then asked if they could requote or using their terms “remarket me” (who uses those terms), in order to find better rates and coverage so as to retain me as a client!

Of course my reaction was, “Why do I have to leave before you decide to offer me a better overall solution?” I expect any company I deal with to offer me their best pricing all the time. I’m not asking that they cut their margins or for a special one time deal, although I’m open to it. I just expect them to do their job and provide me with the best product at the best price ……before I leave!

Yes, it is true, that many customers have been saved by this tactic, but wouldn’t it be far more efficient and productive if they just provided a better service from the get go? Scrambling to save clients in this manner is a stressful low percentage activity.

We all need to remember that the most profitable customer we’ll ever get, is the one we already have! It cost between 5- 10 times more to get a new client than it does to keep an existing client! You’ve done all the heavy lifting in getting them as a client, now you just need to provide the best possible service. Whatever you do, don’t take them for granted, because most are like me and once I decide to leave, I’m gone!

Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2011

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11 Responses to Once I Decide To Leave, I’m Gone!

  1. Tom Kaufmann says:

    Hi Greg,

    Right on! Love it! That is why I audit all my services every 3-4 years to ensure max efficiency. This includes soft costs of leaving old one.
    Cost of new customer:$2500. Cost of retaining existing: $500.
    Love your stuff.

  2. Dennis L. Kennelly says:

    Great stuff Greg . . . . basic customer service, but more than that . . . . it’s called the
    ‘Golden Rule’ and has been missing in action for some time. Treat others as you would like to be treated ! ! ! !


  3. Mary Watson says:

    Hi Greg,
    This is one of my pet peeves. Nothing frustrates me more. I like to believe that I am getting the best rate, but have learned from experience that I have to do the leg work all of the time to make sure I am getting the best possible rate. I have found that you have to call “customer retention” plead my case and then get the reduction!

    • says:

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for the comments. It is frustrating that we can’t trust service providers to give us the straight goods anymore. As you stated, we have to become almost as knowledgeable as them in order for us to confident we’re not getting taken advantage of.

      Thanks again


  4. Hi Greg,

    Interesting blog post. Have you thought about coming out to a meeting at the DHSBA to see what we are all about. We would love to meet you in person.
    Send me an email at membership@dhsba.com if you have any questions.



    • says:

      Hi Deborah, thanks for the invite, however I’m well versed with the group having attended a couple of meetings as well as presenting to the group about 18 months ago. Since then we’ve moved to Ottawa, but I always check to see if the group is gathering on those rare occasions I’m back in Whitby.

  5. David Bell says:

    Good for you! I wish more people would stick to their values instead of fearing change and allowing their current broker to match or beat a price only after being ‘re-marketed’. If a broker is doing their job, he\she wouldn’t have lost you to temptation in the first place!


  6. John says:

    Hello, Greg, and to all reading this.

    As a financial advisor, I am relieved to read the column that you have written. Within this industry, there are two animals – the salesperson and the advisor. While the former could not care less about the latter, the latter is constantly trying to battle the stigma created by the former. When I take on a client, I do so within the framework of an ongoing, advisory platform, which could involve (among other things and depending upon the complexity of the client’s strategies) one to several reviews per year; monthly communication via phone and/or email; an open line of communication for the client to reach me. I think most advisors adopt a similar service model, which clearly differentiates us from the salesperson looking to place a case and move on. The problem I notice, is that most potential clients are not shopping around for service, they are shopping around for price. It seems to be an assumption – one that is incorrect, I might add – that the insurance person in the storefront down the block will provide the same service that an advisor does, but she/he can quote a cheaper price. When it turns out that the service is lacking, the entire industry is painted with the same negative brushstroke.

    I hope your blog entry is read by anyone and everyone who feels as you do – that service is part of what you are investing in…and that they read this comment. There are people in this field who are genuinely interested in creating and maintaining relationships with their clients over the long-term. They are not hard to find. You call me and I’ll give you some recommendations. Everyone deserves quality service. Sometimes we have to get out of our own way to find what is right in front of us.

    Great post! I look forward to reading more!

    Semper Fidelis,

    John J. Pacor
    Financial Advisor

    • says:

      Hi John

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I can’t say anything other than you’re right. Companies regardless of size should spend at least the same amount of time servicing their existing clients as they do looking for new ones. Sadly, there is a perception that servicing accounts is boring, whereas landing the new client exciting.

      I’ll take renewals or repeat sales all day long. It’s what pays the rent and salaries and generally makes for a sustainable long term business. Satisfied clients are also a great source of referral business.

      I could go on but you’ve done it for me. Please pass on the link to anyone who may benefit from this http://www.gregweatherdon.com/

      Thank you again


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