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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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Become a Standout with Value-Added Services

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, May 26, 2017

You sell insurance policies just like every other agency. So how can you possibly stand out from the competition?

The key may have nothing to do with insurance. Instead, value-added services could be all that are necessary to solidify your customer relationships, to make your agency seem irreplaceable.

Value-added services are just that — they don't replace your main product, but they can extend your reach and the perception that you've truly thought of everything when it comes to a customer's peace of mind. Ideally, value-added services don't need to be extensive or take a lot of your own time to deliver. More often than not, the only requirement is a thoughtful gesture to make your customers feel truly protected. And isn't that the very essence of any insurance professional's mission, to provide a sense of protection?

It's best to develop a few well-planned value-added services that relate to your existing customers. Then, find some trusted business partners to deliver your suggested offerings. You can build in a referral free to the partnership if you want to generate some additional income, but often, the greatest value comes from long-term customer loyalty you'll establish.

Start with your portfolio and niche businesses and craft a suite of value-adds from there. You don't need to be the expert in any of the services — leave that to your partners — but be certain to fully vet any organization you select as a partner and continue regular follow-up with customers to make sure they're happy with your recommendations. You may want to coordinate service delivery just to stay connected and in-the-loop.

Some value-added services that can bolster your market position:

  • Estate planning services
  • Funeral preplanning
  • Will preparation
  • Videotape or photography services for asset identification
  • Appraisal services
  • Disaster preparation planning list or a discounted price on disaster food kits
  • Tax preparation advice
  • Disaster business plan development
  • Cybersecurity traning
  • Wellness programs
  • Defensive driving courses for teens
  • Alarm systems
  • Winterization kits

This list is limited only by your creativity. Again, you don't need to have on-staff experts, just a connection to experts in the community. The goal is to offer a comprehensive program for those categories your customers' value most. You've already written the policies. Now go the extra step to show you've truly got the client covered.

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Tags:  Agency Management  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  CPIA designation  efficiency  Insurance Education  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Personal and Commercial Coverage  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  teamwork 

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FREE Attendance at 2017 PRO-to-PRO

Posted By AIMS Society, Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How to Get it PLUS a Designation!

Free attendance for the 2017 PRO-to-PRO? How can that be? Actually, it's quite the deal.

If you come to Celebration, Florida just two days early, you can earn your CPIA designation and then stay through the end of the week for the PRO-to-PRO Retreat — free,

Yes, you read that right: Anyone who signs up for the CPIA seminars February 7-9, 2017 and stays at the Bohemian Hotel Celebration in our event's block of rooms will have their PRO-to-PRO attendance fee waived; that's how dedicated we are to making your time in Celebration even more worthwhile. 

You're committed to only one trip (to a pretty awesome location, particularly in the middle of winter), but will reap multiple benefits, including the only focused sales and marketing designation in the insurance industry, as well as interaction with some of the smartest minds in the industry.

Here's the itinerary:

February 7 — Position for Success (CPIA 1) — Facilitator: John Fear

February 8 — Implement for Success (CPIA 2) — Facilitator: Becky Lathrop

February 9 — Sustain Success (CPIA 3) — Facilitator: Ed Lamont

February 9-10 AIMS Society PRO-to-PRO Retreat

February 11 Optional golf outing

Of course, we welcome everyone for any portion of the week, but would love to send you home with both the CPIA Designation and the PRO-to-PRO experience. It's not too late to register, either, and we're eager to answer any questions you might have in advance of signing up. Just contact Donna Gray at donna@aimssociety.org. Hurry! The cut-off date for the discounted block of rooms ends January 26th!  

Check out all the details of the 2017 PRO-to-PRO agenda, read more about the benefits of the CPIA Designation, and sign up today! We look forward to seeing you in Celebration!

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

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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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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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