Don’t Get Burned By the Ultimate Irony

One of my sales staff relayed to me that a prospect told her they were going to cancel their satellite service.  It’s not that uncommon; managers assess needs, bounce them off a budget and decide where to spend their dollars.  I get it.  But this prospect is an insurance company.  Insurance.  One synonym for insurance is safeguard, defined by dictionary.com as, ‘something that serves as a protection or defense or that ensures safety.’  You know like satellite phones.

While we don’t actively promote satellite phones for business continuity or emergency management as ‘insurance’, when you get right down to it, that’s what it is, really.  Satellite phones are a safeguard, a defense that ensures safety, as in the definition.  This follows my response to the question I am asked, “what do you do for work?’. “I own a company that helps heroes save lives.” I respond.  Because that is what we do.  We don’t sell satellite phones – that is a transaction for a customer.  We offer advice, counsel, recommendations, solutions, and custom programs – things associated with a client relationship.  (Aside; do you know the difference?  Is your organization a customer or a client?).

So back to the insurance company that cancelled their service.  Turns out they felt the monthly service was a waste of money and they want to active the phones only when they need them.  Okay, not to be to snarky, but those pesky monthly service fees in the insurance industry are called ‘premiums’.  We pay them on auto, life, health, homeowners, hazard, travel, any kind of insurance you can name.  How well do you think it would work if we cancelled our policies and tried to active them only when we need them? “Hi Acme Insurance, I just had a car accident.  Please activate that policy I cancelled so I can submit a claim.”  That’s just not going to work.    You would expect an insurance company to understand this concept better than any organization.

This company thinks they will be able to just turn on the service when they need it.  That is just not a very good idea and here are three reasons that thinking is flawed:

1)    When they need to activate their satellite phones, they will need new SIM cards to be shipped to them

2)    When they need to activate SIM cards, so will thousands of others.  Could be activation delays.

3)    Nobody in their organization will know how to use the phones, they won’t know their phone numbers and then we’ll hear, ‘These things don’t work’.  Again, experience tells me this. Of course they work; you’ve just never used them because you cancelled your service.

So here we have the ultimate irony of an insurance company at risk of no communications at the most important time; during a disaster.  This puts them at risk of failing their customers, their internal partners, etc.  I would certainly expect a deeper and more consequences-based thought process from this company.

But I am thankful for their misstep makes for a great lesson for all of us.  Be smart; get satellite phones, train your people on satellite phones, test them and be ready to go when you need them.

Thanks for reading.