It seems simple enough, but there's plenty of communication isolation going on all around the industry.
Basically there's a lot of preaching to choirs that we allow to serve as validation for inexperienced problems.
I jumped behind the mic for a first ever one-on-one monologue of sorts to discuss this problems and few others related to it.
The answer we all wish wasn't true is, not many.
But that's exactly what State Auto did when Mike LaRocco came on board three years ago.
It's also nice that they believe so strongly in us, you know independent agents, and want to make sure we come along for the ride.
That's what I sit down to talk with the man himself about as he shares what the journey has been like and how the rest of the industry can learn from it.
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If there's one thing you should be doing on the internet for your agency, it's distributing your insurance brain to as many people in as many places as you can.
When you're done with that you should feel good about it because too many of us are worried insurance isn't "cool" enough.
Just stop it, it is and so are you so let's all do something about.
That's what I talk to Becky Taylor, Marketing Manger at Ohio Insurance Agents (OIA), as she delivers a much needed pep talk.
This has to be one of the most important things you do over the next five, 10, 15 or 20 years.
You really don't have a choice, because this year alone one out of every four agents will be retiring.
It's up to you to make sure that next wave of agents knows how to properly help people plan for the day they don't want to think about.
That's what Ryan talks with Matt Sapaula, Co-Owner at PHP Agency, about he always has someone to hold a torch.
Want to see Matt live, grabbing a ticket to Elevate 18 will do make it happen.
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Because when you do, you'll limit the amount on enthusiasm you kill delaying progress.
The longer you make something take, the less that will get done.
This is also true if you're always trying to do more than you can handle.
That's what I talk to Dani Kimble, at The O'Neill Group, about as she tries to figure out how fast her process can work.
It's all possible we just suffer from some undiagnosable form of mental illness to prefer to do business this way.
Or there could be unexplainable benefits to selling insurance with the people you also spend the holiday's with.
Because this behavior is so common, it's also hard to walk away from, especially if you already stepped in.
That's what I talk with Patrick Muscenti, of McGown Insurance, about as he shares his journey out of his family agency.
Not to mention you could've have missed something and waited all that time for nothing...
Doesn't SEO sound great? Guess what though, if you can survive all of that, you'll be rewarded with a constant stream of leads that never runs dry.
Well, I mean if you don't keep up appearances it will eventually stop flowing.
That's what TrustedChoice.com SEO master Nyssa Lieder and I talk just to make sure you remember.
The truth is, it's so rare to find most agencies don't know what's possible if they had it.
That thing, of course, is creativity and the lack of it found within the industry.
That's why when someone comes in from the outside, seemingly having no business being here, blazes a trail no one's seen before.
That's the creative firestorm that is Wood Brown and the reason Ryan wanted to talk to him about the benefits of taking those risks.
Want to see Woody live, grab your ticket for Elevate 18 right now!
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The problem is the mindset you approach the purchase with. That is it's something that isn't really necessary and ineffective.
That mindset is easy to have not knowing or seeing the full potential effective video marketing can have on your agency.
If you could you would have wished you made that investment years ago and even think it's a bargain for the business it delivers.
That's what I talk to Jared Bellmund, of Carolina Living Insurance, about as he dreams of the gear he's missing.
It seems like everyone loves to play armchair InsurTech CEO these days, but actually making it on the field is entirely different.
That first step is much easier when you have people with the level of intensity walking on each side.
It's that team of people that will help finish your idea and bring it into reality.
That's what Ryan talks to Jeremy Hallett, CEO of Hallett Financial and Quotacy, about his journey getting into the game.
Want to see Jeremy live, there's just a few tickets for Elevate 18 left!
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Because if you think you need a person, there's a good chance that you actually need a person.
What isn't so obvious is the type of work this person will be doing and seeing if it can be found elsewhere, cheaper.
If you don't figure out the answer to those questions before brining someone new into your agency, that might be a problem.
That's what I talked to long time guest Mike Crowley, of Crowley Insurance, about as he tried to learn when to pull the trigger.
P.S. Did you know I write something extra special directly to you every Sunday in my newsletter? You should subscribe.
Sounds a little too good to be true, right? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.
If you're knocking down 10-15 personal home and auto policies every week, you just need to close one final expense policy to do it.
Now, if you're one of those P&C guys that swore off life insurance years ago, this sale should get you back at the table.
That's what I wanted to talk to my new friends Mike Quaranta and Dave Nyborg at Oxford Life to find out just how easy it might be.
Connect with Mike and Dave
Is because of a creative culture that won't stop.
Tough to pin down. Easy to dismiss.
As ethereal concept as it may be… is Paramount to victory.
Because culture… unlike any other aspect of your business...
...is the psychological manifestation of the soul of your business.
You can’t fake it.
Culture is honest, candid and true.
...and it all boils down to this.
You care… or you don’t.
Not that you care about your business… of course you do.
But do you care about your people?
It’s easy to say you care.
It’s easy to put up motivational quotes in the break room.
It’s easy to WANT a great company culture.
But culture doesn’t happen by accident.
Your people judge you on your actions.
What do you actually do?
Do you live, breathe and execute on the culture your words frame?
It is your actions that define culture.
Want a performance-based culture?
Perform. Go do the work and hold yourself accountable to results.
You want a creative culture?
Be creative. Try stuff. Think different about your business and share your ideas freely up and down the company.
Want to growth culture?
Go sell something and teach others how to sell.
Do this again and again and again and again… till living, breathing and executing your company culture is more than habit, but simply how you do business…
Only through your own hard work can the trust, respect and loyalty necessary to seed culture be built.
Then… as your new culture begins to blossom...
Let go… and trust your people to nourish and grow that culture into the future.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
...more like culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, dinner and that snack right before bed you don’t tell your spouse about.
Culture is how we win.
So… Be selfless.
Be the change you want to see throughout your company.
You must embody that change, every day, in every action you take.
You must be the force of will that breaks down the narcissism, pessimism, protectionism, and all the other “isms” keeping your company from success.
We all have insecurities.
We all have shortcomings.
We all have moments of weakness.
But we survive.
No. We thrive… despite them all, because of trust, respect, loyalty, camaraderie… because of culture.
What will your culture be?
P.S. You can experience that culture first hand if you come to Elevate 18
The chances of you finding the absolute best person for that position in a two week time span is near impossible.
The big question is, why aren't you always looking for the next person you're not sure you'll need?
Because if you are you'll always have the highest quality candidate ready to fill a hole or take on a new position.
That's what Ryan, Sydney and I talk about today plus setting the right president to maximize your collective results.
Today's consumer expects to find so much information that you might not be giving them.
It's move beyond just a phone, email and website. They expect real tangible things to be delivered to the through a digital experience in the form of education and communication.
If your agency isn't actively trying to meet those consumers where they are at, you'll have a hard time finding a table to sit at.
That's what Ryan wanted to talk to Jeff Teschke, Founder and CEO of Forge3, about how you can find a seat at the table.
If you want to see Jeff live, he'll be hanging out at Elevate 18 this year!
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Alright fine, yes you'll obviously still be able to lose a big account to another agent.
However, if we all get our act together it won't happen because someone didn't do their job right or people hate insurance.
I know it sounds a little far fetched already, but I'm pretty sure if everyone comes together from all sides of the industry we can make it happen.
That's what I talk to Nancy Nicklow, of Huff Insurance, about the account she couldn't believe she was losing.
There are so many aspects to creating a video "that works" it's impossible to execute them all.
Sure, eventually you might get there, but that's 12 months and 40 videos later.
The faster you can be authentically good on camera, the sooner the world will open up to you and your business.
That's what Ryan talks to Greg Rollett, Founder of Ambitious.com, about why he wants to help you do it.
If you want to see Greg live, we only have 32 tickets left for Elevate 18!
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Figuring out this simple question alone, is one insurance agents have been struggling to answer for at least a decade.
Most of the time what ends up happening is experience is over-valued and everyone discounts what the game looks like through new eyes.
That's why I talked to Bogus Handzle, of Handzle and Associates, to figure out what's best for his agency.
When you hear someone say no your brain treats it the same as physical pain.
Sounds crazy, but that's probably not what you want your customers feeling when they're on the phone with your agency.
It's amazing how simple it can be to dramatically change the experience your clients have just by being positive and giving them useful alternatives.
That's what Sydney Roe and I talked to Matt Wood, of MetzWood Insurance, about what his wife is doing at Etsy to change their customer experience.
The tricky part is making sure you've given them enough to do to be able to figure it out.
If not, there's no way you'll ever know who your biggest fans are and which leads want to talk to you the most.
Sydney Roe turns the tables on me at the dinner table to talk about the process I went through to give my leads a score.
It's never easy finding the right people for your agency.
It's even harder when they will never care about your business as much as you do.
It's impossible and expecting anything else is just asking for trouble.
That means you are usually above average at selling insurance, but those skills rarely translate into being a good business leader.
The crazy part is, controlling just a few core aspects within your business will dramatically improve those skills.
Those 8 core principles are:
Ego, Emotion, Expectations
Ryan talks with Billy Williams, President of Inspire a Nation, about how your agency can stay focused on eating enough I.C.E.C.R.E.A.M.
If you want to see Billy live, we only have 50 tickets left for Elevate 18!
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The easier it is for people to talk to you and you talk to them, the better you'll be.
If every interaction is a struggle of epic proportions for you and them you'll have wasted a lot of everyone's time.
Having the proper systems and segmentation in place is vital to making sure that doesn't happen in your agency.
That's what I talk to Ryan Anderson, or Columbia Insurance, about as he tries to make sense of his.
Would that sound like a much simpler insurance world to live in? Would you also have a much easier time presenting certain coverage to potential clients?
These are borderline redundant questions that are a dramatic improvement from what you have probably been doing.
The best part is that it is actually a reality available to you right now and one that you should seriously explore.
That's what my new friend Ryan Collier, Chief Digital Officer for RPS, to tell you how to get there.
Connect with Ryan