101 Sales, Marketing & Management Ideas

August 18, 2014

Insurance Journal has listened to readers, spoken with experts, combed through columns and articles and even searched outside insurance circles to find the best sales and marketing tips for independent agencies today. Here are 101 ideas, in no particular order.

1 – Hold Producers Accountable
To increase profitable sales agency owners have to execute their producer management plans. This means absolutely holding producers accountable to make new quality sales. If the business model bypasses producers, then make sure producers are truly bypassed and your sympathy does not result in paying them anyway. – Chris Burand, Burand & Associates LLC

2 – Name Change
Change your agency’s name to something modern. Or better yet, use different names depending on the target audience.

3 – Snappy Tags
Reconsider your agency’s tagline. Make it snappy and unusual, not boring. Then use it everywhere.

4 – Survey Customers
Conduct immediate follow-up surveys with customers. Send an email to any customer who visits the agency or meets with an associate thanking them and asking for feedback in a survey.

5 – Dig Deeper
Don’t just understand risk itself. Understand risk in the full context of your clients’ businesses. Think of it like an iceberg, just as 90 percent of an iceberg’s mass lurks below the water, so does business risk – and it takes relentless focus and concentration to uncover these hidden risks. Delve into your clients’ businesses and examine their current insurance policies line by line so you can develop tailored insurance programs to both fit their needs and deliver a positive financial impact. – Michael Tiagwad, Conner Strong & Buckelew

6 – Videography
Create a video introducing newcomers in your town to its amenities and services.

7 – Welcome Committee
Serve as welcomers to newcomers who move into your town or region. Organize a welcome “party” with information and introductory offers from various services including your own, other businesses, recreational activities, etc. Do not hold it in your agency – do it on neutral ground.

8 – Meet and Greet
Organize an informational workshop and networking meeting for new businesses in your community or in a sector of the regional economy that your agency targets.

9 – Special Needs
Every industry has special needs when it comes to managing risk. Understand those needs and provide unique solutions for your clients. This approach will deepen your client relationships, strengthen retention and produce an increased flow of referral business. – Leonard Scioscia, Cook Maran & Associates

10 – Avoid Clutter
Focus your ads on one simple message and one only. Avoid a clutter of competing ideas and images.

11 – Survey Results
Conduct a substantive survey on topics of interest to your target market or community and share the results in a special report to customers and prospects, website articles, press releases, media interviews, contributed columns and wherever you can.

12 – Be an Expert
Become an expert on your community’s economy, growth opportunities, business services and/or on a target market. Share your knowledge with others on your website, in speeches and with the media.

13 – Sponsor a Charity Event
Sponsoring a charity event is a win-win-win. The key is to get VIP clients and prospects involved. This ensures success and promotes interest from others. The charity clearly benefits from the fundraiser, while the agency and the VIP guests get some recognition. – Catherine Oak, Oak & Associates

14 – Befriend Leaders
Befriend the most successful local business owners and ask them to share secrets of their success. They will be flattered you asked. They may even introduce you to others.

15 – Best Employees
Be proactive to retain your best employees by raising their salaries and providing extra perks and educational opportunities.

16 – Education
Be proactive in providing educational opportunities for employees. You will learn which employees are career-minded and want to be true professionals.

17 – Go Retro
There are 72 million U.S. baby boomers, all of whom are old enough to recall the everyday objects of bygone decades. Feature 1950s images of these items and individuals to evoke warm feelings for the past. Build them into “Time Capsule” marketing campaigns that contrast the relatively modest insurance limits of the ’50s to the much higher numbers of today. – Alan Shulman, www.agencyideas.com

18 – Bring Associates
Whenever you go to an industry or business luncheon or seminar, bring along an associate. Two people can work a room better than one.

19 – White Papers and Reports
Include objective white papers and research reports on your website to help consumers educate themselves and send out links to them on occasion to customers.

20 – Promotional Giveaways
When selecting promotional giveaways, get creative. Move beyond pens and mouse pads. How about colorful rain slickers, pens that record conversations, cutting edge knives, etc.

21 – Social Media Q&As
Visit LinkedIn groups and answer questions others ask about insurance. Keep your replies informative and low key; sell your expertise, not your products or services.

22 – List on MyNewMarkets.com
List your company with mynewmarkets.com. This is a website that is powered by Insurance Journal. The website is designed to match the needs and wants of client companies, agents, brokers, and insurance carriers. New companies are listed on an email to all of their subscribers. I listed my company and our website received over 200 page views … for free! We received about 10 quality leads from client companies and agencies looking to utilize our specific niche of workers’ comp and payroll solutions for contractors. – Mike Smith, Eagle Employer Services

23 – Leverage News Events
Position your agency as the authority when news events break that are related to insurance. For example, when Russians recently were accused of the largest data breach in history, we were talking about cyber coverage and how to protect your data. We also promoted our upcoming cyber security seminar to give customers and prospects practical guidance on this critical topic. – Tony Payne, Clark Insurance

24 – Custom Logo Cookies for Clients
They never fail! Find a good vendor – someone who makes the cookies fresh. Have an SEO audit done for your website. It’s well worth the money to find out how you can enhance your website with some very simple, yet very effective changes. You’ll see a noticeable difference in visitors almost immediately. – Lynn Mason-Small, Rogers & Gray Insurance

25 – Create Positive Interaction
How a person feels when interacting with you, your website, and your products and services are extremely important to your brand, and even more important to your sales and marketing efforts. Design, usability, accessibility, marketing and performance all affect user experience, and are there for the perception of your company. An overall positive user experience implies a responsive company, enabling the company to attract new clients. – Ashley Thorpe, WEBCBG

26 – Focus on a Niche
It differentiates your agency, defines you as an expert, and is the most efficient marketing method to drive organic new business growth. Niche marketing allows you to develop a highly focused prospecting process that generates significantly higher hits ratios. Once you begin to establish yourself in a niche, you’ll get more and better quality referrals that will generate a consistent flow of new organic new business. – John K. Tiene, Agency Network Exchange (ANE)

27 – Be Pinteresting
Have you tried to be Pinteresting? Pinterest has been an incredible marketing tool in my social media team’s arsenal. We have more ROI from Pinterest than from any other social media platform. Pinterest has more than 70 million users who spend an average of 98 minutes on the site. The major users are hyper-engaged ladies in their prime buying years. What better way to get to them than to be where they already are? The Ash Brokerage boards cover different lines of business: life insurance; disability income; long-term care insurance and annuities; as well as ancillary topics such as social media, retirement, thought-leadership and underwriting. We reach out and introduce ourselves as people, not as a business, and foster a relationship that is more personal. We are able to develop new partnerships with professionals who we may not have necessarily been able to meet otherwise. – Sheryl Brown, Ash Brokerage Corp.

28 – 5 Calls at 5:00
Having trouble reaching the decision maker? Make five phone calls at 5:00. Why? Because the gatekeeper is gone and the decision maker is likely to pick up thinking it is a personal call. In addition, they will be more relaxed. – Patrice Winovich, Insurance U

29 – A Thank You Is Always Right
We always send a thank you letter, including a $10 Target gift card to the referral party, whether or not we write the business. We are rewarding the behavior, which we want repeated. Then those names go into a basket and one time per month we send a $50 restaurant gift certificate to one of our insured restaurants, and don’t pay for those until they are turned in! – Tom Larsen, Larsen Insurance Agency

30 – Use Prezi, not PowerPoint
We’ve all heard of death by PowerPoint; don’t let it catch your audience too! To better grasp your audience’s attention, use Prezi to bring the audience on a ride. With Prezi, the content can be simultaneously edited from multiple computers. No longer will only one user be allowed to edit the PowerPoint, with other team members waiting for access. Also, a Prezi link can be shared that will enable you to present remotely with a group. This can be helpful if you are trying to present the material to an employer beforehand. – Meret Steves

31 – Market in Person
Nowadays, most mailed solicitations are viewed as junk mail. The person who answers the phone (the gatekeeper) usually views you as a cut-rate telemarketer. Many social media avenues can create brand awareness, but don’t seem to motivate people to call/email for insurance. I feel that business owners appreciate meeting you face-to-face and I prefer to market myself in person. Yes, it takes time and energy, that is why we are selective about whom we approach. Many brokers and agents are not doing this – it seems to work for us. – Steve Shockley, Shockley Insurance Solutions

32 – Client’s Position
Make it a win/win. Try to put yourself in your client’s/insured’s/agent’s position by asking questions and understanding the uniqueness of their needs. We talk about partnering with our clients/carriers and employees. – Lisa Doherty and Linda Boborodea, Business Risk Partners

33 – Be Persistent
Persistency is not a bad thing. If you “drip” your prospects with credible and timely information they will eventually pick up the phone and call you with an opportunity or take your call. There are many ways to “drip” a prospective client. If you are not their broker, you need to be right there at the ready to pick up the ball when the current broker drops it. It is all about timing and you never know which drip will trigger your opportunity! – Janette L’Heureux

34 – Customize Introductory Letters
Take the extra time to learn about your prospects before sending a boilerplate letter. Complimenting them on a recent accomplishment or demonstrating that you’ve researched their organization will separate your letter from the numerous solicitations they receive on a daily basis. – Matt Hammer, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

35 – Management/Leadership
An insurance agency’s E&O culture starts with its management. Is management clearly and frequently showing its E&O commitment by “walking the walk” and “talking the talk?” Without this commitment from leadership, it is highly questionable whether the staff will embrace a strong E&O culture and achieve the desired level of commitment. – Curtis Pearsall, Pearsall Associates Inc.

36 – Think Successful, Be Successful
Think successful, act successful and you will be successful! Believe in yourself and your firm at all times, and back up that belief with great tools and information. – Florence Conlan, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

37 – Plan for New Hires
Have a strategic plan in place prior to beginning your search for a new producer. Determine if you are going to hire an insurance veteran or hire a good salesperson from another industry. Based on this, develop a complete training plan before you even interview anyone. Develop and verify that you have a quality producer contract ready to go before beginning your search. Finally, develop your producer management plan. Even good producers need overt management. – Chris Burand, Burand & Associates LLC

38 – Prospect New Business Daily
We all get very busy but we also should always be thinking of the future, so it is a great idea to block out a certain amount of time to prospect for new business each day. This could be as little as 15 minutes but it should be done on a daily basis. – Craig Rice, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

39 – Empathy
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes so you can truly understand what they are feeling. – Craig Rice, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

40 – Solicit Micro Businesses
Micros are smaller than the traditional small business and consist mainly of digital-only operations along with a variety of incubated start-ups. Some are financed through crowd-funding, others by cities and venture capitalists. The best of these firms can grow rapidly along with their insurance needs. – Alan Shulman, www.agencyideas.com

41 – Be Social on Social Media
Social networks offer an excellent opportunity to inform and interact with your customers. The goal is to get them to think about you when they think insurance, not for them to feel like they are constantly being sold. – Kevin Obrien, Willis Personal Lines

42 – Think From Client’s Perspective
Approach your responsibilities as if you were an owner/partner in your client’s operations. Identify what your questions, concerns and expectations would be and then set your plan accordingly. – Shane Finley

43 – Make It Easy to Understand
Too often in the insurance world we tend to use big words and overcomplicate things for our clients. This can create a major disconnect between you and your client, or prospect. Go out of your way to keep it simple, and your clients will be thankful for it in the long run. – JS Gagnon, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

44 – Road to Perpetuation
As an agency principal approaches retirement and wants to perpetuate the agency, he or she needs to think strategically to build agency value and consider key people who can step in to help grow the business and ultimately make the transition to keep your legacy alive. Agency owners must invest time and resources in hiring, training and developing the right producers soon rather than later! – Robert Pettinicchi, InsurBanc

45 – Car Washes
I like to work out deals with local car washes that I have commercial policies on to provide free car washes at their locations for getting an insurance quote. During the summer sending an agent over to the location and asking for minor information, we can usually hammer out an auto quote before they get out of the drive. There is little out of pocket, I’m supporting an existing client’s business and it’s an easy way to get some business. – Shawn King, The Assurance Center

46 – ‘Never Count the Other Guys’ Money’
This is an old poker players tip that also carries weight in the insurance world. I have seen otherwise professional and experienced brokers lamenting over the 10 or 20 percent split they sent to a referral source. Our objective is to build a vast and powerful internal referral network that allows us the opportunity to serve our clients at every turn. The referral may be a benefits advisor wrangling a commercial prospect, or a private risk management advisor asking the right question and generating a client for our wellness or loss control teams. – Scott Robertson, The Villages Insurance

47 – Remote Work
About one in five American workers works at home, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Each year more and more agency staff and producers work remotely, thanks to mobile technology and progressive management. Remote work offers key business benefits: Reduced costs; Improved recruitment and retention; Increased productivity; Improved customer service and employee health; Improved business continuity during natural disasters; and Reduced environmental footprint. – Sharon Emek, Work At Home Vintage Employees

48 – Communicate Proactively
All too often clients only hear from their insurance agents at renewal. Your clients need to hear from you on a regular basis – that’s partly what social media is about. Don’t try to master all channels, but be active on one or two of them. Use email to deliver a monthly or quarterly newsletter. Offer tips, reviews and some fresh ideas. Regular communication cements your relationship with a client. – Doug Coombs, SIAA

49 – Go Mobile
Convenience is a critical factor that potential policyholders consider which agency to get their insurance through. Policyholders need to know that if an emergency occurs, they will have easy access to their information at a moment’s notice. A mobile app is an excellent way to provide that level of convenience to clients. Mobile apps can provide policyholders with access to look up an electronic proof of insurance, contact an agent, file a claim, review their policy information, pay a bill, and find close repair shops. – Jake Oliversen, Myriad Mobile

50 – Power of Positivity
Poll agents or customers to learn one positive thing you’ve done for them. Can be as simple as one line or a story about how you helped. Turn those into a jar of positivity to show your staff they’re doing a good job. (As opposed to nitpicking on the negatives.) If you’re a large company it could be set up as a company-wide email blast weekly or daily. Also use select replies to market to customers and agents on product flyers or specially designed promos like notepads, pens, etc. – Kristy Mabe

51 – Get Engaged
By engaging the client on a personal level about their passions or hobbies, they know you care about them as an individual, you are acting in their best interest and they are much more likely to be a raving fan. – Laura Sherman, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

52 – Virtual Platforms for Conversation
Get into the habit of treating social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as platforms for conversation rather than advertising. Try to make followers feel as though they can pull up a chair and connect with you in a virtual context. – Tammy Southin

53 – Eye-Catching Infographics
Use an infographic to get your message across. It’s perfect for posting on social media and is eye-catching. – Anonymous

54- ‘Then and Now’ Photos
If you’ve been in business a long time, a “then and now” photo side-by-side is cool, preferably if the photos are taken in roughly the same place/background. – Anonymous

55 – Handwritten Thank You’s
Send a handwritten thank you card to clients when they send referrals and let them know that the sincerest form of flattery to us is a referral from them! Remember to enclose a few of your business cards. – Rhonda Kinley

56 – You Never Walk Alone
Clients need to know who is going to take care of them. Sell the value of the team from the start. In a presentation, have the team succinctly articulate what each member will do for the client. Follow that up with why they are best qualified to fill that role. – Elizabeth Krystyn, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

57 – Prospect’s Expectation
When meeting with a prospect and conducting a formal broker presentation, go around the room and ask each prospective client attendee what their expectations are for the meeting. Take notes and then after the meeting circle back with each one and utilize information in the meeting to confirm you met their expectations. This can be very powerful and you can refer to the expectations throughout the presentation. This shows that you care about their team and what each person is interested in hearing about and it helps to gain knowledge about their role in the organization. – Janette L’Heureux

58 – Value Proposition
Develop a unique selling proposition or what we call a “value proposition.” I find this to be especially important when there are so many similar firms offering the same product. Make it exciting and set yourself apart from the competition. You will be surprised at how well the clients/prospects will remember you! – Rhonda Kinley

59 – Follow 3 A’s
To improve client relationships, follow these three A’s. Ask – Always ask your clients how you can improve your service, not what you can do better. Action – Take action on their suggestions and keep them informed on your progress. Accept – Accept that perfection isn’t valued as much as continual improvement and the desire to get better. – Elizabeth Krystyn, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

60 – Have a Plan/Work the Plan
Know exactly what you need to do to reach your objectives, and continually evaluate how you’re progressing on that plan. Having goals by themselves won’t get you there. – Brad Tamulski

61 – Be Yourself
Instead of trying to be someone you think the client wants, be yourself. People instinctively recognize when others are genuine, and this allows relationships and trust to develop more easily. – Brad Tamulski

62 – Have Fun
Sounds easy, but too often we focus on the little things. Sales is a transfer of emotion, and if you can have fun at what you’re doing it’s much easier to transfer that enthusiasm to others. – Brad Tamulski

63 – Analyzing Banking Relationships
Well-managed agencies analyze many different facets of their operations on a continual basis including their producer team, agency management system, carrier contracts and book of business. What many agency owners overlook is an analytical, dispassionate look at their banking relationship and its cash management program. They need to understand the importance of carrying operating balances effectively every month to not only offset service charges, but also to manage both the unique liquidity and rate of return on the dollars. A proper combination of operating accounts and investment accounts, coupled with a state-of-the-art online banking and reporting system – can help the agency enhance revenues, reduce expenses and streamline efficiencies. – Anthony Arsenault, InsurBanc

64 – Small Commercial Value
Consider creating your own small commercial department rather than using company service centers. Three keys exist to developing a small commercial department successfully. First is a good workflow and compliance with procedures. Second is to staff it with high quality people and do not cut corners. Third, accounts that are commonly considered small commercial are often small because the agency has not sold or written them properly. Agencies are leaving a lot of money on the table by not writing small commercial correctly. Why let the companies get your profit? – Chris Burand, Burand & Associates LLC

65 – Bring in New Blood
Hire recent college graduates who can learn the industry by processing endorsements and shadowing more experienced colleagues. While it may take longer to train them, you will be building the next generation of insurance professionals! Hire passionate, intelligent employees! Their passion will make a simple transactional call into a memorable experience for your clients. – Laura Sherman, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

66 – Right Work, Right Person
Agency staff gets frustrated when the work that they’re paid to do (and is important to them, their boss and their clients) is postponed because they have to process paperwork or clean up back-office tasks. Looking at the workflow for the agency and assigning it to the right people using the right system is the solution. Producers and other highly paid staff then can invest their time in the value-added work of customer contact. – Sharon Emek, Ph.D., Work At Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE)

67 – What’s the Attraction?
U.S. workers value compensation, health benefits, stability and work-life balance, in that order, when considering an employer, according to the CEB (Corporate Executive Board) 2013 Q3 Global Labor Market Survey. Those rank ahead of the rest of the top 10 factors: location, respect, retirement benefits, ethics/integrity, future career opportunity, and vacation. – Sharon Emek, Ph.D., Work At Home Vintage Employees (WAHVE.com)

68 – Employee Referral Bonus
Great people are generally friends with like-minded individuals. If your firm has an employee referral bonus in place, your employees are incentivized to help you find more great employees! – Laura Sherman, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

69 – Be Adapters
Insurance agents need to change with technology or become obsolete. Embrace change as a challenge to become more customer-centric. Your systems and processes should be focused on meeting needs in the manner your clients choose: in-person, on the phone or online. – Matt Masiello, SIAA

70 – Do It Again
Marketing tactics are not one-and-done. If you try something, commit to it for an adequate trial period. A direct mail campaign is not one mailing; it’s a series of mailings over a period of time. If you send email, don’t think one blast will do it. Thoughtful repetition is often a good thing. – Doug Coombs, SIAA

71 – Pay Well
Pay your employees well and, using industry salary surveys, let them see how much better than their peers they are doing.

72 – Become a Problem Solver
Think of yourself as a problem solver and this will prevent you as coming across like you are just pitching a product. And ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no answer. This will make the customer think and set you apart from the competition. – Craig Rice, Baldwin Krystyn, Sherman Partners

73 – Advertise Internally
Cross-sell and upsell selected policies and endorsements to existing insureds by employing your agency’s existing media. “Free” digital advertising venues include staff email signatures, promotional emails, ads on your own website/blog, and creative social media postings with enticing links back to you. – Alan Shulman, www.agencyideas.com

74 – Start a Mini-Department
“Promote” producers who focus on particular industries or policies to the head of that department. This unit may consist only of them, but it’s good for their ego, business card, and LinkedIn profile. Send news releases announcing its formation to regional business and trade publications, blogs, websites, relevant social media influencers, etc. – Alan Shulman, www.agencyideas.com

75 – Colorize
Pick a color for your agency’s brand and stick to it.

76 – Cross-Functional
Set up a cross-functional agency team to design, implement and oversee your digital marketing plan. – Rick Morgan, Aartrijk

77 – Be Content
What is content marketing? It’s you providing insights about what you know: risk and how to manage it. You can do that on your agency website (e.g., blog and/or video) and then link to those places from your social media outposts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+). Plus, mix in some of what makes you and your agency tick as people. If people buy from people they know, they’ve got to know you. – Charles Wasilewski, Aartrijk

78 – Facebook Rewards
Reward new employees with $5.00 for each new follow they get to the agency’s Facebook Page (for the first 30 days). – Rick Morgan, Aartrijk

79 – LinkedIn Required
Require all employees (especially producers) to have a fully completed and well-written LinkedIn profile. Make sure they “follow” your agency LinkedIn Page. – Rick Morgan, Aartrijk

80 – Charitable Efforts
Find out what charity the CEO of a prospect supports and consider supporting that same charity.

81 – T-Shirt Marketing
Design a t-shirt with a creative, clever or bold slogan to give to employees and customers.

82 – Sharability
Use photos to increase interest and “sharability” of blog and social site posts. – Rick Morgan, Aartrijk

83 – Talk about ‘The Why’
Stop reciting the litany of services you provide and start telling prospects “why” they should care about them. – Nick Kormos, MarshBerry

84 – Agency Know-How
There is intellectual capital (e.g., knowledge) tied up in you, your producers and your staff. All of those people know things that help people, their families, their businesses and their communities. Why hide that intellectual capital under the proverbial bushel basket? Let it out. Sit down for a couple hours with a capable writer and come up with a couple dozen topics that you can write about over the next year. Then, use your blog, website and social networking outposts to share what you know. – Charles Wasilewski, Aartrijk

85 – Keep Hashtags Short
Keep your hashtags short and relevant. #LongHashtagsAreFunButNotVeryEffective

86 – 2% Investment
If you’re not spending at least 2 percent of annual commission/fee revenue on customer and prospect marketing, you are under-investing in your agency’s future. – Peter van Aartrijk, Aartrijk

87 – Communications Plan
You must have a written customer and prospect communications plan that has the following components: your brand strategy, audience sets, key messaging, media selections, timeline of activity, funding levels, responsible parties, and metrics. – Peter van Aartrijk, Aartrijk

88 – Reach Out
Consistently reach out to current customers. It is more important to reach the people who count than to count the people you reach. And customers count for a lot. – Peter van Aartrijk, Aartrijk

89 – Goal Setting
Stop making resolutions to “do more” of something. Drill down into the numbers and get specific. – Nick Kormos, MarshBerry

90 – Proactive Renewal Process
Build a proactive renewal process for your high net worth personal insurance clients that include risk management counsel to help clients prevent losses before they occur. Include additional ways for clients to reduce premiums, offer additional coverage options and insurer services. Treat them like a commercial client. – Laura Sherman, Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners

91 – Care for Your Leads
You can care for your leads in groups (i.e., follow up with, communicate with, learn from, and then serve). These “groups” can even be as small as one person or company. Marketing automation makes it possible – even simple – to create campaigns to send the right messages to the right people. – Michael Jans, AgencyRevolution.com

92 – Prospecting Diversification
Stop looking for the magical prospecting method that will “make it rain.” Diversify and rotate your efforts amongst multiple methods and strategies to keep yourself engaged and seeing results. – Nick Kormos, MarshBerry

93 – Who Are You?
The question of “message” – who you are, what you stand for, your values, and your story – always has been important. But the social marketing age makes it more so now for two reasons: 1. You are less in control of your message, so you must be more vigilant to it. If your agency doesn’t know what it stands for and can’t articulate that, the marketplace will be confused or apathetic about you. 2. A newcomer, disrupter or aggressive competitor can storm social media with a compelling message – which takes attention away from yours. Make sure yours is well-defined, known to your team, and put forth consistently in online and offline conversations. Defining your message in your social channels combats these problems. – Michael Jans, AgencyRevolution.com

94 – 1-2-3
Go beyond the traditional “call the client” method of communication. Think about a three-step process that feeds clients and gives the impression that you are there for them when their needs change: 1. Add value by providing information and perspective. 2. Craft your message with care. 3. Communicate with enough frequency to create an authentic conversation. – Michael Jans, AgencyRevolution.com

95 – Think Like Betty Crocker
When the industry’s products are commoditized, who you are can be your best marketing advantage. At the turn of the 20th century, scores of companies sold wheat flour. Then Betty Crocker came along. She wasn’t born. She was invented to surround the commodity (wheat flour) with words of leadership, advice, guidance and advocacy. She wrote newspaper articles, published a monthly recipe magazine, and created the first cooking radio show in history. Housewives wrote to this imaginary person asking for advice. People follow thought leaders. And thought leaders de-commoditize the commoditized. – Michael Jans, AgencyRevolution.com

96 – 1:5
One in five people now access the internet through their smartphones. Make sure your website is mobile friendly.

97 – Referral Mining
Producers and agencies will always state that referrals are their primary source for new leads, but few are proactive in trying to find more of them. Identify your sources of referrals and put lists of leads in front of them to see if they can introduce you. – Nick Kormos, MarshBerry

98 – Create Referral Groups
Create a referral group that has the same “ideal client.” Then, develop a joint educational based marketing campaign. Each member of the group will invite several clients and prospects to a workshop where one or more members puts on a presentation. The referral group members will then have access to a room full of warm leads. – Catherine Oak, Oak & Associates

99 – Systemize Client Contact
Create a schedule for regular clients contact. This can include newsletters, birthdays, anniversary days, mid-term policy review, and especially notes related to items of personal interest. Keep track of hobbies, interests and family news. Think of how special it would be to send a note to a client when their alma mater wins a bowl game. – Catherine Oak, Oak & Associates

100 – Be Upbeat
Talk to everyone in a positive and upbeat approach.

101 – Listen

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Insurance Journal Magazine August 18, 2014
August 18, 2014
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