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5 things the fastest-growing insurance agencies have in common

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 10:24 AM

blog pic Insurance agencies are like snowflakes, no two are alike. However, after spending lots of time with agency owners in hyper-growth mode, I learned that there are several traits they have in common. Below are five that stand out, and duplicating these tips can help your firm become a high-performing agency.

  1. Culture - Top-performers have a culture that’s focused on production. When we talk about building a sales-focused culture, people often assume that we’re dismissing the importance of great service. This is not the case. In fact, agencies with the best sales culture tend to have the best service teams as well. Keep in mind: You can’t flip a switch to create a world-class sales culture. It takes communication, training, charisma and an owner that’s laser-focused on their people, processes and tools. You’re slow to hire and quick to fire but top performers love working in your agency. Not only are they growing professionally and personally, they’re having fun doing it. You’re a leader not a manager, and employees know that they have your support every day. Your attitude, not your aptitude will determine your altitude.

  2. Technology - Agents experiencing hyper-growth understand that technology can scale a business quicker than manual processes. When they invest in new technology it’s implemented properly and everyone in the agency buys in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen agents invest in the latest and greatest technology then expect it to be a magic bullet. Unfortunately, it sits on the proverbial shelf and collects dust because they can’t culturally adapt. It's not faith in technology, it’s faith in people.

  3. Sales & Marketing - Agency owners at the helm of fast-growing agencies view themselves as sales and marketing organizations that happen to offer insurance products. They’re active on social media, email marketing and have a top-notch website. They add to their pipeline with purchased leads and have a strategy for every prospect they encounter. They have a sales process that everyone in the agency follows and it’s reviewed in meetings, trained to new hires and most importantly, it works! The term “sales” isn’t a bad word but is embraced in the hyper-growth agency.

  4. Metrics - Agents that are growing know how many quotes they received today, yesterday, this week, last week, last quarter; well, you get the picture. They know how many sales, lines of business, premium and new commission is written, then celebrate when sales goals are reached or exceeded. They know how many cross-sells the service or sales team converted and chances are; bonuses are determined by these metrics. Whether they have 2, 20 or 200 people they know their teams closing ratios; which rep should get the next lead and have this data available in real-time. Agencies that are data-driven can turn dials, pull levers and make changes on the fly. This ensures a pipeline full of leads that are being distributed to the right person with the highest propensity to close. Stop guessing! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

  5. Change - How often have you looked at your agency and wondered what could’ve been? Change is a core principle that every agency owner needs to embrace or risks being left behind. Don’t be afraid, you can be whatever you want, but it’s not going to happen unless you change. The world completely changed outside of your agency, has it changed internally? Recruiting top talent, adopting a digital presence and developing a sales process for the connected consumer is key to your success. These are changes that need to be made if you want to not only survive, but thrive in 2015 and beyond. If you’re not changing, you’re dying. One of best things about our business is the ability to create whatever type of agency you choose. You’re unique and there’s nobody that can replicate what you do on a daily basis. You have a choice every day your feet hit the ground so maximize the opportunity and, lets get growing!

 


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/03/23/5-things-the-fastest-growing-insurance...

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: insurance companies, insurance similarities,, insurance company similarities,

How to become a person of influence

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 12:05 PM

blog pic Influence. If you want to become your dream clients’ trusted advisor, you need to be able to influence them. You need people to believe you’re someone worth following, someone worth trusting, someone worth doing business with.

Think about the people who have been influential in your life. These people were honest and acted with integrity. They walked their talk. They had character. And they truly cared about you as a person. This is why you count them among the few individuals who had such a powerful influence over you.

Persuasion. Persuasion is something a little less than influence. It means you have to argue your case. You need to advise or urge someone to take action. To be sure, someone with influence may have to use persuasion at times.

Think about the last time someone persuaded you to do something. It’s likely he was someone with influence—but maybe not someone with so much influence that you’d unquestioningly follow his lead.

Coercion. Coercion is the use of force or intimidation to get someone to comply with your wishes. It includes the idea of manipulating someone. It indicates an imbalance in power. All force isn’t necessarily physical. With coercion, the force is psychological.

If you’ve ever been coerced into doing something, I bet you didn’t like it. People are never happy to be coerced.

When you look at the old-school tactics that salespeople use, they’re closer to coercion than influence. They’re no longer effective or useful to professional salespeople. Tactical things such as “tie downs” may still work, but destroying a relationship to win a transaction isn’t a good strategy for anyone playing the long game. Making people feel bad about their decisions and about you is never a good idea.

Be a person of influence. You want to be a person of influence. You want to be a person of character. The more influence you have, the less persuading you need to do.

If you’re in sales, you’re going to have to persuade your dream clients to take action. You are going to have to persuade them to see things through a new perceptual lens, to change their beliefs about what is possible. You won’t always have enough influence to help people without having to persuade them.

But if you are going to be a trusted advisor, you can never use coercion. You can never be manipulative. The application of psychological force is the strategy chosen by someone who doesn’t want to take the time to become a person of influence.


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/03/17/how-to-become-a-person-of-influence

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Sales Tips, sales advice, influence,

8 ways to successfully sell to seniors

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 @ 03:12 PM

blog pic Seniors are by far the fastest growing market segment in the United States. It’s also one of the most lucrative. According to the latest U.S. census, this demographic comprises 37 percent of the total U.S. population and will grow to 45 percent this year. Seniors also possess approximately $1.6 trillion of all the disposable income in the country and have a combined household net worth of around $19 trillion. They also spend a cool $7 billion online each year.

So it should be no secret then that insurance agents will find the senior population an attractive market to serve. The key to doing so successfully, though, is in the art of the sell. It’s going to take a bit of adjustment on the part of brokers. Their buying habits are different from the Gen X crowd and certainly Millennials, particularly when it comes to Medicare-related policies. Before you make your first call, be prepared to “be” the following eight things:

  1. Be more personable.
  2. Be a sounding board to their own ideas.
  3. Be focused on their quality of life.
  4. Be easy to work with.
  5. Be digital.
  6. Be cognizant of the emotions involved.
  7. Be there for life.
  8. Be a resource.

 


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/03/04/8-ways-to-successfully-sell-to-seniors...

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Sales Tips, Senior Market, sales advice

7 ways to build trust online

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Mar 05, 2015 @ 05:21 PM

blog pic It’s easy to build trust when you have the opportunity to connect with customers in person. You can look into their eyes, read their expressions and interact on a personal level. Even on the phone, you can read a customer’s tone of voice and react accordingly. But building trust online is a different story—not necessarily more difficult, just different.

Certain companies have excelled at building trust online, such as Zappos, Apple and Sephora. They have been recognized in many surveys and studies as being among top online retailers. So how can you build trust online? Here are seven uncommon, common-sense ways:

  1. Remember that people do business with people. Even in the online world, where customers purchase through a website, that website is designed by people to be used by people. Make your site easy to navigate and simple to understand.
  2. Be accessible through multiple channels. In other words, you may have a great call center, but you should also have support available through the other channels, such as email, text, Facebook or Twitter.
  3. Make contact information available on each page. Make it easy for a customer to call, email or connect with you by repeating your contact information on each page of your website.
  4. Keep telephone hold times to a minimum. It can be frustrating for a customer to have to wait for extended periods of time. It sends a message that the company doesn’t care enough to staff properly. Consider technology that will let the customer know how long the wait time is and offer the option of an automatic callback.
  5. When a customer contacts you via social channels, respond quickly. Get back to your customer in minutes, not hours or days. If I wanted my question answered two hours from now, I would have waited two hours to ask it.
  6. Share social proof. Use testimonials from happy customers to help prove trust and increase customer confidence.
  7. Ask your customers to post online reviews. This shows that you’re confident you will deliver a great customer service experience and resolve any problems which may arise, resulting in a glowing review.

 


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2014/09/13/7-ways-to-build-trust-online

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Sales Tips, sales advice

The 5 biggest challenges agents are facing now

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Feb 26, 2015 @ 09:24 AM

blog pic Selling insurance is important but challenging work. In a competitive industry that’s changing rapidly, the obstacles are many. But knowledge is power, as they say, so in Retirement Advisor’s recent Advisor Survey we asked your peers to name these obstacles directly. The answers ran the gamut from specific product concerns to looming legislation worries to straightforward sales hurdles that would resonate equally with those who sell houses or medical equipment or tax planning advice.

Following are the five obstacles that independent insurance agents say are the most significant they’ll face this year, along with suggestions for how to meet them head-on.

  1. Lead generation (50.59%)
  2. The economy (44.71%)
  3. Health care reform (35.29%)
  4. Industry legislation (20.0%)
  5. Cap rates on indexed annuities (20.0%)

 


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/02/25/the-5-biggest-challenges-agents-are-facing...

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: health care reform, Sales Leads, sales advice

Do you want a happy client?

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 @ 03:01 PM

blog pic Years ago, when I had just launched my speaking career, a friend shared the concept of the sold (and thereafter abused) customer with me. Now, the word abused may be a bit strong, but his point was well taken. For many customers, the pre-purchase experience is vastly superior to the post-purchase experience.

My belief is that customer service starts the moment the customer even thinks about doing business with you. Customer service isn’t just what happens after the sale, it’s also what happens leading up to the sale. And once it starts, it should continue through the entire life of your relationship with the customer.

Recently I had the pleasure of experiencing sales expert Joey Coleman present a speech on the “first 100 days.” This refers to the first 100 days after a customer pays for whatever you sell. The period of time between when the customer decides to buy from you and when he receives your product or service is when he is most likely to question his purchase. During this period, the customer may come to feel abused or neglected.

For example, you may have bought something on a website which took take several days or longer to arrive. Or you may have signed a contract to build a home but been forced to wait months before construction began. Coleman posits that your best opportunity for customer loyalty comes during these first 100 days. Of course, you need to manage the long-term experience, but this initial period is crucial.

The idea of the first 100 days is to create as many touch points as possible, which will enhance the experience for your customer. This is known as proactive customer service and it is the best recipe for customer loyalty.

So take your already-great customer service up a level by adding intentional customer interactions which will confirm in your customer’s mind that she has made the right decision to do business with you.


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/02/16/do-you-want-a-happy-client

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Customer Retention, Customer Service, Building Client Relationships

The Secret to Overcoming Price Objection

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Feb 12, 2015 @ 09:15 AM

blog pic Ok. This is false advertising. There is no secret to "overcoming” the price objection. The truth is that the price objection cannot be overcome. That is because it isn’t intended to be overcome. It is meant to be resolved through thought facilitation by a sales person. The sales person’s role is to help the prospect work through the price concern as opposed to attempting to overcome it.

First, can we agree that it isn’t really an objection? It is a concern. I know that many sales books call it an objection, but it is not. It is an attempt by the prospect to resolve financial questions in their mind. People want to feel good about decisions they make and that is why concerns are brought up.

The mistake many sales people make is that they think they understand the prospect’s concern when the price issue is initially raised. A fatal flaw, indeed! The truth is that the cause for this concern isn’t initially known. A myriad of possibilities could be causing this to come up now such as:

  • Is it a question of how much use they will get of the product?
  • Is it whether or not they can afford it?
  • Is it that they saw a similar product at a cheaper price?
  • Or is it a sales person being hyper-sensitive to the mere mention of price?

There are others, but you get the point. The bottom line is that without knowing what is causing the price concern, you can’t possibly help the prospect work it through. To share a personal example, I live in Minnesota where owning a boat is commonplace. To me, however, it is expensive. It isn’t the price of the boat, or the cost of maintenance, or even the price of the slip. It is the fact that the season for boating is so short that I don’t feel I would get enough usage out of it to make it worth the financial investment.

On the other hand, I bought Peg Perego, motorized cars for my three kids. Each one had a $300 price tag on it. Expensive to some, but cheap to me. Why? Because I’m rich? Hardly. No, it is because my kids use them, a lot! From my perspective, it’s worth every penny! If I get significant utility out of something, I can justify the price in my mind. At the other end of the spectrum, like most parents, I have also bought tons of toys in the $20 price range that have been used once, maybe twice. After that, the toys are never touched again. To me, that is expensive.

Some other price concerns center on whether or not the prospect can financially afford the product. A good sales person will facilitate the conversation that helps the prospect to recognize the options available to them for financing the purchase.

In other scenarios, the prospect has seen the same product, or a similar one, at a lower price. The human mind tries to make everything into an easy to understand commodity. When I worked in employment background screening, prospects would compare a $9.95 database search with a comprehensive courthouse search. The comparison of the two was apples and oranges. The strong salespeople were able to explain the difference in a way that led prospects to see that they needed the comprehensive search. The $9.95 search can be perceived as very expensive since you rarely catch any bad guys with it.

The worst case is when the salesperson does not believe that his product is worth its price tag. If this hits home for you, I highly encourage you to look to be somewhere else. If you don’t believe in your price, I guarantee you that no one else will either. If you believe that all sales ultimately come down to price, help me to understand this:

Why doesn’t everyone buy generic drugs?

Why do people buy bottled water when they can get it for free from the tap?

Why doesn’t everyone drive a Yugo?

Why are people buying satellite radio when there are plenty of good stations available for free?

How come most people have cable or satellite television when they can get a dozen tv stations for free?

Why isn’t everyone shaving with a single-blade disposable razor?

Why isn’t everyone drinking generic coffee?

Why isn’t everyone fighting to sit in the last row at the ballgame?

Why do people even go to a ballgame when they can watch it comfortably for free in their living room?

How did your company get any clients at all...unless you are the low price provider?

I think you get my point. Thus, you really do believe that someone will pay more if they feel the purchase is worth the price. Maybe you can’t afford the product you are selling. That is a completely different issue. There is a great expression that goes along with that. "Don’t spend the prospect’s money.” You don’t belong in their shoes, so don’t put yourself there. You never truly know a person’s financial situation.

Look, no one wants to get ripped off. And everyone wants to brag that they got a good deal. So, if you can master the discussion around the pricing concern, you will inherently have more sales.


http://www.eyesonsales.com/content/article/the_secret_to_overcoming_the_price_obj...

 

Source: eyesonsales.com

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Tags: price objection,, plan g mep supp,

2015's 50 best ways to generate leads

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Feb 05, 2015 @ 09:55 AM

blog pic As you start looking for new business in 2015, you need fresh ideas for generating leads. LifeHealthPro.com has compiled the 50 best lead generation tips from submissions by readers and industry leaders, that can help you have your most successful year yet.


  • Pick a niche. Pick a niche and focus on it 100 percent. It can be a health issue like multiple sclerosis or an occupational risk like helping pilots. Lots of agents are taking this approach and seeing fantastic results.
  • Find 25-year-old health insurance prospects. Chasing the elusive Millennials as they are about to age off their parents' health plan at age 26? This is a highly desirable insurance risk, and a competitive market segment.
  • Use Facebook to generate leads. Create a group targeting a very specific audience. Since Facebook has so much data on its users, you can access that data as an advertiser. Take this a step further and create a niche website targeting that audience, too.
  • Stop asking CPAs for referrals. You want leads from CPAs? Then stop asking them for referrals and instead focus on helping them deliver more value to their clients by allowing them to offer proactive and holistic advice.
  • Network strategically. Networking should be limited to two types of groups and events: (1) Where you can interact with prospective clients and, (2) Where you can interact with professionals who work with your prospective clients.

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/tag/50-best-ways-to-generate-leads?utm_source...

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Sales Tips, Leads, Sales Leads, sales advice

Google & Amazon could change the way we buy life insurance

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 @ 09:34 AM

blog pic Ask more than 50 industry leaders for their thoughts on the life insurance market, and you’re bound to get a wide range of answers. But if there’s one thing on which many of them agree, it’s that change is coming. We’re not talking small product tweaks here; we’re talking industry-shaking revolution. In an age when technology is advancing rapidly and consumers demand immediate, customized attention, this is necessary. It’s also pretty exciting.

A LIMRA study conducted last fall asked a diverse mix of life insurance executives, distributors, reinsurers and other financial leaders this question: Do you believe an outside source like Google or Amazon will be a disruptive force in the life insurance market in the next five years? Fifty-seven percent said yes. Moreover, a 2013 LIMRA study revealed that 21 percent of middle market consumers would be willing to buy life insurance online from a non-traditional source such as Google or Amazon.

All of this points to the fact that insurance may very well be on the verge of becoming a whole lot sexier. Andreessen Horowitz recently included insurance on a list of the 16 tech trends it’s most excited about for 2015. The scope of opportunity is huge, and companies outside the industry are starting to notice. But that doesn’t mean these newcomers will corner the market. It may very well be the stalwarts of the industry who capitalize on all this potential and deliver the products consumers need, in the way they need them.

Why is the market ripe for disruption now? Here are five reasons.

  1. Consumers need life insurance, but aren’t buying enough of it.
  2. People are starved for time.
  3. We all want to engage differently.
  4. Technology is providing insight that we’ve never had before.
  5. Consumers love crowdfunding.

http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/01/27/heres-why-half-of-financial-executives...

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: insurance projections, google insurance,, amazon insurance,, future of insurance,

8 ways to beat procrastination

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 10:57 AM

blog pic You’re probably looking at your to-do list and getting a little bit anxious. There’s a lot to do today and, it might seem, not enough hours in the day to do it. Breathe and take a step back. Prioritizing will help you figure out what’s most important to do right now … or was tackling the most difficult task first, the right way to do it?

A recent infographic from NeoMam Studios, a U.K.-based company that specializes in creating infographics that merge data from various sources, reveals that as many as one in five adults may be chronic procrastinators. The infographic gathered information from sources such as APA.org, Princeton.edu, Psychologicalscience.org and other publications.

And, get this: Contrary to popular belief, procrastination doesn’t necessarily equal laziness. Inaction is often caused by anxiety, fear of failure or negative perfectionism, according to the infographic.

But how you can stop the stress of not getting things done? Having faith in yourself, living in the present and setting realistic goals you can successfully achieve are some of the steps to stop procrastination in its tracks. And though NeoMam focused their inforgraphic on helping students break the vicious procrastination cycle, if it works for pre-teens that are full of energy or for neuro-surgeons in training, these solutions can work for you too. We have condensed the list to eight steps:

  1. Know yourself

  2. Commit to tasks

  3. Be realistic

  4. Self-talk positively

  5. Swiss-cheese tasks

  6. Don't indulge fantasies

  7. Plan for obstacles

  8. Help yourself, reward your progress and learn to forgive yourself



http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/01/16/8-ways-to-beat-procrastination

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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