No, you can’t be a wolf.
Hedgehog or fox.
Those are your choices.
In Good to Great, Jim Collins uses the parable of the hedgehog and the fox to represent opposite approaches to marketing.
“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”
The fox plays the field; the hedgehog is a niche player.
The fox is flexible, always looking for new opportunities. He doesn’t care if he knows a lot about them or a little.
The hedgehog sticks to its knitting. The hedgehog sees everything through the prism of its own special skills and interests.
The fox makes it up as he goes; the hedgehog has templates, a schedule and a pocket planner.
The fox is a bachelor; the hedgehog is a family guy.
You might think the fox has the advantage because he’s got a quick wit, he’s suave and, well, a fox.
Nope. Looks are deceiving. Like thinking the house fly is a dirty, filthy anthropod.
It is an anthropod. But not a dirty filthy one. The common house fly, habitually rubbing its little hands like brushes up and down its legs and all over its body, is actually a very clean insect.
Anyway, back to the fox and the hedgehog.
It’s the hedgehog who wins every time.
Why? Because the hedgehog has unwavering focus. He is a sniper with a mosquito in his sights from a 100 yards away. The only question he has is, which eye should he aim for? Left or right?
The hedgehog does nothing all day but provide employee benefit plans for restaurants. Or sell long term disability or E&O to architects. Or event insurance.
The fox talks to a life insurance lead one day, competes on a BOP for a hardware store the next and delivers a homeowners policy later that week. And so on. The fox is always on to something new, never knowing what’s around the bend and anywhere it hangs its hat is home.
It’s an interesting life, though paychecks can be irregular.
Meanwhile the hedgehog keeps doing the same thing over and over, steadily building its book of business, its reputation and its profits.
Want some real agency examples? Come back tomorrow.
By the way, Smarts has a new slogan.
“We don’t sell insurance newsletters. We sell improved client retention and better branding.”
Our newsletters are used by agents who are foxes and hedgehogs, but mostly hedgehogs (not part of the new slogan).
Teach, build Trust and keep in Touch with clients and prospects.