Agency Nation Radio

The Agency Nation Radio podcast network features today's top insurance industry personalities. Marketing, sales, technology, operations and procedures are just some of the topics you'll hear on a regular basis.
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 29, 2017

If it's not, then there's a good chance you could hate yourself at some point.

You could take it all the way to crazy town, like Ryan suggests, and say the whole business is marketing.

But if you really stop and think about it, is it really that crazy? I don't know, maybe not.

Maybe not, because our job is to find people to sell products our companies created.

If we can't do that, then what good are we? Because the business of insurance, regardless of your personal opinion, has become more of a commodity.

That's what Ryan Hanley, Sydney Roe and I talk about as we contemplate the strategies and execution you need to bring them closer together.

P.S. Spend a little one-on-one time with Ryan every week in the Agency Nation newsletter.

Dec 28, 2017

There's a pretty good chance that you are because you don't realize how long it takes.

Believe it or not, your ability to show up and do the things you're supposed to is a very powerful differentiator.

It's that simple difference that separates average agencies from great ones, because they can routinely do what others can't.

Primary among those things is lengthy, consistent follow-up with unsold and lost customers.

It's this segment of prospects that could deliver your best results if given enough attention.

That's what I talk with Nancy Nicklow, of Huff Insurance, about as she breaks down how long it takes form them to give up.

P.S. Did you Elevate 18 is going to be one of the crazy good places to be this summer?

Dec 26, 2017

Because the longer you wait the more opportunity you pass up that goes to someone else.

It might sound a little crazy and potentially hyperbolic, but your ability to move faster than everyone else matters.

It matters because they don't have the same fears and concerns as you do and aren't carefully surveilling your agencies every move.

They are curious at best and indifferent at worst. Seeing someone new isn't going to sound as many alarm bells as you might think.

That's what I talk with Bogus Handzel, of Handzel and Associates, about as he contemplates when are where they new faces should appear.

P.S. Did you know Agency Nation University can help people find those new faces?

Dec 22, 2017

The only thing that's going to protect your agency's relevance is figuring out a way to handle all the business others can't.

The industry isn't going to check with you before something big happens, and depending on who you talk to it could be a lot sooner than you think. 

There isn't one skill or service that's going to save the day, instead it's an array of high level talents operating at the same time.

The sad truth is you might be one of the agent's that think you're going to make, but might not. 

That is unless you start to treat the impending change with a little more respect and start taking actions to move with it.

That's what I talk about with Jeff Roy as he does his best to create and calm your panic attack all at the same time.

P.S. Agency Nation University is a great place to how to protect you relevance.

Dec 21, 2017

I don't know, maybe. Someone's got to do it though.

If there was every a more appropriate chicken and egg occurrence it's this.

Do you need to have the business to justify the marketing person or do you need the marketing person to justify the business?

It's probably a little of both and no matter which side you fall on you'll have to take more of a risk making it happen then you want.

At the very least you should know what tasks to take off your plate first to make your life easier and take your marketing to the next level.

That's what I talk about with Becky Schroeder, SVP of Marketing for ITC, as she shares her suggestions on how to make it happen.

P.S. Did you know we have deals on Agency Nation University and Elevate 18 happening now until the end of the year?

Dec 19, 2017

If you wait to find out, you'll probably never know.

Because you'll never be ready to go after that sale or client you don't think you can handle.

It's only when you act in uncertainty that you truly offer yourself a chance to grow.

The worst that will happen is you wont get the business. The best is that you'll get the business and shoot your confidence through the roof because you just proved you can.

That's what I talk with Jessica Burch, of Bryce Point Insurance, about after she figured how amazing it is.

P.S. Let people know what you think about the podcast.

Dec 18, 2017

This is definitely one of the most unnecessary steps you should not be over thinking.

It really comes down to discovery vs. delivery and which object is primary for your video.

If you want the easy answer, there are very few times when YouTube isn't going to be an acceptable answer.

However, if you're getting tricky with your video marketing and creating specific videos for different parts of the sales process there might be better place to put them.

That's what Ryan Hanley and I talk about today to settle this apathy inducing debate once and for all.

P.S. Did you know we publish three new videos every week to the Agency Nation YouTube channel?

Dec 15, 2017

If the rate of change in your agency is slower than the what's happening outside of it, you might want to speed up.

Refusing to increase your speed won't be optional much longer, if it hasn't become already.

Because what will ultimately happen is you'll be left watching everyone else have all the fun.

If it doesn't look like fun now, you either might want to look harder or consider that you might be in trouble.

The marketing doesn't care how you want to do business, it only cares about how they want to do business.

Continuing to pretend that isn't true will only slow you down more.

That's what Marty Agather and I talk about today as we meander through several areas your speed needs questioned.

P.S. Check your speed here.

Dec 14, 2017

There's a good chance it took you a lot longer to figure out what it was and that you actually do.

Because growing up around insurance allows you to unfairly take advantage of an industry that's long been exiled to irrelevance.

It's this perception of irrelevance that stops people from really understanding what it is and why you do it.

It's what makes talented, ambitious people pass it up for more glamours industries with half the substance.

The work is meaningful beyond what most understand it to be, which creates a gap of appreciation you're constantly trying to close.

That's what I talk to Woody Brown, of The Rhodes Group, about as he discovers his.

P.S. Love Agency Nation Radio, why don't you make it official?

Dec 12, 2017

If you don't, it might not be as intimidating as you think to start.

Constantly being in front of a large number of the people you want to do business with can never be a bad thing.

Figuring out a way to get there can lead to some questionably misinformed decisions.

However, if you slow your pulse down long enough, you'll realize the only thing you need to do is bring the people together and ask the right questions.

That's what I talk with Ryan Sautman, of Just4You Insurance, about as he considers what power he wants to hold in his hand.

P.S. Did you Agency Nation University has a ton of great information plus a private Facebook group to keep you motivated?

Dec 11, 2017

If you don't, it doesn't matter how many answers you get, they'll all lead to the same place.

This was supposed to be a practical conversation about the efficiency online scheduling offers you. However, as things do when Ryan Hanley is involved, the conversation quickly escalated to manifesto levels about getting stuff done.

Because it's in your ability do to the work, over and over again, that separates you from everyone else.

Make no mistake about it, if you can't do more work, better than the next guy, what's the point?

Acquiring the knowledge to do the thing is such a tiny part of the process that anyone can do.

The real challenge comes when it's actually time to do something about it.

That's what Ryan and I talk about today to hopefully inspire you to do the work.

P.S. A lot of work will get done at Elevate 18 this year, you should be there.

Dec 8, 2017

If it continues to prevent you from doing the things that people actually care about, maybe.

It's also possible that you haven't accepted what professionalism actually looks like in a 2018 world.

When you have the ability to see so much more of who someone is, not seeing it becomes the oddity.

It's that intentional omission that leaves consumers hesitant to reach out.

The over sterilized message that's desperate to be perfect will probably fail, only to discover that reality is the perfection they prefer.

That's what Sydney Roe and I talk about as we share our concerns over the abundance of professionalism littering the industry covering up the real story that works.

P.S. Did you know we also publish three videos a week on YouTube?

Dec 7, 2017

If not, you'll probably spend a lot of time alone because you're not giving people what they need.

It's your ability to fill this need, better, faster and easier than anyone else that will ultimately win the business.

If you keep your ears open long enough, it will become painfully obvious what it is that you need to deliver.

The hardest part will be staying focused on it long enough from start to finish to figure out what you need to do next.

That's what I talk with Becky Taylor, of Ohio Insurance Agents Association, about as she worries about being irrelevant.

P.S. If you think nice words about the podcast, we wouldn't mind you writing them down.

Dec 5, 2017

How many reasons do you let get in the way of hitting the button that could change your business forever?

I'll let you in on a little secret, there are very few that are actually worth paying attention too.

Because it's your ability to hit publish and keep doing it that will separate you and show everyone why they should work with you.

It might seem like a dramatic overstatement, but if you have the right information in the right places your competition doesn't stand a chance.

The reason they won't stand a chance is because you were smart enough to realize that most of those fears reasons were irrational.

That's what I talk with Terry Grier, of Strive Insurance, about as he tries to move past all of his.

P.S. Leave us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitch if you enjoy Agency Nation.

Dec 4, 2017

The more information you can use to automatically communicate better will only improve your customer experience.

That's why it's so important to recognize a tools potential before it's too late.

Because it's your agency ability to adopt and implement these services that will keep you ahead of everyone else.

The easiest way to know if you're making a "staying ahead purchase" is when you get asked, you're going to pay how much for that?

Today Ryan and I talk about one tool that's a bargain compared to its power and another that isn't (anymore) but insanely powerful.

P.S. These emails are good, I promise.

Dec 1, 2017

Are you sharing a common interest with a group of people who hold your feet to the fire?

If not, you're missing out on one of the best parts of life on the internet.

Seeking out and/or starting groups that bring people together, trying to do the same thing, stirs up warm and fuzzy feelings.

Not only does it feel great to "find your people" you'll also notice that thing you were trying to change will start to happen effortlessly.

That's what Ryan and I have noticed hanging out in the #5AMClub for the last six months and want to encourage more people to give it a try.

P.S. Check out some of the #5AMClub or #5AMClubIns action for yourself.

Nov 30, 2017

Hopefully it's pretty fast, right away.

If it is, then you'll find out how much fun it is to enter the sales process at exactly the perfect time.

If you can provide your leads and prospects with that opportunity, that's what your new insurance world will look like.

You'll only be working the most important, high leverage innings of the game and your performance can scale at a level you didn't think possible.

The only thing preventing it from happening is investing the time upfront to put the ball in their hands when you're not there to give it to them.

That's what I talk to Eli Gillespie, of Gillespie Insurance Services, about as he contemplates what ball he wants to roll where.

P.S. While we can't prove, we're pretty sure the Agency Nation newsletter is the second best news letter in the industry.

Nov 28, 2017

By doing the things only one percent of agents in the industry are willing and able to do.

It's a sobering reality, but there's a good chance you might be one of the agents who will only listen to what makes business come in faster and never do it.

It all centers around making tough decisions about what you want to sell and who you want to sell it to.

Then you need to be disciplined enough to consistently sell it to them in a way that they want it sold.

If you're able to do that over and over again, without losing focus, you'll easily find yourself in the one percent.

The hardest part is to keep doing it when you're not sure if it's going to work.

That's what I talk with Mike Crowley, of Crowley Insurance, about as you listen to him gain one percent status.

P.S. The Agency Nation newsletter that Ryan Hanley writes is worth giving us your email.

Nov 23, 2017

If you haven't taken the time to automate a few key communication sequences in your agency, then it's probably a lot.

Don't worry, you're not alone. But it's definitely time that this type of behavior becomes common place in our industry.

Because when you do, you free up so much time, effort and energy to focus on tasks that can't be done automatically.

It those tasks that will propel your agency to an entirely different level, because almost none of your competition has.

That's what I talk with Nancy Nicklow, of Huff Insurance, about as she breaks down all the stuff she doesn't have to think about.

P.S. Leave Agency Nation Radio at rating and/or review if you have something to say.

Nov 22, 2017

Do you hire people or positions?

Because one is going to leave you sanding the corners on the square peg so fits in the round hole.

The industry has been struggling for a long time to attract individuals who can help current agency owners do what they can't.

It's in these elusive employees that holds the key to unlock your agency creative culture.

Ryan talks with Nicholas Ayers, Co-Founder of i80 Insurance and Insurance Agency Owners Alliance, about his process for finding people not afraid to stand in front of the agency.

They also pay respects to the loss of a valuable member of the Agency Nation team.

Two Must Attend Insurance Conferences

Innovation 2018
Elevate 2018

Learn more about Nicholas Ayers

Insurance Agency Owners Alliance (IAOA)
i80 Insurance

P.S. I'm not sure you know how much a rating and review would mean to us.

Nov 21, 2017

Probably not, but there's something to be said for hitting the reset button on your mindset.

Just because your agency has been around for a long time doesn't mean it needs to act its age.

In fact, one your greatest strengths/advantages would be to sprinkle in a little immaturity when making a few key decisions.

It's the constant rationalization against "the way it's always been done" that prevents real progress from happening.

If you can move faster than everyone else they'll still be planning the thing you stopped doing six months ago.

That's what I talk to Bogus Handzel, of Handzel and Associates, about as he continues to push his agency forward without starting over.

P.S. Leave Agency Nation Radio at rating and/or review if you have something to say.

Nov 20, 2017

If not, you might want to think about getting one sooner rather than later.

Because this new table is where all the action is happening and if you can't find it, you'll be wondering where everyone is at.

This new table is video marketing and the opportunity it gives you to sit down with anyone, anytime, anywhere and tell them what they need to know is unparalleled.

You've chanted for years, with unending pride, how this is a "face-to-face" business.

Now it's your chance to prove it in a way that will make every generation before you lose their mind at the opportunity they didn't have.

Ryan Hanley and I get a little carried away talking about how and why we're still so excited about this tools possibilities.  

P.S. Did you know Elevate 2018 is happening and it's going to be bigger and better than last year?

Nov 18, 2017

If it's not connecting on a level that sparks the tiniest feeling, you need to try harder.

It's that feeling that will transcend your content's natural utility state to an entire different level.

Once you're on this level you'll notice the pace and intensity of the responses hard to ignore.

People will not be able to make five seconds into the conversation without referencing that feeling and recalling their favorite moment.

I know it seems impossible when were talking about insurance related content, but the feeling has nothing to do with the subject matter and everything to do with the person creating it.

If their not connecting there's a good chance you haven't given them anything to hold on to.

That's what Sydney Roe discusses in the exclusive live Agency Nation University video that is normally only available to paid members.

P.S. If you want more of this and a lot more learning, check out everything Agency Nation University has.

Nov 17, 2017

Because whoever controls the attention controls the marketplace. 

There will come a time where those who are unwilling to recognize the importance of attention, will be ignored.

Not just by the consumer, but those people who are trying to teach you how to get it.

It's also possible you're making the attention game out to be more than it actually is. 

Your attention journey can and should be as simple as picking one or two mediums/platforms to create in and one or two lines of business to sell.

That's it, it's the consistency and quality in those two disciplines that will win you attention in the end.  

P.S. We've got three videos a week happening on YouTube have you started watching?

Nov 16, 2017

It should be a lot more than you can eat for weeks, months and even years.

If you don't think it's possible, then you haven't dedicated yourself to the process long enough to see results.

Yes, it's really hard to pass up a meal that's right in front of you.

However if you can curb your hunger long enough, you'll have meals showing up on your table for a long time.

That's what I talk with Becky Schroder, SVP of Marketing at ITC, about as she describes the challenges you face finding food.

P.S. If you like this podcast why don't your write a few nice words about it.

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