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The Answer to “So What?”

Eye of the Storm: Natural disasters, the insurtech market, and other musings from Bob Frady, CEO of HazardHub


We talk to, and partner with, a lot of insurtechs.

One of their most common complaints is, “We’re not selling enough; the insurance sales cycle is so long. We need to hire more salespeople.”

It’s a knee jerk reaction for many executives -- especially people who haven't been in sales before -- to hire more salespeople. After all, it can't be a product problem, can it?

One question that a lot of startups struggle to answer is simply, “So what?” Your product does something. So what? You developed something this way. So what? You compete with company XYZ. So what?

If your salespeople are having to make up the answer to the “So what?” question, they’re really going to struggle to sell anything.

At HazardHub, we spend an inordinate amount of time evaluating our value proposition to the market. At a certain point, it’s an educated guess that you present to the market and see what happens.

Our initial go-to-market “so what?” was:

We tell you all the bad stuff than can happen to a property. For a buck.

It was a good enough “So what?” to get us rolling. The inventive people in the market were quick to see the utility and the value of what HazardHub was brining to the table. It helped us to grow more than 800% in three years.

Interestingly, like our company, our “So what?” has evolved. You’re not always selling to the same part of an organization, so you may need several “So what?”s to resonate with each respective audience. We’re not just a “data by the pound” company – we’ve seen incredible results from companies that use our data.

Our “So what?” for executives is different:

You can lower your loss ratio by at least 2 points.

For our partner network – who have a completely different set of objectives than our carrier clients, our story is tailored differently:

You can be up and running on our API in less than 10 minutes.

Not that these “So what?”s are mutually exclusive; they aren’t.  But depending on who your focus is with determines which one you lead with.

The problem with many insurtechs is not lack of good salespeople. It's lack of a good answer to the “So what?” question. In other words, it's lack of a good story, or audience-specific stories.

The answer to the “So what?” question can only really be determined by one group of people -- the executive team. Salespeople can give you great feedback, but the people in charge of the company must identify not only what the product does, but why the product is valuable. If the executives can't answer these questions, adding more salespeople won’t give you the answer.

So the next time you reach for the “let’s hire more sales people” button, take a step back to make sure you’ve got your “So what?”s down cold. It can be a critical step on your road to success.



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