Today and tomorrow I will be traveling to Boston for a brief StartUpSelling executive summit.  For 48 hours we will review current sales and marketing initiatives, refine our goals and plans for Q4, and perform an analysis client results and efficacy.  For most companies, spending 48 hours with the CEO entails long meetings, extensive travel, expensive caterers and a vast array of presentation materials.

However, in a virtual business, even travel days are still highly productive.  We will be sending a massive national email campaign, delivering a highly professional web seminar to a large audience, and will launch a new website for a client in the Western US.  All while we are actually on what would often be called an “executive retreat.”

The virtual model is so powerful – even travel days are highly productive and profitable.  What parts of your business could be virtual?  How much of an impact would that have on your cash flow and profits?  What is stopping you from making the change?

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Posted in: Virtual Business
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Building Your Agency Sales Funnel

  • Posted on September 28, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Insurance Agency Sales Funnel

I speak to insurance producers, agency managers, and sales managers every day.  Very few of them can tell me how many suspects it takes for each agent to meet their sales goals.  And worse, very few of them can explain how their agency is filling the top of the funnel for their producers at a rate that will allow them to succeed.

This is a critical element to developing your agency marketing plan.  Before choosing the appropriate channels, you must know what you need to achieve.  If you need 5000 suspects to feed your staff of 10 agents, what can you do to find them?  Maybe the billboards and yellow page ads are not going to produce the results you need.

Target your marketing, leverage cost-effective web solutions, outsource when you lack resources or expertise, and most importantly – make sure your marketing campaigns will sufficiently fill your agency sales funnel.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan
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Webinar: How to create your Web Marketing Plan for 2011

  • Posted on September 27, 2010
  • by John Scranton
 

Webinar: How to create your Web Marketing Plan for 2011

 
 
Join us for this brief, complimentary marketing web seminar.  In our September presentation, we discussed how to build an agency marketing plan.  Many attendees requested greater detail regarding the Web 2.0 aspects of our philosophy.  Now, our team of agency marketing experts will elaborate on how to create effective Web Marketing Plan 2011.  We will review the most cost-effective and time-efficient ways to cultivate your web presence.  Blending website design, SEO and social media tools to generate leads and agency growth.  Topics include:

* Effective Website Design
* Search Engine Optimization
* Blogging & ePublishing
* Integrated Website Video
* LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter

October 20th at Noon ET: 

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/753755440

OR

October 21st at 4pm ET:

https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/611444433

 
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Posted in: eMarketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Seminars
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Seven Sentences for Your Simple Marketing Plan

1. The first sentence tells the purpose of your marketing.

2. The second sentence states the competitive advantage you’ll emphasize.

3. The third sentence explains who your target audience is.

4. The fourth sentence lists the marketing weapons you’ll be using.

5. The fifth sentence explains your niche in the marketplace.

6. The sixth sentence sets forth your identity.

7. The seventh sentence states your marketing budget, expressed as a percentage of your projected gross sales.

 Excerpted from Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing: A Simple Battle Plan for First-Time Marketers, by Jay Conrad Levinson and Jeannie Levinson

Further insight into how to create a simple and effective marketing plan, borrowed from Jay Conrad Levinson.  This is a great exercise for any entreprenuer, business owner, marketing director or salesperson.  Can you clearly illustrate your marketing strategy with these seven sentences?

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Posted in: B2B Marketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan
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Steps to Building Your Insurance Agency Marketing Plan

  • Posted on September 23, 2010
  • by John Scranton

 

Insurance Agency Marketing Plan

As unveiled in our web seminar yesterday, here are the steps we use to build an effective insurance agency marketing plan:

  • Set the Goals and Vision of Your Agency
  • Define your Unique Value Proposition
  • Evaluate your Agency Sales Funnel
  • Analyze the Available Marketing Methods
    • Website Updates & Redesign
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Social Media Marketing, Blogging, ePublishing
    • eMarketing & Web Seminars
    • Telemarketing
    • Advertising/traditional
  • Select the Appropriate Allocation of Your Resources
  • Implement your Marketing Plan – KISS

I will be sharing more specific information over the next few days, so please check back often.  Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this topic in greater detail.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan
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Sales & Marketing Discipline

  • Posted on September 20, 2010
  • by John Scranton

Every great company has a key defining concept.  Something that is woven into the fabric of people, products and culture.  For example, 3M strives to use innovative technology and imagination to improve the daily lives of people (www.3m.com).  This concept becomes obvious when reviewing their history and how the company operates each day.  The immense challenge for businesses who want to achieve tremendous success like 3M, is to define that key concept – and then to make all decisions in alignment with that concept.

Successful sales cultures are often built the same way.  A truly honest assessment of how your sales time is spent, and the associated results, can be a very enlightening exercise.  Who is your best client or customer?  How did you find them?  How much of your time are you spending trying to repeat that same process?  How much time are you wasting with less productive initiatives or people who are less likely to buy?

Here are a few steps to help you complete this exercise:

  1. Define your Idea Prospect – Use your best customer as an example.  Who are they?  How big are they?  What does their industry and client base look like?
  2. Determine your Most Effective Marketing Tools – What marketing initiatives provide the best results?  Where do your closes come from?  What is producing the right kind of prospects?
  3. Refine your Marketing Plan– Once the above two items are clearly and honestly defined, make sure your marketing plan is directed at repeating the process.  Refine the plan so that it is accurately aligned with your findings.
  4. Stop doing Everything Else – This is a hard one.  But to achieve the 3M type of success mentioned earlier, it is required.  Throw away everything else that does not fit, and only spend time pursuing your best prospects and executing your most effective marketing campaigns.

It sounds simple, but if it was easy everyone would already be doing it – maintain focus on your best prospects and best marketing channels.  As your discipline to this concept increases, your results will improve dramatically.

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Posted in: Insurance Agency Marketing, Insurance Agency Marketing Plan
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Don’t Waste your Friday!

  • Posted on September 17, 2010
  • by John Scranton

I have always found it a more difficult to reach people on Fridays.  They are more interested in finishing up work and starting their weekend than listening to me preach about our solutions.  But that does not mean Friday should be a wasted day.  Here are few things I typically do at the end of the week to avoid wasting the last 20% of the work week:

  • Schedule Meetings – Here is an obvious one, but the best way to make use of your Friday is to schedule appointments in advance.  This makes the day pass quickly while making the best possible use of your time.
  • Prepare or Review Weekly Reports – Many people spend Monday morning reviewing previous weekly results or preparing for the coming week.  Monday morning is always going to be busy, and you do not need to clutter your desk with spreadsheets.  Prep your reports on Friday afternoon and get it out of the way.
  • Invest Time in Social Media– People tell me constantly that they would like to improve their social media presence but cannot find time.  Friday at 3pm is a great time to write a Blog and network on LinkedIn.  This will not only keep you from wasting time leaving voice mails, but will also leave a presence that your prospects may see over the weekend.
  • Freshen up Your Value Proposition & Pitch – When is the last time you wrote out (by hand) your value proposition, elevator pitch and top 3 differentiators?  Are they stale?  Review, refine and possibly reposition yourself for the coming week.
  • Visit Customers – If you are really burned out but would feel guilty about hitting the links, go visit your customers/clients.  Stopping in to see a client at 4pm on a Friday shows you care, and you are still working.

Have a great weekend!

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Posted in: B2B Marketing, Insurance Agency Lead Generation, Insurance Agency Marketing, Social Media
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