Insurance Professionals Checklist: The Dos and Don’ts of Holiday Business Communications

Holiday communications are a great way to build and maintain business relationships. But, how do you choose the right format and message? You do not need expensive gifts, detailed embossing or shimmery foil. What you do need is to show your appreciation with style and a message that's uniquely your own. Here are some dos…

Holiday communications are a great way to build and maintain business relationships. But, how do you choose the right format and message? You do not need expensive gifts, detailed embossing or shimmery foil. What you do need is to show your appreciation with style and a message that's uniquely your own. Here are some dos and don'ts to ensure your well-meaning gesture makes the right impression.

Dos

  • Be professional.
  • Remember that the quality of your holiday card is a reflection on you.
  • Include a personal handwritten message. Instead of “Merry Christmas,” you might write, “All the best to you and your family in the New Year, Dan!”
  • Consider including a photo of your team – it helps clients feel like they know you better. Keep it tasteful, fun and informal.
  • If you have a small office, the card should be signed by everyone who interacts with the client.
  • If you have the time / budget, have your creative partner develop a customized design.
  • Consider sending a gift with a meaningfulful theme that reflects your core value proposition. (See more on gifts below.)
  • Instead of communicating at Christmas like many companies, consider sending Thanksgiving or New Years cards to avoid religious snafus and stand out from the crowd.

Don'ts

  • Avoid silly cards. You may think a funny joke or a naked Santa stuck in a chimney is entertaining, but not everyone will share your humor. Make your best impression without comedy.
  • Never send cheap Christmas cards – they make you look cheap.
  • Eliminate misspellings. Spell each contact and company name correctly.
  • Do not print a huge logo on the cover of your holiday cards. The card should communicate a genuine, heartfelt message. It should not feel like a sales pitch.
  • Do not forget to mail your holiday cards in time to arrive during the holiday season. December 15th is the custom cut-off date for Christmas cards. Allow extra time for international mailings.
  • Do not forget to say, “THANKS.”

Are holiday e-cards appropriate?

If your business relationship is connected through e-mail, sending an electronic holiday card is appropriate. However, if e-mail is not your sole means of correspondence, you should send a traditional holiday card.

Are gifts a good idea?

Business gift giving is challenging, and with the downsized economy, many companies are skipping gifts altogether. If you choose to send a gift, focus on quality, practicality and meaning. If you're sending a pen, make sure it's of high quality and include a note that gives meaning to the gift – eg, “Wishing you thousands of signed contacts in 2011.” Send something that will be used. If you work with multiple people in the office, food is often universally appreciated. Find a high-end bakery in the client's neighborhood and arrange a surprise delivery for brunch one day. If you want to go all out, consider sending a four-piece orchestra for noon-time entertainment. Just make sure to coordinate with the office manager to ensure good timing.

What about calendars?

Although they're used a lot, calendars are still one of the most effective ways to keep your name in front of your client year-round. Consider a format that works for your target audience. For example, large 2-by-3 foot wall calendars are perfect for commercial clients who need writing space to schedule freight deliveries or employee vacations. A small 3-by-5 ​​inch table tent flip calendar is convenient for office clients. Think about your audience and then choose a calendar design to best meet its needs.

The holiday season offers a great opportunity to communicate with clients and build relationships. Just follow these simple rules to ensure that your holiday communication makes a positive impression.

Quality of Business Takes the Limelight

As with all Companies, the quality of trade is the most vital aspect in keeping high-quality trade. I see quality in three levels. Each one of these phases affects your profits, particularly your renewals. Stage 1 One of the most decay phase for an Agent's profitability is when the application is taken to the field.…

As with all Companies, the quality of trade is the most vital aspect in keeping high-quality trade. I see quality in three levels. Each one of these phases affects your profits, particularly your renewals.

Stage 1
One of the most decay phase for an Agent's profitability is when the application is taken to the field. No struggle is intense enough to salvage a deal that should not have been sold to begin with. This comes along to inexpensive needs-based selling. Do the services fit the needs of the applicable, plus are they inexpensive to the applicant? Take into account, while it may be reasonable in the beginning, the plan also needs to maintain value in the eyes of a policyholder in the foreseeable future as well. So, underselling can cause a belief that if ever the fee of a policy is inexpensive, maybe it holds less usefulness. The needs-based laptop display is targeted directly to sales agent profitability!

Important to quality is following appropriate processes. Has the paperwork been answered entirely, truthfully, and precisely? If required, were the proper questions submitted? Does the applicant understand the lifetime obligation to offer to the monthly payment? Do you think you're reviewing a specimen policy to help the applicant understand the deal when received? Did you prepare the applicant for the potential of being rated or denied? Managers and sales leaders, how often do you retrain the fundamentals and ideas of needs-based affordable sales?

Stage 2
Once the application is brought into an agency office, the second phase of the quality process begins. Is management reviewing the paperwork for correctness and completeness? Are mistakes made by other agents used in the training process for all to learn from? Are the sales managers reviewing the specifics of the presentation that occurred while in the home? Is the Agency office verification process set up to determine the eligibility, the affordability, the benefit knowledge, along with the long-term commitment of an applicable?

Stage 3
When the application is dispatched to Home Office, and assuming it completes the ongoing process, it becomes issued. We have now entered the third stage of this quality process. Does your agency possess a written policy on policy delivery? Have you been trained on handling rated cases? At the end of the work week, are you and your manager reviewing your advance report, and now have you been thoroughly engaged in reading and interpreting the action items? Action items are losses in the advance report, ie lapses, cancels, withdraws, incompletes, Declines and NTOs. Are you printing out any action items from the weekly advance report and contacting the policyholder that week to view what we could do to get the policy back on the books?

Working lapses the minute they surface in your advance report then getting the information reinstated results in your long-term profitability. The faster you speak to the policyholder, the more likely they're to reinstate. Many lapsed policies are purely due to bank moves. Set up an appointment to come to the policyholder's house to resell the policy, get new banking information, and / or gather the premium along with a good health statement. If you are unable to call the policyholder by phone, make use of the lapse as a “door knock.” You've a vastly good grounds to stop at the home, and be sure to demonstrate your honest concern for the welfare of the household in the event anything happens to the insured.

There are more facets involved in quality and its relationship with profitability. Still, probably the most important feature in your long term profitability is acceptable point-of-sale competency. Work well together with your manager plus State general agent, and then get ready for those (additional) renewals!

Good Insurance Sales Strategies

Sales strategies in the insurance industry can be a tough game if you're new to the field. Selling insurance can be tough, because it's an intuitive product. And often, if it's life insurance, you're not even there to get the payout if a claim is made! Here are some of the top insurance sales strategies…

Sales strategies in the insurance industry can be a tough game if you're new to the field. Selling insurance can be tough, because it's an intuitive product. And often, if it's life insurance, you're not even there to get the payout if a claim is made!

Here are some of the top insurance sales strategies in use these days. Use them to sell more insurance, or use them to be able to make sure the guys selling it do not sucker you into buying more than you need!

1. Use the phrase: “Check out these results” to get your clients attention, and show then evidence of your success with the product and other peoples testimonials.

2. Use the phrase: “This plan is designed specifically for you” to make it personal. Many insurance sales are made because the emotional buttons are targeted. Hit them on the head when you make it personal for each customer or client.

3. Use the phrase: “And this is only the tip of the iceberg, there are so many other ways you win” to make the deal seem like the best thing on earth. Hey, you can only talk so fast, so it stands to reason that if this thing is so good you've just got to choose some of the best stuff to tell your customer. This keeps them interested to hear more.

4. Say something like: “This product is backed by extensible research”. Keep your customers reassured by letting them know that the experts are on the job. If there's been good research done by leaders in the field you're sure to gain more credibility.

5. Tell a story about yourself. Say something like: “Based on my personal experience” and follow with an example of how things were bad for you, until you did something different and things worked out well. This encourages the person you're speaking with to see how you and he are the same in some way, and they bought to try something different because you did, and things worked out well!

6. Make sure to mention how you've been quoted in a famous location. Something like “As seen on TV” is a popular method. Or: “As seen on Oprah” is another one that's used frequently. Garner more authority by letting others think you've got an association with someone famous, or in the know.

You can make some great strategies by blending the above, and think of some of your own too. Happy selling!

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Insurance Agent

Waiting on the phone to ring and writing a good insurance package for your clients is not enough in today's world of competitive insurance companies. With just a few tips, you can easily rake in six figures with a plan, dedication to your profession and hard work. Education Perhaps your life has not always been…

Waiting on the phone to ring and writing a good insurance package for your clients is not enough in today's world of competitive insurance companies. With just a few tips, you can easily rake in six figures with a plan, dedication to your profession and hard work.

Education

Perhaps your life has not always been geared towards selling insurance but that does not mean that you can not be the best once this is the road you wish to take. Business classes and insurance seminars are a must to learn the business and to stay on top of the challenges that insurance companies face. Never stop studying and knowing what is coming down the road so you can make the best choices for your clients.

Select a Focus

Do not just offer a variety of homeowners, health, life or medical types of coverage but take one area and really hit it hard. Specializing in a particular insurance coverage will not only build a reputation among those that you have written but will also give you unlimited opportunities to educate the public and to pick up more business. Focus on professional organizations, offering free seminars and speaking to groups of employees and share your knowledge of what they need to know about your selected area of ​​insurance. Your students will always remember certain facts and know where to turn.

Marketing

A business card is nice but never let the fish get away! Jot down ideas throughout the month and deliver monthly newsletters to all of your prospects by email or brochures through the mail. Make your information entertaining and resourceful so that possible and existing clients will look forward to your presentation every month.

Offer Choices

Many individuals do not appreciate an insurance agent telling them that only one policy is right for them. People like to be involved in the process, especially with something as personal as insurance. Select three separate plans that are appropriate for your client and allow them to be a part of the final decision. They will walk away with a new plan and feel good about knowing that it is the best for their needs.

Get Personal

Insurance is a business that requires discretion and being able to win a client's trust. It is difficult for your insured to trust you with their needs when they never see you. Always have a planner and keep it filled with appointments to meet with your existing clients at least twice a year. If your schedule becomes overwhelming, make a phone call. Any type of personal contact is better than none.

Learn to stay involved with the people who are paying you for a service and they will send their friends and neighbors to you. Many businesses do not even have a face behind a policy today and soon wonder why clients are not loyal to good coverage from their insurance company.

If you follow the above tips, I have no doubt you will become a successful insurance agent. All that is left is for you to execute.

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Convert Insurance Prospects to Policies in 3 Minutes or Less

Insurance is a tough business. With federal and state regulations it can be challenging to put the marketing into action that you really desire. The ease of the internet has enabled customers to shop rates in minutes. Why can not these people understand there is so much more to insurance than just the best price?…

Insurance is a tough business. With federal and state regulations it can be challenging to put the marketing into action that you really desire. The ease of the internet has enabled customers to shop rates in minutes. Why can not these people understand there is so much more to insurance than just the best price?

Do not they understand that they get what they pay for? Do not they understand that saving $ 20 annually could cost them $ 1,000's of dollars when it comes time to make a claim? With the national insurers throwing millions of dollars weekly on commercials it can seem challenging to convert prospects because they only ever seem concerned about price!

Instead of competitiveness on price or throwing your money away on building your “brand” I invite you to consider a different method. Do not let your prospects control the call anymore. Each lead that calls or emails you is valuable, when you have the right approach.

There are not good leads or bad leads, there are just leads. With the right scripts for your insurance prospects you will have them eager to sign up for home, auto and even life insurance policies. Transforming these prospects into policies does not involve the hard sell; it merely requires asking the right questions.

  1. Stop Statement – It's natural for a prospect to ask about price. Price is the main item that people use to compare insurance companies. When they call asking for what the cost is for “X” type of insurance I invite you to stop them. Put yourself in control of the call by stopping them from asking questions. Although there are dozens of stop statements, you could use something as simple as “let me look up the price of X. While I look that up …” The quicker you stop them from asking the questions the quicker you will get the policy sale.
  2. First Question – Instead of using a tired insurance sales script that talks about protection or safety, ask a probing question. Ask a question that you reveal their level of expertise. Do not try to qualify the prospect, just ask a simple question that uncovers their need for insurance. It could be a simple interest piquing question like “Is this your first time shopping for insurance?” Keep it simple and keep control.
  3. Value Question – Most insurance agents get stuck and go into pitch mode after they ask their first question. Instead of telling the prospects about your different levels of coverage consider asking them a question that other agents would be scared to. Ask them a question that piques their interest and makes it irresistible for them to take the next step. It could be something as simple as “are you aware there is a $ 15 item that can save you money on your home insurance?” (Ie braided lines on washing machines result in a discount for many insurers).

Converting insurance prospects into policies will go quickly when you use stop statements, ask a powerful first question and ask an irresistible interest piquing question. Putting these three simple steps into action will have you selling more policies with each phone call.

Discover insurance sales scripts converted into interest piquing questions that get you the policy today. Free 5 day, video powered course to help you double your sales in just 5 days – www.QuestionsThatSell.com

A Tongue In The Cheek Look At Insurance Companies

Almost everything in life can be insured! I once read that as soon as value can be allocated to something, that “something” can be insured! We insure our cars against theft, damage, rain, fire and accidents. Our homes are protected against brake-ins, water damage, fire damage and structural damage. We take out cover on our…

Almost everything in life can be insured! I once read that as soon as value can be allocated to something, that “something” can be insured!

We insure our cars against theft, damage, rain, fire and accidents. Our homes are protected against brake-ins, water damage, fire damage and structural damage. We take out cover on our own lives for when we are not able to work anymore or to provide for our loved ones when we're no longer there. There are also medical policies which will take care of our medicine bills, dentist bills and even hospital visits. If we are our own bosses and we have our own offices we are able to take out commercial insurance to cover us in case practically anything goes wrong. We can even take out insurance for our pets in the form of a pet medical aid!

Have you ever stopped to think how much fun life would be if insurance companies were really able to offer insurance on EVERYTHING? I would like to recommend the following insurance policies:

The “I am getting fat policy” – We all gain a couple of unwanted kilograms at some stage or another. There is always a reason to celebrate, from weddings and anniversaries to birthdays, christenings, housewarmings and the very popular “hey, it's Wednesday” parties! By leading such jolly lives we unfortunately tend to expand horizontally sooner or later! Therefore I would like to be able to put in a claim against my fat! This claim will be able to cover the trolley load full of fresh fruit and vegetables I need for my new diet, the hip new clothes once I am back to my ideal weight … and of course a couple of very expensive slimming and cellulite treatments at a weight loss clinic!

Secondly, there would be the “I do not feel like going to work policy” – Let's be honest, we all have days when we just really do not feel like getting up and sitting in traffic to go to work. This policy should be quite comprehensive as it will not only need to cover the temp worker who will be able to do my work at short notice, but also the full body massage and mud bath that I will just have to pamper myself with at a fancy spa – this is off course part of the de-stressing technique to get me back to work and is actually to my boss's benefit. Insurance companies, please take note, this policy should be taken out by employers, not employees!

Lastly, there would be the “I told you not to do that policy” – This policy comes with a baseball bat and an ice pack. The next time someone pulls in front of you on a highway, talks on their cellphones in the cinema or smoke in a non-smoking section you can give him / her a big whack with the baseball bat, hand them the ice pack and phone your insurance company to sort out the rest of their medical expenses.

Do not you think life would be so much more fun that way? But yikes, just imagine how high our monthly premiums would be.

10 Steps to Help You Boost Your Insurance Career

Do you work in the insurance industry? If so, you'll know how competitive it can be to get ahead. Here are 10 steps to give your career a boost. 1. Networking has long been performed as a method of boosting your career. By attending events, mingling with fellow professionals and getting yourself known, you'll be…

Do you work in the insurance industry? If so, you'll know how competitive it can be to get ahead. Here are 10 steps to give your career a boost.

1. Networking has long been performed as a method of boosting your career. By attending events, mingling with fellow professionals and getting yourself known, you'll be well on your way to success.

2. Using networking, conferences, meetings, emails and any other form of communications, build a base of contacts within the industry. You never know when you might need a good work putting in.

3. Build a profile for yourself using every means available to you. Supplement your networking profile with social media tools like Twitter and LinkedIn and connect yourself to the industry at large.

4. Put the hours and hard work in and you should not go too far wrong. There are no real shortcuts to success, just tips to help you make the most of the effort you put in.

5. It is an important step to identify the right time to move jobs. Switching to a new company is often the fastest way to climb the corporate ladder, but timing is everything. Wait until you've achieved something with your current employer or until the right opportunity comes along.

6. One of the best ways to do this is to have a good grant on which are the best companies in the market. Find out that those are performing best and listen to what people have to say about working there.

7. It's also a good idea to create a plan of how you'd like your insurance career to go, including where you want to end up. You may take a different path to get there, but the focus will help you succeed.

8. Know what's going on in the sector is important in most industries, but in insurance, it's absolutely essential. Make sure you're reading the latest insurance news, reinsurance news andwriting news, so you know what's going on.

9. It is also a good idea to identify trends in the industry and make sure you stay ahead of the curve. Business insurance intelligence is a vital tool in outperforming your competitors and reading trade publications could be the key to gaining it.

10. Another way to build your business insurance intelligence is to read industry reports on a broad range of industry-related topics. Become a fount of all knowledge for your sector and you can not fail to succeed.

If you're looking for insurance news , underwriting news or any other form of insurance insight, it may be helpful to read a viable trade publication.

Tips on Getting Car Insurance

Life takes by surprise very often. You are still riding on that wave of newly bought car. Plan outings, show off to known and unknown people, cares the car with a caution that touching should not bring it a scar! Little do you know a small reckless driving either on your or others' part can…

Life takes by surprise very often. You are still riding on that wave of newly bought car. Plan outings, show off to known and unknown people, cares the car with a caution that touching should not bring it a scar! Little do you know a small reckless driving either on your or others' part can bring ghastly dents let alone scratches and of course not to mention the injuries. In the fraction of a second your process of pride is reduced to tin and metal. Oh what a relief it brings to know that you are fully insured.

Very often we find expensive cars are easily bought and insurance is usually saved upon except for the amount compulsorily specified by the state. This is a classic case of penny wise and pound foolish. There are also examples of people who do not go in for swanky cars because though they can afford to buy those they can not afford the insurance and maintenance each month. Where do we fit in all this then?

One needs to be prudent while choosing a car insurance. There are pages and pages of people who offer car insurance on the net with a range in the promotions. We need to maneuver our way through this maze and find an insurance that suits us best.

Some tips to consider while buying insurance.

1) Always buy the maximum insurance that is available and that you can afford. Always helps you to relax
2) Get insurance from authentic and market survival firm. Some firms may offer low premium but may not have that pay out capacity at the time of the claim. At the claim time anyway you have other headaches and you surely want smooth insurance operations.
3) Pay the state specified insurance as a base and anything above that you can afford.
4) Take a concession on the insurance of parts which probably you might not claim or can pay from your pocket. This will reduce your premium.
5) There are various types of insurance, like comprehensive that covers your vehicle for theft, fire anything other than collision
6) Collision insurance covers your car for the damage due to collision
7) Medical coverage of the medical expenses due to collision
8) Collision and medical coverage insurance to the other person, other than your vehicle. In cases where it is your fault.

These are the basic insurances that one should try to get.

Medicare Supplement Leads – Don’t Overlook “Freshness”

There are many components that make for good Medicare supplement leads. Among the most valuable and frequently overlooked would be the relative “freshness” of the leads. That is to say, you will want to call medicare supplement leads that have not been permanently called by insurance agents. When an insurance company or individual agent is…

There are many components that make for good Medicare supplement leads. Among the most valuable and frequently overlooked would be the relative “freshness” of the leads. That is to say, you will want to call medicare supplement leads that have not been permanently called by insurance agents. When an insurance company or individual agent is working with a list of fresh medicare supplement leads, the potential to sell a policy is more likely.

The reasons for this should be quite obvious.

Any potential customer that has been called repeatedly may have already made his or her mind up regarding whether or not to purchase a policy. In some instances, the individual may already be quite tuned out to hearing any type of pitch from an agent. The client may be taking the attitude that he / she has “heard it all” and do not want to purchase. Such customers are, well, not really customers since they will probably hang up without a second thought.

Then, there is the “customer” on the other end of the spectrum. Such an individual will be the person that has no intention of buying but will stay on the line simply to waste time. These individuals drain valuable time, energy, and resources from agents that could otherwise be putting their work to better use.

Again, you will want to work with fresh supplement leads. When the leads are fresh and not overused, the odds of making a sale will increase. The individual that you would be contacting has not become jaded to the process. This advances the sales and closing potential on the medicare supplement leads immensely.

Now, there is some confusion regarding how often you should call those on a fresh list of quality medicare supplement leads. Surely, you can not call one name once and if there is no policy purchased to never call the individual again. Such a process is ridiculous because it would require purchasing hundreds of thousands of medicare supplement leads in order to stay in business! Actually, no agency would be able to stay in business if it needed to purchase that many medicare supplement leads! In all seriousness, there is a wiser approach to take when it comes to the acquisition of medicare supplement leads. Basically, you need to follow two common sense maxims. They are:

  • Just because someone has not purchased a policy in the past does not mean the person will not purchase one in the future.
  • Some medicare leads are just never going to purchase and you need to make a call call to move on.

Why would someone that was previously contacted on a list of medicare leads to no avail change his / her attitude? There are a few reasons in play here. First, circumstances may change which means someone that otherwise would not have purchased a policy may change his mind.

Then, there is also the fact that different agents may have different results with the same lead. Cycling the medicare supplement leads around to various agents can lead to different results with the same individual on the lead list. That is just a fact of life when it comes to selling any type of insurance policy.

In terms of making a decision to cease calling people on a lead list, this is a justification call that needs to be made by the agency. There are times when it is best to move on and retire certain names on a list of medicare supplement leads. This would be a much better plan to take since it will maximize efficiency.

Medicare Supplement Leads Simplified

Finding Medicare supplement leads does not have to be complicated. There are generally two major methods of generating Medicare supplement leads that can turn into a profit. These are direct mail leads and Internet leads. By understanding how each one works you can determine which method will be more practical and effective for you. Types…

Finding Medicare supplement leads does not have to be complicated. There are generally two major methods of generating Medicare supplement leads that can turn into a profit. These are direct mail leads and Internet leads. By understanding how each one works you can determine which method will be more practical and effective for you.

Types of Leads

Direct mail is the traditional method used in generating Medicare supplement leads. With this method, bundles of cards are sent to people's mailboxes in a target area. Those homeowners who are interested in learning more about what you have to offer reply with updated contact information. It is then up to you, the salesperson, to follow up on these Medicare supplement leads and set up appointments that will hopefully end in sales. You must invest in the design, copy writing and postage for these cards if you hope to get a response.

Purchasing internet Medicare supplement leads is slightly different. When you register with a Medicare leads generation service, you gain access to a long list of prospects almost immediately. There is no need to wait for reply cards to be returned and there is no risk of precious Medicare leads getting lost in the mail. You are free to pursue those Medicare supplement leads and set appointments as soon as possible. There is a fee required for access to these hundreds of Medicare supplement leads, but you do not have to spend as much on marketing.

You can also become an affiliate agent of an online group that offers access to Medicare supplement leads. You can not only lean on the credibility of an established agency, but you can benefit from incentives. Training and support are available to help you succeed, and this is taking it a step further than simply handing Medicare supplement leads to you.

Investing in Online Leads

A direct mail Medicare leads campaign may be lucrative if you are ambitious enough and have exceptional marketing talents or a quality marketing team to execute the campaign. If you are determined to close sales at a more rapid pace, purchasing leads online is likely to be a better investment of your time and money.

Another reason why buying Medicare leads on the internet or joining an organization may work better for you is the fact that more and more people are paying less attention to registered mail and spend more time online. When it comes to insurance, prospects are more than likely to do some comparison shopping at the computer than they are to fill out a reply card and get send it back. Internet lead generators find these people for you and let you know who they are.

Doing things online is simply faster. It takes a lot less time from the moment a prospect expresses an interest and the time that you find out about their interest. Finding out about your Medicare supplement leads faster means that you can respond faster. Responding faster means setting more appointments. More appointments can mean a lot more closed sales.