When you work with your clients; you often tell them they need to work with a specialist who understands their unique needs and situation.
We also tell them, "Don't do it yourself! You do not know what you're doing!"
It's advice we give out often... but when it comes to putting together a stable of professionals to help us in our business or our lives... we do not exactly put together a dream team.
Working with partners who specialize in working with insurance agents can help you navigate the many complexities and achieve your business goals.
While it may be convenient, easier, feel more loyal, or whatever your reasons are for using partners who do not specialize in our field... the consequences of a misstep, misfire, oversight, misunderstanding, or ignorance can be MONUMENTAL.
Here are some examples of partners who can provide you with specialized services and help you succeed in the insurance industry.
An accountant who specializes in working with insurance agents can provide you with unique insights and solutions to financial challenges that are unique to the field. They can help you navigate tax laws, maximize deductions, and improve your financial standing. By working with an accountant who understands the insurance niche, you can rest assured that your finances are in capable hands, and you are making the most of your earnings. If you can find an accountant that is forward facing and does not operate utilizing a rear view mirror approach, even better.
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An attorney who specializes in the insurance industry can be an invaluable resource for agents who are looking to expand their business or navigate complex legal situations. Insurance laws can be complex, and having an attorney who understands the ins and outs of the industry can be beneficial in protecting your business and ensuring you are compliant with all necessary regulations. At the end of the day whether its dealing with employees, claims, or carriers you do not want your dads roommate from sophomore year at Texas Tech that holds the record for most brisket consumed in a 1 hour period. You need someone that is involved in the industry and understands the unique situations Agents can find themselves in and be able to reference the right cases and situations to help steer you to a win.
A human resources (HR) firm that works exclusively with insurance agents and agencies can help you manage your workforce more effectively. They can provide you with customized HR solutions that are tailored to our industry. Whether you need help with recruitment, training, or compliance, an HR firm that specializes in the insurance industry can help you achieve your goals and maintain a workplace that keeps you out of harms way, your unemployment insurance costs low, and your office compliant with workplace rules and regs, rather than using an app or a generalized service.
A bookkeeping firm that specializes in working with insurance agencies can help you manage your financial records more efficiently. They understand the unique financial challenges of the insurance industry, and can help you track your expenses, manage your cash flow, and prepare financial reports and profit and losses that are tailored to your specific needs. By working with a bookkeeping firm that understands the insurance niche, you can ensure that your finances are in order, and you are making the most of your earnings.
A marketing firm that specializes in working with insurance agents and agencies can help you reach your target audience more effectively. They understand the unique marketing challenges of the insurance industry, and can help you develop targeted marketing campaigns that are tailored to your specific needs. Whether you need help with branding, social media, or lead generation, a marketing firm that specializes in the insurance industry can help you achieve your goals. A run of the mill marketer or marketing agency that will help anyone and everyone does not understand how to present an invisible and intangible product. The insurance space has specific and regulated marketing rules and regulations which you know already as well. The young gal that “does social media” at your local Le Tip is going to be an expensive lesson to learn if you hire her.
An automation provider that specializes in working with insurance agents and agencies can help you streamline your operations and improve your efficiency. They understand the unique technology needs of the insurance industry, and can provide you with customized software solutions that are tailored to your specific needs. Whether you need help with customer relationship management, billing, or claims processing, a technology provider that specializes in the insurance industry can help you achieve your goals.
Check out automated and templated marketing and communication campaigns that have helped north of 1200 Agencies
In conclusion, working with partners who specialize in working with insurance agents can provide numerous benefits that can help you excel in your field. From accountants and attorneys to HR firms, bookkeeping firms, marketing firms, and technology providers, these partners can provide you with unique insights and solutions that can help you navigate the complexities of the industry and achieve your business goals. So, if you’re an insurance agent looking to take your business to the next level, consider working with partners who specialize in the insurance industry, and watch your business grow and thrive.
Hey there, young insurance agent! Are you familiar with the rise of a newer technology called Robotic Process Automation?
Here's how it works: RPA uses software robots to automate repetitive tasks, like data entry or document processing. That means you don't have to spend hours typing in information or sorting through paperwork – the robots can do it for you!
Now you may be reading this and thinking… I already use automation for my communication and a lot of my marketing efforts. This article isn’t for me.
Similar… but not the same thing we are discussing here today.
So why is RPA such a big deal for insurance agents like you? Well, it can help you be more efficient and accurate in your work. That means you'll have more time to focus on important tasks, like helping customers and growing your business.
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Here are just a few of the many ways emerging RPA insuretechs can help you as an insurance agent:
1. Claims Processing: RPA can help process insurance claims quickly and accurately, which means your customers will be happier and more likely to stick with you.
2. Policy Administration: RPA can handle the boring administrative tasks related to managing insurance policies, freeing up your time to focus on more important things.
3. Underwriting: RPA can help automate the process of underwriting insurance policies, which means you'll be able to process more policies in less time.
4. Customer Service: RPA can help handle customer inquiries and requests, which means you won't have to spend as much time answering phone calls or emails.
5. Fraud Detection: RPA can help detect fraud by analyzing data and identifying patterns or anomalies that may indicate fraudulent activity.
6. Compliance: RPA can help ensure that your agency is in compliance with all the rules and regulations related to insurance.
7. Data Entry: RPA can help automate the process of entering data into your computer systems, which means you'll be able to work faster and more accurately.
8. Document Processing: RPA can help scan, categorize, and index documents, which means you won't have to spend as much time organizing paperwork.
9. Financial Reporting: RPA can help automate financial reporting tasks, which means you'll be able to get the information you need more quickly and accurately.
10. Reconciliation: RPA can help automate the process of reconciling accounts, which means you'll be able to catch errors more easily.
11. Risk Assessment: RPA can help analyze data to identify and assess risks, which means you'll be able to make better decisions.
12. Premium Calculations: RPA can help automate the process of calculating insurance premiums, which means you'll be able to provide accurate quotes more quickly.
13. Renewals: RPA can help automate the process of renewing insurance policies, which means you won't have to spend as much time on paperwork.
14. Quote Generation: RPA can help generate insurance quotes quickly and accurately, which means your customers will be happier.
15. Billing: RPA can help automate the billing process, which means you'll be able to get paid more quickly and accurately.
16. Claims Investigation: RPA can help analyze data to aid in claims investigations, which means you'll be able to process claims more quickly and accurately.
17. Predictive Analytics: RPA can help use data to make predictions about future trends, which means you'll be able to make better decisions.
18. Portfolio Management: RPA can help automate portfolio management tasks, like risk assessment and asset allocation, which means you'll be able to manage your business more effectively.
19. Customer Onboarding: RPA can help automate the process of bringing new customers on board, which means you'll be able to grow your business more quickly.
20. Data Analysis: RPA can help analyze data to identify trends and insights, which means you'll be able to make better decisions and grow your business more effectively.
By using this technology, you can save time, reduce errors, and focus on the things that matter most to your business – like providing great customer service and growing your customer base.
Many insurance agencies have already adopted RPA and are reaping the benefits. If you're not using it yet, it's time to consider it as a valuable tool that can help you stay ahead of the competition.
RPA is a powerful technology that can revolutionize the way you work as an insurance agent. By automating repetitive tasks and handling administrative work, RPA can free up your time to focus on the things that matter most – like building relationships with customers and growing your business.
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We are in a TOUGH TOUGH market.... Are you struggling to keep your employees motivated? Between rising rates, carriers pulling out or going insolvent, inflation, employees looking for more flexibility since Covid, and more... there are a lot of factors that are currently playing into your staffs office sentiment. Pretending that the people that help us build our dreams are not looking for a more clear and better path to attaining theirs is extremely ignorant in 2023.
There are ways to keep your team happy without breaking the bank.
Here are some tips to help you:
1. Provide Opportunities for Growth
Everyone wants to feel like they're moving forward in their career, and it's up to you to help them do that. Give your employees opportunities to learn new skills, take on new challenges, and advance within your company. This can include offering training programs, promoting from within, and giving employees the chance to lead projects or teams.
By investing in your employees' growth and development, you'll create a more motivated and engaged workforce. They'll feel valued and appreciated, and they'll be more likely to stick around for the long haul.
2. Foster a Positive Work Environment
No one wants to work in a toxic or negative environment. As an insurance agent, it's important to create a workplace that's supportive, collaborative, and respectful. Encourage open communication, celebrate successes, and address conflicts or issues in a timely and professional manner.
You can also make your office a fun and enjoyable place to be. Plan team-building activities, celebrate holidays and birthdays, and encourage employees to bring their personalities to work. When your employees feel happy and comfortable at work, they'll be more motivated to give their best effort.
3. Offer Competitive Benefits
While money isn't the only motivator, it's still an important factor for many employees. As an insurance agent, you can offer competitive salaries, bonuses, and benefits to attract and retain top talent.
Consider offering health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. You can also provide perks like gym memberships, flexible schedules, and work-from-home options. By providing a comprehensive benefits package, you'll show your employees that you value their well-being and want to support them in every way possible.
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4. Recognize and Reward Achievements
Everyone likes to be recognized for their hard work and achievements. As an insurance agent, it's important to regularly acknowledge and reward your employees for their contributions to the company. This can include bonuses, promotions, public recognition, and other perks.
You can also create a culture of recognition by encouraging employees to recognize each other for their successes. This can be done through formal programs or simply by giving shout-outs during team meetings. When your employees feel appreciated and valued, they'll be more motivated to continue working hard and achieving great things.
5. Provide Opportunities for Community Involvement
As an insurance agent, you likely play an important role in your community. You can involve your employees in these efforts by offering opportunities for community involvement. This can include volunteering, fundraising, or sponsoring local events.
When your employees feel like they're making a difference in the world around them, they'll be more motivated to give their best effort at work. Plus, community involvement can help build a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among your employees.
6. Encourage Work-Life Balance
It's important to encourage your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. As an insurance agent, you know that the industry can be stressful and demanding. However, it's important to ensure that your employees are able to take time for themselves and their families.
7. Encourage Professional Development
One way to keep employees motivated is by offering opportunities for professional development. Providing training and support for employees to improve their skills and advance their careers shows that the company is invested in their growth and success. This can also lead to more effective and efficient work, benefiting both the employee and the company.
8. Allow for Autonomy
Micromanaging can be a major source of frustration and demotivation for employees. Allowing employees to work independently and make decisions on their own can foster a sense of trust and respect between management and staff. Of course, this doesn't mean giving employees complete freedom to do as they please, but rather giving them the space to work in the way that suits them best. They should of course still be working within your Agency system and utilizing Agency processes.
9. Offer Incentives and Rewards
While money may not be the only motivator, offering incentives and rewards can still be an effective way to keep employees engaged and productive. Incentives could include bonuses for reaching certain goals, extra time off, or other perks such as free lunch or company swag. These rewards can serve as a tangible way to show appreciation for employees' hard work and dedication.
In conclusion, there are many ways to keep insurance agents motivated beyond just offering a paycheck. Focusing on employees' strengths, being flexible with schedules, giving a sense of purpose, creating a positive work environment, encouraging professional development, allowing for autonomy, and offering incentives and rewards are all effective ways to keep employees engaged and productive. By implementing these strategies, insurance agencies can cultivate a happy and motivated workforce that will help them achieve their goals and succeed in a competitive industry.
Attend the most value driven conference in the industry. No selling from stage! Just education and laughs!
Soup LIVE! The Insurance Agent Event committed to education, NO ONE selling from stage, and NO ONE gets paid or pays to speak.
We know it may be hard to believe... but Soup LIVE! is one of VERY few events in the industry where the Agenda is SIMPLE - Give back to the Agent community.
You HAVE to be there - October 4th, 5th, and if you come VIP... 6th. Scoop up tickets HERE >> www.insurancesouplive.com
Being so fortunate to already run a number of highly successful Agent services, solutions, and communities, we host these events with one thing in mind - YOU.
Everyone putting the event on, speaking, coordinating, performing.. everyone is there because they want to be a part of the big show and do something cool for the Agent community. We are teaching, educating, and providing with absolutely nothing expected in return other than the opportunity to get all of us together in a room for a few days to get better as professionals and to spend time together as friends.
We do not profit. We do not try to profit. We try and provide. And what we provide is substantial. The best speakers. Pure education from stage. Tools, templates, and share drives. Great food. A fantastic venue full of fun and surprises. The opportunity to shake hands and break bread with the industries finest and all your friends in Insurance Soup, our closing in on 50,000 Agents and Brokers FREE COMMUNITY on Facebook.
Check out what some attendees from last year had to say!
"Soup LIVE! was the most impactful conference I've ever attended as an insurance agent. One of their speakers, Jack Jameson, brought me to tears multiple times with his moving story and taught me so many tactful and strategic techniques from stage that I have almost tripled my life insurance production by simply asking a few more and better questions.
But it wasn't just Jack's talk that made Soup LIVE! so special. The conference felt like a big extended family getting together, and the after-hours events were a blast where I made a ton of new relationships. Soup LIVE! stands out from other conferences because they deliver great speakers while avoiding any sales pitches, get all my online friends together in a room to hangout, and they make sure the venues are right for keeping us all together even after hours.
I will never miss a Soup LIVE! conference ever again, and I highly recommend it to any insurance agent looking to grow their business and make meaningful connections in the industry. Jack Jameson's talk alone had the power to change my business and my life, and I'm so grateful for the experience."
"I attended Soup LIVE! last year as an insurance agent, and it was a life-changing experience. The conference had an impressive lineup of speakers, and one woman on stage helped me uncover a source of stress in my life that was making it difficult for me to find joy in the industry. She shared a number of ideas to help me restore work-life balance and find time for my personal life. As a result, I now work 45-50 hours a week, only answer clients when I am available, and have found more time to be the head coach of the middle school field hockey team. This has brought me immense peace, and I am now a more efficient and effective insurance agent.
Another aspect of the conference that I loved was the opportunity to learn about automation and how to implement it in my work. This has made me more productive and efficient, and I am thrilled with the results. The conference was not just informative, but it was also incredibly fun. The two guys on stage with the big beard and mullet were hilarious, and their humor kept me engaged throughout the conference.
Finally, I appreciated the fact that no one was selling anything from the stage. It made the entire experience more authentic, and I loved meeting and interacting with people I have known online for so long. Most of them were as cool or even cooler in real life. Overall, Soup LIVE! was a fantastic conference, and I will undoubtedly attend future ones. It gave me the tools to be a better insurance agent and a better person, and I am grateful for the experience.”
“I went to Soup LIVE and it was truly the best conference I have ever attended. Every speaker on stage felt like they were blowing my mind more than the last. The most refreshing part of the conference was that no one was selling anything. It was all about education and learning from the best in the business. I learned about new technologies that can enhance my business and gained a whole new outlook on how to better and more fairly compensate my team to do what I need them to.
One of the highlights of the conference was a woman on stage who helped me put into perspective how much time and resources should really be put into a new employee. I left the conference with a much stronger sense of urgency around needing to train my people regularly. The food was really good, and I was surprised they were passing around frozen drinks and beers to everyone after hours. It felt like I was hanging out with family. Part of what made the conference so amazing was meeting all the people I only knew online for the last 4 years.
In summary, Soup LIVE was an incredible experience that exceeded my expectations. It was the best conference I have ever attended, and I would never miss one ever. I learned so much from the speakers, gained new insights, and had an amazing time connecting with like-minded professionals. I highly recommend attending Soup LIVE to anyone looking to enhance their knowledge, skills, and network in the insurance industry.”
If you are looking to improve as an Agent, have some laughs, get close with a group of Agents that hang like family, or just want a few days away where you are learning and picking up a write off... Soup LIVE! is for you
Scoop up tickets HERE >>>> www.insurancesouplive.com
As an insurance agent, one of the most important responsibilities you have is to properly protect your clients. This means ensuring that they have the coverage they need to protect themselves and their assets, as well as educating them about potential risks and ways to mitigate them. Day to day it can be easy to forget that this is the ultimate goal as we are all either running or working in a sales organization where the primary objective is to close more business.
Unfortunately, not all agents weigh the responsibility of protecting their clients as seriously as they weigh their monthly and annual sales goals and quotas, and this can lead to disastrous consequences for their clients.
Take the case of Jack, a new insurance agent who was eager to earn some appointments with a number of carriers. John had a prospect named Diane who was looking to save money on her car insurance. Diane had been with her previous insurance company for years and had a policy with high limits that gave her peace of mind.
When Jack quoted her however, Jack was not able to price a similar policy competitively. He thought fast and saw an opportunity to make the sale by offering her a lower-priced policy with lower limits. He didn't tell Diane that he was lowering her coverage, and she assumed that the new policy would offer the same protection as her old one.
A few months later, Diane was in a serious car accident that was her fault. She was sued for damages to the tune of $712,000 and found herself owing a lot of money that would have been covered by her old policy. When she contacted Jack to file a claim, she discovered that her coverage was much lower than she thought, and she would have to pay a significant portion of the damages out of pocket. The claim was only going to cover $50,000 of the accident! Diane was devastated, and she realized that she had been misled by Jack. Furthermore she was beginning to deal with a new reality that she was going to be financially devastated for the forseeable future.
In the end, Diane decided to sue Jack for professional negligence. She argued that Jack had breached his duty to her by not providing her with adequate coverage and by failing to disclose the changes he made to her policy. Jack's E&O insurance was forced to pay out a substantial settlement to Diane, which negatively impacted Jack's finances after his $10,000 deductible AND his standing with some current carriers. On top of that, he found getting appointments with new carriers difficult in the near future as they evaluated the risk of bringing on a sloppy Agent. Additionally, Diane was forced to pay out of pocket for damages that would have been covered by her old policy, causing significant financial strain for her as well.
The story of Jack and Diane is a cautionary tale for insurance agents everywhere. Shifting coverage or declining coverages without telling your prospect is not only immoral and unethical, but it can also have severe financial consequences for all involved. Not only is it a breach of your duty to your clients, but it also violates the trust that they place in you as their agent. As an agent, it's important to remember that your clients rely on you to protect them, and it's your responsibility to do so to the best of your ability.
In addition to the ethical considerations, there are also legal and financial consequences for failing to properly protect your clients. As Jack learned the hard way, agents can be sued for professional negligence if they make mistakes that harm their clients. The notion of “Anything for a sale”
is not wise in an industry that serves and protects its customers. This can be financially devastating for both the agent and their E&O insurance provider, as payouts can be substantial. It's crucial for agents to understand that their actions can have long-lasting financial implications for both themselves and their clients.
Ultimately, the story of Jack and Diane is a reminder of the importance of properly protecting your clients as an insurance agent. It's not enough to simply sell them a policy and collect a commission – you have a duty to ensure that they are adequately protected and that they understand the coverage they have. By doing so, you can help your clients avoid financial ruin and build a reputation as a trusted and reliable agent.
As an insurance agency owner or agent, it's border line essential to consider diversifying the carriers you offer to your clients. Having just one carrier may have its perks, such as simplicity in paperwork and compensation, but it can also have its drawbacks. When tough markets or rate
environments hit, having only one carrier can be brutal, as clients may need to look elsewhere for coverage. That's why it's important to offer multiple carriers to your clients to provide them with the best protection, company, and price.
Having multiple options for your clients allows you to provide them with the best protection possible. I believe deep down we all know this. Different carriers have different strengths, and by offering a variety of carriers, we can provide our clients with a wider range of coverage options. This way, we can tailor our offerings to suit our clients' specific needs and preferences, providing them with the best possible coverage.
Additionally, by offering multiple carriers, you can cover all different types of risks. We are all familiar with the notion that different carriers have different risk appetites. Different carriers may love or hate various niches, such as insuring high-risk drivers or high-value homes. By having a diverse range of carriers, you can ensure that you have coverage options for any risk that may come your way, allowing you more opportunities to help, and allowing more people in your community to be served.
Another important consideration is that carriers make a lot of changes that affect agents and insureds. If you have multiple carriers, you're better prepared to pivot and adjust proactively versus scrambling to find coverage options when a carrier pulls out of the market or makes major changes to their offerings or processes. This can save your clients a lot of hassle and headaches, and help you maintain your agency's stability and reputation.
Moreover, carriers play with compensation plans, which can affect your bottom line as an agent or agency owner. By placing business with multiple carriers, you can ensure that you're placing business where you can make a good living. You'll also have the ability to receive bonuses with multiple carriers, which can help increase your revenue and provide additional incentives for your team.
Having a diversified carrier offering is advantageous for both the agent and the insured. If you lose one carrier to ANYTHING… even be it an oopsie that causes you to lose an appointment, you still have many others to rely on, which means your agency remains strong and healthy. Your clients also benefit from having a wide range of coverage options, and can feel confident that they're getting the best possible coverage for their needs.
The most understated element of diversification of carriers is the freedom to run your business as you see fit. Not being beholden to any one carriers wishes, desires, or current agenda means that you write who and what you wan, work with the types of people you fit in best with, and are beholden to very few in terms of how you market. Compound that with most carriers offering some kind of cost share in your marketing and having a number of carriers can also help you reduce Agency expenses.
Diversifying the carriers you offer is critical for your agency's success. Agents who only offer one may tell you otherwise. They have no experience to the contrary. Asking anyone who has been on both sides of the fence and the evidence is clear.
By offering multiple carriers, you can provide your clients with the best possible protection, company, and price. You can also cover all different types of risks, adjust reactively to carrier changes, and ensure you're placing business where you can make a good living. Ultimately, having a diversified carrier offering is a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Data used to be viewed like the sprinkles on top of the ice cream sundae of our industry.
Soon, the data will be the sundae, itself.
The age of digital information has opened up a world of analytics to us that we never could have imagined before. And let me tell you, it's not just a game-changer, it's like the Contra cheat code that gave you the confidence only 30 extra men in reserve could provide.
Data analytics is especially fascinating when it comes to marketing decisions for insurance carriers, agents, and brokers. It's like finding the missing puzzle piece to the marketing strategy.
By analyzing data, we can figure out which marketing channels really resonate with our audience. It's like finding the perfect ingredients for a recipe that will tantalize our ideal clients' taste buds. Imagine knowing exactly who responds best to what type of messaging before you advertise versus advertising and hoping the people you want to respond to it are drawn to it.
But the true beauty of data is how it provides smarter insights. It's like having a genie in a bottle, except way more exciting. With data, we can predict customer behavior, identify trends, and detect anomalies. It's like having a sixth sense for what our customers want and need. And let's face it, knowing what gets our clients excited is what we're all about.
Enriched SUPPLEMENTAL data is both sizzle AND steak. It's like discovering a secret treasure that no one else knows about. With enriched data, we can learn more about the people in our books than they would ever tell us and then provide customized service that leaves our clients feeling like they're being predicted and pampered. That’s a winning formula. We can be made aware of policies needed or housed elsewhere. We can be made aware of likes, interests, and needs of our insureds without them having ever told us. We can be made formidable and dangerous. In a great; helping clients kind of way.
Enriched data also gives us the power to identify our most valuable clients. It's like having a metal detector for gold nuggets. With this knowledge, we can make sure we're maximizing our time and effort to get the most out of our business relationships. It's like being able to see the future, except instead of flying cars, it's all about maximizing profits.
Let’s not forget about how enriched data can help us keep track of our clients' behavior. It's like being a detective, but in a good way. By knowing when our clients are shopping around for policies, we can provide them with the perfect solution before they even ask. It's like being their guardian angel and our own Agency dragon, saving them from the hassle of having to shop around while protecting the treasure we worked so hard to earn.
Data is the future that we never knew we needed. With data-driven insights, we can make better decisions, offer personalized service and product recommendations, and stay ahead of the competition. Your game of chess with the consumer may have just became unfair but at the end of the day… everyone will win because of it.
This piece originally ran on Forbes.com.
Veterans can be amazing employees to add to your team. Veteran-owned businesses can be a cut above. Both can outrank their civilian peers based on soft skills alone. Growing your team? Hire a veteran. Sourcing external vendors? Choose a veteran-owned business. As a veteran of U.S. Air Force intelligence and now a business owner, I’ve been on both sides of the desk and see tremendous value in hiring veterans.
Why Veterans Excel
Veterans made it through basic training, a mind-bending, limit-pushing experience on its own. Most of them have served in various roles in a variety of fields throughout their military career. Some positions require skills that could mean the difference between life and death. It simply doesn’t get any more real than that.
1. Veterans walk the talk.
In our growing gig economy where anyone can start a business or label themselves an expert, soft skills — or lack thereof — shine brightly in today’s business landscape. A major aspect of any transactional relationship is trust. As a business, you need to know you can rely on that person, contractor or vendor to follow through, do the right thing and be accountable. Someone can be the best at what they do, but if they don’t walk the talk, that talent is immediately canceled out.
2. Veterans know when to lead and when to follow.
The debate rages on about whether leaders are born or made. One thing we do know is that experience is necessary to build that leadership muscle. Military personnel are trained to think fast and make important decisions quickly for the benefit of the mission. Military experience provides hands-on skills in decision-making, delegation, self-awareness, teamwork, situational assessments, psychology, etc. Leaders are constantly being made in the military, and members know how to assess a situation, develop a solution, pivot, delegate and swiftly identify any missing or weak links.
3. Veterans are disciplined.
Well, this one is easy. There is no try. You do it. If you fail, you try again. Don’t want to? You don’t have that choice. Many military members are used to working long hours and various shifts while facing last-minute changes and directives from above at the drop of a dime. In my role in intelligence, we worked missions that lasted 10 or more hours in extremely intense, real-time environments where you couldn’t skip a beat. Quick yet concise thinking, an insane level of detail, focused attention, real-time analysis and calculated decision-making were required each and every minute of the duration of that mission. It required planning, time management, communication, discipline, focus, teamwork and the many moving parts that went into the actual job.
4. Veterans are accountable.
In everything in life, accountability is key. It’s not an option in the military. Each and every service member is accountable for their actions. In the civilian world, employees that aren’t accountable are a drain on resources the minute they’re onboarded. Businesses that don’t have accountability built into their culture will fail. Period.
5. Veterans pay attention to details.
Attention to detail is key in everything we do in business and in life. I’ll never forget during basic training, we had to yell “details” while on our assigned duties. We did the most mundane cleaning exercises. Our uniforms had to be impeccable at all times. We ironed everything, even our T-shirts. We clipped off the smallest, barely noticeable strings from our uniforms. We spit-shined our boots. We had to keep records of each serial number on each bill in a notebook in our wall lockers. I thought it was all so mundane and useless. Later I saw how that attention to detail mattered. When it comes time for something big, details are essential.
6. Veterans know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
In the military, if someone misses a key performance task or benchmark, they are let go, reassigned or pushed back. Period. The tech school I attended had a 50% washout rate because it’s one of the most intense educational institutions in the country. Course lengths lasted upwards of a year, five days a week, with two to three hours of daily homework. If a student fell behind, it was nearly impossible to catch up, so they cut the ones who couldn’t keep pace. It was necessary for the success of the group.
7. Veterans understand that teamwork makes the dream work.
A lot of research has been conducted on translating military teambuilding into the business world. It’s a hot commodity. And for good reason. According to Military.com, graduates of the most elite special forces and Navy Seals programs are not necessarily the biggest, fastest or strongest, but they are the ones with the highest mental fortitude and are able to integrate into the team dynamics necessary to succeed. Teamwork involves outbound and inbound communication, as well as having the psychological awareness to “read the room,” even when those queues are subtle. A good team can make a plan and execute it but may get bogged down at the first sign of a problem. A great team encounters obstacles, pivots and continues toward the successful completion of the goal.
Three Ways To Honor A Veteran
1. Hire a veteran.
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 17.4 million veterans in the United States. Want to thank one? Start a veteran hiring initiative at your company and actively recruit them.
2. Choose a veteran-owned business.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there were 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses in the nation in 2012. It also found that veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans.
3. Mentor a veteran.
If you’re a business owner or C-level executive, you’ve probably spent decades honing your skills. Share the knowledge. Implement a veteran hiring program at your company. As a volunteer, take some time to provide career coaching to military members transitioning out.
And don’t forget to thank them for their service!
If you've been a member of Insurance Soup or any of its counterparts, you know that Mike, Taylor, CJ, Brian and Matt talk a lot about the importance of bringing your authentic self to your customers, to your staff and to your coworkers. It's a principle that Insurance Soup runs on and a principle that the founders of Soup run their own businesses on.
When the names above decided to combine forces and create The Collective Agency Council, this was a principle that went with it. That went into it. Bringing your true self - your vulnerable self - and all of the experience that makes you such a valuable asset to the industry into the group... people see it. They see you baring your self for the group and they respond to it by bringing their true selves to you in the spirit of helping one another.
In the testimonial below, you'll read how Sarah Trippel reaped the benefits of fostering meaningful relationships in her business by hearing the message Soup, CAC and The Collective. By bringing her true self to the people in her business and accepting her customers, her employees and her partners as they are. No false pretenses. Just mutual trust and respect. Enjoy.
"I am going to share a story with y'all, so that if any of y'all are on the fence about the The Collective y'all can see the difference it has made. I am going to share two things that have made all the difference in my world this past week because of the things Michael McCormick, Taylor Dobbie, Brian Blair and the rest of the crew have spent hours and hours building out for agents Wednesday, I was diagnosed with covid (this is not the point nor does this need to be discussed but yes I was vaxxed so hopefully it won't get too severe). I have been a part of CAC and Soup ALMOST since the very beginning.
I have an amazing employee in my office thanks to the things I learned in CAC...she has been a Rockstar with me being out sick, and has even made daily trips to my house to drop off stuff for me on the front porch. I live in the middle of nowhere. CAC has helped teach me not only how to find the right employee, but more importantly how to treat and compensate the right employee. This is the first time in over six years I've gotten to be sick and not worried about my office.
The second thing, and if you have been in soup for long, you have heard me mention, it has built up AMAZING relationships between me and my referral partners. I have kept my covid diagnosis off of my personal Facebook (yo local agents...please don't rat me out) because I don't want the drama from either political side. I feel like crap and I just want to feel like crap in peace. That being said most of my referral partners have found out by reaching out to me or to the office and then to me because I am not there. I have had offers from every single one of them to drop off food, reminders to eat, reminders to drink, reminders to walk around. My favorite of them all is determined she's going to get food delivered to me before this is said and done . These ladies are all extremely busy in their professions and their home life, but any one of them would do anything I asked right now, and I know it. Building those kinds of relationships with your referral network is priceless. Yes, these individuals send me a lot of business, but the friendships I have formed by building real relationships with them, are far more valuable than any referral they send. They know I am widowed with elderly parents, and so they know my resources for getting things right now are limited. They also see me as more important than just the business I send them. Again, for those in the back, THOSE KIND OF NETWORKING RELATIONSHIPS ARE PRICELESS!!
A lot of people think that the former CAC or the new Collective is all about shiny objects, gadgets, gizmos, and thingymajigs...and there are a lot of those in it...but the core principles and foundations that are taught are far more valuable than whatever the monthly cost will be.
I know finding the money to join can be tough for some...I personally had to wait to save up money and hit a bonus to join the OGs in the very beginning, but i am eternally grateful that my husband and I found a way to make it happen so that I could learn these concepts that are at the core of my agency's success and my success as an agent...especially through the last few years which have been plagued with family health issues, the death of my husband, and my personal health issues.
If you are on the fence...don't hesitate to hop on one of their info calls...you will never regret investing in yourself in you actually invest the time into your investment!!!"
Following up is a crucial component of closing a sale for insurance agents. Agents who think that their job is done after one phone call or an email find out soon enough that they were sorely mistaken. Potential clients are looking for more than a "one and done" from an agent when it comes to making important decisions that will affect their families and their most valued assets. Following up guarantees that your relationship with the prospect will continue.
The proper follow-up strategy prevents clients from considering other options and jumping ship. It also keeps you in their lives so that you're there to help them through changes. This means that if your client needs more and/or a different type of coverage, you're there to help. Make each relationship with your client an honest one and your agency will thrive. Neglect your relationships with clients, and you'll find you lose them more often than not.
While following up should be a process that's never overlooked in your agency, you don’t want to over do it until your relationship with the client warrants it. Not sure where the line falls between the prospect relationship and the client relationship? Below are a few techniques for you to put your best follow-up foot forward when dealing with quality leads.
Nothing looks worse to a prospective client than an agent who cancels appointments or shows up late when a meeting is scheduled. Be sure to keep your appointments and be on time when meeting with a client. An agent who stays on top of their business at every level from lead conversation to renewals is an agent who is fostering the right kind of relationship with their customers. Showing clients that their business is always on your mind and that you've got it under control at every level, will keep them coming back year after year.
SEND A QUOTE
It might seem too informal, but there's no harm in sending a quote to your prospect via email or text. A good quote doesn't lie. Being straightforward with your client about what they'll get from you and why the quote you're providing them with is appreciated by all clients. Be sure you're being mindful of what the lead can pay and make sure you're giving them as much as they ask for in terms of coverage. Getting the ball rolling and creating and maintaining interest from the client in your product will lead to more meaningful conversations and eventually, a deal.
Don't Be Afraid to DOUBLE TAP
The double-tap approach is a technique where the agent calls the lead two times in a row if the agent isn't able to get in touch with the lead during the first attempt. We're all guilty of not answering our phones when a number we don't recognize appears on the screen. The first time you call, the lead will probably do the same as you and I. Here's the trick: don't leave a message after your first call. When you call for the second time immediately after that, the client will realize it's someone who is really trying to get in touch, not just a spam call.
Even if getting a quote to a new lead isn't urgent, you want the least to know that their business is extremely important to you. Be sure to act quickly so that the client doesn't think you've forgotten about them. Most clients will be surprised at the personal attention they're receiving and also at the rate at which you work. Both will be very much appreciated by the prospect. This way you've shown the client that they matter and that you do good work, quickly.
While each of these three techniques above will prove to be useful in transitioning a lead to a customer, the absolute most important rule for an agent to remember is to stay persistent and not give up after the first, second and maybe even the third NO. Remember, if you remove yourself from the client's mind, you have no shot at winning the business, which is why your follow-up processes will always prove to be so important.