Monday, November 8, 2010

"About Us" Evaluation: Million Dollar Round Table

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). Contact us if you’d like to have your site evaluated—there’s no charge and no obligation.

Today’s example was chosen at random; has no ties to this company.

Million Dollar Round Table, founded in 1927, is an international network of leading insurance and investment professionals and advisors. It currently has over 31,500 members. Its “About Us” page is at


Accessibility: B

On the Million Dollar Round Table’s “About Us” page, the lower menu has a contact link for general information and a list of executives and titles. Since MDRT is a membership organization that doesn’t deal directly with the general public, this is adequate.

However, we’d like to see links for specific contacts after we read about them. For example: after the paragraph on the MDRT Foundation, give us the name and an email link for the person in charge.

Products/Services: C

We like the information in the first paragraph about the number of members and the worldwide scope of the association. The mission statement is rather vague: “To be a valued, member-driven, international network of leading insurance and investment financial services professionals/advisors who serve their clients by exemplary performance and the highest standards of ethics, knowledge, service and productivity.” If this page is meant to inform insurance customers and potential MDRT members (and it should be), then providing more details about what the MDRT does is essential. If the meetings and networking are the primary benefits of membership, why not organize them into a bulleted list, with a preliminary statement about the purpose of the meetings?

We are puzzled by the mention of a 9-point strategic plan. The link for it is only open to members; why even mention it here? Only the most important information should appear on any “About Us” page.

Personality: D

The opening paragraph of the page stresses how exclusive membership in the organization is. Why not tell us briefly how one becomes a member? Is the requirement still $1 million in sales, as it was in 1927 when the organization was founded? Is membership by application or by invitation? Here’s an opportunity to impress the general public with the quality of the membership.

Insurance salespeople, especially top producers, are usually superb communicators. Yet in the whole of this dense page, nothing “sells” us on MDRT. And we can’t find one specific person or organization to latch onto. We’d like to be impressed by the names and professional affiliations of some of the members -- the obvious ones would be those who have been leaders of MDRT. Also good would be a statement from a prominent member about how MDRT membership has benefited himself and others.


MDRT’s “About Us” page has 760 words of text, but it doesn’t give us a clear idea of exactly what the organization does and exactly who’s involved in it. Mere quantity can’t replace thinking about who your audience is and how best to convey your personality and products/services to them.