The Value in a Wrong Decision

Making a wrong decision isn’t something that business leaders set out to do, but it happens from time to time. Failure is as much a part of success as anything else, provided that the right lessons are being learned.

The longer that you run your own insurance business, the more you’ll be faced with moments where you have to act and act quickly. Sometimes you’ll get it right. Others, you won’t. When that happens, try not to take it too hard because there is definitely value in a wrong decision.


Wrong decisions teach lessons

The most obvious value in a wrong decision is that it can shine a light on the “woulda coulda shoulda” phenomenon.

You have the opportunity to go back and pinpoint what went wrong for help in future judgment calls. While that may not seem too encouraging in the moment, it will definitely help you in the long run.

Successful business leaders are the sum of both their right and wrong decisions. That’s because every decision carries with it the weight of experience. It’s up to you to learn those lessons, though.


Wrong decisions can help humanize you to customers

In the insurance industry, customers value the human touch, especially at the end of the buying process. While nobody wants to be inconvenienced or put out by a foul-up, people can relate to an occasional misstep.

Most of the time it’s not that you make a mistake that loses business; it’s how you handled the fallout that pushes clients away.

When you’re placed in one of those egg-on-face situations, you can actually turn it into a positive if you handle it the right way. Customers will start to see you as a human being, who cares about their best interests rather than a faceless company where they’re just a number.


Wrong decisions made quickly can give you a chance to reverse course

One of the key aspects of a good business leader — which you have to be as an insurance agent — is that they do not procrastinate in making important decisions. The old Reid Hoffman saying that if you’re not “embarrassed” by the first version of your product, “you’ve waited too long,” applies in the decision-making process.

That’s because missteps can help you come back with a stronger product or — in the insurance agent’s realm — customer experience than you would have provided had you simply hesitated in making any decision at all.

Lesson: if you are unsure about something, don’t be timid. Do the best that you can with the information you have and use what you learn to reverse course quickly.


Wrong decisions tend to lessen the more of them that you make

Be careful with how you interpret this one. You don’t want to go overboard on your bad decisions and make as many as you can on the off-chance that you’ll wake up one day miraculously brilliant.

It doesn’t work like that. But wrong decisions made in the right spirit definitely tend to limit themselves through time and experience. Sincerity is often one of your greatest allies because it feeds your intuition.

In other words, if you’re sincerely looking to make the right decisions for your insurance business, you more often than not will. And when you fall short, correcting course will become all but instinctual.


In Summary

Making a wrong decision should never be an option, but it’s going to happen.

What you take from it will ultimately determine success or failure.

When you open your mind to the lessons, value decision-making over procrastination or hesitancy, let your customers see your humanity, and exercise sincerity in every move you make, you’ll find the pearl inside the oyster. Good luck!

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