Articles by Catherine Oak and Bill Schoeffler

Oak is the founder of the consulting firm, Oak & Associates, based in Northern California and Central Oregon. Schoeffler is an associate of the firm. Oak & Associates. Phone: 707-936-6565. Email: catoak@gmail.com.

The Value to Insurance Agencies of Value-Added Services for Clients

Let’s face it, insurance is a commodity. The insurance consumer will not see any significant value difference between insurance companies and insurance agencies. Products, price and service are roughly the same. Consumers have new options to access insurance through, as …

The Language of Sales

Much of life is a sales process. At some point in every relationship we are, in effect, negotiating, selling and buying ideas. Communication is not an exact science. When we communicate, we use our words, in our own style to …

The Language of Sales

Much of life is a sales process. At some point in every relationship, we are, in effect, negotiating, selling and buying ideas. Communication is not an exact science. When we communicate, we use our words, in our own style to …

Be an Influencer

How to Get Employees to Do What You Want We just finished the book “Influencer: The Power to Change Anything” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, et. al. The authors lay out a simple formula to create useful shifts in people’s …

What Steve Jobs Would Do in Insurance

After reading Walter Isaacson’s great book about Steve Jobs, I began to imagine: What would Steve Jobs do if he were running an insurance agency? The first obstacle I thought about was that Steve Jobs could not do it because …

Agency Compensation: A General Guideline With Common Sense

Personnel expenses remain the largest expense for any independent insurance agency today. Typically, personnel expenses account for about 50 percent to 70 percent of revenue. Therefore, smart agency owners should think through the agency’s compensation issues ahead of time. It …

Trends for 2012

Soft Market Here to Stay, Merger Activity, Financial Pressures and More In order to be proactive, one needs to understand and exploit current and future trends. So what will 2012 be like for insurance agents and brokers? The following is …

The Power of the Mastermind

What is a mastermind group? A mastermind group is simply an alliance of two or more individuals dedicating themselves to a specific goal. It is a way to get all the knowledge, expertise, and connections one needs to achieve their …

The Financial Side of Acquisitions

The merger and acquisition trend of agencies continues, despite the turndown in the economy. One reason for this trend is that publicly traded firms and those run by investment companies need to show growth despite today’s flat or soft market. …

Training Your Sales Dogs

Catherine just got a brand-new puppy for the family. In the course of integrating this cute little four-legged critter into its new environment it was interesting to note the similarity in training a puppy to bringing on a new salesperson. …