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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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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 to Create a Collaborative Work Space

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, March 10, 2017


How to Create a Collaborative Work Space

Take a look around. Do you feel empowered, motivated and encouraged to work? Chances are high that your workplace could use an upgrade.

Considering the fact that employees spend at least 40 hours every week in the office at their desk, it's clear that the work environment affects overall satisfaction in work and an attitude towards life. The space around you influences your productivity, creativity and mood — all of which are essential to employee engagement and efficiency.

It's simple: "How you design your office matters." And creating a culture and environment that embrace flexibility and collaboration will boost your bottom line. So, what can you do to create a collaborative and engaging work space?

  1. Natural light. Studies show that an employee's exposure to daylight can boost sleep and quality of life. Windowless cubicles can be a detriment to how you perform.
  2. Color. Find a balance between mundane and bright when you're looking at wall and furniture color. Choose décor wisely and design based on a space's function.
  3. Open vs. closed spaces. The office needs  to enable employees to make their own decisions when it comes to how and where they want to work. This can mean designating more "social spaces" or placing larger all-purpose tables in exposed areas.
  4. Rest and recharge area. Everyone needs a break between tasks, so why not have a closet full of board games, comfortable chairs or an outdoor patio? These will allow employees to recharge and de-stress when they need it most.

You can talk about your office culture to prospective employees and on paper, but at the end of the day, you need a space that people want to come to — a space that employees genuinely want to work in. The good news is that changes don't have to be big. You can make significant improvements on a budget — just think outside of the box.

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Tags:  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  efficiency  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Relax  self-improvement  teamwork  time management 

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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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We Interrupt This Holiday...with Your job

Posted By AIMS Society, Thursday, December 8, 2016

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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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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