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  • Wed, December 20, 2017 11:24 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    Sales Goal Formula - How many prospects do I need to reach my sales goals?

    Here is a little-known insurance industry insider nugget: P and C Insurance carriers only want 15 – 20% market share in any one geographic area.

    That means that the carrier’s business model is built around letting 80% of all prospects walk out the door without buying their product.

    For a captive agent, this is a brutal realization when they look at their quote-to-close ratios.

    For independent agents, the blow is softened because they have multiple carriers to shop a prospect, but if they track their quote-to-close ratio by the carrier, they will see the same close rates.

    I understand and agree with the logic behind the carrier’s self-imposed market share numbers. All we have to do is look at the floods in Houston and the wildfires in California to understand their actions.

    What does that mean for insurance agencies in 2018? They need to track their marketing and prospecting quote-to-close results, increase their referral partnerships, and solidify their retention processes.

    Let me explain.

    Tracking your quote to close ratio by marketing campaign will tell you how many prospects you must have to reach your goals.

    There is a very simple formula that you can use with any marketing campaign to correctly determine the number of prospects you need to reach your sales goals for a campaign.

    You will need three pieces of information from any prospecting campaign:

    1.       The total number of prospects you started with,

    2.       Your sales goals, and,

    3.       The total number of sales from a currently operating campaign or a completed campaign.

    Active Inspire a Nation Members: Click here to go to a spreadsheet in the video and document library that you can use to input your numbers and see not only your sales goals numbers but quote/contact and ROI per campaign

    (Of course, you could also use the historical information from all of your completed campaigns to help you determine the most effective lead sources and prospecting list to use in a future prospecting campaign. If you have agency-wide quote-to-close numbers, use that data in the formula below.)

    The simple formula is: Prospects X (Sales Goals/Actual Sales)

    This formula applies regardless of the type of prospecting campaign you are currently using since it is based on the results of a currently operating prospecting campaign or a completed campaign.

    You must always consider that several variables will impact your prospecting results, these include:

    ·         Lead sources,

    ·         Technology you use to prospect,

    ·         The time of day you prospect,

    ·         The method of prospecting – phone, email, mailing, conference calls, etc.

    ·         The sales ability of the person or team that is prospecting.

    Don’t over think the formula. Let the numbers tell you the real story, don’t try to skew the numbers to match what you want to happen, let them honestly show you what is happening.

    Let’s apply the formula to 4 different prospecting scenarios:
    1. You purchased a telemarketing list of 1000 names
    2. You bought 100 real-time internet leads for one of your producers
    3. You mailed out 500 postcards (The postcards all had the Inspire a Nation recommended wording and the five key items that dramatically increases response rates)
    4.  You bought 1000 aged internet leads

     
    Scenario 1 - You provided your telemarketer with 1000 names from a purchased list: Your telemarketer called between 10 AM – 3 PM (The absolute worst times for telemarketing!), the campaign produced five new sales; you wanted the telemarketing campaign to produce 20 sales. Based on the formula you will need to provide your telemarketer with 4000 names to reach your sales goals. 1000 X (20/5)

    Mentoring suggestion: Change your prospecting times, and you will get better results

     
    Scenario 2 - You bought 100 real-time internet leads for a sales rep: You used a lead management tool to reply immediately to the internet leads, and you need to follow the Inspire a Nation recommended internet lead follow-up schedule. You closed ten new sales; you wanted twenty new sales. Based on the formula you will need to provide the sales rep with 200 leads to reach your sales goals. 100 X (20/10)

    Mentoring suggestion: Though this percentage is pretty good, make sure you are purchasing the highest quality (Prospects provided real information and wanted a quote) real-time leads available.
     
    Scenario 3 - You mailed out 500 postcards: You received 100 call-ins, had 20 people download information from your website, and had 12 people show up for a conference call; all this activity produced seven sales. You wanted ten new sales. Based on the formula you will need to mail 714 postcards on your next mailing campaign. 500 X (10/7)


    Mentoring suggestion: Make sure you are mailing to areas that match the demographics of your target prospects.
     
    Scenario 4 – You bought 1000 aged internet leads: Your team emailed, called, and mailed postcards to the aged internet leads over a 60 day period and you followed the Inspire a Nation recommended follow-up schedule for aged leads.

    All the activity associated with the prospecting produced 14 sales. You wanted 25 sales. Based on the formula you will need to purchase 1785 leads to meet your sales goals. 1000 X (25/14)


    Mentoring suggestion: Make sure your x-date follow-up and re-quote process are just as thorough, so you get the maximum return on investment.

    Of course, if you are using Inspire a Nation recommended prospecting templates, following the Inspire a Nation recommended follow-up schedules, utilizing Inspire a Nation recommended technology and utilizing all of the prospecting options we teach you to offer a prospect, your results will be far superior to the average agent.

    Want more awesome mentoring information? Here are some options:

    1.  Join the Inspire a Nation Mentoring Program. The program has an amazing step by step video and document library as well as biweekly, live, mentoring web meetings. http://inspireanation.org/membershipinformation

    2.  Purchase the “How to Build a $10 Million Insurance Agency in 5 Years” e-book: http://inspireanation.org/10millioninsuranceagency

    3.  Check out our free mentoring and coaching resources http://www.inspireanation.org/Free-Tools



  • Thu, December 07, 2017 8:01 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)
    By Billy R. Williams, Ph.D.
    President - Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring

    There is a small tool that is built into every windows computer, that I use all day every day.

    Insurance agents and other small business leaders (and their staff) should use this simple tool to help them:

    • keep notes from training sessions,
    • implement processes,
    • remember key talk paths they are supposed to say to customers and prospects, and,
    • keep down the clutter, mess, and disorganization that comes with too much paper on your desk.

     
    What is this free and often forgotten tool? Computer Stick Notes.


    (I know there are super tools like EverNote and OneNote that are available, but today we are just talking about windows sticky notes.)


    The use of computer sticky notes is so efficient that it is now one of the first computer-based items we discuss when onboarding a new agent or a new staff member.

    Sticky Notes allow you to create post-it type notes on your computer that are available to you while any application or program is running on your computer.

    This simple feature allows you to:

    • ·         quickly see your notes when moving from screen to screen or tab to tab;
    • ·         copy and paste text from your sticky notes into other programs such as Word, Excel, or Powerpoint;
    • ·         retrieve important and timely information without altering your workflow or location;
    • ·         eliminate paper notes that can be easily misplaced or overlooked in the pile of paperwork on your desk

    Depending on if you are using Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, (Edge creates clickable hyperlinks, Google doesn’t) here are a few suggestions and nuggets of wisdom when it comes to using sticky notes:

    • ·         Keep important phone numbers such as claims advocates, underwriters, carrier reps, etc. on a single sticky note
    • ·         Save important web addresses and hyperlinks
    • ·         Save important numbers and information you will need to access when moving between the different carrier sites
    • ·         Outline talk paths for processes and tasks
    • ·         Make a quick reminder note and transfer it to your calendar or tasks list
    • ·         Make a daily to-do checklist
    • ·         Make notes about Inspire a Nation training and mentoring tips while watching a mentoring video, attending a webinar or conference call, and during your one-on-one mentoring sessions.
    Here is a short video about Stick Notes



  • Mon, November 20, 2017 10:05 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    I am going to keep it real with you based on 15 years of investing in agencies and helping agents to grow their business.

    1.    I have never seen a struggling captive agent, become a successful independent agent. The issues that keep an agent from being successful as a captive (poor time management, lack of staff accountability and control, weak marketing and prospecting practices, weak use of available technology, etc.) don’t suddenly go away when an agent goes independent, in fact because of the amount of carriers you have to keep happy, they usually get worse.

    2.    The basic operations of running an insurance agency are the same regardless of being captive or independent. You have to:

    • market and prospect for customers on a consistent basis,
    • quote, sell, and bind based on what’s best for the customer, not just price
    • effectively utilize technology to communicate, track information and records, and manage your data,
    • have set processes that the entire team is responsible for consistently performing,
    • have a pay structure that rewards consistency and success and has built-in repercussions for not following the agency’s processes and standards,
    • hire staff that does what you need them to do, the way they are supposed to do it, and not just do what they want to do.
    • have a leadership style that creates a culture of positivity, success, and accomplishment in the agency and that holds staff accountable for consistent processes and actions (This is the umpteenth time I have used some form of the word consistent. That should tell you something!)
    • be self-disciplined enough to outsource tasks and roles that are important for the success of the agency, but that you are not willing to do or hold someone else accountable for doing

    3.    Success is not based on the number of carriers you can offer a prospect or customer, or the cheapest price you can get them for insurance. Trust me, the rates are not all that different from captive to independent carriers

    4.    The same issues that cause an agent to struggle or fail as a captive are only magnified as an independent

    5.    In summary: You have to commit to becoming a really good agency leader in order to succeed as an independent agency owner. If you just want to be able to sell more insurance policies, get a job as a producer in an independent or captive agency, and avoid the agency owner headaches.

    6.    If you want to commit to becoming a good agency leader with the focus of building a great insurance agency with effective, consistent processes that would make it easy for you to acquire or merge an outside book of business into your operations, our mentoring program will work for you.

    7.    If you are not mentally or emotionally ready to take on the challenges I have explained, joining Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring, will only waste your time and money.

    Dr. Billy R. Williams

    President – Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring & Williams Family Investment Group

    www.inspireanation.org

    “Wealthy people make complicated things seem simple; Most poor people make simple things unnecessarily complicated”

    Billy R. Williams, Ph.D.


  • Mon, November 13, 2017 12:30 PM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    A Wealth Building Recipe for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

    By Billy R. Williams, Ph.D.

    President, Williams Family Investment Group and Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring - www.inspireanation.org

    The recipe I am about to explain is simple enough that most people can at least put some of it in place and start increasing their small business owner wealth.

    Ingredients

    • 1-   cup of Passion

    1-cup of a Product that Benefits a lot of People

    1-cup of Profitability

    1-cup of Good Accounting Practices

    2-cups of Marketing and Prospecting

    3-cups of Savings and Investment Plan

    Industry thought leaders rarely talk about the motivations behind being in business, but today I want to discuss the exact reason most entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs in the first place, to build wealth.

    Wealth means owning an asset that consistently grows in value, and that you can one day sell at that increased value, or leverage the value to acquire more assets and wealth.

    I am going to give you one of the recipes you can use to build wealth.

    There are many ways to prepare a meal and a multitude of ingredients that you can use, and just like preparing a meal, there are various techniques you can use to build wealth.

     

    Small Business Owner Wealth Recipe


    1.   The first ingredient is Passion.

    Build your business around something you are passionate about and you will never feel bored or disinterested in your business. Even if you can’t modify your product, you can target a niche or group that is in-line with your passion. For example, an insurance agent that is passionate about fishing could target boat owners or people with homes on the lake.

     

    2. The second ingredient is a product or service that benefits a lot of people, or, a specific niche that can purchase enough to make your business profitable.

    Your product or service has to add value to people’s lives or you are just selling snake oil. If your product doesn’t lend itself to a large audience, you must have a niche or demographic that is willing and capable of spending the amount of money necessary for you to operate a profitable business. Including an influential network of professionals that can refer your target prospect can make this part of the recipe much easier to prepare.


    3. The next ingredient in the recipe if profitability

    If you spend more money on the cost of delivering goods and services and labor than you make when you sell your product or service, it will be impossible for you to build wealth. This ingredient should have a supporting ingredient called “Accounting Practices”. Good accounting practices will allow you to track the profitability of your business and make good financial decisions that will keep your wealth building goals cooking along. Good accounting practices will track labor cost, cost of goods and services, operating cost, taxes, and a few other things. At Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring (@Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring) www.inspireanation.org, we recommend that you hire an accountant or an accounting firm as soon as financially possible. A good accountant is a part of your wealth building recipe.


    4. Next, take your passion, products, services you sell, profitability and accounting practices, and mix them with consistent, repeatable, reproducible processes, conversations, operations, and technology.

    Consistency is the key to reproducing any great dish. If you constantly throw new flavors and ingredients into the mix, no one knows what to expect when they bite into the meal. Sometimes it will be good and sometimes it will taste like crap. This inconsistency will cause people to avoid the meal.

    Lack of consistent processes, conversations, technology, and accountability tools will not only cause people to not take a chance on you, they will tell other people to not take a chance on you either by giving you negative online and offline reviews. If you are afraid to ask your customers to write an online review because you are afraid of what they might say . . . your processes and accountability suck, and building wealth will be virtually impossible.


    5. Next, increase the heat by hiring employees with the skill sets you need to reproduce your passion, processes, and actions.

    You will rarely if ever find employees that share your passion, but if you properly train them and hold them accountable for mimicking the processes and operations that happen within your business, the customer will have an above average experience when dealing with your employees. Consistent training and accountability will establish a business culture that will enhance your wealth-building goals.


    6. While all of the ingredients mentioned above are simmering, you will need to grab another pot for the next ingredients: Marketing and Prospecting.

    Without marketing and prospecting, like bread that never rises, your wealth building recipe will fall flat. At Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring (@Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring) www.inspireanation.org, we recommend that you start your marketing and prospecting with local search result marketing (SRM) and search engine optimization (SEO) of your website, landing pages, blogs, social networking profiles, etc. If you don’t know what you are doing, pay a 3rd party that does know what they are doing to handle this part of the meal. It is the same principle as having different types of chefs in a professional kitchen.

    The marketing messages that explain your products and services should be simple and direct to the point. If you can’t quickly and effectively explain to a prospect how not having your product or service can be a detriment in certain situations, and exactly how having your product or service will add value in other situations, why would you expect someone to want to buy it?

    The special ingredients that go into the marketing and prospecting pot are referral partners and testimonials. These low cost, high flavor ingredients will spice up your wealth building recipe beyond your wildest expectations, and you can never add too much of them to the recipe.

    Your marketing and prospecting are much more effective when you are collecting contact data from interested prospects. Sub ingredients like web forms, conference calls, product hotlines, webinars, and more, are low cost and easy to add to the overall recipe. (Check out an Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring (@Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring) www.inspireanation.org, membership to learn many low costs, high ROI, easy to implement ways of marketing your insurance agency or small business)


    7. The final part of the recipe will be poured liberally over the entire dish. It is a good savings and investment plan.

    Let’s first look at the savings plan part of the dish. Your savings plan should follow a 20/10/70 savings order. 20% of your business net income (after taxes) should go into a savings account. The money in this account should not be easily accessible. 

    At Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring (@Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring) www.inspireanation.org, we recommend that you do not have a debit card associated with your business savings account. A debit card makes it too easy and convenient to pull money out of the account.


    The 20%

    The 20% can go into a business or personal savings account. (Yes, it will count as income if you put it in a personal account) Your initial goal is to be able to cover one year of living expenses. Again, do not make it easy to access this money. The funds in this account will be there in case of emergency, or, to take advantage of an opportunity such as acquiring a competitor, or purchasing assets that increase business value and wealth.


    The 10%

    The 10% will go to charitable endeavors such as religious focused organizations or local not-for-profit groups. I know you are saying why wouldn’t I just add that money to my savings or my operating expenses? There are two primary reasons: first, it allows you to keep a mental and emotional connection to helping others. Remember earlier I said your product or service should benefit a lot of people? It is important that you donate the money to an organization where you can immediately see your contributions working, such as the Salvation Army, Red Cross, local religious organization, or youth sports team. If you don’t see the immediate benefit of your donation, you will quickly stop donating.


    Scholarships

    Another awesome way to help the community while also branding your business is to sponsor a scholarship. By setting aside a measly 10% each pay period for charity, you can make a big difference in not only an individual’s life but your community as a whole. Not to mention the accolades and branding benefit within the community. Offering a quarterly scholarship to a deserving student or family will change lives.


    Discipline

    The second reason that you give to charity is that it helps to teach you the discipline of living below your income. You can’t build wealth if you are spending 100% or more of every dollar you make.

    I am a Christian so my 10% goes to tithes. I can promise you I see a huge ROI, and because of the church I attend, I see my money at work within the community. Whatever organization or group you consistently donate to, you will see benefits to your business by way of social currency, increased referrals, and increased business and individual branding.


    The Remaining 70%

    The main question that I get about this plan is “How do I run my business and pay my personal bills with 70%?” The answer is simple: run your business efficiently, keep unnecessary cost to a minimum, don’t have employees that don’t cover the cost of their employment. If they are following your processes and you are holding them accountable, they should be an asset, not a liability. 

    If your employees are a liability, you have given them bad processes to follow, or you are a poor leader and not holding them accountable for the processes that will help you build wealth. I know that sounds harsh, but that is the reality. If you are a bad or weak business leader, building wealth in your business will be nearly impossible.

    Personally, you must live within your means. The amount of money you bring into the house is a product of how you are running your business. If you want more money to spend, run a better business operation. Until you start to generate more business income you will have to keep your personal bills and expenses to a minimum. 

    You will have to use Netflix instead of packing the family up and going out for a $150.00 movie night. You will have to prepare your meals at home instead of spending $20 or $30 bucks a day at McDonalds and Starbucks, and you will have to keep revolving debt like credit and store cards to a minimum.

    When I first started my business, I lived in a two bedroom townhouse for 3 years, even though on paper I could have afforded to buy a house. We waited and saved until we could comfortably get the house we wanted.

    That is not to say I followed this plan to a T. In fact, I am writing this piece because I was reflecting with one of my mentees about the mistakes I have made about business and finances. The price we pay to gain wisdom and experience should be a cost you don’t have to pay. Always remove your ego and arrogance and listen to people that have walked the road you are heading down.

    In Conclusion

    There is a lot more that I could write but I will end it here. Even if you take one thing away from this article and start applying it to your business and life, you will see a benefit.

    Are you a small business that needs help and mentoring guidance? Check out Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring at www.inspireanation.org, or seek guidance one of your industry's thought leaders.


  • Sat, July 29, 2017 2:10 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    Being an insurance agent is an honorable and caring profession that can also be financially rewarding.

    Growing and operating a successful insurance agency requires that you have an assembly line of support, resources, and agency operations.

    Carrier(s) – Product(s) – Niche – Triggers – Prospect List(s) or Groups – Types of Marketing – Marketing Automation – Follow-Up Methods – Lead Tracking - New Customer Process – Service Processes – Retention Processes.

     

    Click here to listen to the free audio podcast of this blog post: http://bit.ly/agencyassemblyline 


    The assembly line starts with having access to carriers that provide the right products, at a reasonable price, for the niche audiences you cater to.

    Next on the assembly line is your understanding and recognition of the specific triggers that makes insurance important to a consumer.

    Examples of triggers include: buying an item that has a mandatory requirement for insurance such as a home or car, a change in income such as getting a promotion or losing a job, or something that makes a consumer have to look at their current insurance agent relationship such as filing a claim, or making a change to their policy.


    Need a step by step guide to growing a $10 Million Insurance Agency? Order it here: http://bit.ly/2uZMO5n


    The constant trigger that an insurance agency should use to their advantage is the expiration date of a current insurance policy. This is when consumers notice the rate increases that dominate today’s insurance market.

    Once you know your triggers, your next stop on the assembly line is to acquire a prospecting list and market to groups of consumers that match your niche and triggers.

    There are many ways to locate lists, you can buy them from list vendors, you can partner with other professionals that work with your niche prospect, you can even buy search engine result marketing that targets consumers searching online for your products and services.

    Regardless of the types of marketing you decide to use, marketing automation such as drip emails, permission based text messaging, automated dial technology, product hotlines, and other marketing automation, will make your marketing consistent and effective,


    Not sure what automation is best for your agency? Download or free Insurance Agency Automation Checklist: http://bit.ly/automationdownload


    Next on the assembly line is prospect follow-up. While you would think that following up with a prospect that has requested a quote wouldn’t be a concern, it is a major problem in most agencies. In fact, often, the better the marketing efforts of the agency, the worse the follow up practices.

    Most agencies depend on the self-discipline of sales and service staff to follow-up with prospects, when in reality they should rely on accountability and lead management software to help support the sales and service team.

    Accountability requires the use of established agency processes that can be trained, tracked, and measured.

    The insurance industry is flooded with lead management software, so finding a tool that you can afford and easily use is as simple as performing a Google search.


    Do you need set processes and accountability standards for your agency, but you are not good at training or holding your staff accountable? Check out the insurance agent mentoring services of Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring: www.inspireanation.org


    The final 3 stations of the assembly line are what separate great agents and agencies from average or below average agents and agencies.

    The New Customer Process: How you onboard a new customer establishes the culture and expectations of the relationship. If you do it right you will get additional sales, referrals, testimonials, and the customer will be happy and content.

    Do it wrong, and your customer will look at you, your products, and your services as another bill that they are forced to pay. At the first sign of a rate increase or issue with service, they are out shopping for cheaper insurance and/or better service.

    Unlike other processes that can have multiple variations, the New Customer Process should be one standard process without variation.

    Service Processes: Another important piece in establishing the culture of your agency. Great service should be the agency standard, not an unexpected treat reserved for special customers.

    In order to consistently provide great service to customers, the agency has to have a culture built around training, accountability, and automation. Something as simple as using an e-signature tool can make life easier for the customer and agency staff.


    As asked earlier; Do you need set processes and accountability standards for your agency, but you are not good at training or holding your staff accountable? Check out the insurance agent mentoring services of Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring: www.inspireanation.org


    Retention efforts and processes are our final stop on the insurance agency assembly line.

    Every conversation, process, tool, and piece of automation and technology should help support the retention of current customers. You can’t grow to a large insurance agency if your existing customers are leaving just as fast as you are bringing on new customers.

    While contrary to what most consumers believe, the insurance agent does not control the rate that an insurance company decided to charge a customer. However, the culture of the agency and the agency operations can and should establish the value of the knowledge, wisdom, and expertise of the agency and all staff associated with the agency.

    Everything from how an endorsement is processed, to how a billing question is answered, to how a claim is handled should show an expertise that is far beyond your peers. How do you get this proficient? Training, accountability, and the proper use of agency automation and technology.

    Take this blog post and share it with your staff and peers. If you are a corporate sales leader, forward it to the agents you support.

    Mastering the assembly line will allow you to grow your agency to heights you probably never dreamed.


    Do you want additional insight and wisdom into growing your insurance agency? Choose one of the options below:



  • Mon, June 05, 2017 10:59 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    Why 92% of auto insurance sales jobs will go away in the next 5 years, and the specific website and agency mobile tools and technology you need in place to protect your agency.
    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/563566059410881537 

    Mobile and Tech Boot Camp for Insurance Agents - Session 2: Monday, June 5, 2017:
    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/563566059410881537 

    Why 92% of auto insurance sales jobs will go away in the next 5 years, and the specific website and agency mobile tools and technology you need in place to protect your agency.


    According to the website “Will Robots Take My Job” (https://willrobotstakemyjob.com/)
    Insurance agents face a 92% chance and insurance underwriters face a 99% chance that their jobs will be replaced by automation.

    While I absolutely agree that the insurance underwriting position is doomed, I believe that the insurance agent role will transform not completely go away.

    By transform I mean that the days of getting paid a handsome commission to sell a product like auto insurance is coming to an end. Insurance carriers understand that an auto policy can be quoted, risk assessed with individualized data from multiple automated data storehouses like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Credit Bureaus, and similar data gathering systems, underwritten, and delivered through online automation without human interaction.

    Auto insurance agents will have to start offering more products that aren’t turn-key, but require an advanced level of customer interaction and agent knowledge such as commercial insurance and financial service products.

    While the property and casualty insurance agent role will not go away, the industry will need a lot less property and casualty agents and agencies to sell and service P and C products and the focus will shift to “after-the-sale” interactions, which unfortunately should be, but is not a priority for most insurance agencies.

    That is why the Inspire a Nation New Customer Process is built into the pay structure of agency staff members.

    Successful insurance agents in the future will have to be tech savvy, diversified in their product offerings, have websites and mobile apps that allow customers to easily communicate with the agency utilizing technology, and allow customers to perform many do-it-yourself tasks through the website and mobile apps.

    This also means that agency staffing needs will change. In the future insurance agency staff will need to be more tech savvy as they will have to communicate with customers by: mobile apps, agency level text messaging, live chat, live 2-way video meetings, and who knows what else technology will evolve to in the future?

    Commercial insurance, group benefit agents, and agents that sell detailed and multi-layered insurance products will always be relevant, but even their business model will have to transform to match the technology trends that are sweeping across the insurance industry.

    Captive agents/agencies that focus on auto insurance will take the brunt of the job losses.

    Captive agents are specifically at risk because they own and control very little of the customer’s data, and it’s the data that is controlled by captive carriers that will allow them to utilize artificial intelligence and technology to offer not only a complete insurance experience, but an advanced technological experience as well.

    Many captive insurance carriers are limiting an agents ability to download customer information in bulk such as a spreadsheet of customer contact data or key information such as renewal dates and birthdates.

    This could be out of fear that the captive agent will communicate with customers outside of the carriers proprietary tools, or it could be in an effort to control the data at the corporate level and not give an agent the opportunity to take the data with them as the insurance agent position is weened from the company.

    Websites controlled by captive carriers are not always directing prospect information to the intended agent but to agents that are closer to the prospect, produce more sales of the product requested, or that have a better track record of following up on web based leads.


     
    If anything mentioned above could impact your insurance agency you need to register and attend the:
     
    Mobile and Tech Boot Camp for Insurance Agents - Session 2: Monday, June 5, 2017:
    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/563566059410881537 



  • Thu, April 13, 2017 11:51 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    The main reasons insurance agents don’t generate free insurance leads as often and as effectively as they could is because:

    They don’t match their marketing campaigns to their natural marketing personality(ies)

    They don’t have a quick and easy to implement list of free marketing campaigns and tasks;

    They don’t schedule time in their weekly schedule for marketing tasks that will consistently generate leads;

    They won’t track and hold agency staff accountable for tasks and conversations that will naturally generate leads;

    They won’t outsource marketing tasks they refuse to schedule or do.


    Join us for a 4 part webinar series that starts Friday, 4/21/2017 at 10 AM Central, where we show you more than 30+ ways to generate free leads for your insurance agency.

    Title

    30+ Ways to Generate Free Leads for Insurance Agents

    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1032281271450905089


    Sponsored by: 

    Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring – www.inspireanation.org  


    Datalot Warm Transfer Calls – Click here for more details or call 855-466-6890


    VistaPrint Promotional Items 

    Cost? Free to registrants 


    Webinar Workshop Agenda 

    There are four web sessions that make up the "30+ Ways to Generate Free Leads for Insurance Agents web series 


    Web Sesssion One: 

    30+ Ways to Generate Free Leads (Part 1) (90 Minute Web Session)

    https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1032281271450905089

     

    Snapshot Summary: 

    Between part 1 and part 2 of the webinar, we will show you more than 30+ ways to effectively and consistently drive free leads to your insurance agency using: SEO techniques, written content, email, survey calls, social networking, local news reporters, and much more. You will be blown away by the amount of techniques that will drive free leads to your business. 


    Web Session Two: 

    30+ Ways to Generate Free Leads (Part 2) (90 Minute Web Session) 

    Snapshot Summary: See part one summary 


    Web Session Three: 

    Marketing Technology – Outsourcing, Text Messaging, Voice Hotlines, Mobile Apps, and More. 

    Snapshot Summary: 

    Outsourcing is a major part of growing a successful insurance agency in today's competitive environment. We will look at various tasks and vendors that you should consider for outsourcing. 


    Web Session Four: 

    Questions and Answer Session 

    Snapshot Summary: 

    We will answer your specific questions and eliminate the concerns that could stop you from implementing the processes and tasks discussed throughout the series. 

    These sessions will change the way you market your insurance agency for the remainder of your career. Don't miss them! 


  • Thu, April 13, 2017 11:30 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    Click on the link below to hear an actual recording of a live interview for an insurance licensed sales producer.

    Click Here


    Insurance Specific Applicant Interview Questions

    Download the Licensed Sales Producer Interview Questions and the Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring provided Insurance Agency Job Application Template for your agency.

    Click here to download the actual questions used in the interview

    Use the Licensed Sales Producer Interview Questions to ask the right questions at the right time. Included is a link to a live audio interview with an applicant.

    Always have the applicant complete a position specific job application. 

    Don’t rely on a resume. A good job application will:

    • Give you a standard format to review which makes it easier and faster to get through more applicants

    • Allow you to effectively perform a side-by-side comparison of applicants

    • Allow you to quickly identify expertise and skills that match the position


  • Wed, March 01, 2017 11:14 AM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)


    Always start the implementation of a new process with email and technology.

    As much as you’d like to believe that you and your staff will immediately change your conversations and actions because you just introduced a new process or task to the agency, it’s not going to happen that way!

    It will take consistent training, role play, and accountability before a new process becomes a habit in the agency.

    This is why we strongly suggest and encourage you to start with email templates that support the process as your initial process implementation step.


    Email

    Email is easy to set up, easy to automate, and simple for the staff to personalize and send out.

    Email will say the statements and phrases that you eventually want your staff to say.

    Often, the customer will bring up the content of the email when talking to a staff or team member and this alone can force the team member to have to learn the proper responses when confronted with a question about the content.

    You can easily add additional tools such as hyperlinks, web forms, and video that can add more value to your emails.


    Technology

    Technology such as a good contact management and marketing system (See the Data and Marketing Super Center) or an agency management system will allow you to automate many of the steps and tasks within a process that staff cannot or will not do effectively.

    Please don’t over think this or make it more complicated than it needs to be, simply modify the email templates provided in the Video and Document Library by Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring that support the processes you want to implement in the business and let the sending of email be the first tasks you hold you and your team accountable for accomplishing.

    Your Technology should allow you to automate many of the tasks and tasks reminders associated with the process. This will help with both the implementation of the process and the accountability of staff actions.

    If your current technology doesn’t allow you to automate tasks you have the wrong technology. You don’t have to run out and immediately start technology shopping. Try using your calendar tool such as Outlook or Gmail to set reminders and assign/reassign tasks.


    Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring has helped 1000s of insurance agents and small businesses to implement effective tasks and processes in their business, so trust us when we say “Start with Email!”


    Summary:

    • 1.       Choose the tasks or processes you want to implement
    • 2.       Develop the talk paths that you want your staff/team to say to customers and/or prospects
    • 3.       Create email templates that emphasize the talk paths
    • 4.       Send the email template at the appropriate times. This can be before you actually talk to a customer or prospect or as a follow-up or confirmation email after talking to a customer or prospect.
    • 5.       Check the send log of the email template as part of your accountability spot checks.

    For additional insight into running a successful insurance agency or small business, check out our business mentoring programs at www.inspireanation.org

    Want to attend one of our upcoming live, in-person workshops? (Houston, TX is next on 3/24/2017)

    Check out our live workshop schedule at: http://www.inspireanation.org/Live-Workshops


  • Wed, January 25, 2017 2:29 PM | Billy R. Williams, PhD. (Administrator)

    Is binge working destroying your professional life or the business you own? Read on to find out.

    You’ve no doubt heard of binge drinking and binge eating, but you probably haven’t heard of binge working.

    Just like the previously mentioned binges, binge working is a pattern of performing an excessive amount of work in a short period of time, or, expecting an excessive amount of work in a short period of time from others.

    Being a binge worker is not the same as being a workaholic. Workaholics work consistently at their job; the pace and amount of work they perform rarely changes.

    Binge workers on the other hand have massive swings in their work production and emotions.

    Binge workers usually only work at their binge pace for a short time, the rest of the time they tend to be unproductive and inefficient with their time and activities.
     
    There are many problems and issues related to being a binge worker, especially a binge leader! Here are just a few:

    • Just like a binge drinker, or a binge eater, binge workers tend to be emotionally and verbally abusive when they are on their binge. They often say things like “things are going to change around here.” “You guys have been taking advantage of me and I am sick of it.” Or, “I’m going to have to fire you if you don’t get your act together.”
    • Dr. Billy R. Williams (#billyrwilliamsphd) President of Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring had this to say “When I work with a small business as a mentor, I immediately look for the symptoms of binge leadership, once I see it, I know my number one job is to calm down the team members and to try to mitigate the emotional damage that the binge leader has caused.”

     

    • Binge leaders rarely train their staff or team members because of the leader’s poor time management and complete lack of focus. However, when they’re on a binge, they expect the team to be operating at peak efficiency and binge right along with them, often requiring the employees or team members to stay late or come in early.

                 

    • “I created the Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring Video and Document Library to give employees and team members of insurance agencies and small businesses a resource that they could turn to for easy, but very comprehensive, step-by-step training and mentoring: www.inspireanation.org)”

     

    • Binge leadership usually results in high staff turnover since success measurements change from moment to moment depending on the mood of the binge leader.

     

    • Binge workers and leaders try to perform too many task and projects that they are not qualified or educated enough to do, which results in a lot of “started but never completed projects.”

     

    • Binge leaders often (very often) pull their employees and other team members off of their schedules and tasks because they want their binge ideas to take priority over everything else. This generally disrupts the entire office or organization and leads to an immense amount of frustration.

     

    • When a binge worker or leader comes off of their binge, they leave a mess for others to have to clean up. “Often when a business comes to us for mentoring, it is to clean up the mess that a binge situation has caused in the business.” Said Billy R. Williams PhD. President of Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring.

     

    • If the binge worker is the owner or leader in the business, they are generally the reason their business never moves forward. It’s hard to move forward when the majority of the employees’ work day is spent fixing problems a binge leader causes.

    I could go on and on but I think you get the point.
     
    If you are a binge leader here are some things you can do to “get the hell out of your own way!”

    • Use as much automation as possible in the day to day operation of your business. Automation isn’t afraid of your binge tirades and it will not call in sick just to avoid you. Using automation such as drip email schedules, automated phone tools, and tracking tools will help with the consistency of operating your business. (Check out the Data and Marketing Super Center CRM)

     

    • Have your employees and team members follow a daily tasks and process schedule. It is much more difficult to pull your team off of their tasks when the tasks are an everyday part of the culture of your business.

     

    • Have a set schedule (day and time) for your leadership tasks to get accomplished. Schedules help control binges.

     

    • Have a mentor and/or a board of advisors that you talk to on a regular basis. A good mentor and/or a board of advisors will help keep your binges under control and help you identify your weaknesses. (Inspire a Nation has mentoring memberships starting at $29.00/month)

     

    • Outsource tasks and processes that you tend to screw up. Be honest with yourself, if you are not good at a tasks, get the hell out of the way and let someone that is good at the tasks, do the dang task! If you hired bad employees that can’t learn to properly perform a needed task or process, that is your fault, and you have to make a business decision: either train them, or get rid of them. This one time where your binge actually comes in handy, since you will probably fire them while you are ticked off.

     

    • Find your happy place and your energy makers! Usually binge working is a result of dealing with stressful issues outside of the work place such as people or finances. (Though usually your money problems are a direct result of your binge working and the problems it causes.) Prayer, reading motivational books, and surrounding yourself with high energy people will help you find your happy place.


    If you want more of this type of wisdom, attend a live Inspire a Nation workshop when it comes to a city near you. Click here to see the 2017 workshop schedule: http://www.inspireanation.org/Live-Workshops
     
    If you liked this article, please give it a like, and leave a comment about a binge worker/leader scenario you have experienced in your career.

    Thank you for your time today!

    Billy R. Williams, PhD
    President - Inspire a Nation Business Mentoring
    www.inspireanation.org 


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