AIMS Society Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
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!

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: AIMS Society  insurance marketing and sales  self-improvement  Leadership  teamwork  efficiency  productivity  Networking  Social Media  Professional Development  Agency Management  CPIA designation  Technology  agency value  business value  Insurance Education  time management  sellability  PRO-to-PRO  Risk Management  Insurance Journal  producer compensation  Relax  vacation  agency sale  Branding  Paradiso Presents  Friends  Cyber Attacks  Goals 

Top 10 Productivity Tools for Sales & Marketing Professionals

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, November 16, 2018

Top 10 Productivity Tools for Sales & Marketing Professionals

Orchestrating a team can be challenging. Whether you have a team of five or 20, every member has a unique personality and preferences. You also may have a host of processes and systems that you're using in the office.

When was the last time you looked at how you're getting work done? Are you being as productive as possible?

When you use the right productivity tools, your team's efficiency and collaboration will increase — resulting in more sales and better organization. there are a host of technologies, apps and systems out there that are designed to improve workflow.

Here are the top resources for insurance professionals:

  1. DocuSign: Incredibly popular in the insurance industry, DocuSign is an e-signature service that helps reduce inefficient paper processes and email contracts in record time.

  2. Slack: If your team is wasting time with inefficient communication processes, consider using Slack. It’s one of the most effective ways to instantly communicate and message your team members — and it works on both desktop and mobile. You can create “Channels” for specific purposes like marketing and only invite those on the marketing team.

  3. Google Docs: This is one of the most user-friendly tools out there for document collaboration. Think of it as a free online version of Microsoft Office. You can create and share word, spreadsheet, forms and presentation files (like proposals, pitches and sales letters) with other team members in real time.

  4. CamScanner: Download this app to easily scan any document and save it as a PDF. It will even enhance the scanned images and lift out important pieces of information like dates, titles and prices. You can also add notes and drawings to your scanned images.

    Note: If you have the Google Drive app on your phone, you can not only access your Google Docs but scan receipts and documents. You can share files immediately and access them later.

  5.  Trello: This collaboration tool helps you organize and prioritize projects and tasks. You can see who’s working on what, where something is in a process and what the next steps are for each prospect. Trello is great for delegating tasks, creating automatic to-do lists and keeping things transparent.

  6. CRM: You’re in a customer-centric business, so it makes sense to have an effective customer relationship management (CRM) system. It’s essential for growing your agency and managing leads and customers every step of the way. HubSpot has a free CRM, but if you’re looking for something personalized, consider Salesforce, Insightly, Zoho and Infusionsoft.

  7. SignOn Once by ID Federation: If you struggle with maintaining passwords and IDs, you’re not alone. It’s one of the biggest pain points among carriers and agencies. SignOn Once enables one identity to replace multiple logins for insurance system users. That way, you can spend less time resetting passwords and more time focused on serving prospects and clients.

  8. Evernote: This is the system for someone who loves sticky notes and keeps infinite tabs open in their browser. With Evernote you can take pictures, save websites and write to-do lists. It’s like your very own digital notebook. You can create different sections for different areas of focus and tag each document or idea — keeping everything you may need in one spot.

  9. Voice-to-Text: You may not think this would be helpful, but have you ever thought about how much time you spend typing something instead of saying it? Or have you ever had a great idea while waiting and didn’t have time to type a note? Voice recognition software has been around for a while, but the technology is finally advanced enough for the translation to be correct instead of jumbled. Consider a robust software like Dragon or start with a free app like Cortana.

  10. Zapier: If you have plenty of leads coming in but are getting bogged down with the follow-up process, consider an automation process. For example, if you get an email with an attachment, you can set up a “trigger” that copies the attachment into your Google Drive and then alerts you in Slack. You can integrate all of your systems like email, social media, email marketing and so much more.

Tags:  AIMS Society  Branding  business value  efficiency  email marketing  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  Social Media  teamwork 

PermalinkComments (1)
 

Why You Should Use Humor in Your Marketing

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, June 22, 2018

Why You Should Use Humor in Your Marketing

Even after you've forgotten the content of a joke, you remember the fact that it made you laugh. Humor is a tricky little devil, extremely difficult to nail, but powerful when done right. Out of all the stories you hear throughout your week, you are most likely to share the ones that make you laugh. After all, who doesn't want to make people laugh?

Unfortunately, humor is fairly subjective. So if using humor is risky, why bother with it at all?

In a recent article for the Atlantic, Nigel Hollis writes, "The first trick of advertising is to make people pay attention. Funny ads attract attention."

Insurance is not perhaps the most intriguing of topics, and that's putting it lightly. Your brand must connect with people on an emotional level to succeed, and that's where humor has its value. This is especially true for everyday brands that might otherwise go unnoticed by the average consumer. 

Writing for Hubspot, Kim Speier states "Humor is a way to sell your brand without outwardly selling something." When you appeal to a consumer's emotions, she says, "you're able to engage them and make them remember you." And that, my friends, is half the battle.

Even if a customer may not remember the exact details of a product or the message of the ad, you've just built brand recognition.

However, that positive association is lost if the messaging isn't consistent or recognizable. Speier cautions that without brand awareness — a distinct knowledge of their consumer base and persona — marketers' attempts at humor can seem inauthentic or even offensive. Know what your brand stands for and who your target audience is before attempting to reel in laughs, and customers.

But that doesn't mean your brand can't be funny, in addition to being serious and trustworthy. Consider a few of the examples Speier provides in her blog post, ones that she chose precisely because the products are considered dull. Dollar Shave Club razors. Charmin toilet paper. State Farm insurance. Old Spice deodorant. Allstate insurance. Clorox bleach. Wonderful Pistachio's...well, pistachios of course.

Chances are you recognize most, if not all, of these names. There's a reason for that — their ads managed to tickle your funny bone.

It's easy to entertain people by marketing a cool or exciting product, as Speier says. "But the real gift is with those who can take something that people don't typically enjoy shopping for and make it an experience they will actually look forward to."

So whether your joke elicits a full-on belly laugh, a wheezing-you-can-barely-breath-laugh, a reluctant snort, a quick chuckle, or even a smile, you're on the right track.

"If there's one thing for sure, it's that people love to laugh," Speier concludes. "We could all afford to smile and laugh a little more in our lives, and if you're a brand that can make us do that, we're going to appreciate it. So keep the laughs coming!"

Tags:  agency value  Branding  business value  Goals  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  Personal Brand  Professional Development  self-improvement  sellability  teamwork 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

Are Brainstorms Washing Away Success?

Posted By AIMS Society, Friday, May 25, 2018

Are Brainstorms Washing Away Success?

Play nice. Share. Get along. There’s no “I” in “team.” Collaboration is key.

We’ve been coached since childhood to collect everyone’s opinions and ideas, believing it’s the single best way to find the best solution. Although it’s true that businesses use teamwork as the foundation of success, has our propensity to brainstorm inadvertently crippled business in some ways?

Renowned Wharton professor and leadership expert, Adam Grant, thinks so. He maintains that when people work so hard to develop consensus — essentially going along to get along — originality suffers, threats are overlooked, and disaster can remain undetected until it’s too late.

Instead, he recommends “brainwriting,” which begins with each individual developing a list of ideas on their own. Only after everyone has thought through the issue privately and committed positions to paper does the team meet to discuss and evaluate. Why is this more effective? “The wisdom of crowds mostly comes when you put people in separate rooms and get their judgment independently,” Grant explains.

It appears he’s not alone with his hypothesis. In his book, 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, Richard Wiseman says, “Over 50 years of research shows that people often reach irrational decisions in groups … and highly biased assessments of the situation ... strong-willed people who lead group discussions can pressurize others into conforming, self-censorship and create an illusion of unanimity.”

While Forbes contributor Natalie Peace sides with Grant and Wiseman, she believes there are still opportunities for brainstorming, albeit in new ways. She recommends:

  • Provide strong leadership and a process framework to follow. People often want to have "no rules" brainstorming, but that can quickly derail or stall.

  • Give everyone time to think in advance of the session (essentially following Grant's "brainwriting" idea).

  • Make contribution mandatory. No sitting in the room just nodding. 

  • Any idea can be shot down, but must be replaced with an alternative.

How do you feel about brainstorming? Do you love it or hate it and why?

Tags:  agency value  AIMS Society  business value  efficiency  Goals  insurance marketing and sales  Leadership  Networking  productivity  Professional Development  self-improvement  Social Media  teamwork 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

PermalinkComments (0)
 

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 

PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 11
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  >   >>   >| 

America's only Insurance Sales and Marketing Education Organization & Designation