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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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Spring Clean Your Sales Process

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, April 13, 2018

Spring Clean Your Sales Process

Spring cleaning. We do it in our homes, so why not do it at the office?

Taking the time to declutter and dust off some things in your professional life will give you a breath of fresh air. But we're not just talking about tidying your desk. When it comes to sales and marketing, we suggest you perform a mini-audit and evaluate procedures.

Take a fresh look at your personal sales performance and ask yourself what's working and what isn't. Look at where leads are coming from, conversion rates and customer demographics. If you don't already have a platform to track sales data, go ahead and start one now for reference throughout the year.

If you're in a management position, look at your lineup. Consider the strengths of each sales member. Should you reconfigure to make smarter plays? If someone is better with new customers but struggles when it comes to retention, place then at the forefront of the customer journey. Have a one-on-one with every member of the team to see how they're doing. It will likely prompt them to evaluate their own performances and potentially make some changes too.

Next, look at your sales process. How can you declutter and streamline your method? Can some steps in the process be re-tooled or daresay eliminated? How are your marketing materials — outdated or ineffective? Your entire process should be flexible to each client's needs, but also effective to your daily workflow.

Consider the bigger picture, too. How does your sales process relate to your company's actual operations? What about the insurance industry as a whole? Throughout this process, take the time to learn from your customers. Get feedback on how you're doing or things they'd like to see changed. Do they want more or less communication? Fewer phone calls and more emails? How can you adjust your sales process to meet their wants and needs?

Spring-cleaning is also a great time to reevaluate your goals. If you made new year's goals, where are you on the path to meeting them? Go ahead and revise them or set some new ones. Determine tangible ways you can get there, whether it's new clients to talk to, networking events to attend or a new marketing strategy to launch.

You'll thank yourself for taking an afternoon to check in. You'll eliminate unnecessary procedures, avoid making mistakes, sharpen your sales pitch and simplify procedures.

Tags:  AIMS Society  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  productivity  self-improvement  time management 

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How to Build Your Agency Presence

Posted By Donna M. Gray, Friday, March 2, 2018

How to Build Your Agency Presence

Last month, we shared a few articles on social media written by AIMS board members or featuring CPIA designees. It's incredible to see the reach our agents and members are having in the industry.

You may already have a company blog, and you may post to social media or send newsletters to your clients. But there are more ways to increase the reach of your content, attain high visibility and harness engagement from new audiences. So how can you magnify your scope outside of your agency's bubble? Here are a few strategies.

  1. Share your successes. No matter how small or local the publication, it's always worthwhile to share how you're growing. The Williston Observer in Vermont gave a shout-out to Niki Hayes of Kinney Pike Insurance for her CPIA designation award. Contact your paper's business section, a local magazine or insurance chapter to see how you can spread your company and staff accomplishments throughout the year. It shows the public (and competitors) you're cultivating a community of learning and achievement.
  2. Share your insight. You have ideas, you have experiences and you know what you're talking about. Think about how many clients you've helped. Continue to support others by sharing what you know with the local community. Reach out to organizations that share similar values in risk management to host an educational event for business owners. Leverage your knowledge and expertise to build community involvement and strengthen your agency brand.
  3. Share with video. You already know video is the next big step in content marketing. If you've never done it before, you'll certainly catch eyes when you start doing it. Create an objective, channel your audience, start shooting and see what happens. There are a variety of easy ways to create engaging video content, so why not give it a shot? It doesn't have to be highly produced. Just start your own YouTube channel and post on social media to expand your reach.
  4. Share with your industry. It may seem daunting if you've never published an article before, but it's a fun and effective way to get your name in a national publication. Just consider Robert Klinger, president and CEO of Klinger Insurance Group, who wrote an article for Property Casualty 360, "6 Ways Insurance Agents and Brokers can Find 'Ideal' Clients: Prospecting 101." You don't have to write revolutionary or mind-blowing stuff. Just stick to your own voice and areas of expertise.

What have you done to share content outside of your agency's digital channels? Let us know! We'd love to share your ideas with the AIMS Society community.

Tags:  Agency Management  AIMS Society  Branding  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media 

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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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