JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

11 April 2019

You can call it fraud or being bamboozled. Whether we’re talking about Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme or Billy McFarland’s Fyre Festival, we’re talking guys that siphoned money and trust but gave only empty promises in return. Even on a smaller scale, have you ever heard of a friend buying a used car and having nothing but problems with it? Or in the insurance technology world, have you been over-promised on your newest software purchase only to have a nightmare implementing it?

If you’ve been hoodwinked, please don’t be too hard on yourself. The chances are that a very charismatic and charming sales guy hooked you in – line and sinker. Though guys like Bernie and Billy seem to be radiating wealth, happiness, and power, they’re likely feeling anything but stable and assured. Even that used-car salesman, does he feel remorse as you drive off with that clunker? Or does the $550 in his next paycheck make him forget all about your impending woes?

Get Smart!

If you’re about to go shopping for a used car, you should do some homework on your options. If you go to a used-car lot with a specific sum of money in your pocket and no plan, you’ll likely be persuaded into making a less than sound choice, by a guy without your best interest at heart – a guy who depends on sales to make a living.  

The same lesson should go with your insurance software vendor. If you solely rely on the pay-to-play “analyst” community, you’ll likely make a misstep. You must do your homework! Talk to a few previous clients who aren’t on the referral list. Find out what the real timelines are compared to what may have been promised. For the sake of your company and sanity, educate yourself on all of your options before falling in love with a sales pitch – from someone who’ll likely profit handsomely from the sale.

It’s like selling a soup sandwich to a guy who didn’t know what soup was. Was the sales guy really good or did he simply find the ideal target?

Don’t be an ideal target, be an educated consumer. Your sanity and your bank account will thank you.