The Utica Boilermaker & 1,000 LinkedIn Connections

  • Posted on July 21, 2017
  • by John Scranton

v1-thmbWhen I was 11 years old I ran in the Utica Boilermaker road race for the first time.  This 15K event was by far the longest race I had attempted.  With my father’s help, I trained for the race for several months, gradually extending my endurance to the appropriate level.  On race day, I was able to overcome searing July sun and finish the race, only walking once through a water station around the 6 mile mark.

As with any milestone achievement, my family was very proud and congratulatory.  Most of my friends were as well.  However, I can recall a couple of friends saying “You ran almost 10 miles in July?  Why would anyone do that?”  At some point over the weekend, I will surpass 1,000 LinkedIn connections.  Most of my colleagues will be impressed, but I am sure a few will ask “Why bother?” – here are the top 5 reasons:

  1. I communicate and interact with clients
  2. I am contacted by prospects regularly
  3. I discover new suspects
  4. I receive employment opportunities
  5. I learn about industry updates quickly

Each new connection expands my reach and improves the valued derived from LinkedIn in all 5 of the above areas.  Plus, accumulating connections is much easier than running over a hilly 15K course in the summer sun.

Originally Posted on September 21, 2012 by John Scranton

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Posted in: Social Media
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Unleash the Power of Social Media Marketing

  • Posted on July 19, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency Social Media MarketingFifty-five percent of insurance consumers say they would use one or more of a variety of insurance services offered through social media – a number too big to ignore! (Accenture, 2013.) In today’s online world, consumers and business owners go to the internet when considering a purchase of any kind. They usually start with a Google search to learn more about the available alternatives to read user-generated reviews. They often go to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn before making a buying decision. At each stage of the buying cycle, opinions are being formed about the products and agencies being considered.

For us in insurance – an industry built on both products and services – internet reviews and social media play an integral part in credibility. Potential clients, especially millennials, trust advice they find on social media about the best insurance products, agencies, brokers or carriers.

Here are some ways your company can stay up-to-date with a strong online presence that supports an online community:

  1. Use the internet to facilitate better communication between brokers and customers.
  2. Stay in-touch with your clients and their important life events. This will help you provide a more personal and relevant online experience for your clients.
  3. Use the internet to keep your company modern through current marketing campaigns. This helps to build trust and demonstrates credibility.
  4. Use social media to introduce new ideas and innovative products. Be sure to use mobile applications too.
  5. Implement a social media customer service plan. “Consumers that have a positive social care experience are nearly three times more likely to recommend a brand to other and nearly 40 percent of companies experience a 10 percent reduction in support costs from implementing social care, with greater customer satisfaction.” (Accenture, 2013.)
  6. Use social media as a claims management tool. This allows carriers to interact with customers throughout the claims process and helps to accelerate the recovery process.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on May 18, 2015

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Would You Buy It For $1?

  • Posted on July 17, 2017
  • by John Scranton

Those of you who have read our sales and marketing tips book Sell More & Work Less are familiar with the question: Would you buy it if  the cost was $1?  This an easy question to ask that usually elicits a candid response.  It is a great way to begin asking the “hard questions” in the sales process.

If the answer is no, the conversation is over.  You have failed to convey the value of your solution, and the prospect does not believe it would help them – even at a nominal cost.  If you cannot give it away, stop trying to sell it.  Bow out gracefully and try to learn something from your experience.  Inquire about why your solution did not appear to meet needs or where your ROI scenario broke down.  Leave with knowledge instead of nothing.

If the answer is yes, then you have an opportunity.  The prospect sees a potential fit and some level of value. You may have a deal coming if you are able to able find terms that work for both parties.  You will also quickly uncover the purchasing process and the authority of your contact.  The answers you hear will often begin with “yes, but…” – and that is a good thing.  You now know what challenge you need to overcome to earn the business.

Originally Posted on September 18, 2012 by John Scranton

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Posted in: Business, Sales
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10 More Business Quotes to Start Your Day

  • Posted on July 13, 2017
  • by John Scranton
  1. Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. – Earl Nightengale
  2. Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile. – Gary Ryan Blair
  3. A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it. – William Feather
  4. Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something. – Thomas A. Edison
  5. The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.  – Napoleon Hill
  6. Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness.  – Thomas Carlyle
  7. High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation. – Charles Kettering
  8. If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business. – B. C. Forbes
  9. Carpe per diem – seize the check. – Robin Williams
  10. Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed. – Peter Drucker

Originally Posted on August 30, 2012 by John Scranton

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1Educational webinars are a  valuable resource for insurance agencies and wholesale brokers. They are especially potent when they explain how to use new technology or share detailed information about a policy or regulatory mandate.

Webinars have certain advantages over other educational delivery systems. Webinars don’t require the time or expense of travel. And participation in webinars doesn’t necessarily require an extensive network.

Here are some webinar delivery strategies that can improve the experience for webinar participants.

  1. Choose topics carefully. Take the time to research and survey your clients and prospects to before the selecting topics. Many organizations implement polls or ask their community members to vote on topics for possible webinars.
  2. Concentrate on subjects that can be taught through short presentations. Stay away from subjects that require long explanations or lengthy discussions.
  3. Focus on training, not analysis. A webinar is not the place for debate or customization to make it relevant for all audience participants. They are a better delivery avenue for training or sharing objective information on a discrete topic of shared concern and importance.
  4. Create opportunities for engagement. Online meeting technology now allows participants to submit questions or make comments in real-time. A skilled presenter or moderator can bring questions or statements into the discussion. Smaller regional or interest-based discussion groups that can be scheduled after the webinar presenters have signed-off.
  5. Give participants the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise or knowledge. In cases where the webinar counts toward professional development credits a measure of mastery – a quiz perhaps – can be offered at certain points during the webinar or at the end. If participants can gain professional development credits or achieve recognition for their participation they will listen more closely.

A well-planned webinar is an extremely valuable experience for agents and brokers alike. Web seminars can then be recorded and added to insurance video channels and website video libraries, increasing website traffic, expanding reach and conveying expertise.

Originally Posted by John Scranton on May 11, 2015

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Marketing, Web Seminars
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