Four Reasons I Like to Get Up Early

Posted on

June 15th, 2020



A few years ago I was seeking an adjustment to better balance my personal and professional goals and responsibilities. With two small children and a growing business, time was (and still is) at a premium. I decided to start setting the alarm for 4:30am. This decision has had a big positive impact, here are just a few reasons why:

Peace & Quiet – There is no noise and no inbound emails or calls at 4:30am (or at 5:30 for that matter). No distractions. Just me and the chirping birds. This creates an effective environment for clear thinking and uninterrupted productivity.

Exercise – An early wake up call opens a window to exercise before the work day begins. I find that I’m able to deal with problems and unanticipated challenges more effectively if I have a workout under my belt before sitting down at my desk.

Early Bird Gets the Worm – Do you know who else is up early? CEO’s, A players, and decisions makers. You’d be surprised how often a 5:30am email receives a prompt reply.

Better Habits & Routines – An early alarm clock is punishing if you aren’t prepared to deal with it. But you quickly adjust. You turn the light out on time instead of watching Netflix. You skip that extra glass of wine. You improve your habits to earn the early AM success.

What adjustments have improved your productivity and/or lifestyle? What changes would you like to make?


Changing Your Agency Sales & Lead Gen Model During the Crisis

Posted on

April 12th, 2020


Producers, clients and prospects are all working from home.  Your agency sales and lead gen model must adjust. How can this be accomplished?

1. Create a COVID-19 Update & Resource CenterInsurance Agency Marketing
2. Launch Digital Lead Gen Campaign (PPC, Email, etc.)
3. Outsource Appointment Setting Services
4. Add or Expand Website and Blog Content
5. Leverage Social Media Content Creation & Posting

If you lack the time or resources to accomplish this internally, contact our insurance agency marketing team:

We wish you all the best – stay safe.

The Team at StartUpSelling

Moving To a Digital Agency Sales & Lead Gen Model During the Crisis

Posted on

April 6th, 2020


Producers, clients and prospects are all working from home, and may be doing so for months. Your agency sales and lead gen model must adjust. How can you ensure business continuity and an effective lead gen and sales process, without meeting prospects and clients in person. We can help. For over 15 years our own organization has been completely virtual and digital. We can help you:

1. Launch Digital Lead Gen Campaign (PPC, Email, etc.)Insurance Agency Marketing
2. Outsource Appointment Setting Services
3. Add or Expand Website and Blog Content
4. Create a COVID-19 Update & Resource Center
5. Leverage Social Media Content Creation & Posting

Agency executives and producers have a great opportunity to embrace a more virtual and profitable model. Web meetings, appointment setting campaigns, Pay Per Click advertising and a current and compelling website are just a few ways to help get there.

If you lack the time or resources to accomplish some or all of these initiatives, contact our insurance agency marketing team:

Improving Communication with Clients & Prospects During this Challenging Time

Posted on

March 26th, 2020


Businesses are rapidly moving to a work from home model and insurance agencies must respond to this new reality. How can you improve communication with your clients and prospects?

* Add or Expand Website and Blog Content
* Create a COVID-19 Update & Resource Center
* Leverage Social Media Content Creation & Posting
* Transition from Networking to Digital Lead Generation
* Transition from Seminars & Trade Shows to Online Webinars

If you lack the time or resources to accomplish these items internally, reach out our insurance agency marketing team:

We wish you all the best – stay safe.

Which Presidents Have the Best Stock Market Returns?

Posted on

December 4th, 2019


Stock Market Performance By PresidentWhich Presidents have the Best Stock Market Returns? The answers may surprise you. About 18 months ago I wrote a blog on this topic, and as 2019 comes to a close, this seems like a good time to check in, especially with the markets touching upon recent record levels. Let’s review the S&P results for the last three years:

2019 2,510 3,093 23.39%
2018 2,695 2,506 6.24%
2017 2,257 2,673 19.42%

We see that the S&P posted a total return of almost 37% and an annual return of about 12.2%. That’s not too shabby, though you may be surprised to see that it’s only the 10th best result of presidential returns.

Rank President Annual Return
1 Bill Clinton 17%
2 Barack Obama 16%
3 Gerald Ford 16%
4 Harry Truman 16%
5 Dwight Eisenhower 16%
6 Ronald Reagan 15%
7 George H.W. Bush 15%
8 Jimmy Carter 12%
9 Franklin Roosevelt 12%
10 Donald Trump 12%
11 Lyndon Johnson 11%
12 John Kennedy 10%
13 Richard Nixon -1%
14 George W. Bush -4%
15 Herbert Hoover -31%

There is still a month to go in 2019, and a possibility that the returns could change. Though that change would have to be substantial to crack the top seven. And we certainly hope that Hoover’s record remains untouched!

Are you seeking a compelling ROI for your agency, contact the expert team at StartUpSelling for customized marketing and lead generation programs to jump start your pipeline and improve close ratios.

My Dog is the Best Salesperson I Know – Popular Blog Post

Posted on

July 14th, 2019


This blog, posted just prior to Memorial Day weekend 2010, remains one of the most read in our history.  Enjoy.

My Dog is the Best Salesperson I Know

Posted on May 28th, 2010 by John Scranton

I like to think that I am a capable salesperson.  I inherited the sales “gene” from my father, and I have been able to make a career of selling or helping other organizations sell.  However, a truly honest assessment shows that I am not even the most skilled sales professional in my own home.  That distinctive honor goes to my dog.  In case you are wondering, he is a three-year old hound mix named Flash.His sales methodology is simple, and he produces consistent results.  Borrowing a few principles from my friends at Dale Carnegie – Flash is genuinely interested in others, he shows sincere appreciation, and he makes those around him feel important.  He does this with no expectation of receiving anything in return.  As long as his survival needs have been met, he is happy to invest all his time in others.

The results speak for themselves.  He literally has a fan following in our neighborhood.  He eats more bacon and steak than any dog I have ever known.  His formula for success is to provide value without expectation, and he is rewarded without fail.  Now if I could only get him to supplement his efforts with a few cold calls.

Treat Your Clients Like Southwest Airlines Treats Babies

Posted on

June 28th, 2019


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

5 Sun Tzu Quotes You Can Apply to Business

Posted on

June 23rd, 2019


  • 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

Do you Prefer a Chauffeured Lexus or Cramped Van?

Posted on

April 9th, 2019


While speaking with a prospect, I shared this story to illustrate how StartUpSelling’s Premier Marketing Group services would differ from past marketing engagements with the other firms:

As we passed through the cramped, stifling Caribbean airport terminal, we noticed a small mob gathering in front of a podium marked with the logo of our resort destination. I sighed as I fought off the numerous “porters” who insisted upon helping me with our luggage. We entered the queue, resigned to waiting in line for a spot in one of the small, crowded vans parked in the adjacent lot. Then a small miracle happened, as we quickly learned the value of investing in premier service.

A pleasant looking young woman with a clipboard briskly worked her way through the queue. As she approached us she asked to see our paperwork. After a quick glance, she smiled and explained we did not need to wait with everyone else, our transportation was awaiting just beyond the vans. An equally amiable gentleman promptly approached and took our bags. We followed the duo past the vans to a posh Lexus sedan. Air conditioning billowed from the doors as we settled in to comfortable leather seats and accepted ice cold bottled water.

The concierge explained that resort guests who invested in premier level accommodations were rewarded with immediate and extraordinary service at every opportunity throughout their stay. Our honeymoon had officially begun.

Originally posted on May 1, 2014 by John Scranton

How Effective Web Marketing Sold My Family a Vacation

Posted on

March 21st, 2019


AdirondacksMy wife and I have been discussing what we might like to do for a family vacation this summer. After discussing our preferences, we elected to plan a trip to the Adirondacks. Family friendly outdoor activities and a beach will be great for our kids and most venues will be within a 2 hour drive. Perfect.

So we began punching questions and keywords into Google, and one savvy property owner promptly sold us by leveraging these three web marketing components:

  1. Search Engine Optimization – After three searches, I noticed one property seemed to dominate the rankings. A dedicated website leveraged on-page SEO to drive direct traffic. Meanwhile, prominent listings in rental directories also featured this property, showing the influence of off-page SEO. So we took a look at the website…
  2. Effective Website – Large rotating banner images which portrayed the property as paradise immediately grabbed our attention. Although the website was simple and somewhat modest in design, all critical questions were quickly answered: rates, availability, amenities and more. We often say that websites do not close business, but they must not turn prospects away, and that is exactly what happened here…
  3. Follow Up Email – Feeling suitably informed and impressed with the professionalism of the property owners, we sent an email inquiry. We promptly received a response that answered our questions, and proactively offered responses to questions we would ask in the future (updated availability, deposit information, discounts for advanced payment and more). With all these details in hand, we were ready to make a decision – and my wife plans to sign and return the rental agreement today.

Originally Posted on February 11, 2014 by John Scranton