From the Archives: Wisdom and Wit from Ben Franklin

  • Posted on June 23, 2014
  • by John Scranton

Wisdom and Wit from Ben Franklin

I am currently reading a biography of Benjamin Franklin.  One aspect of the text that I have found entertaining and enlightening are Franklin’s endless quotes and maxims that each offer wisdom and wit.  Here are a few of my favorites so far:

  • Fish and guests both stink after 3 days
  • Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise
  • He’s a fool that makes his doctor his heir
  • Necessity never made a good bargain
  • A good example is the best sermon
  • Diligence is the mother of good luck
  • God helps those who help themselves

The author explains that many of these were adapted from common sayings or previous works – and most were published by Franklin in the early 1700′s, nearly 300 years ago.  Timeless knowledge from a founding father that we can enjoy on this 4th of July.

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Quote of the Day

  • Posted on December 13, 2012
  • by John Scranton

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. – John F. Kennedy

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Quote of the Day

  • Posted on December 6, 2012
  • by John Scranton

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau

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Webinar: Dealing With the Media After a Spill

  • Posted on December 5, 2012
  • by John Scranton

Join us for this brief, complimentary and educational web seminar. This important segment in our Understanding Spill Liability webinar series will review how to appropriately interact with the media after a spill. Expert speaker Tom Moses will explain how to handle PR and avoid missteps while remaining ethically irreproachable. Tom is a nationally recognized hazardous materials claims and oil spill response lawyer. He is a former U.S. EPA toxicologist, holds a J.D. and a certificate in Hazardous Materials Control and Emergency Response. Topics include:

  • Response and PR best practices after a spill
  • The role of an effective company spokesperson
  • How to avoid missteps while speaking to the media
  • Why you should never say “no comment”
  • Complimentary “Dealing with the Media” white paper

Date & Time: Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:00 PM – 12:20 PM EST

To Register: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/225118689

For more information, please visit: www.spillcenter.com

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The Negative Media Problem

  • Posted on July 27, 2011
  • by John Scranton

I visit CNN.com once or twice daily to see whats happening in the world.  It seems that regardless of the date or hour, the headlines are always the same: negative.  Sad, scary, disturbing.  Nothing positive.  And I am not picking on CNN – they are actually my news site of choice – I am simply using them as an example of an industry wide issue.  Take a look at these 5 recent headlines:

  • Terrorist Attack in Norway
  • US Government Debt Plan Failing
  • Olympic Skier Commits Suicide
  • 8 Killed in Syria Protest
  • 32 Killed in S. Korea Landslide

Wow.  If I were just passing through I would assume that our planet was doomed.  However, I am not naive and I realize that covering these stories will attract readers online and viewers on TV.  What concerns me is the underlying issue.  Why is it that the general public is so fascinated with disaster and problems?  If we enjoy births and weddings more than funerals, why are we not interested in hearing more about exciting and happy events?

Just like McDonald’s will continue to sell Big Macs as long as we are eating them, the media will continue to feed our appetite as long as we seek to consume the fear driven stories the public apparently craves.  We cannot change this from a macro perspective, but we each have the power to change this from a micro perspective – in our homes, offices and social circles.

So effective today, I challenge all of you who dislike the constant fear, uncertainty and doubt cast by the negative media to change your personal perspective.  Focus on sharing 5 positive headlines in your life and do no wallow in the sorrows of the world.  When you do, you will be happier, and so will those around you.  Its one small step for man…

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Bigger Isn’t Always Better

  • Posted on December 7, 2010
  • by John Scranton

At StartUpSelling, we are firm believers in the Small Giants philosophy: it is better to be a great company than a big company.  Therefore, we focus on developing cutting-edge customized solutions, delivering excellent customer service, and operating at maximum efficiency to create superior value for our clients.  We strive to achieve these goals, even at the expense of expansion.  Because, as mentioned above, we are much more interested in being great than big.

Whenever I come across another business that appears to be acting in the same capacity – whether purposefully or coincidentally – I take note.  On Friday night, I ate at an excellent restaurant in the Princeton, NJ area.  I won’t mention their name since I did not ask their permission – but those who have eaten there may be able to figure it out.  This is a small restaurant with maybe a dozen tables, that also operates a deli and bakery during the day.  Because they are small in size, they are extremely agile and flexible – allowing them to accommodate special requests.

On this particular visit, we reserved a table for 6 for sometime between 7:30 and 9 – depending on traffic.  They had no problem accepting this request.  One of our diners emailed the chef to see if he might have any veal or lamb on the menu.  He didn’t earlier in the week, but he had both on the menu by the time we arrived Friday.  The chef also included wine suggestions (its a bring-your-own establishment) in his email response.  The meal and the service were outstanding, and we did our best to compensate them accordingly with generous gratuity.

It is highly unlikely that a large restaurant would have been able to take our reservation without a specific time.  It is even less likely that a big establishment would customize their menu to include our favorite dishes.  At probably least likely that a highly talented chef would take the time to contact us with wine pairing suggestions well enough in advance that we would have time to locate the proper vintage.

Think about the adjectives I have use to describe this business: flexible, agile, accomodating, outstanding, excellent.  Plan your growth carefully, and consider which of these attributes you are willing to sacrifice when your company expands.  You may decide that you are not interested in simply growing for growths sake.

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Posted in: Small Business, Uncategorized, Virtual Business
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Insurance Agency Websites – Your Global Store Front Window

  • Posted on November 8, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Your insurance agency website is your window to the world. It is your store front window, located on Main Street, in a global village in which everyone now lives. When prospects or clients stroll past your window, in this case your agency website, will they like what they see? Will they immediately understand your unique value proposition, will you look like a viable, professional agency, or will you convey a tired, dated, out of touch organization, replete with peeling paint and an antiquated facade? Will you have an up to date window display, current internet fixtures like videos and a blog, and will your graphics and photos help articulate the professional image your agency seeks? Has your website invested in new infrastructure like insurance agency SEO, link development or electronic publishing?

If these answers are not clear, then your insurance agency website is most likely in need of an overhaul. It doesn’t matter if you try to grow by referrals, if you have colorful glossy brochures, or if you sponsor your local golf tournament. Today, every prospect, client and employee, to some extent or another, judges your agency by your website. In my experience, there are two critical elements to an effective agency website, none of which are fancy, expensive or flashy. These elements are:

  1. Appear Current & Professional – A website should be clean, easy to navigate and professional. The format and graphics should be current. Your copyright should be 2010 or 2011 in very short order. Employee listings should be updated and accurate. The site should rapidly convey that your agency is a reputable organization. When your agents call prospects, the prospects will often visit your website during the call. The website is a tool which should help make your insurance agents’ jobs easier, bolstering their claims of proficiency and professionalism.
  2. Rapidly Articulate Your Value Proposition – What make your agency unique? How do you provide your clients with value? The answers to these questions should be easily found on your insurance agency website homepage. This could be as simple as showing a picture of a boat with a caption regarding your expertise – making it obvious you provide coverage for boats and yachts. If a visitor to your site cannot see what you offer on your homepage, they will draw their own conclusions.

Today, your website is one of the most important insurance agency marketing and sales tools available to both agency principals and producers alike. Remember the old adage; you only get one chance to make a first impression. Your insurance agency website needs to make it a good one.

John Scranton is a licensed agent specializing in insurance agency leads, insurance agency seo and insurance agency marketing. John works from his virtual home based office in Saratoga Springs, NY. For more information please visit: http://startupselling.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_W._Scranton

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan, Uncategorized
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Don’t Waste your Friday! (Part 2)

  • Posted on November 5, 2010
  • by John Scranton

In case you used up my suggestions from Part 1 last Friday, here is what I recommend you consider: build your web of Social Media.  Take the Blog you wrote last week, and make sure that it meets these two criteria: 1) Does it offer something of value to your target prospects? 2) Does it convey your expertise in your field?

Once your content meets those criteria, then you possess valuable information that can be leveraged through Social Media to expand your reach.  Link it, Tweet it, Share it.  Find the places that your buyers will be, and place your thoughts in front of them.  This might be LinkedIn groups, a Facebook page or a Twitter feed.  Maybe all three. 

Do not be shy about how they will react.  Or concerned that your opinion is wrong.  The point is that you have a contribution to share and that your prospects will see is valuable.  This awareness of your expertise will make them significantly more likely to talk to you when you approach them to sell.  This works – I do it every day.

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