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: 2018
Dec 31, 2018

That's certainly one of the most important questions you can work on answering over the next five to 10 years.

No matter what the answer is, the higher you can get the better chance you have of sticking around.

Because Artificial Intelligence gets really hungry around low hanging fruit and can't handle a meal full of context, complexity and coordination.

Those are the safest activities and skills you can stuff your insurance day with to fend off any unnecessary hunger.

That's what I talk to Dan Faggella, CEO of Emerj, who lays out the current practical state of AI in insurance.

Make sure you connect with Dan below:

Dec 28, 2018

Can really be boiled down to simplifying work you've already done to maximize the effectiveness of your newly gained expertise.

If you spent most of 2018 with your head down creating awesome content all over the internet, it might be time in 2019 to double back and reinforce it.

Or you might have spent the year excessively indulging in one too many shiny toys and this year it could be about bringing simple focus.

That's what I talked to Woody Brown, of The Rhoads Group, and Rob McCarthy, of GRBM Insurance, as we look to set the table for the new year.

Previous installments:

Two Things You Should Be Doing in 2018
Two Things You Should Still Be Doing in 2018

P.S. Everything you should be doing in 2019 is delivered right here.

Dec 27, 2018

That depends on how often it happens and how much you need them to do something.

It's never easy bringing in a new human being into your agency, sometimes it works great, sometimes not so much.

A more interesting question to ask might be if they need work on-site or remote?

Because it all really comes down to what you need done and understanding the value of their proximity.

That's what I talk to Michele Linca, of Linca Insurance, about her need for someone new.

P.S. You can definitely meet a ton of new agents at Elevate 2019 that can change your agency.

Dec 24, 2018

It's certainly not something you hear every day, but if you take time to dig beneath the surface it starts to make more sense.

That's because most open API's are built to be shallower than a kiddy pool.

True integrations are made through intentional connectivity when two companies fully understand the intentions of the objective.

The only downside with that is you'll probably have to ask for a lot more of those intentional conversations to happen.

That's what I talk to Marcus Hayes, of Lightspeed Voice, just how much attention they give your API.

Don't miss Marcus at Elevate 2019, be sure to get your ticket here.

Also, don't forget to connect with Marcus as well:

Lightspeed Voice

Dec 21, 2018

Certainly comes with a history of insurance that's hard to get away from.

Most of the time that's a good thing because you have a community that has been conditioned over multiple generations to know, like and trust you.

Of course, that can come at the expense of rapid change and occasional complacency.

However, at the end of the day, there's something special about stepping into an industry that has always been a part of your life.

That's what I talk to Nick Rolf, of Gross Insurance Agency, about his experience joining the family business.

P.S. Have you got your ticket to Elevate 19 yet?

Dec 20, 2018

If you want to get better faster you're going to want to ask for as much qualified feedback as you can get.

When you become fearless of people's opinions of your work, an endless sea of possibilities become available to you.

There will also come a point where not every piece of feedback you get will be worth listening to.

That will be the first sign you're getting good and are starting to really know your stuff.

That's what I talk to Avery Moore, of ECI Insurance, about how her positive her desire for criticism will become.

P.S. Did you know Elevate 2019 is going to over 48 hours of the best feedback you'll ever get.

Dec 19, 2018

If there was one thing every agency owner has been guilty of at some point in their insurance career, it's this.

Sticking with things long enough to see results is a really hard thing to de especially if you're not sure it's going to work.

This is even more challenging when dealing with new technology you aren't even sure is necessary.

However, if you can somehow find it in you and the agency to not give up you'll have the chance to accomplish what most can't.

That's what I talk to Rahim Virani, of Texan Insurance, about how much patience you need.

Don't miss Rahim on the Elevate 19 stage where he'll share what's possible sticking with sales automation.

P.S. That means you should get your ticket now.

Dec 18, 2018

If it sounds like you've heard this before, it's because there's a very good chance you have.

That doesn't stop it from being true and one of the most difficult things to overcome when getting starting with content.

It's very natural to want to chase perfection when putting your thoughts, ideas and information on the internet for anyone to see.

Because sharing those thoughts creates a level of vulnerability most insurance agents aren't automatically conditioned for.

That's what I talk to Ryan Anderson, of Alliance Insurance, about as he practices being comfortable with imperfection.

P.S. You can practice implementing imperfection here.

Dec 17, 2018

Maybe you like to double down when everyone checks out or perhaps it's the perfect time to recharge without losing ground.

Because one thing's for sure, it's hard to find two new years prep strategies that look the same.

Sure, there's plenty of similar tactics and goal setting rituals that feel generic and overused.

The truth is this time of year is a blank canvas waiting to be painted in whatever way you find most inspiring.

That's why I thought it would be interesting to hear your take on preparation and what you need most out of this time of year.

P.S. The inspiration never stops over here.

Dec 14, 2018

If not, you could be wasting a lot of energy and opportunity trying to start relationships the hard way.

Ignoring what works is only going to hold your agency back from reaching the clients you truly want to do business with.

It's amazing what you find when you dig up an old conversation that's still a relevant reminder today.

This is a conversation from my visit with Jason Jarvis, of Pay Joyce Insurance, about how and who he's competing with.

P.S. A lot of the right people that are going to be here.

Dec 13, 2018

There's a good chance other things in your agency still get in the way of consistently creating content.

Don't worry, it happens to everyone, the bigger question is how do you respond to it and make it harder to happen again?

That's the most important lesson to learn from any content disruption by allowing it to identify weaknesses in your process.

The stronger it gets the more consistent opportunities you'll provide your agency with to attract the right clients online.

That's what I talk to Alex Dopazo, of Dopazo and Associates, about the machine he's trying to build.

P.S. Elevate 19 is the perfect place to learn how to make your process unstoppable.

Dec 12, 2018

There's a good chance you'll see your agency have an impact on the community that you didn't think was possible.

As a result, it will be extremely hard for that community you cared about first to ignore what you do.

That's not even mentioning the amount of extra passion your people will bring to work as a result.

Because allowing your staff to freely roam the community is far better than what they would do chained to a desk.

That's what I talk to Ashley Whitney, of Harbor Breen Insurance, about how much encouragement she provides.

Don't miss Ashley on the Elevate 19 stage, grab your ticket now!

P.S. You know what to do.

Dec 11, 2018

They'll never last forever, but there are a few key things you can do now to give them a chance.

Because the truth is there's nothing worse than watching a video continue to rack up views and look terrible doing it.

Especially when a majority of that frustration can be avoided by paying a little attention to the details.

It's those details that will make your video setup feel like overkill now but still performing at a high level years from now.

That's what I talk to Taylor Garcia, of Jackson & Jackson Insurance, about as he steps up his long-term video game.

Gear mention in the episode:

Canon 80D
Canon 10-18mm lens
Canon 16-35mm L Series lens (f/ 2.8)
Canon 16-35mm L Series lens (f/ 4)
Rhode Video Micro

P.S. You never know when a good video gear conversation is going to break out here.

Dec 10, 2018

You end up investing in an unlimited number of "producers" that work for your 24/7, 365 days a year.

It's hard to see now, but most of that work will only get better with age and create an unthinkable compounding education effect.

That effect will make it almost impossible for the people you want to do business with to not pay attention to you.

Because if you've identified them correctly and committed to completely solving their problems no one else stands a chance.

That's what I talk to Mike Crowley, of Crowley Insurance, about as he's looking to make a big bet to start 2019.

P.S. Join the Agency Nation Newsletter to learn how to keep playing the long game.

Dec 7, 2018

It's very possible it will take the industry a lot longer than necessary to truly see it's importance.

As your business and life expand further and onto the internet, the more room there is in your client's lifecycle to experience your vulnerability.

It will ultimately become the separator of trust and will become a barrier to get it.

Given the current state of the union, it's hard to see now, especially with it still being early days in other industries as

That's what I talk to Olivia Schmitt, of TRICORE Insurance, about as she shares a few early lessons her vulnerability has taught her.

P.S. This is certainly the place a lot of insurance vulnerability is tossed around.

Dec 6, 2018

It will forever be a debate what you should say to clients when you don't need to talk about insurance.

It's a debate that will never have a right or wrong answer, rather results of many different successful outcomes.

The common thread that will likely string them all together is consistency and confidence in the messages that you share.

The simple fact of owning the stories you tell instead of feeling obligated to share them will set you apart.

That's what I talk to Kim Wood, of Toby & Merrill Insurance, about her experience trying to get remembered.

P.S. Some people have said coming to Elevate has instantly made them more memorable. You should try it.

Dec 4, 2018

This is actually the best way to understand the difference between an effective Facebook or YouTube video strategy.

If you don’t take the time to think about how, when and why someone is coming across your video and what they might want to do when they’re done, now would be a good time to start.

It’s those intentions that will help you craft the perfect message to be found at the perfect time for someone to take the perfect action.

That’s what I talk to Ryan Sautman, of Just4You Insurance, about as he retells tales of making people miss him.

P.S. This is a really good place to learn how to make people miss you. 

Dec 3, 2018

This is one of those moments you just have to put your head down and do something a lot longer than you think.

Because one thing is for sure, it's not for a lack of ideas or suggestions, rather focus and execution.

It's easy to suggest, it's easy to listen, it's easy to consume and it's certainly easy to get distracted.

There aren't special (see better) ideas waiting around the next corner, there are just different ones.

That's why I wanted to start one of your last Monday's of 2018 off with a little reminder of what you already have.

P.S. If I followed this advice I'd tell you not to subscribe to the Agency Nation newsletter, but there's always an exception to the rule.

Nov 30, 2018

Starts with telling a story very few people hear to help understand insurance.

The underwriting process is arguably the most important part of insurance no one knows about.

Having the ability to look deeper at the whole story could dramatically change the current process.

Because currently, very few people are able or willing to tell it.

That's what I talk to Amber Wuollet, of Explore Insurance, about as she shares her experience starting the conversation.

P.S. The Agency Nation newsletter starts plenty of these conversations.

Nov 29, 2018

It’s going to take longer than you think and be riskier than want.

Because there's something that got you to where you are right now that's uniquely different than everyone else.

If you’re lucky enough to figure it out you’ll have an advantage most won't be able to overcome.

However, the hardest part is being patient enough and realize that it's something you won't be able to assemble overnight.

That’s what I talked to Jessica Burch, of Bryce Point Insurance, about as she recalls her path to building her own insurance secret weapon.

P.S. Get weekly instructions on building that weapon here.

Nov 28, 2018

Believe it or not, insurance hasn't changed much, what has is the customer's expectations.

Making sense of that realization can be a little sobering and leave you questioning your insurance life.

It all starts by understanding that you start and build relationships with anyone all the time.

Which opens your agency up for the opportunity to grow in a way you never thought possible.

That's what I talk to Tom Minkler, of Clark Mortenson Insurance, about the value of his habits.

Don’t miss your chance to learn from Jeff at Elevate 2019, get your ticket now!

P.S. Be awesome, come to Elevate 19.

Nov 27, 2018

All you’re doing is showing people how little you care about what’s really important.

Instead, educate your client to a better experience so they don’t have to worry about taking every last dollar on the table.

Understanding the value as it relates to the savings is a service that can be hard to come by.

It's also an experience that agents are sometimes strangely afraid to provide.

That’s what I talk to Billy Van Jura, of Stissing Insurance, about his discipline to explain value.

P.S. Learn what else you can sell on instead of savings here.

Nov 26, 2018

It's easy to dismiss and even easier to want to control, but given the proper freedom can be effective.

That's really the default reaction most people have when it comes to allowing personal brands to develop inside an agency.

Those concerns are usually masked in the form of Facebook pages and separate websites.

However, if properly supported and coordinated your agency can take advantage of the most relevant prospecting real estate.

That's a question I answer today as we look at "a problem" one agency is having deciding what to with agent's and their Facebook pages.

P.S. Have you joined the Agency Nation newsletter yet? (Personal Brands Encouraged)

Nov 23, 2018

Because contrary to popular (insurtech) opinion, you provide too sweet of a deal to pass up.

That deal usually includes taking an active and engaged roll in your community.

It also requires a serious commitment to operating as a true risk manager instead of an apples to apples order taker.

However, not every insurance agent with an active license can live up to that standard.

That's why it's important to weed out those agents who can't or won't deliver that experience.

That's what I talked to Pat West, of Hedgequote, help understand his vision of a more streamlined shopping future.

P.S. No good agents are getting replaced here.

Nov 22, 2018

It all starts by going far beyond the first box or two you tried to check selling it.

Instead needs to become a deeper, more specific, understanding of who they are and why they need to buy insurance.

That's when you truly start to make decisions based on the group of people you will finally be able to call your niche.

Otherwise, you'll end up assuming a sale that might not be coming from a person who only values the one thing you do really well.

That's what I talk to Sean Halpin, of MJH Insurance, about his realization of just how far he had to go.

P.S. This is one place we consistently dive deep enough to make sure you have nothing to worry about.

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