4 Ideas to Help You Succeed

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March 14th, 2019

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Insurance MarketingFlipping through a few books this evening I saw some ideas that I thought we were worth sharing. Some old, some new, all applicable to business and sales:

Get Prepared or Get Started?
Strong cases can be made for both positions: preparation is the key to effective and efficient action; acting now is better than acting later. I cannot say which approach will work best for your specific situation and skill set, but I can tell you that the soldiers who charge the hill first are the ones who receive promotions and medals. Preparation and action can both lead to success, but those who act swiftly will be rewarded.

Set the Course and Let the Captain Sail the Ship
Senior leaders plan the direction of a company. How financing will be obtained, what products and services will be sold and what marketing campaigns will be launched. Once the course is charted it is important to allow middle managers to execute and lead their teams. Decentralized management is paramount to expanding organizations. Find the right people and empower them to succeed.

Assess Damage from Ground Zero
When critical challenges arise, inspecting the damage first hand will provide greater clarity and remove the risk of losing important details as information moves through the chain the of command. This is the fastest and most effective path to creating a solution and assessing future risk, and also why we see Presidents and Governors visiting disaster zones.

Focus
Michael Jordan used to spend each of his summers adding one new element to his game. Kobe Bryant has followed a similar path. One year adding a post game, another adding a turn-around jumper, another becoming an elite defender. The results speak for themselves, but the trick was finding one element to master. By focusing exclusively on one area at a time – like the turn-around J – MJ and Kobe were both able to successfully add new dimensions to their skill sets and remain elite for long periods of time. Focus on a product or a niche that you can own. Master that domain before attacking the next.

Originally Posted on September 3, 2013 by John Scranton

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February Trucking Lead Gen Results – 13.1 to 27.2 Exclusive Appointments Per Month

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March 7th, 2019

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Trucking Agency LeadsThese were our recent trucking agency lead generation results. They could be yours!

  • 1 to 5 Power Units   – 27.2 New Prospect Appointments/month
  • 5 to 25 Power Units – 16.9 New Prospect Appointments/month
  • 5 to 75 Power Units – 13.1 New Prospect Appointments/month

These appointments are exclusive to your agency, specific to your target market, and expecting to discuss trucking insurance with you. Start building your trucking pipeline today, to ensure great results!

Contact us at (518) 222-6392 for a 15 minute trucking lead gen discussion – and learn how and why other agencies are succeeding with this proven lead generation solution.

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Focusing on Referral Selling puts a Governor on your Agency Growth

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March 5th, 2019

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slide1Referrals have traditionally been a premier source of new business for insurance agencies.  When I was an agent, I loved referrals.  It was an opportunity to build my business without actually selling.  Just visiting with somebody who would likely buy.  A great tool that all salespeople need to take advantage of and cultivate consistently.

I was recently speaking to a mid-size agency’s VP of Marketing who explained they follow a referral based system of selling.  They do not cold call, they rarely advertise and do not leverage any other marketing tools or outreach program.  He explained this system has yielded some success, but agency principals were not satisfied with annual growth rates.  I told him referrals should always be one of the legs of your stool, but how do you expect to grow consistently standing on one leg?

You always need a three legged stool.  Referrals, referrals and more referrals do not meet this criterion.  Never ignore these opportunities – they close faster and more often – but make sure they are only one piece of the puzzle.   Exclusively chasing referral business puts a governor on your growth.

Originally Posted on May 19, 2010 by John Scranton

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I Want Leads Like I Want My Morning Coffee

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March 1st, 2019

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When I was an agency producer, I wanted leads like I wanted my morning coffee. I craved them and sometimes could not function well without them. The only problem was – most of the leads that came across my desk were a waste of time.

“John – Call my buddy Bob. He needs insurance for his business. 555-1212. He is expecting your call.”

Um, ok. What does Bob need? Is he in-profile? Is he calling every agency in town? Who knows.

So, I would call. Maybe find out he needs insurance because he was cancelled for non-pay or losses. Maybe find out he doesn’t have a business, just an idea that he is researching. Maybe have a great conversation, get a competitive quote, only to find out he won’t leave his current agent. Rarely did a “lead” from someone within my agency or my professional network result in a sale.

Fortunately my sales and marketing methodology has matured over time. I no longer want leads – although I crave coffee more than ever. Now I only pursue prospects in my target profile. I only make warm calls. I only talk to people that have a level of interest in my organization’s solutions and that I know I can help.

How? Highly targeted prospect lists, eMarketing, web seminars and warm calls. No more chasing bad leads – only chasing quality prospects identified through an integrated marketing strategy.

Originally Posted on May 14, 2010 by John Scranton

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10 Great Quotes About Simplicity

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February 24th, 2019

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  • social chatter“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” ― Confucius
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” ― Henry David Thoreau
  • “Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy” ― Isaac Newton
  • “It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” ― Bruce Lee
  • “Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” ― Leo Tolstoy
  • “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
  • “Simplicity is ultimately a matter of focus.” ― Ann Voskamp
  • “The more simple we are, the more complete we become.” ― August Rodin
  • “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” ― Albert Einstein

Originally Posted on April 8, 2013 by John Scranton

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Coming Soon: Insurance Agency Lead Gen through Content Marketing On-Demand Webinar

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February 12th, 2019

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Insurance Agency MarketingA new on-demand webinar explaining how insurance agencies like yours are generating leads through content marketing campaigns is coming soon. Topics will include:

* How to build a content resource library
* Blogs, articles, videos, case studies & more
* How to leverage content for marketing & lead gen initiatives
* How to show thought leadership & prove expertise to prospects
* Why your agency isn’t already doing this

Check back soon for a link or contact us to learn more.

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13.1 Leads Per Campaign – Trucking Email Marketing Metrics

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February 12th, 2019

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Insurance Agency Websites - Insurance Agency MarketingCheck out these trucking email marketing lead gen metrics:

  • 3 Quote Form Requests per Campaign
  • 10.125 Click-Through Leads per Campaign
  • 13+ Leads per Campaign

Many trucking agencies have yet to capitalize on email marketing lead gen programs. StartUpSelling can help your agency generate exclusive email marketing and appointment setting leads. Start building a robust trucking pipeline today, to ensure great results in 2018!

Contact us at (518) 222-6392 for a 15 minute trucking lead gen discussion – and learn how and why other agencies are succeeding with this proven lead generation solution.

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Treat Your Clients Like Southwest Airlines Treats Babies

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February 7th, 2019

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Fotolia_39839825_XLMy family returned home from vacation this weekend by flying Southwest from Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood Airport.  From the moment we entered the terminal, I was pleasantly surprised by the extra attention and flexibility Southwest’s employees offered to the needs of my infant daughter.  We were guided to a special terminal to check-in, whisked though security with no wait, and offered an extra seat on the plane at no charge for our child’s numerous supplies.  At every opportunity, we were provided with service and care above our expectations.

Meanwhile, my brother-in-law and his wife flew from a different airport on a different airline.  Their original flight was delayed, then after finally boarding they waited on the tarmac for nearly three hours only to learn they would be deplaning and their flight would be cancelled.  The following morning they returned to the airport at 7am to learn their flight was again delayed and eventually cancelled.  Finally they were able to take separate flights to separate airports to begin their journey home 24 hours behind schedule.

Our travel experiences show the vast disparity in service and customer care offered by different airlines.  The question is: what type of service does your organization provide?  Do you treat your clients Southwest treats babies?

Originally Posted on March 25, 2013 by John Scranton

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Insurance Lead Gen for Trucking & Other Niche Markets – Popular New On-Demand Webinar

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February 7th, 2019

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Check out this popular new on-demand webinar revealing successful strategies for insurance agencies generating leads in transportation and other niche markets:

* Supporting producers with effective lead gen
* Building a prospect email list
* Appointment setting tips & strategies
* Creating a lead handling process
* ROI tracking and refinement

Watch the webinar here: https://startupselling.com/johnscranton/trucking-webinar/

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5 Sun Tzu Quotes You Can Apply to Business

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February 2nd, 2019

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  • Insurance Agency LeadsA leader leads by example, not by force.
  • Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
  • The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
  • Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
  • If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

From the Archives – Originally Posted on February 25, 2013 by John Scranton

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5 Keys to a Successful Content Marketing Strategy for Insurance Agencies

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January 25th, 2019

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Content MarketingBy now, most insurance agencies and wholesale brokers have realized the power of content marketing as a critical element of social selling. Content marketing is a powerful tool for attracting potential customers, making connections and building relationships with your target audience.

Content marketing isn’t easy. But if it is done correctly, content marketing works in every industry, in every business, every time. All too often businesses don’t adequately prepare for the demands of developing and executing a successful content marketing strategy.

In practice, content marketing is hard work. You need to have a strategy so that search engines (such as Google) and your target audience can find you. It’s the hard work of sharing valuable, relevant content that your audience is looking for that captures their attention.

Here are 5 keys to successful content marketing:

  1. Take content marketing seriously – Content marketing can be an efficient and powerful way to grow your audience and your agency. For content marketing to work, you need to invest, prioritize and execute. In order to achieve serious results, content marketing must be taken seriously.
  1. Build relationships first – Content marketing is a long-term strategy. Success is no longer measured by the size of your email list, but by the size of your audience. When we build relationships first, those relationships turn into your audience. That audience then becomes your customer or partner, which turns into revenue.
  1. Stop overtly selling – People (including people in your target business audiences) are tired of being sold too. They are savvy consumers who understand the connection between where they are consuming content and who provided the content. Always selling pushes your potential audience away because they will seek other sources of information.
  1. Focus on your specialty/ies – The era of generalization is gone. People look for experts in the specific area of topic for which they are seeking. From a search engine and brand-building perspective, specialization is a pillar of content marketing success.
  1. Invest in your content marketing strategy – Content marketing can have a very high ROI if done right. Doing it right means investing in bandwidth, tools and people. You need to have all of the parts of an online marketing funnel functioning well in order for a content marketing strategy to be successful. You will need to invest time and money in order to see the results you are seeking.

Want to learn more about how you can gain a competitive edge with a content marketing strategy? Contact StartUpSelling and we will be happy to help you explore how content marketing can benefit your company. Call us today at (518) 222-6392 to get started.

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Top 3 Reasons Insurance Agency Telemarketing Campaigns Fail – And How to Fix Them

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January 20th, 2019

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Insurance Web MarketingProblem 1: Bullpen – The bullpen mentality has long been a fixture in the telemarketing industry.  Pile cheap labor into cubicles, toss them call sheets and say go.  Better yet, off-shore to a bullpen in India.  This creates a bevy of issues, beginning with a noisy and distracting environment.  This is not a professional representation of your business.

Solution – A professional and articulate person working from a quiet office.

Problem 2: Auto-Dialers – When a computer manages your telemarketing campaign, your prospects hear clicking, strange noises and connection delays before they hear the voice of a real person.  That is, if the call is not dropped.  To be sure, this method increases the number of dials per hour.  But at what cost?

Solution – A system of best practices which allows a caller to actually dial the phone 25 times per hour.

Problem 3: Don’t Understand Your Business – Your business and products/services/solutions are complex and nuanced.  Your unique expertise sets you apart.  If your telemarketing partner does not understand your business at both a strategic (project manager) and tactical (caller) level, your value is lost and you are simply asking to submit a bid.

Solution – Engage with a telemarketing partner who specializes in your industry.

For more information about Insurance Agency Telemarketing, please contact John Scranton johns(@)startupselling.com.

Originally Posted on October 6, 2016 by John Scranton

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In Case You Missed It – Insurance Lead Gen for Trucking & Other Niche Markets On-Demand Webinar

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January 20th, 2019

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Check out this new on-demand webinar revealing successful strategies for insurance agencies generating leads in transportation and other niche markets:

* Supporting producers with effective lead gen
* Building a prospect email list
* Appointment setting tips & strategies
* Creating a lead handling process
* ROI tracking and refinement

Watch the webinar here: https://startupselling.com/johnscranton/trucking-webinar/

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How to Keep Your Insurance Agency Email Marketing Fresh and Effective

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January 12th, 2019

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Insurance Email MarketingEmail marketing is here to stay. While there are some naysayers who try to assert that email marketing is “dead,” wise B2B insurance marketers have discovered the incredible power of email marketing over the long-haul.

Scientific evidence supports this perception. Even though there are competing marketing channels (i.e. social networks, mobile apps, online advertising campaigns, etc.), email remains a vital and central component of an effective B2B marketing strategy. In research conducted by eMarketer in 2014, researchers found that “email is one of the most widely used and established of all platforms.”

And in a study conducted by Adobe, researchers studied email marketing opportunities and trends. They found that not only is email an effective marketing strategy for the company, but it’s undergoing “a remarkable transformation.” Just as the world of marketing has been transformed by the internet in general, new technologies and consumer expectations are driving new ways of thinking about and using email marketing to reach target consumers.

First of all, consumers today expect email to be personalized and relevant to their interests. Gone are the days of “one-size fits all” email campaigns. In today’s mobile lifestyle, consumers continue to relay on email that reaches them directly in ways that are meaningful to them.

Design Email Campaigns that are Mobile-Friendly

Readers today open 61% of their emails on mobile devices. 80% will delete emails that “don’t look good.” Marketers need to ensure that their emails are optimized for all viewing scenarios, including mobile. Mobile responsive designs will increase open rates by 16-17%, and click-through rates by up to 24%. (Adobe, 2014)

Use Data to Tailor Messages to Subscriber Segments

People today are inundated with information. Email messages need to be personalized and relevant to the needs and interests of the individual. Using data tracking and retargeting technology, marketers can adjust the messages according to the histories and interests of the target groups. Using post-delivery insights, marketers can update the message based on new information. The ability to make emails more dynamic gives brands a chance to deliver a more relevant experience.

Ensure Content is Robust and Compelling

Content is vitally important in today’s world of email marketing. Stay abreast of trends and technology; be prepared to engage the reader and compel them to take the next step in the sales funnel.

Understanding consumer expectations and new email trends, as well as exploring ways to meet those expectations and play to those trends will garner an increasing ROI on their email campaigns and will breathe new life into customer relationships.

Many insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers outsource their email marketing campaign management to a competent marketing firm. Outsourcing is a cost effective option because it eliminates the need to hire, train, supervise and compensate a digital marketing team. Contact StartUpSelling today to learn more about effective email marketing strategies for insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers.

Originally posted by John Scranton on July 7, 2015

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