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The AIMS Society blog is designed to provide practical, timely ideas to help insurance agencies improve results from their marketing and sales efforts. Wishing you much success!!! For even more, consider joining the AIMS Society and you'll have access to a powerful network of agents and carrier personnel focused on excellence in sales!

 

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Sell Smarter

Posted By American Insurance Marketing and Sales (AIMS) Society, Friday, February 2, 2018

Sell Smarter

If you're still just selling policies, you're selling wrong.

The reality is that how you sell can be more important than what you sell. After all, there's always someone coming out with a better mousetrap and price can easily be trumped.

So how can you sell smarter?

  1. Start by explaining how the world has or is changing and why that creates an issue for your prospect. This is slightly different from the traditional "define a problem" approach, which implies something being wrong—either with or at the prospect's company—and too easily puts them on the defensive.

    If you instead point out changes occurring beyond the prospect's control, it's more likely you'll convince them you are saving them from something—you are the solution they may not have even known they needed.

  2. Address “loss aversion” head on. Economists explain that prospects tend to avoid a possible loss by sticking to the status quo, rather than risking potential gain by making a change.

    The only way to combat this is by making it clear that there will be both winners and losers because of the world shift you already explained. In other words, show them that sticking to the "status quo" is a sure ticket to failure.

  3. Don't drown in details. If you share too much minutia before you've closed the deal, you risk losing the audience's attention.

  4. Share evidence. What you think about your company is less impressive than what others think. Testimonials are important. Collect and share those good reviews.

Want more ideas for a persuasive sales presentation, including specific tactics for building slides? Check out 7 Amazing Sales Presentation Examples (And How to Make Them Your Own).

Tags:  AIMS Society  Catalyst Insurance Systems  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  productivity  Professional Development  teamwork  Technology 

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Are You Doing Business Truthfully?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, January 19, 2018

Are You Doing Business Truthfully?

You value honesty and truthfulness in your personal life, but do you do the same in your professional one?

Truth in business is double-sided: There are the truths we tell and the truths we get told from others. When we don't speak the truth, however, we are often wasting time and energy in hiding it, making excuses and avoiding deeper connections.

Within the business world, the truth means putting customers first, making difficult decisions rationally and admitting your wrongs. It sets you apart from the competition, and you'll build better relationships with your clients along the way. Offering genuine conversations and experience adds a level of transparency to your brand other agencies may not offer.

In more systematic sense, some professionals follow the moment of truth concept. There's an opportunity to form an honest impression when:

  1. A customer is looking at a product.
  2. A customer purchases and uses the product.
  3. A customer provides feedback.
  4. When a customer is dealt a bad card like facing a big lawsuit or damaged property.

The way your agency responds to these moments says something. Putting their emotional needs ahead of your own will transform how your company responds — and ultimately how your company is seen. Long story short: Being authentic in your sales practices and marketing efforts will grow your business.

Make sure you're being consistent in your fundamental message and identity. Follow through with your words and deliver on your promises in a timely manner. One of the easiest ways to be truthful is through accountable communication: Be available in real time to answer questions, and don't be afraid to say, "I don't know. Let me find out, and I'll call you back."

So, our charge to you? Embrace the truth. Stay true to who you are and what you do. You'll enable your current potential clients to relate to you, help them understand what you offer and show how much you value genuine practices.

Consider Todd McKinnon's article, "3 Questions to Ask Yourself about Truth in Business." Are you doing business truthfully?

Tags:  efficiency  Infographics  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  self-improvement  Social Media  Technology 

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Welcome to the Year of the Personal Touch

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, January 5, 2018

Welcome to the Year of the Personal Touch

Happy 2018! Do you know the up-and-coming insurance marketing trends to expect this year?

There's a lot to keep up with — from multiple social media platforms to strong content to visually-shocking graphics. 2017 saw an increase in influencer marketing, live video-streaming and mobile-first strategies. While those likely will still linger, here are some additional avenues the industry will take in 2018:

  1. User-generated content. To engage followers and customers in a more personal way, many companies are employing user-generated content: video, blogs, posts and testimonials created by consumers and then made publicly available to a firm's other customers. Chosen customers will enjoy the recognition, and potential customers can look to their peers for true advice and insight into the products you're selling.
  2. Data-driven insight into the customer journey. It's time to start using the data you're collecting (whether consciously or unconsciously) as a powerful tool to better understand the customer experience. Marketers can tailor an approach based on purchasing paths, decisions and associated emotions.
  3. Targeted ads. Is your agency using its advertising budget effectively? 2018 will see more targeted ads with a defined and exclusive purpose. It may require an outside agency, but producing ads that are very streamlined with ideal conversions will give you a huge boost toward reaching your marketing goals.
  4. Transparency and trust. This trend is fueled by millennials, but other generational groups are placing just as much importance on the idea. Brands will be much more transparent with their messaging and branding next year. Consumers want companies to be authentic and genuine. Open up a bit and add a personal touch to your marketing efforts. (Hint, hint: user-generated content.)

What are some marketing trends you're look forward to in 2018? Any you plan on implementing? Let us know!

Tags:  AIMS Society  Branding  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  Technology 

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How to Thank Your Clients During the Holidays

Posted By AIMS Society, Wednesday, December 20, 2017

How to Thank Your Clients During the Holidays

The holidays are here — and the new year is fast approaching. It's the perfect time to show your gratitude and say thank you to your loyal clients.

Saying thank you shows customers that you care — and making them the focus of your marketing efforts can help build your brands. Beyond giving every single one of your clients their own gift, there are a few simple ways you can show appreciation:

  • Give a social shout out! Our friends at Aartrijk made personalized videos for each of their clients with a quick clip showing their thanks. You can even shoot them on your iPhone and use free video editing software to add a little holiday cheer.
  • Feature the stories of your customers. Instead of making the emphasis on you, turn it around and shine the spotlight on your clients. Share stories, testimonials, successes and results to elevate customer loyalty and personalization.
  • Go old school and send a holiday card. Depending on how many clients you have, it may be worth it to send cards in the mail. It shows you've taken the time in a heavily digital world to say thanks in a much more personal way. (P.S. Handwritten is even better!)
  • Have a holiday open house. Pick a day to invite everyone to the office. Get a few appetizer trays or host a giveaway to get people in the door. It's a great way to focus on face-to-face interaction and relationship building.

The biggest theme here? Get personalized and be sincere. It doesn't have to be over the top. Just a simple "thank you" will do the trick.

What are some ways you're thanking clients this year?

Tags:  AIMS Society  business value  Holidays  Networking  self-improvement  thank your clients 

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11 Tips for Infographics That Get Noticed

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, December 15, 2017

11 Tips for Infographics That Get Noticed

You have about three seconds to make your point; that’s how long HubSpot reports readers will invest in your material before deciding to move along or engage. One of the hardest working visuals you can create is an infographic.

What are some basic rules you should follow to generate the most effective infographic possible?

  1. Start with the headline. Shoot for 70 characters or less and get creative. Don't write in business speak.
  2.  Include an intro. In 200 words or less, explain why what you’re about to share matters. If you can’t, it’s not worth an infographic.
  3. Map the sequence of information. Remember that you’re telling a story; make sure you do so in an order that makes sense.
  4. Pick easy-to-understand visuals. Crisp colors and clean graphics will grab the reader’s attention. Don’t make the icons too detailed, or the infographic will feel unnecessarily cluttered. At the same time, don’t try to be so clever that people have to work too hard to understand your intent.
  5. Place sources and footnotes at the bottom. If someone wants the information, it’s there, but it won’t detract from your message.
  6. Go back and simplify. Get your ideas down, and then after your initial design pass, go back and reduce the word count further. There’s nearly always a simpler way to say something.
  7. Consider more than one infographic. Would your pitch be better served by breaking the initial infographic down into multiple infographics? Or is there a way to better organize your infographic so it’s less overwhelming?
  8. Proofread. Better yet, have someone else proofread. It’s difficult to catch your own mistakes.
  9. Design to your audience. Depending on your target, the font, colors and overall feel should vary.
  10. Don’t forget your logo. Believe it or not, people often forget to include their logo. Not only does this help you check to make sure that your infographic complements your brand identity, but it also ensures proper brand credit if your infographic gets shared or used somewhere else.
  11. Expand your audience. Make your infographic sharable with social plug-ins. And don’t be shy — ask readers to share your creation.

If you’re looking for a free source to generate infographics, you can get started at canva.com. Or perhaps you have other resources you’d recommend? If so, please share in the comments section.

 

Tags:  AIMS Society  efficiency  Infographics  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Social Media  Technology 

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