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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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We Interrupt This Holiday...with Your job

Posted By AIMS Society, 23 hours ago

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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Burnt Out? We Can Help You Recharge.

Posted By AIMS Society, Thursday, November 17, 2016


In the flood of appointments, meetings and assignments, it's easy to lose sight of the importance of your job. This can be particularly true for those in the insurance industry, because much of the commentary and news articles you see focus on the cost of premiums, the regulations and market segment challenges. Add to that the identity crisis that our industry seems to be facing, and it can be downright discouraging to proudly declare "I'm in insurance" when someone asks what you do for a living. After all, a recent report by PWC, Top Insurance Industry Issues in 2016, declares that "insurance ranks near the top of the list of least-desirable industries according to recent graduates. The image of the industry is that it is generally behind the times and offers little in terms of career development."

Yet that image is certainly counter to the experience of so many others out there, hopefully including you. Quite simply, this negative image is one of the biggest things AIMS is trying to wipe out, not only for the public at large, but also for those of us within the industry who could use a boost of enthusiasm and positivity.

We feel so strongly about an industry image makeover that our affirmed vision is:

The AIMS Society strives to elevate the insurance profession.

And our mission states:

We inspire passion for insurance marketing and sales by supporting professional and personal development with education and collaboration that challenges, demands accountability and delivers actionable information.

How are we doing against these goals? Well, if you consider our CPIA program and recent designee comments, pretty good. In fact, after recently earning his own designation, Andrew Seils, CPIA, who works at Dave Mosher & Associates Insurance in Wisconsin said, "I am very proud to have the CPIA designation. The classes for the designation showed some insight into social media networking, as well as some other tried and true methods." But perhaps most importantly, he added, "It also helped me understand more about insurance and the impact it has in our neighborhoods. This is a great designation that anyone can benefit from."

We're thrilled to get such tremendous feedback. When professional development courses provide attendees with actionable, real-life knowledge — which is definitely something we tout at AIMS — but also leave individuals with a new sense of pride and understanding of our industry's importance and role in the world, that's the very best combination of all. There's nothing quite like getting away form the job for a day, recharging and returning home excited and ready to take on any challenges.

Want to boost your own career and attitude? Please join us at any one of the upcoming CPIA designation classes! To learn more or schedule a session, just visit aimssociety.org/page/Designation.

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

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What the Million Dollar Pros Know

Posted By AIMS Society, Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We know a guy who built an agency from scratch.  He started with an office in the back seat of a borrowed car.  He eventually built it to a $3.5 million revenue shop without borrowing a dime or completing an acquisition. In 2007, his agency was sold to HUB International.

Today, he manages 38 agents across the country, who last year produced $26 million in commission.  Six of his producers post over $1 million in commission income.  In addition, since becoming chief sales officer, he has taken between 15-30 percent of his sales force to the Sharp Awards, which is HUB International's annual sales achievement recognition.  In order to qualify for this award, agents must write a minimum of $200,000 in new commission income that year.

Impressive.

Think he might have some interesting stories?  Think you could benefit from his insight?

We're excited to have Dennis Templeton at the 2017 PRO-to-PRO in Orlando February 9-10.  He's an AIMS Society past president, past board member and CPIA life member, and on Thursday afternoon, he'll be sharing his high-energy presentation, "The Winner's Playbook."

What can you expect?  Not theory, but real world ideas you can actually use.  In fact, Dennis is going to share his own complete, proven blueprint for building a sales program.  You'll learn:

  • the routine that can help you win consistently
  • how to "sell without quoting"
  • "The 10 best" that lead to a high-performing sales organization

As Dennis explains, "Understanding this is a mental game - and if you are willing to open your mind and change the way you think - there is not limit to what you can do in our business.  And it starts with your own belief system in yourself!"  He also gives some of his own credit to AIMS saying, "Early on, I got involved with the CPIA / AIMS Society to maximize my sales knowledge and use it in the growth of the agency."  Looks like it worked. Ready to put AIMS to work for you?

Register today!

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

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