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Memorial Day hours and a Big Thanks!

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, May 21, 2015 @ 01:40 PM

blog pic In observance of the Memorial Day Holiday, our office will be closed on Monday May 25th, 2015. We wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day.

We thank the men and women who serve our country today, those that served before and those that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.


“Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices.” – Harry Truman

 

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Tags: memorial day blog, memorial day, memorial day quote,

How one agent overcame a fear of cold calling

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, May 14, 2015 @ 10:33 AM

blog pic William J. Howery is a former Air Force Intelligence Officer. He retired in 2012 as a Lieutenant Colonel and began his career as an insurance agent with Physicians Mutual that same year. He has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master of Business Administration from Norwich University. He is currently enrolled in the Certified Financial Planner ® course at Syracuse University. Will speaks near-fluent German, is married to a native German and has a 2½-year-old daughter at home.

LHP: As a relatively new agent, what are some of the biggest challenges and struggles you face?
WJH: When I first started, I had no real experience in insurance, sales or cold calling, and call reluctance sidelined me more often than I care to mention. I just didn’t know how to handle the objections, and I was taking the rejection personally. I’ve since learned how to overcome call reluctance. The objections no longer bother me the way they did. I’m still working to be better at keeping my pipeline full. I know that I need to have a good mix of prospecting approaches. I just need to get a strategy and be more intentional in my prospecting.

LHP: Why do you think the “survival rate” is so low for new agents, especially in the first few years? What tips, advice or encouragement would you offer to other new agents who might be struggling?

WJH: I think work ethic and cash flow are perhaps the two biggest obstacles for new agents — the former having a dramatic impact on the latter. Being an insurance agent offers a great deal of freedom, and the income potential is simply amazing. What many new agents don’t understand is that with the newfound freedom comes a great deal of responsibility. When new agents aren’t making enough sales, it’s very hard to generate the income needed to stay afloat. Then they start thinking: “This insurance business is much too unpredictable. I can work at XYZ and earn more money each week.” I have had those same thoughts. However, what I’ve learned in the last two years is that discipline and consistency pay dividends. For those who treat their insurance business with the same commitment that they give their jobs, the sales will come. LHP: Talk a bit about the current state of the Med Supp market. How is it changing, and what are your predictions for the next few years? WJH: I see the Med Supp market as a great opportunity! I’m always amazed when I visit with a prospect just one or two months from their birthday and find out that they have never been contacted by another agent. That, to me, illustrates the vastness of the market. I don’t know if there are enough agents out there to meet the demand.

LHP: How do you adjust your sales approach for each prospect based on age, income, gender, etc.?
WJH: I have found that asking questions helps me to zero in on their needs as well as identify important clues on how to handle them. Some people just want the facts; others want to be more relational, and some just want to get it all over with. I’m sensitive to the cues that I’m given and adjust accordingly, while making sure they have the information they need to make informed decisions. I make it a point to make sure they feel like they’re in the driver’s seat and not just having a product pushed on them.

LHP: How do you expect the demographics within your client and prospecting base to shift in the coming years, and how will you adjust as more boomers retire?
WJH: More and more seniors are choosing to continue working beyond 65, so those who have decent group coverage are choosing to postpone their Medicare Part B enrollment and Medigap coverage. Many of the baby boomers are still energetic and active contributors in the workplace, and they’re not ready to hang up their hats. That shift will naturally require me to adjust my prospecting to include more people who are beyond 65 years old and perhaps eventually make them my primary focus.


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/02/24/how-one-agent-overcame-a-fear-of-cold-calling...

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Sales Tips, Success Tips, Cold Calling, tips on selling insurance to seniors, sales advice

What Does It Take to Be a Great Leader?

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, May 07, 2015 @ 10:31 AM

blog pic As the leader of your agency you’re constantly facing challenges, the biggest of which is how to be a great leader, every day. Great leadership is the foundation of any organization, big or small, because without it, growth is impossible.

What Do You Stand For?

Leadership doesn’t exist without followers. It’s about enrolling people who believe in you and what you stand for. You need to know:
  • Where are you headed?
  • Why should people follow you (and not someone else)?
  • What’s in it for them?
There are many schools of thought and philosophies about leadership. Amazon has more than 26,000 titles on leadership, and a Google search on “leadership” produces 152,000,000 results! World-renowned experts such as Dale Carnegie, Stephen Covey, Jim Collins, John Maxwell, Ken Blanchard, Marshall Goldsmith, John Kotter, and newcomers Sheryl Sandberg, Ed Catmull, Simon Sinek, and Tim Williams (among thousands of others) represent diverse points of view -- all of which have validity.

But which one is best? Which one should you follow? Which one will benefit your agency?

We don’t have the answers. You do.

Only you will know which philosophy fits with your core values. What works for your colleague across town may not work for you. You’re going to have to dig deep inside yourself, do some research, and practice until you get the right combination.

Think of it this way: when you’re creating a fully integrated strategic marketing plan for a client, you’re constantly weighing which strategies and elements will yield the greatest return. It’s different for each client, each brand, each goal. You start out one way, but invariably you wind up tweaking creative, campaigns, messages, target audiences, media outlets and buys, direct mail, merchandising, social media, etc.

Leadership is no different. As you become immersed in the topic, you’ll see that there are different strategies, traits, and approaches that you’ll combine in whatever unique way suits your strengths and your goals.

10 Traits All Great Leaders Possess

Among all of the experts we noted above, there are 10 qualities we’ve discerned that they agree are essential qualities:

Communication

Great leaders are expert communicators. They spend most of their time listening. And when they speak, they’re not just clear -- they are sincere and consistent in what and how they communicate. (This trait, out of all of them, almost always is first on everyone’s list -- that’s how important it is.)

Integrity

The greatest leaders in the world are impeccable with their word. Integrity is a conscious choice. Their actions match their words and are congruent with their values. This inspires confidence in their followers.

Values

The best leaders are mindful of their core values. They share them unabashedly and will do whatever it takes to hold true to them. Their values set the tone and provide behavioral guidelines for their followers.

Vision

Great leaders know where they’re headed and why. They’ve always got one foot in the future and one in the present. They view their role as manifesting their vision of the future.

Passion

Passion fuels great leaders. It is a never-ending source of energy that separates the doers from the dreamers. It is what initially attracts followers and inspires them.

Confidence

Confidence is necessary for staying the course when things get tough. Great leaders have an abundance of confidence. (This can quickly turn into arrogance without the next quality to temper it.)

Curiosity

Along with listening, great leaders ask lots of questions. Their curiosity is insatiable. They constantly learn and hone their own skills. They are open about what they don’t know because their confidence lets them learn, absorb, and apply what they’ve learned. And they’re equal opportunity learners -- they’re willing to learn from janitors to CEOs, from plumbers to musicians. They are ego-less when it comes to learning.

Positive Attitude

Great leaders might get "down," but this is not their typical outlook. They are eternal optimists and always see the future as a reality. They find a way to solve a problem or overcome a new challenge. Attitude is often a choice. Great leaders choose to exude the type of attitude that will influence their team in a positive way.

Competence

They are the best at what they do, always accomplishing more than expected. They accept what they’re not good at and are so self-secure that they surround themselves with people whose strengths compliment their own. As a result, they attract followers who are continually inspired.

Empowerment

They set their people up for success. They don’t leave them to fend for themselves, nor do they throw them under a bus -- for any reason.

Develop Your Leadership Skills

Getting to Know You

To become a great leader means taking stock of who you are -- all your strengths and weaknesses. It means being brutally honest and humbly hearing how others view you. The most insightful information will come from other people because we rarely see ourselves as others do.

There are lots of assessments you can take, and some will also include options for others to evaluate you. Whenever you have to actually use a skill or ability in an assessment, you may find that information more useful than just your own self-examination.

Here are some tried-and-true, as well as unique and innovative, assessments to take a look at:
  • Personality assessments (MBTI, Fascination Advantage)
  • Talents and abilities (Highlands Abilities Battery)
  • Influence potential (Keller Influence Indicator)
  • Learning preferences (Learning Tactics Inventory)
  • Leadership style, traits, etc. (360º Assessments, Maxwell Leadership Assessment, Campbell Leadership Descriptor, 8 Dimensions of Leadership [DiSC], Blanchard Frontline Leadership)

Commit to Growth

After you’ve done some self-examination, and you’ve come to grips with what you’ve learned about you, it's time for a plan. But no plan is worth the paper (or pixels) it’s written on without a commitment to see it through. As Yoda said, “Do or not do. There is no try.”

Practice, Stand Accountable, Be Generous

You (and only you) are responsible for the results of your leadership. You don’t get to blame others when you mess up. And you will -- you’re human. Honing skills and instilling new behaviors takes time, practice, and perseverance.

Whether you succeed or stumble, always be generous to those around you for their help and encouragement. I'm not saying toss out bonuses left and right. This is about generosity of spirit. If you give credit to others for your successes and shoulder the blame for your mistakes, you will find an endless supply of followers.

When you’re transparent about your intentions and sincere and honest in your actions and interactions, there’s nothing to be embarrassed, defensive, or ashamed about. If anything, your vulnerability can set a powerful example for your followers.

Don’t Go It Alone

The old saying “it’s lonely at the top” is all too often true because we make it true. We may isolate ourselves thinking we can’t trust others to tell us the truth or that we need to always be seen as strong, perfect, and in control at all times.

You can go that route if you wish. Or, you enroll people you trust in your journey. For example:
  • Hire an executive coach who provides an objective perspective and works with you to develop your abilities.
  • You and your leadership team (or other CEOs) could share your visions and plans with one another. Combine that with an executive coach to support all of you.
  • Solicit your followers’ help in holding you accountable for when you deviate off course, violate other people’s boundaries, or don’t live up to your own standards.
  • Hire a leadership consulting firm such as the Center for Creative Leadership, Heidrick and Struggles, Navalent, or Franklin-Covey to work with you and your leadership team.

Make the Choice

The first step to becoming an effective leader is to know yourself -- all that is good and admirable and all the stuff that makes you cringe and want to hide under the bed. Because the good news is you can change and grow. It’s a choice you make. The stronger your commitment and the more often and courageously you act in the face of discomfort, the greater a leader you will become.


http://blog.hubspot.com/agency/great-leader

 

Source: blog.hubspot.com

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Tags: how to be a leader,, leader,

Beneficiaries of Medigap: An Abstract

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 @ 10:17 AM

blog pic Recent research indicates Medigap continues to be particularly important to low and moderate-income beneficiaries, especially those living in rural areas. According to the National Association of Insurance Carriers:



  • Nationwide, 48 percent of all non-institutionalized Medicare beneficiaries without any other insurance coverage (M/A, VA, Medicaid, or employer-sponsored insurance) had Medigap policies in 2012;
  • 58 percent of Medigap policyholders are women;
  • Medigap serves an older population: 47 percent are 75-years or older compared to only 38 percent for all Medicare beneficiaries.

 




http://www.ahip.org/Workarea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4294971237

 

Source: ahip.com

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medigap, medicare enrollment

If you want to improve, you must change

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Apr 23, 2015 @ 10:37 AM

blog pic Why do so many salespeople refuse to learn new prospecting strategies and change sales tactics that don’t work? Change is the only way to grow and excel, so why not follow the path to the highest commissions, fastest closes, best meetings and most powerful relationships?

Much of this reticence comes from the fact that change feels uncomfortable. Change is hard. Change makes us vulnerable. We no longer have a clearly defined path. We’re not certain where our next steps will take us or exactly what to do when we get there.

Just as important, many sales leaders don’t know how to evaluate change, so they measure their reps on legacy activities — even when they know that change is essential to deliver significantly improved results.

Change starts at the top
In his amazing article “Do You Lead from the Top or Within?” businessman Ali Soheil offers an insightful perspective on what it takes for leaders in various industries to keep up with the pace of change in today’s quickly evolving business world. Put simply: To lead the effort for change in our organizations, we must first change how we lead.

“Only a small group of leaders truly understand and more importantly embrace good change management competencies. What most people talk about and label as change are in fact the antecedents not the change itself.”

Let me use a real-life example. A good friend of mine decided on a goal of losing some weight and getting healthy. He renovated his basement and bought some expensive exercise equipment and a fantastic sound system to stay motivated. Six months later, I asked how his training was coming along. He confessed he hadn’t done any.

This is a classic case of confusing the antecedent (obtaining the equipment) with the change itself. Change will not happen until behaviors change. Every antecedent is followed by encouraging or discouraging behaviors. In my friend’s case, the discouraging behaviors stemmed from a tired body at the end of the day, a couch, a bag of chips and his favorite TV show­ — things he had no plan to overcome.

As leaders, we make the same mistake every day. We get comfortable and declare a “win” too soon when all we’ve really done is introduce the antecedents. When you make changes which impact your customers or employees, you must take adequate time to understand the implications and plan for them. Otherwise you’ll have wasted your time and resources.


http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2015/04/04/if-you-want-to-improve-you-must-change

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: success secrets, Sales Tips, Success Tips, sales advice

Effective Ways to Grow Insurance Business (infographic)

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 @ 04:54 PM

 

 


http://media.lifehealthpro.com/lifehealthpro/article/2015/04/13/grow-your...

 

Source: lifehealthpro.com

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Tags: Building Client Relationships, insurance companies, Sales Leads

Medicare Advantage plans nab 1.25% raise for 2016

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @ 12:38 PM

blog pic The CMS said Monday that the benchmark payment rates for Medicare Advantage health plans will go up by 1.25% on average in 2016, a significant departure from the slight decrease the agency proposed in February.

When factoring in the expected growth of risk scores coded by insurers, payments will go up 3.25% on average, CMS officials said Monday.

However, in a defeat for the health insurance industry, the CMS held firm with its February proposal and will calculate 2016 Medicare Advantage risk-adjustment scores entirely under an updated model.

In February, the government said 2016 Medicare Advantage rates would decline 0.95% on average but would rise 1.05% when accounting for risk coding. Early reads of the CMS' 2016 final rate notice for Medicare Advantage plans (PDF) indicate health insurers at least got the higher rates they wanted after they hit the nation's capital with a six-week lobbying campaign—a campaign that drew bipartisan support in Congress.

“I think it looks like a win for the plans,” said Ipsita Smolinski, managing director of consulting firm Capitol Street and a former healthcare analyst on Wall Street. “It's not like CMS made any major policy changes. But nevertheless, it's good news for the Medicare Advantage plans and for seniors, who love the plans.”

Indeed, the rate reversal was not a change in policy, but “rather (a change) in the actuaries' estimated growth” of per capita Medicare fee-for-service spending, said Sean Cavanaugh, director of the CMS' Center for Medicare. Because more people are selecting Medicare Advantage plans instead of traditional Medicare, spending in the program is higher.

More than 17.3 million people are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, according to March data from the CMS. That represents about one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage membership has grown by more than 8% every year since 2010.

That large growth and continued popularity spurred the CMS to move ahead with a newer, more accurate version of its risk-adjustment model, Cavanaugh said.

Medicare Advantage plans use a risk-coding model to adjust for different demographics and conditions—known as hierarchical condition categories in industry parlance. Each beneficiary's health status incorporates those different categories to predict their future healthcare costs, and that risk score is then multiplied by the baseline rate to determine how much a plan will receive for a specific beneficiary.

Insurers are paid more to cover patients who are sicker and have more complications. For example, Medicare will pay a higher rate for an older beneficiary with colon cancer than a younger, relatively healthy senior.

But risk adjustment in the program has come under fire, as many healthcare companies have allegedly inflated the risk scores of their patients to garner higher Medicare payments.

The CMS has calculated the risk scores the past few years by blending old and new models. The hope is that transitioning to the new risk-adjustment model will weed out procedures and codes that are susceptible to fraud and abuse. And because Medicare Advantage operates in a capitated payment environment, insurers will still have an incentive to try and diagnose diseases and conditions early, Cavanaugh said.

“I am not surprised that the agency stuck to its guns on the new risk model,” Smolinski said. “Payment accuracy is of utmost importance to CMS, and Congress for that matter. Whether it's hospitals or plans or post-acute providers, the Medicare program has an obligation to make sure that federal dollars are not being spent wastefully or in a fraudulent manner.”

Health insurers, though, have slammed the new hierarchical condition categories, arguing they will hurt plans that treat the sickest seniors. A report sponsored by America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's lobbying group, said the new model will cut payments for members with chronic kidney disease by 23%.

The CMS also provided further guidance on provider directories and networks, saying health plans are expected to update their online provider directories in real time.

The 2016 payment rates mark the final year of reductions to benchmark rates mandated by the Affordable Care Act. The ACA set out to lower payments to the Medicare Advantage program, which previously exceeded traditional Medicare payments by 14%. Now, Medicare Advantage plans are paid about 2% more, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (PDF).

UnitedHealth Group and Humana are the largest Medicare Advantage insurers. Each company covers more than 3 million members. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Aetna cover more than 1.1 million Medicare Advantage enrollees each.


http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20150406/NEWS/150409925

 

Source: modernhealthcare.com

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Tags: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Advantage blog

Medicare Advantage Tops 17 Million Members

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Thu, Apr 02, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

blog pic More than 17.3 million people were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans as of March 2015. Year over year, total Medicare Advantage enrollment increased by more than 1.3 million as managed Medicare continues to be an attractive growth market for health insurance companies. The latest CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) reports indicate 54.3 million are eligible for Medicare in the United States and U.S. territories. Medicare Advantage (MA), with an unpenetrated market of 37 million and growing, is big business for many health plans. UnitedHealth and Humana lead the segment and each leader enrolls more than 3 million MA members. Kaiser Permanente and Aetna also command significant market share with more than 1.2 million MA enrolled.

This brief provides insights about competitive positioning in the Medicare Advantage market. We also assess market share for individually purchased versus employer-sponsored benefits and look at changes in Medicare Advantage plan type preferences.



Competitive Dynamics

Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment stands at 17.3 million, which represents an 8% increase year-over-year. Ten companies, each with more than 250,000 members, have a sizeable stake in this segment and collectively they provide coverage for 67% of the market. Per the reference table below, all leading MA companies realized growth from March 2014 to March 2015 except for Anthem and Highmark. The aggregate net gain for the leading companies, year-over-year, was 8.2% and segment growth for all other MA companies was on par.

UnitedHealth retains its position as the top Medicare Advantage organization in the country; with 3.4 million enrolled, UnitedHealth owns 20% of the market. Humana ranks a strong second with 18% share and 3.1 million lives. Kaiser Permanente is positioned as third on the leader board, enrolling 7.5% of the total market or 1.3 million. Aetna trails closely behind Kaiser Permanente owning 7.2% of the market and more than 1.2 million lives.



Each year, Medicare Advantage plans rely on February and March enrollment reports to not only evaluate their standing but also assess which competitors gained and lost members during the last AEP (Annual Election Period). The AEP occurs between October 15 and December 7 each year and is also referred to as the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.

This year, Humana experienced the largest gain in terms of membership, adding 369,747 members for a net gain of 13.2%. UnitedHealth's MA enrollment grew by 271,245 for a net gain of 8.5%. Aetna saw a net gain of 13.9%, adding 152,780 members to its MA book in the last year. Per the reference table below, membership gains were fairly substantial for other growth leaders in this segment, ranging from 83,365 for Kaiser Permanente to 32,729 for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

The majority of people with Medicare Advantage purchased a plan directly from the company and this is referred to as individual or direct purchase enrollment. As of March 2015, about 82% (approximately 14 million) of MA membership was individual. This speaks to why plans invest considerable time to devise market and selling strategies in preparation for the AEP every year.

Only 18% of total MA membership (slightly more than 3 million) originated through an employer group health plan or retirement health benefit. Nonetheless, group membership grew by 6% year-over-year primarily driven by UnitedHealth plan gains. Some companies strategically target group MA business because employers are interested in the cost savings MA plans can offer. Note that 57% of Aetna's MA membership is through group plans. Though many employers are shifting away from providing retirement benefits, larger volumes of people retiring may continue to sustain group Medicare Advantage opportunities over the next few years.

It is important to note that individual and group enrollment counts are slightly lower than total segment enrollment due to different reporting requirements.

 


http://www.markfarrah.com/healthcare-business-strategy/Medicare-Advantage-Tops-17...

 

Source: markfarrah.com

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Tags: medicare advantage updates, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Advantage News, medicare advantage enrollment,, ma enrollment,

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,

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