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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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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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Sales Slowing Down? Revamp Your Strategy.

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, June 30, 2017

It's summertime, which means family vacations are in full force and leisure living is priority. Chances are good that your sales, too, will relax during these summer months. While your clients and prospects play, consider using this down time to revamp your marketing and sales strategies. Trust us — you'll thank yourself later.

Here are a few specific suggestions:

Check your marketing strategy for missed opportunities. Since things will be slow around the office, consider taking time to get into the weeds of your marketing strategy. That way, you can make your efforts more effective, authentic and fresh.

Look at digital improvements. While 16% of brands, have a digital marketing strategy that isn't yet integrated into marketing efforts, nearly 46% of brands don't have a strategy at all. Wherever you stand on the spectrum, consider setting new objectives and a game plan for how to reach your target audiences — and beyond.

Create better content. Maybe your website, blog and social media accounts are already strong. Consider going back to the basics and checking out your website content or adding SEO-friendly phrases to a few blogs. Remember, it's about quality over quantity, so make sure your content is engaging, true to your brand and unique among the competition.

Look on the inside to improve the outside. It's always a good idea to bring the team together to discuss how things are going. Schedule a meeting or two this summer to talk about challenges within daily operations and communication practices. Have a brainstorming session to come up with innovative marketing ideas, or just have a cookout to bring the team closer in an informal setting.

Tags:  AIMS Society  business value  CPIA designation  efficiency  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork  time management  vacation 

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Bugging your Customers - A Great Way to Reach Out This Summer

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, June 23, 2017

Part of being a great insurance agent is looking at all aspects of risk faced by your clients and sharing ways that they can protect themselves, even if it doesn't immediately translate to a policy sale for you. The point is to become a valued resource that your customers can't imagine being without.

One of the biggest risks of summer is pests; and people are always interested in finding new ways to stay bite-free. Below is some basic information you can simply cut and paste into an informational email. By doing this, you add another point of contact and another reminder of your value.

Sample Email Copy

Buzz Off—Tips for Staying Bite-Free This Summer

As insurance agents, we see all types of risk, big and small. With the arrival of summer, there's one risk that can quickly turn from just a nuisance into a real health issue—bugs and their bites.

Mosquito-borne illnesses include Zika, West Nile virus, dengue fever and Chikungunya.

  • Zika symptoms include fever, rash, headache, joint pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and muscle pain.
  • With West Nile, there are no symptoms in most people (70%-80%). However, about one person in five will develop a fever as well as a headache, fatigue, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. Fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people, particularly those over age 60 or with medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension or kidney disease, are at risk for more serious symptoms. In these cases, recovery can take several weeks or months, with some neurological issues remaining permanently.
  • The obvious goal with all mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid bites in the first place; unfortunately, citronella candles and sonic repellents don't work as well as advertised.
  • Instead, look for pesticides containing DEET and lemon eucalyptus. Spray them around your yard, particularly before gatherings.
  • Also, it's important to regularly empty any standing water on your property and cover or turn over anything that could retain water, such as tires, buckets or empty planters.

Experts predict that 2017 will be a "particularly bad year" for Lyme disease, which is caused by deer tick bites. It's now the fastest-growing vector-borne disease in America.

  • Symptoms include fever, headache, exhaustion, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle and join aches. Although considered a tell-tale sign, only half of Lyme disease cases present with a bull's-eye-shaped rash. Making diagnosis even more complicated, blood tests show a false negative 25%-50% of the time.
  • Left untreated, Lyme disease can become a serious health problem with chronic shooting pain and swelling, heart trouble, shortness of breath, and neurological issues.

To minimize chances of a tick bite:

  • Stay away from where they live—brush areas, tall grass and thick woods. Walk in the center of trails when hiking.
  • Use a repellent with 20% more of DEET, picaridin or IR3535. This EPA tool can help you pick the best one for you.
  • Put the repellent on after sunscreen and spray on your clothes as well.
  • Cover baby carriers or strollers with netting.
  • Wear light-colored clothes and long sleeves and pants. Tuck pants into socks.
  • Protect your pets as well with a pest collar, sprays, powers or monthly topical.

 

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