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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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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, October 13, 2017

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Why Finding Someone Who Has Failed Can Lead to Success

Believe it or not, but some pretty successful companies are actively looking to hire people who have failed. We're talking about progressive companies like Intuit, General Electric, Corning and Virgin Atlantic.

According to Pauline Estrem's article, "Why Failure is Good for Success," these companies view failure as the simple byproduct of striving for success and view risk takers as having "irreplaceable experience and perseverance." Estrem calls these go-getters "veterans of failure."

Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big, celebrates those who take risk and says, "The quickest road to success is to possess an attitude toward failure of 'no fear.'"

Of course, any prospective new hire also has to have a commensurate track record of success, but don't let "failure" exclude any potential candidate from consideration. Instead, take the time to learn their story — you may find their honest replies, willingness to share lessons learned, and their forthright nature to be remarkably appealing.

Still reticent to hire a risk-taker who may have a blemish on their record? You're not alone. As Heath explains, "Failure and defeat are life's greatest teachers [but] sadly, most people, and particularly conservative corporate cultures, don't want to go there. Instead they choose to play it safe, to fly below the radar, repeating the same safe choices over and over again. They operate under the belief that if they make no waves, they attract no attention; no one will yell at them for failing because they generally never attempt anything great at which they could possibly fail (or succeed)."

When you think of it that way, hiring only people who play it safe doesn't sound so appealing after all, does it?

Tags:  AIMS Society  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  teamwork 

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The ABCs of Gen Z

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, September 29, 2017

The ABCs of Gen Z

While we were all busy talking about the millennials, a new generation took over the top spot size-wise in society. Known specifically as Gen Z, this new group that you need to know about was born between 1997 and 2015 (meaning they range in age from almost 3 to 20). While it's true they aren't yet your latest hire or even your newest customer, you need to get prepared. After all, time has a funny way of creeping up on you, and the worst thing that a salesperson can do is ignore a looming trend.

So what do you need to know about Gen Z?

  • They now account for 26% of the population.
  • By 2020 (that's just three years away!) they'll account for an astounding 40% of all consumers.
  • They're the most technologically fluent generation ever. They use more mobile apps and mobile phone features than any other demographic segment in connection with retail, and the majority of their online time overall is spent on mobile devices.
  • They don't sit through ads. They won't wait to work their way through heavily sponsored content.
  • They're all over the place, using five screens on average — smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop and tablet.

As we continue to learn more about Gen Z, there's one thing we want to caution you about — don't be too quick to judge. Already labeled as screen addicts, Gen Z has now been shown in recent studies to have attention spans of just eight seconds.

Sounds pitiful, doesn't it?

But Jeremy Finch from Altitude, a product development company, looks at this stat differently, saying Gen Z actually has highly evolved eight-second "filters." As he explains, "They've grown up in a world where their options are limitless but their time is not. As such, Gen Z have adapted to quickly sorting through and assessing enormous amounts of information. Online, they rely heavily on trending pages within apps to collect the most popular recent content."

Looking at it that way makes Gen Z sound rather savvy, doesn't it?

Will you be as savvy at reaching them?

Tags:  AIMS Society  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  teamwork  Technology  time management 

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How Can You Help Your Clients Prepare for a Natural Disaster?

Posted By Donna M. Gray, Friday, September 8, 2017

We are all devastated by the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. It seems relentless, unforgiving and unpredictable. Although many of those afflicted knew it was coming, most did not expect it to get this bad nor imagine the disaster it would cause. Nearly 52 inches of rainfall fell in southeast Texas in six days, forcing more than 30,000 individuals to flee their homes. Unfortunately, numerous home and business owners were not prepared for this impact.

And Irma, the second strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic, now threatens Florida and the East Coast.

As professionals, in the insurance industry, you have some influence in how a business handles a natural catastrophe pre- and post-disaster. There are a few things you can do to help your clients prepare for a disaster no matter the geographic location or type of catastrophe. Remember, a natural disaster can be smaller than a hurricane or earthquake. A fire or burst pipe can be just as damaging.

  • An emergency response plan is the first step to any solid preparedness program for both small and large businesses alike. Know evacuation routes. Form a communication strategy to make sure everyone is informed. Create a survival kit just in case. Consider remote work options and what aspects of the business will or will not continue.
  • Coverage. Of course, you need to ensure your clients have the proper coverage for their property and business possessions. Go over flood insurance programs, business interruption insurance and property damage details to make sure they're properly insured.
  • Data and technology. Because information is extremely valuable these days, help to make sure each client's data is backed-up and stored far enough offsite or in the cloud so retrieval is easy and accessible.

With these tools, your clients won't have to panic the day before a storm hits. Give them tools they need to properly prepare and plan for a natural disaster, so they have peace of mind when a crisis occurs. Let them know you're on their side and here to help keep things running smoothly.

What are some tips and tools you give your clients when it comes to natural disaster preparedness? Does your agency have a few go-to guides and methods that you use? We want to hear your insight so we can all be better prepared when a disaster strikes.

Tags:  AIMS Society  Auto Coverages  Be Prepared for Natural Disasters  Cyber Attacks  efficiency  Insurance Education  Personal and Commercial Coverage  productivity  Risk Management  teamwork  Technology 

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What Are Your Best Tips for Maintaining Work-Life Balance?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, August 11, 2017

It's back-to-school season, which means many of us — students and parents alike — have to get back into the swing of juggling the demands of work and school, both of which have fixed and often competing schedules. Maintaining our sanity requires flexibility and ingenuity.

Tips from business experts. If your office offers flexible or remote work options, you're in a great position to shape your schedule to suit you! If not, you might find the 26 time-management tips I wish I'd known at 20 shared recently by Business Insider to be helpful. Our own experience has convinced us to add No. 27: Don't neglect yourself during busy times. Running the work-school marathon requires you to be well-rested and nourished in both body and soul.

Gratitude. The next time you schedule a business call while watching soccer practice or answer emails while you're waiting for your take-out dinner, whisper a small "thank you" for cloud-based software. We are the first generations who can take our offices with us on our devices, allowing us to make the most of found time — whether it's while waiting for a hair or doctor's appointment, waiting in the car-pool line or observing a child's piano lesson. Just remember to respect the boundaries between your two lives, and try to stay present as much as possible so you don't accidentally send an unfinished email or dismiss your child trying to tell you a story.

How do you find time? We all struggle with work-life balance, and balancing a thriving career in insurance while caring and being there for your family can be challenging. But insurance professionals are among the best at using tools and time wisely. In the comments section below, please share one or two of your favorite time-management tips with AIMS Society readers. If we all work together, we can find the best way to maintain our own perfect work-life balance.

Tags:  AIMS Society  business value  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  Relax  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  Technology  time management  vacation 

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How Do You Know if Your Sales Process is Working?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, July 28, 2017

There are a variety of metrics you can use to analyze your individual and team sales performance, but it may be overwhelming to choose which ones will give the most accurate and useful information.

Luckily, our friends at HubSpot have a few tips to share. Here's some insight into the two measures you should be paying the most attention to when evaluating your sales performance.

Lead to Opportunity

At the end of the day, you need to look at how many of your leads are turning into legitimate sales opportunities. If you aren't quite hitting your quota, you need to ramp up lead generation. And if your leads aren't converting over to opportunities, you need to look at the effectiveness of your sales approach and marketing tactics. Consider this: Are you reaching out too little or too much? Is it personal and are you building a relationship along the way? Are you contacting your prospects through multiple channels?

Opportunity to Close

Although it may vary by time of year and industry, keep tabs on the percentage of sales you're actually closing. Compare your rates with other companies in the industry and within other industries to get an outside perspective of how you're doing. Is the rate higher than 50%? You may be picking the so-called "perfect fits" that you know will buy. But it's important to expand your horizons and go outside your comfort zone — it's the only way you're going to grow.

Pretty straightforward, right? Looking at these numbers on a consistent basis at both a personal and group level will help you determine where you can improve and eventually lead to better performance. You can set goals, make informed decisions and better optimize your outreach efforts.

Tags:  agency value  AIMS Society  CPIA designation  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  Social Media  Technology 

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