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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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Come See John Fear and Be Brilliant!

Posted By AIMS Society, Wednesday, January 11, 2017

PRO-to-PRO Registration Open through January 18

John Fear


Alone we are smart. Together we are brilliant. 
What a great sentiment from educator Steven W. Anderson — one we believe captures the power of collaboration found each year at the AIMS Society's PRO-to-PRO.

We think you'll feel particularly brilliant while collaborating at this year's PRO-to-PRO executive retreat. One of our presenters and collaborators will be John Fear, whose resume is impressive:

  • He has worked in the insurance industry for more than 20 years in the areas of life & annuity, small commercial, boiler & machinery, field operations, process engineering and personal insurance.
  • As national director of agency development at Travelers, John has conducted nearly 100 workshops for agency owners and principals (with 1,500+ attendees).
  • He also developed and facilitated more than 60 sales training sessions throughout the country for more than 2,000 producers and CSRs. He has consulted with dozens of agents across the country, focusing on improving sales and maximizing operational efficiencies.

As a featured presenter at several national sales meetings for major insurance companies and independent agency organizations, his focus is on real life solutions to help agents incorporate sound business principles into everyday operations. We're not talking "theory"; we're talking ideas you can actually use!

Of course, John is just one speaker in a line-up of tremendous presenters and facilitators planned for our event. We hope you'll review the entire 2017 PRO-to-PRO agenda and will register today. We're even honoring "Early Bird" registration through January 18, and it's definitely not too late.

Come see us in Celebration, Florida, and go home brilliant!

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Tags:  Agency Management  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  PRO-to-PRO  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  Technology  time management 

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How to Hire the Best of the Best

Posted By AIMS Society, Thursday, January 5, 2017


Discover Tips & Tactics at PRO-to-PRO 2017

You're facing an uphill battle:

  • The number of insurance workers over age 55 is expected to grow by 25% from 2008 to 2016, while the number of workers between ages 35-44 will decline by 3%.

  • An estimated 60% of all new jobs in the 21st century will require skills and experience held by only 20% of the current workforce.

  • Despite placement rates close to 100%, the annual yield of graduates from the nation's risk management and insurance (RMI) programs meet only 10% to 15% of industry needs. (Source: 2016 Insurance Industry Talent Trends)

There's a definite talent shortage in the insurance industry; that's certainly not new news. But even more important than finding bodies to fill open positions is the ability to create a team of standouts. That's why we're all looking forward to hearing more about the keys to recruiting, developing and retaining top sales talent for our organizations at the 2017 PRO-to-PRO in Celebration, FL (Orlando area), February 9-10.

During her presentation, "Leading a Winning Team," Tonya DeVane of the Omnia Group will share how great teams are built by inspiring leaders. She shares the keys to finding, training and keeping talent, which ultimately translates into measurable results.

In her current position, DeVane helps professionals use behavioral assessment tools and concepts to recruit the best employees — we're talking hundreds of businesses in a wide range of industries, including insurance. In other words, she's an expert, and we anticipate a great reception to her message.

Of course DeVane won't be the only expert joining us at PRO-to-PRO. Check out our agenda and see how much there is to learn, and rest assured, it's not too late to add your name to our attendance list! We'd love to have you join us.

Register today!

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Tags:  Agency Management  agency value  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  PRO-to-PRO  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  Technology  time management 

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We Interrupt This Holiday...with Your job

Posted By AIMS Society, Thursday, December 8, 2016

How to Maintain the Cheer without Losing Your Mind

"We're going to make that decision after the first of the year." Odds are you've heard that phrase a time or two around the holidays. Unfortunately, the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day can be one of the toughest times of the year for someone in sales. Seems everyone checks out. But, of course, your sales quota doesn't, so work you must (and in some ways even harder than at any other time of the year).

So how to survive the holidays with a smile? Here's some important rules to keep you going:

  • Perhaps most important, don't assume that everyone will put you off until after January 1. Keep working your contacts, using the opportunity to deliver a small end-of-year token of appreciation (think buttercream cookies from Cheryl's Cookies or a gourmet food or fruit basket from Harry and David) or help them firm up their own plans before the conclusion of a calendar year. Offer to take them to lunch, so you can both summarize what worked and what didn't over the past year.
  • Ask your boss if you can work a day or two from home. If you are the boss, consider rewarding your sales team with this valued perk. Will everyone put in a full eight hours? Maybe not, but know this annual reward is contingent on proven effort, you'll likely be pleased with the results.
  • If you're too inundated with work to fully enjoy the season, consider "rescheduling" the holiday. This doesn't mean you ignore the customary date altogether, but it does mean you might move an extended family get together to after the New year or change the traditional office party to February when everyone is less stressed. Who says we have to cram everything into the last month of the year?
  • Let the team know you understand the increased demands they face because of the holidays. Look for ways to ease their stresses and you'll plant the seeds of real loyalty.

—  Consider setting up a shopping day at work, with multiple vendors in attendance. Most of us know someone who sells jewelry or other small gifts through home sales.

—  Set up a group online shopping lunch with pizza. Gather the group, allow them to share gift ideas and perhaps give everyone an Amazon gift card or something similar to get them started.

We spend too much time at work to be miserable, particularly during the holidays. So instead of dreading the push-pull of the season, look for creative ways to make it work for both you and your clients. You might be surprised how productive the month turns out to be!

Happy Holidays!

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Tags:  AIMS Society  Friends  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  producer compensation  Relax  self-improvement  teamwork  time management 

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Stop Selling. Start Relating.

Posted By AIMS Society, Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Updated: Monday, December 5, 2016

How to Sell a Millennial

Want to impress a millennial with a sales pitch? Forget about telling them your agency is big, boasts a long history or posts huge sales numbers. Avoid charts filled with "impressive" statistics.

According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016:

"Millennials judge the performance of a business on what it does and how it treats people. For example, among those saying business 'means more than a healthy balance sheet,' more than six in 10 would reference the quality of its products and services (63%) or levels of employee satisfaction (62%). A majority (55%) focus on customer loyalty/satisfaction. Innovation and efficiency also rank highly."

Those are all noteworthy qualities, right? And it's logical that if your company has those admirable traits, sales will follow. It's a pretty easy formula we all intrinsically know. But many businesses fail to emphasize those "softer" attributes, believing that to impress a potential client, cold hard facts are required. Yes,numbers have their place, but they shouldn't take the lead.

If that more human approach feels less professional or too "mushy" to be effective, consider what Matthew Cook (who has more than 20 years of sales management experience and is the founder of SalesHub and SalesForce Search) has to say about millennials:

"They grew up in the digital age, where all the information they could want is at their fingertips online — customers today don't need a salesperson giving them information. They grew up in a world where, as the buyer, they had all the control in the buying cycle — they don't want a salesperson pressuring them into a sale."

Ultimately, it turns out that what millennials really want is a relationship. Is that what you're delivering?

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Tags:  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media  Technology 

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Too Busy?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, December 2, 2016

How to Keep Advancing Your Career When You're Out of Time

Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.

Peter Drucker

Sounds like Austrian-born management consultant, Peter Drucker understood the issues of a busy day. Managing schedules, squeezing as much as possible into a day, balancing work with everything else — these are all issues that seem to be as old as, well...time.

Here's what Josh Tim, CIC, CPIA, a field underwriter at Continental Western Group, had to say (and it probably rings true for nearly everyone reading this): "Time has not been a luxury for me over the past couple of years."

You see, Josh has a young family, and he's constantly on the go. While you might not have young kids, you're likely looking at a similar time crunch, and it could be caused by nearly anything — school age kids and their activities, elderly parents, grandchildren, hobbies, volunteer activities or other obligations. Something or someone always comes to steal your minutes, right?

But what Josh decided to do was smart, very smart. Although he's got a lot going on, he's keeping his career a priority by prioritizing his approach. As he explains, "As much as I would like to earn my AU or CPCU, it is not a reality for me." Josh's smart move No. 1 was recognizing when too much is too much. His smart move No. 2 was finding an alternative that worked for his here-and-now. "The CPIA designation is one way I can show my dedication to the insurance industry and trade until I am able to invest in the time needed to obtain additional designations," he said. Instead of checking out until the time seemed right, Josh invested his time in a designation that was attainable.

The CPIA designation was the perfect solution for Josh. Upon completion, he noted, "As a company guy, the CPIA has helped provide a deeper insight as to what it is like to spend time in a producer's shoes."

What a great way to fuel Josh's career growth. As Drucker advised, Josh made sure choices were made with a realistic understanding of available time. Even with limited time he didn't let career growth slip. If you're ready to find the time for your own career advantage, you can learn more about CPIA and register to start earning your own designation today. Just visit us at aimssociety.org/page/Designation.

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Tags:  Agency Management  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  teamwork  time management 

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