I speak frequently before audiences of producers. Often sponsors of the event are provided an opportunity to give a short commercial. Representatives from carriers and general agents troop up to the podium and give their two-to-three minute pitch. Apparently, like Lake Wobegon, the folks who work for these enterprises are all above average. At least that’s the conclusion one would draw after hearing virtually every sponsor brag that “our people are what makes us different.”

After a while the phrase becomes a sort of talisman, a magical incantation that conveys a host of deep meaning to the sponsors, but to the audience quickly becomes a boring, trite spiel. In short, a waste of time and opportunity. These sponsors may actually have great people. Their marketing message, however, not so much. The question is, if asked to describe our own businesses in two minutes, who among us would do any better?

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