101 Sales, Marketing & Agency Management Ideas

August 16, 2021

1. Be Excellent. Create or sponsor an award for excellence for an organization or individual in an industry or community you serve.

2. Get Published. Start a magazine for your niche market.

3. Volunteer. The hand that gives, gathers. There are many opportunities for growing your business while volunteering.

4. Clean Up Your Data. Successful marketing relies on data-driven decision making. But if your data is inaccurate, your decisions won’t be much better.

5. Ask for Referrals. At claims time is the best time to ask for referral, especially when the agent delivers the check. The contract they paid for has paid off. Also, when the producer delivers the winning quote and policy, the agent should ask if the client has any friendly competitors that the agent could use their name to approach them to provide insurance. — Catherine Oak, Oak & Associates

6. Don’t Lose Your Investment. Collect the customers’ data for tomorrow’s marketing opportunities. Hire the very best employment attorney to write your non-piracy and trade secret agreements. Otherwise, you might lose your investment in your sales and marketing. — Chris Burand, Burand & Associates LLC

7. Real Estate Connections. I have been working with Preferred Systems (InsuranceInstructors.com) for a few years now, and their marketing plan for property/casualty agents is amazing. They offer programs where the agents can teach continuing education credits to real estate agents in order to boost their brand and their business. It is a great way to share important insurance information relating to real estate and network with the agents. — Anonymous

8. Reviews. Online reviews help your company in a multitude of ways. Beyond offering free advertising and improved search engine results they allow you to recognize your team members and sometimes offer constructive feedback. We set up a short survey on the back end of our website and promote it though our email signatures. I personally respond to each customer or vendor that leaves a review on our page, ask them to share on Google through a direct link. Then I share the feedback with our team that was reviewed. It’s a personalized and multi-

layered approach that helps our agency in several key areas. –Allan Degner, Robertson Ryan & Associates

9. Recruit Through Social Media. Your Careers page is the #1 recruiting tool to source and hire experienced insurance professionals. Invest in updates to functionality, design and ATS integration to attract top talent. At least 50% of your LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook posts should showcase job openings and career opportunities. Don’t forget that paid job boards like Indeed and Glassdoor have free company promo pages where you can add content about culture, benefits, compensation and employee reviews. All of this activity differentiates your brand image and enhances the prospective employee’s search experience. — Mary Newgard, Capstone Search Group

10. Corral Your Content. Invest in a content management system to keep your documents organized and up-to-date. Creating a single source of truth is the best way to ensure your team is using the content you want them to. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

11. Connect. Anytime you meet someone, email someone, talk on the phone instantly connect with them on LinkedIn. Regularly post and share industry knowledge to your following. This is to keep your clients and customers remembering you and staying fresh in their minds. — Katie Turner, Guide One

12. Show the Problem-Solving. When developing your brand message, show how your agency or brokerage is solving your customer’s main problem. For example, if the customer’s primary pain point is stress, then provide relaxation. It wouldn’t make sense to emphasize good pricing or speed, as those don’t directly address the customer’s problem of stress. — Michael Fusco, Fusco Orsini & Associates

13. Have Respect. Having a happy client is having a good relationship with them. Your clients are not just your income, they are much more. Treat them like friends not like numbers, be there for them, contact them, care about them just like your friends. Be forthright, responsible, informative, ethical, nonchalant and disciplined. Your friends will never leave you if you treat them with respect. — Martha Burton, UPCIC

14. Be a Contemporary. I often find commercial clients are searching for someone to discuss other pressing issues on their desk to help their business grow. Whether it be finding employees, handling a tax issue, when to promote an eager employee, or even whether it’s a good time to sell my house. The more you can be seen as a contemporary who offers sound perspective through being well read, up to date on current events, and diving in to handle similar issues yourself, the more long-term value you will provide and create an impenetrable relationship. This is above and beyond the given of knowing your stuff when it comes to the insurance and risk management. — Greg Barcomb, Ten Eyck Group

15. Make Cybersecurity a High Priority. Regulators, insurers and consumers want agencies to better protect their data. Understand your cyber vulnerabilities, take action to fix them, and let your clients and insurers know you take data protection as seriously as they do. — Tom Wetzel, Thomas H. Wetzel & Associates

16. Content as Data. Almost all of us have heard the phrase content is king. If content is king, data is queen. At the pace everything moves today, many would say data is king. Treat your content more like data. To do this, it’s necessary to put more of your content into the marketplace. This allows for better validation of trends as they relate to engagement, audience, topics, industries, etc. Agencies consistently worry about spamming prospects, but if you provide value with the higher volume of content, results will follow. — Jamie Nelson, Zywave

17. Answer the Questions. What is it? How Does it Work? What’s in it for the client? Sell price last. Ask yourself, how did you get your best customer and your best sale? Relationship? Price on a certain market? Make it a part of your sales strategy on every call and meeting. — Travers Downes, WIA

18. Don’t Be Short. Today’s various communications platforms can often lead to misconstrued and confusing messages. Writing a few extra sentences increases professionalism and prevents a message from being short. A few extra words can add a higher level of professionalism and create better communication. In all industries professionals are always looking for ways to separate themselves from the competition. This easy practice will be appreciated by all. — Juan Carlos Diaz-Padron, GIC Underwriters Inc.

19. Leverage Data. Data and analytics tools can identify client trends and business opportunities with the click of a button. Which clients are at risk of non-renewal or who is underinsured? One click, and the information is in hand. Taking advantage of these tools is a must for any agency looking to provide better risk advice and hold onto more business. — Rick Fox, Vertafore

20. Copywriters Wanted. Copywriting is an essential skill. If you do not have it invest in someone that does. Clients want you to tell them exactly how you are solving a problem. — Olivia Petracelli, Baldwin Risk Partners

21. Flood. Quote flood insurance with every homeowners or renters policy quote you provide. Floods can occur anywhere and if you’re in a low hazard area, flood insurance is very affordable with new private admitted and E&S products available offering coverage that goes beyond that of the traditional NFIP policy. So many options for flood available now. Homeowners often think their regular homeowners insurance provides coverage for flood — by quoting separately as an agent, you will create an awareness that flood coverage is not automatically included in their homeowners policy and help your clients better protect their property in the process. — Linda Sullivan, 1st Direct Insurance

22. Un-Gate the Content. Redefine your content metrics and un-gate your content. Gating content is a play from seven-plus years ago. There are more efficient ways to get someone’s contact information these days. You want people to consume the content and gates stop that from happening. — Sarah Chadwick, Commercial Restoration Company

23. Brand Continuity. The cohesive look and feel of your collateral and messages is important regardless of platform. Keep your team up-to-date on how your brand should be communicated. Consider creating brand guidelines if you don’t already have any. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

24. Be Visible in a Positive Light. Modern clients, on average, are extremely savvy when it comes to researching products, and insurance is no exception. If your firm lacks a clean and informative website and is not on social media, it is years, perhaps decades, behind most of your competition. Being old fashioned can be a badge of honor when it comes to being trustworthy and thoughtful, but it is nothing to be proud of when it comes to your online presence. Business websites and social media accounts are great ways to be discovered by clients and remain top of mind, but they are not the only options. If you have a niche area of expertise as a firm or individual (you should work on that if you do not), consider contacting trade papers and other publications that touch your target clientele and offer to write an online piece about something timely. If professionally written, this will get you noticed as an expert in your field, and, depending on the publisher’s SEO, may help you and your company rise closer to the top of Google’s search results to be spotted by interested prospects. — Hayden Kopser, North Improvement LLC

25. Think Ahead. Think big, think small, think different, but always think ahead of your competitors. Start with a clear vision of the future direction of your firm and where you want it to go. Remember, major transformations usually start by thinking outside the box. — Ali Liaquat

26. Value Awards. It has been difficult for sales and marketing teams to interact with clients due to travel restrictions. Despite all odds, everyone made a great adjustment to their work style and reached out to folks in innovative ways. Every quarter, review customer and employee feedback and choose the participants displaying the company’s core values at work. Impact: It will motivate employees to align the company’s mission and values and represent the company more pleasantly. The benefits may be seen in multiple metrics like employee retention, customer satisfaction, increased revenue, customer retention. — Sanatya Singh, American Modern Insurance Group

27. Empower Your Team. Personal growth means letting go of the reigns more, which can be very difficult. However, to succeed, it must be done. Empowering the team means being open to new ideas, hiring those who can add new skills and different perspectives, and asking and listening more than dictating. The freedom to make mistakes also needs to be part of the culture to allow for professional growth in pursuit of greater things. This is not in lieu of accountability. It is rather intended to inspire creativity. — Caren Henry, Breckenridge Group

28. Loss Runs. The biggest complaint from most insureds is they do not receive their claims loss runs. Providing online access or at least monthly loss runs is a great way to keep the agency in front of the insureds throughout the policy period. The loss runs also eliminate any surprises at renewal. — James Moore, J&L Risk Management Consultants Inc

29. Ask Your Clients What’s Best. Ask the potential client what he perceives the solution to be to solve the reason for the problem he is asking you to address for him. — William Murphy, CP Insurance Associates

30. Differentiate the Process. You differentiate with your process, not your product. And, if you can’t share a graphic of your process, then you don’t have one. — Frank Pennachio, ReSource Pro

31. Treat Your Clients Special. Everyone likes to feel important and special, including your clients. If they feel like they truly matter to you, they are much more likely to be loyal and do business with you. Whether it be a dinner or happy hour to show appreciation for their time and business, or simply a visit to their office, the time and attention usually makes them feel like they matter to you. Your time is valuable, just as theirs is, and they know that. I have many clients who never meet my competition face to face, even though they’ve worked on deals with them, so when I show up, they feel that level of importance that often earns me their business. The simplest of connections, especially in person, can go a million miles for your relationship. — Chris Ornce, RT Specialty

32. Balance Your Communications. Determine the best combination of digital and personal communication. Although the pandemic has overhauled how we communicate, you don’t want individuals to feel lost in the digital shuffle. Personal interaction is still crucial, so find a way to balance the two modes of communication. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

33. Adapt. We learned during the pandemic that a disrupted market is also a market full of potential opportunities. Agents who were able to adapt continued to prosper and grow. At the same time, having a strong customer orientation helped agents stay focused on what made them successful in the first place. Agents do well when they can take advantage of opportunities and still provide value. — David Tralka, InsurBanc

34. Cyber-Risk Awareness. Cyber risk has increased exponentially and is threatening as almost all business transactions, discussions and ideas are shared electronically. Develop email letters, trainings and even a video series to educate employees to increase cyber risk awareness, especially email phishing. To attract active participation, develop awards and other similar tactics to attract attention for better results. Impact: It will save the company from proprietary business/data loss and save against cyber ransomware attacks. — Sanatya Singh, American Modern Insurance Group

35. I to You. In your copy (especially emails) check your I to YOU ratio. If you have more I’s than you’s, then the email is all about you and not the person you’re sending it to. One trick is to just remove the I from the beginning of the sentence, but if you’re not comfortable doing that, rewrite the sentence and lead with your reader, not you. — Sarah Chadwick, Commercial Restoration Company

36. Be Honest. Stop telling clients you can save them money, especially when you don’t know their premium, prior claims information or current coverage. Tell them something honest. Review their policies and risks and help them find the best value. Earn their respect as an insurance professional, not a sales professional. — Jeff McIntosh, Energy Insurance Agency Inc.

37. Include Companions. When quoting mono-line flood, include a companion quote for homeowners as opportunity to earn more client business/loyalty. — Warren Wettenstein, Wettenstein Insurance

38. Just Because Your Competitors Do It Does Not Mean You Must Do It, Too. Make sure the digital tools your agency uses solve measurable problems or needs and offer maximum security. Just having the latest gadget or gimmick doesn’t cut it. — Tom Wetzel, Thomas H. Wetzel & Associates

39. Address Unique Needs. If you serve several audiences, address the unique needs of each audience. It’s poor to assume that every customer has the exact same needs. The more you can customize the sales journey for each customer, the more they will feel heard. — Michael Fusco, Fusco Orsini & Associates

40. Modernize Customer Service. Self-service options allow for client needs to be met quickly, when and where it’s convenient to them. Implementing tools such as 24×7, secure client self-service options accessible through smart phone apps and web portals is essential for agencies looking to meet client expectations for modern, digital experiences. — RickFox, Vertafore

41. Build Your Network on LinkedIn. Connect and engage with content. If you’re scared to post your own content, you can still build your personal brand and network by leaving thoughtful comments on other people’s content. — Sarah Chadwick, Commercial Restoration Company

42. Identify Influencers. Look for people who can promote your business by putting your name in the public eye. Create sharable content for social media to encourage engagement and examine opportunities for more promotion on a regular basis. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

43. Bring Back Old Methods. Many people have electronic communication fatigue. Instead, send a postcard or flyer to prospects or clients. It will cost more, but often leads to higher results from the targeted audience. — Craig Most, Most Insurance

44. Set Expectations. During the sales process, identify what pain point you solve and don’t exaggerate the benefits. Be bold about what you will and won’t do. Educate the customer so they understand what needs to be done, how it will be done, and what to expect along each step of the way. — June Taylor, Wilkinson Insurance Agency

45. Implement Account Rounding. At least once a year, agencies should implement an account rounding campaign. For example, if you have a client’s homeowners policy, try to write their auto policy or add a personal articles policy, etc. This will give you another opportunity to connect with your customer and have a consultative chat. Not only will this strengthen your relationship, but it could generate a sale. — Dulce Suarez-Resnick, Acentria Insurance

46. Bunts and Singles. Take a lesson from baseball and consider a bunts and singles approach to account rounding. For example, with homeowners clients, recommend the newer equipment breakdown, cyber and service line coverages. This allows you to offer something that clients may not yet be aware is available. — Lisa Parry Becker, Parry Insurance

47. Routine Testing. Objectively review the customer experience your firm delivers. Regularly review and adjust your processes and procedures to ensure they are delivering the desired experience. Technology can change with automatic updates, weblinks can break or phone system routing can get cobbled. By routinely testing, you can preempt a bad customer experience. — Kitty Ambers, AVYST

48. Metrics Matter. To make the most out of your sales and marketing efforts, measure and track the results and be prepared to adapt your strategy. It sounds simple, but it can save you a lot of wasted effort. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

49. Choose Social Selectively. Just because a social media platform or marketing channel exists doesn’t mean you have to be on it. Choose the ones where your customers and prospects are and go there. It’s always better to choose a few channels and do them well than to be in all channels do them poorly. — Sarah Chadwick, Commercial Restoration Company

50. Stick to the Facts. Keep your emotions out of the workplace, stick to the facts. — Sean Koop, RT Specialty LLC

51. Build Your Network. Focus a large amount of your sales and marketing energy on building a network of referral sources. Spend time each week developing mutually beneficial relationships with individuals and firms that have influence over the types of companies or families that you want to win as clients. Examples of excellent potential referral sources include wealth advisors, certain types of lawyers, and lenders. Offer to provide your insurance expertise as a resource to these professionals and make them aware of exactly when your skillset can be utilized (e.g., providing coverage for home closings or insurance advice to a divorcing couple splitting up assets). If you develop these relationships properly you will be brought in to help these informal partners close deals and keep their clients happy and make money for yourself in the process. In a true mutually beneficial relationship, the referrer will typically expect nothing in return once you do your part because by doing something they cannot, you are helping them make money. — Hayden Kopser, North Improvement LLC

52. Be Responsive. Response time is the “location, location, location” of the insurance market. Responsiveness in the insurance industry is one of, if not the most, important traits you can have. If you don’t respond timely, your clients will find someone who does. — Ashlee Paieda, RT Specialty

53. Socialize Your Social Good. Extend the impact of your social good efforts by actively promoting the nonprofits and causes your agency supports. Social media is a great place to showcase those efforts, while keeping the content authentic and centered around the nonprofit. Be sure to include photos when posting: Social posts that include photos or videos get much more engagement overall and can bring your community engagement to life. You’ll also want to get express permission from everyone in the photo to post. — Alexis Holzer, Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance

54. Train to Ask. Every time you receive a compliment on your services, this should be one of the most peak times and opportunities to ask for a referral. Train your brain to ask. — Travers Downes, WIA

55. Focus. Engagement isn’t just about likes. It’s about having real conversations with customers and making them the focus in your business. Having a podcast, like we have done with The Insurance Haus, is a fun and organic way to show our customers that we appreciate them, while leveraging the interview content for storytelling. The more real-life journeys we can share, the easier it is for a prospect to see themselves as our customer. — Michael Fusco, Fusco Orsini & Associates

56. Invest in Digital. Highly digital agencies grow revenue 60% faster than their less-digital counterparts, according to a recent report from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance. Some digital initiatives will require more investment up front than others — financial, time, or both — but all will ultimately pay dividends. Customers will be more satisfied, team members will have more time to focus on relationship building, and prospect pipelines will grow. — Manny Barbosa, Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance

57. Nurture Your Online Reputation. If an agency’s website is like its storefront, online ratings and reviews are the billboards and neon signs. They draw people in and inspire them to either reach out or look somewhere else. Build a strong online reputation by proactively asking happy clients for reviews and promptly responding to and resolving negative reviews. — Bosung Kim, Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance

58. Maintain CRM Database. Clean data means better ROI for digital marketing. Maintaining an up-to-date CRM database will help ensure that you are emailing the best prospects for more targeted campaigns. And better targets mean more revenue potential. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

59. Don’t Assume. For marketers especially, don’t make assumptions. Don’t solely rely on information from your sales team regarding client insights. Get out there and talk to your customers and prospects yourself. Having firsthand customer insights is the best way to guide your strategy. — Sarah Chadwick, Commercial Restoration Company

60. Get Tech-Assisted Communications. Automated marketing and client engagement tools can help agencies track customer satisfaction metrics, manage online reputation, and target the right clients with the right information at the right time without adding a marketing team or extra work for agents. From personalized birthday cards to customized renewal reminders, these automation tools enable agencies of all sizes to up their communications strategy to improve client relationships and retention rates. — Rick Fox, Vertafore

61. Automate the Conventional. Automate manual tasks and processes to free up time for new business or more valuable personal consultation with your clients. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

62. Car Wash. Let local kids use your parking lot for car washes to raise money.

63. ADA Accessible. Make your website accessible and easy for customers with disabilities.

64. Take Yourself Out of the Sale. As a broker, your expertise and personal touch are not just valued, they are needed by most clients with non-basic needs. Even though that is true, it is the clients’ time frames and desires that will fuel most sales cycles. I recommend worrying less about booking business and getting your commission paid out and focusing more on listening to what each client needs (spoken and unspoken needs), as well as when they expect those needs must be met. By taking this approach you will find yourself winning more business and taking fewer bruises to your ego when some clients inevitably do not match your level of urgency. If you are seeking to win long-term clients there is no need to rush a non-urgent sale. Most clients appreciate a softer sales approach (who likes a pushy salesperson?) and will be far quicker to refer you to friends and family if you gently close your deals by providing competitive coverage and clear advice than if you jam the sale through. Let your advice and knowledge of coverage and claims generate legitimate urgency on a client’s end rather than false urgency built around closing a deal before it is ready to close. — Hayden Kopser, North Improvement LLC

65. Make Things Easy. Remove friction at every stage of your buyer’s journey (which is not linear by the way) and make it as easy as possible for someone to do business with you. — Sarah Chadwick, Commercial Restoration Company

66. Support Performance. Supporting a client’s performance and payment bond needs for construction projects not only helps your agency build the community, but also gives you as an agent a chance to establish long-term, enjoyable, productive relationships with surety underwriters and contractor clients. And because the nature of construction is that new bonds are needed repeatedly there are multiple opportunities to serve your client throughout the year. — Darrel K. Lamb, Old Republic Surety

67. Focus on Digital. Digital activations, like securely sharing documents, messaging clients, and allowing online payments, can improve workflows and allow for agency growth. When an agency is able to better manage operations and customer relationships through digital solutions, business leaders are given the data and time needed to identify areas of growth. — Rick Fox, Vertafore

68. Anatomy of Marketing. Make sure you are the heart to customer engagement, the brain to strategies, the relationship builders to audiences, the eyes to analytics, the backbone to accomplish company goals. So, every time your company finds itself in an uncertain situation, marketing can fix it but not just for a one-time fix. It’s the food to your business to sustain, improve and succeed. Focus on marketing because it’s the key driver for any company. — Karen Fleites, H.M. House of Marketing

69. Use Data for Prospecting. The importance of data is widely known but it doesn’t only have to be used with your existing customer base. Leverage data to filter and target the most qualified leads and then utilize those data points to better understand their insurance profiles so you are able to provide solutions to their unique pain points. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

70. Listen to Understand. Listen to your customers to fully understand what their needs and wants are. We tend to not listen to understand, we listen ONLY to reply. Having a full understanding on what your customers need allows you to better assist and build trust. — Jonathan Friedland, Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company

71. Be First. Be the first to enter new markets or new areas of specialization. Figure out how you can put together service offerings, products and programs that are unique and are in demand by your existing clients. — Ali Liaquat

72. Stay True to Yourself. Your brand is who you are, and your future clients are going to connect with you based on your brand, your values. — Raeann Keeley-Pellerin, Full Picture Marketing

73. Response Is Everything. To get a prospect/client that even wants to talk insurance is very rare, so jump on that as soon as you can. Once the client knows they are in good communication with an agent, they tend to not call elsewhere to get alternative quotes. — Travers Downes, WIA

74. Increase Retention Ideals. If the agency holds three policies or more for an insured your retention rates go up. So having the agency team work on account round outs is key. If the agency team can round out all of their mono line business their book of business will see great growth. — Shawn McIntyre, Universal

75. Be Confident in Your Skill and Product. Prospects can sense when you are unsure on how to process a change or when explaining a coverage. Understanding how each carrier’s system and process works will give you the confidence to guide an insured into securing the best policy for them and their family. Once that trust is established referrals will increase making you a key asset to the community. — Jaime Oporto, Universal P&C

76. Personalize Messaging. Even if you are sending an email to a large audience, utilizing tokens to personalize first names, company name, region/city within your email messaging is a great way to make your message more human and stand out from other automated emails. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

77. Educate. Create posts on the agency’s social media accounts to educate existing and potential clients about insurance-related FAQs. For example, what is a deductible? What is an effective date? Etc. — Kate Anderson, Universal Property & Casualty

78. Be Authentic. When I’m working with agency principals on their video messaging, often the adage, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” is very apt. It’s not usual for someone new to video to approach it like they are filming a commercial and they feel constrained like they are memorizing a script. I remind them that it’s more important to be authentic and sincere in conveying the message, which the audience will appreciate more than a stiff rendition. — Eric Chemi, Team & Total Insurance Solutions

79. Establish Your Brand Early. If you want to be the agent that provides the highest level of coverage for your customers, then don’t give in to the insureds that always want the cheapest price. You will spend more time and money chasing price every year. Understand, know what your customer needs. Educate, what is the insurance protecting? And provide the protection they deserve. — Matt Hoffman, Universal Property & Casualty

80. Always Umbrella. Always include a quote for umbrella/excess liability coverage. — Katie Vaughan, CiraConnect Insurance Services LP

81. Polls. Invest in a research/polling activity that interests your community or target markets.

82. Facilitate Speed. Keeping in mind that insurance is rarely front and center for the average client is important for your ego, as well as for your understanding of client/prospect urgency. Even the most necessary and complex insurance policy will often be an afterthought for a client (personal or commercial), so it is not an intentional insult to you or your firm if they call you at the proverbial or literal last minute for help. It is on us as insurance sales professionals to have carrier and wholesale broker relationships that are strong enough to allow for speedy negotiations and placements when clients are in need, and we possess the expertise required to service them. Though our industry can often move slowly, clients should never have to feel that it does when their needs happen to be urgent. — Hayden Kopser, North Improvement LLC

83. Support Nonprofits. Let local nonprofits use your meeting room for free.

84. Hybridize Work Environments. Now that we’ve seen that working from home is not only feasible but also profitable, smart agencies can reap the benefits of embracing a hybrid work environment to recruit the talent they need. Recruiting and retaining young talent will get easier as agencies take advantage of the flexibility and tech-enabled workplace that younger generations expect. — Rick Fox, Vertafore

85. Be Digital. Go as digital as you can.

86. Keep it Brief. People are busy and you are interrupting their day. Massively long emails or other communications are boring and key details will get missed. — Amanda Flynn, Zywave

87. Strategize. Set aside time each week to discuss and plan a strategy. Set aside specific time each week to make phone calls for new business.

88. Fix What’s Broke. Stop to review once a month what is working, what is not and how to fix what’s broken.

89. Learn with IT. Involve your IT in marketing to learn what and when to automate.

90. Past Due Accounts. Monitor collections closely; don’t wait until it is too late. Reach out to create solutions.

91. Hit Ratio. Establish a minimum hit ratio of accounts written out of total quoted and hold producers to it.

92. Call the Press. Submit press releases that mirror the news style of the publications you are sending them to, whether local or trade. Write them for the audience, not for yourself or for your boss.

93. Respond to the News. Offer yourself to media for background and comment on insurance aspects when something happens in a community or industry you cover.

94. Office Hours. Befriend a local coffee shop owner and hold “office hours” there once a month or week at same day, time and location. Let everyone know you are there to answers questions from anyone, help with insurance matters, or just enjoy a cup of joe.

95. Know Your Carriers. Agencies should understand the current appetites of their carriers so they can select the best ones for their account submissions. There are data tools that can help with this.

96. Data Protection. Protect your agency’s data and, more important, protect your ownership of and access to your data from vendors who would deny you.

97. Tracking Data. Strive to better understand and track the demographics of your market. Don’t be afraid to ask clients for details on their homes, cars, assets, kids and their ages.

98. Testify. In addition to having others do testimonials for your firm, offer to do them for others and get yourself in front of their customers.

99. Focus Your Producers. Define the sales situations you want producers to be focused on. At a minimum, this should be meetings with prospects, delivering proposals to new business and renewing existing accounts. Direct producers to spend as much of their time as possible in sales situations while delegating everything else.

100. Be Thankful. Showing gratitude, the old fashion way, is key to developing and retaining a network that will support you. Whether sending donuts to a referral source, flowers to a customer, or a handwritten thank you note to follow up on a meeting, being thankful will never let you down.

101. Share the Wealth. Even the very best sales and marketing efforts will fail if you don’t have the best staff in place to support those efforts. Share your agency’s wealth with your staff.

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