PROFESSIONAL AGENT November 2018
What's Inside? Is Your Agency Team Trained?.................................09 Fact or Fiction?....................11 Sales & Business Success...................................12 Keeping the Business When Your Contact Leaves.........14 Get Prospects to Find You...........................................18 Winter Get-Away................20 Education Section..............21 New CICs & CISRs................25 Dining Success in Business.................................26 ACUITY named PIA National Company Of The Year......29
2018-2019 PIAW Board of Directors
Classified Ad.........................30 Lunch & Learn......................32 Losing Customers to Competitors.........................36
Digital Editions of PIAW Magazine Available at www.piaw.org FEATURED MEMBER BENEFIT:
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President Matt Cranney, CIC, CRM — President, PIA of Wisconsin
Meet Your Board As I have shared at our annual convention and in my last few articles, my challenge to all of us this year is to use the power of our own story to inspire and engage others. In researching all aspects of what makes a great story, I came across this quote: “Let your characters speak for themselves. An important part of storytelling is making the story personable and relatable. When characters speak to each other in a story, it lends immediacy, urgency and authenticity to the piece. So use direct quotes and let characters speak and lend credibility to the dialogue.” In that spirit I want to continue a tradition that was started by then Board President Brian MacGillis of introducing the current PIA Board to you: Dan Wolfgram – Dan works for R&R Insurance Services in Waukesha and is our new Executive committee Secretary. Dan will also be leading up our Agent Services Task Force with a focus on materials related to agency perpetuation. Dan is always positive and upbeat and thinks issues through from all angles. We are incredibly fortunate to have him on our Board. Dennis Kuhnke – Dennis works for Robertson Ryan & Associates in Milwaukee and serves the PIAW as our National Director. In his role Dennis represents the PIAW at the National level and has been recognized for his excellent service by being elected to the National PIA Executive Board and will be the incoming National President next year. Dennis brings his wealth of insurance experience and knowledge to each and every situation and I am lucky to serve alongside him. Jeremy Cordova – Jeremy owns The Cordova Agency in Merrill and, as he has done for many years, will continue to lead our Legislative Committee this year. Jeremy is incredibly passionate and engaged around all things legislative and is an amazing asset to our Board. It is awesome to serve alongside him! Jodi Cordes – Jodi works at AF Glass in Lake Geneva and sits on our Executive Board as our immediate Past President and she will also co-lead the Convention Committee. It has been one of the real privileges of my career to get to know Jodi and to serve as her Vice President. She is smart, strong, caring and an awesome advocate for our industry. Julie Ulset – Julie owns Grams Insurance Agency in Edgerton and sits on our Executive Board as our Treasurer and she will colead our Convention Committee with Jodi. Julie has an amazing ability to help make complicated matters simple to understand and to help bring our discussions back to what truly matters. It’s people like Julie that make our industry so special.
Michael Keener – Michael owns Keener Insurance Solutions in Germantown and will be our overall YPC Chair this year. In the years I have served with Mike, he has always impressed me with his ability to look for ways to improve and innovate. It is because of people like him, that the future of our industry is in such good hands! Mitch Tarras – Mitch works at Nett Insurance Agency in Plymouth and is leading up efforts for our annual YPC Golf Outing. Mitch came onto the Board last year and has been so smart in watching and listening to establish himself well. I am excited to watch his influence continue to grow! Ryan Butzke – Ryan works at Northbrook Insurance Associates in Menomonee Falls and will lead our efforts related to our YPC Scholarships. This is Ryan’s first year on the Board but I am already impressed by his willingness to serve and his vision for the future of our industry. Sandy Hardrath – Sandy works at Ansay & Associates in Manitowoc and will lead our Education Committee this year. Sandy brings her incredible experience and expertise to bear in all of our meetings. We are very fortunate to have her on our Board. Sean Paterson – Sean works for Robertson Ryan & Associates in Brookfield and is on our Executive Board as our Vice President and will also lead up our Agent Technology Task Force. Sean is amazing at facilitating our discussions and cares a huge amount that we don’t simply go with what may seem like the popular opinion, unless everyone has been included. I am lucky to serve alongside him. Tom Budzisz – Tom owns BWO Insurance Group in Oak Creek and is leading up our Membership Committee. Tom and I started on the Board at the same time and it has been a privilege to watch him always take time to mentor and coach everyone who comes to him for guidance and wisdom. Our industry is built on amazing people like Tom! This is your Board – the characters in the PIAW’s Board story. A group of people just like you, who work in our amazing industry and make a great commitment of their own time and talent to represent you. They are also a collection of individuals with powerful stories of their own and I am humbled by the chance to serve alongside them. My encouragement to you is to not hesitate to reach out to Ron, myself or any member of your Board and let us know how we can serve you, our members. Our story is better and richer, when we speak to each other and we want to hear from you! NOVEMBER 18 3
Madison Ron Von Haden, CIC — Executive Vice President, PIA of Wisconsin
Liability issues: It’s a crucial question for renters. NEW SURVEY SHOWS TENANTS DON’T UNDERSTAND liability issues: It’s a crucial question for renters — particularly when they go on vacation: Who is responsible in the event of burglary/theft or property damage from a fire, weather or negligence? Turns out a lot of renters are in the dark about who bears ultimate responsibility. According to a new survey by global risk solutions provider Assurant of 1,000 U.S. renters, nearly one-third (32%) believe either the landlord or property management company should be responsible for damage or liability protection, while an additional 25% said they were “not sure” who’s responsible. This misunderstanding among U.S. renters is significant, especially considering that more Americans rent their homes now than at any other point in the past 50 years, and the value of their possessions continues to rise. Agents need to spend more time not only educating renters about damage and liability protection but also helping them understand that a renter’s policy is very affordable. Not surprisingly, of the 45% of respondents from the Assurant survey who said they didn’t have insurance, many cited cost as the reason. ARE MOVING EXPENSES COVERED under Additional Living Expenses? Question: Our HO-3 insureds suffered a total fire loss. The policy limits for the dwelling and personal property were exhausted. Since the fire, the insureds have been living in a rented apartment while their home is being rebuilt. During this time, they have been replacing items that were destroyed in the fire. They are now requesting payment for the expense of moving those items out of the apartment back into the rebuilt home. Are these moving expenses covered as an additional living expense? Answer: The expense for your insureds to move out of their rented apartment back to their home is payable under coverage D, additional living expense. The
policy promises to pay any increase in the insureds’ expenses so that they can, “maintain [their] normal standard of living.” This is a very broad promise. Had it not been for the fire, they would not have been forced to move. Their normal standard of living includes living in (and, in this case, returning to) their home. Analysis brought to you by the experts at FC&S Online, the unquestioned authority on insurance coverage interpretation and analysis for the P&C industry. OVER THE PAST 25 YEARS that I have had the privilege of serving as PIAW’s Executive Officer, I have experienced an incredible variety of emotions and experiences. I have been totally embarrassed by hitting a golf ball into the open door of a church (while services were proceeding) on Mackinac Island. I have been humbled by kind words from Boards, Presidents and volunteers. I have beamed proudly as my wife and son received accolades for their service to the association and their clients. And I have wiped my eyes as “God Bless The USA” by Lee Greenwood was sung and displayed on video screens at the opening of convention banquets. As I near the end of this great ride, I will share some moments with you in a few words in future articles. AND REMEMBER….. Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.
Cyber Liability coverage: Don’t run your agency without it. The average cyber claim payout is nearly $1 Million. Will your agency survive a cyber breach without the proper coverage? Don’t take the risk….get a cyber policy from PIA today! Your agency depends on your computer system, confidential client information and website operation every day. PIA’s cyber policy gives you options to protect your agency and your livelihood. Get special “PIA only” coverage enhancements from an “A” rated company. As an insurance agency, you are trusted with storing private client data such as driver’s license numbers, birthdates, addresses, credit history, health information and more. The bottom line is….you are responsible for protecting your client’s data and you can be liable if it is compromised. Protect yourself. Call or email Heidi at PIA. (800) 261-7429 or firstname.lastname@example.org . 4 NOVEMBER 18
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Boardroom Jeremy Cordova, CIC, Director, PIA of Wisconsin
Can You Afford Not To? I write this article shortly after the conclusion of the Kavanaugh confirmation spectacle with an eye on November 6th. Certainly, on the national level but also in Wisconsin this is a very important off Presidential year election. Let’s look at what is potentially at stake here in Wisconsin. With record low unemployment in the Badger state it is difficult to argue that Governor Walker, the Assembly, and the Senate, have not accomplished an agenda that fosters a business-friendly atmosphere in Wisconsin. In addition to protecting pro-business reforms already enacted the next Governor will have veto authority over legislative district re-mapping which will take place after the 2020 census. Legislative districts are required to be examined and when necessary re-drawn after every 10-year census to apportion the number of citizens that each state legislator represents. For example, the 2017 population of Wisconsin was estimated at 5.8 million people. Since there are 99 members of the State Assembly each assembly district map would be drawn in a manner that would place approximately 58,600 residents within that district’s boundaries. Having only 33 members in the state senate, each senator then represents 3 contiguous assembly districts. In addition to drawing the district boundaries for the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate, the state legislature is also responsible for determining the boundaries of the current eight federal Congressional districts in Wisconsin. If no district mapping plan can be reached by the legislature then the district boundaries are left for the courts to decide. It is rarely mentioned by candidates on the campaign trail, but redistricting is a very important function of the state legislature and it can have a lasting impact on how competitive either state or federal legislative districts can be for a particular political party for several election cycles. Knowing the importance of continuously looking forward in the political landscape the PIAW legislative committee and the firm we utilize for our lobbying efforts monitors races throughout the state each election cycle. This is done in an effort to support legislators up for reelection and candidates who are friends of both the insurance industry and business in general throughout Wisconsin. There are two main ways to support a candidacy.
The first is to volunteer time which often consists of working a phone bank or knocking on doors and locating signs. Due to publishing dates, by the time you read this the 2018 fall elections may be over, but we can certainly put you in contact with a campaign that would love to have you in the future. There is no more sure way to secure the attention of a legislator than by working on their campaign. The pace of life today however does not often leave time for volunteering hours working on a campaign. Enter the second main way of supporting a candidate, American dollars. It should come as no surprise that monetary support is the lifeblood of any candidacy. This is where the conduit administered by the PIAW gives you the ability to make a directed donation to a candidate of your choice. If there is no candidate in your area that you wish to donate to the conduit can distribute your pledge bundled with others to maximize the effect of your support. While our efforts have been instrumental in securing wins on legislation specific to the industry we have also lent our support to non-industry specific legislation that is a benefit to all business throughout the state. This broad-based approach to supporting or opposing legislation is most beneficial and has the most impact on our PIAW members and our partners throughout the industry. Through the expansion of our legislative focus we are maximizing our profile at the state capitol, but we know we can do more. Don’t be surprised if in the future you get a call from myself or another board member making a personal request to support the legislative work we do on your behalf by contributing to the conduit. It is an underutilized tool that with your support will allow us to even more effectively advocate for you in Madison. I titled this article “Can You Afford Not To?” because that is how I truly feel about participating fully in our political process. Can you afford not to support candidates that believe the way you do and who will work toward outcomes you feel are in the best interest of our state? Can you afford not to make the most impact you can on the future success of your business and family? Can you afford not to make that pledge?
PIAW TESTIMONIAL "Being a member of the PIAW is a very rewarding experience. You get back much more than you receive. The programs offered by the PIAW are always worthwhile and informative. You can not help but gain knowledge that you can take back to the office with you and use the next day. The events are also very affordable in today’s budget conscious environment. The membership pays for itself many times over." Al "Wally" Breitenfeldt, CIC Community Insurance 6 NOVEMBER 18
Actions Ted Nickel â€” Commissioner of the Office of Insurance
Madison, WIâ€”OCI has taken the following administrative actions. In many of these cases the respondent denied the allegations but consented to the action taken. Any forfeitures paid in these administrative actions are deposited in the Common School Fund which is administered by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. The earnings from this fund are distributed to all public K-12 schools in Wisconsin and are used by school libraries to purchase books. Copies of the administrative action orders may be viewed online at https://ociaccess.oci.wi.gov/OrderInfo/OrdInfo.oci. OCI is responsible for overseeing the operations and marketing of insurance companies and agents in Wisconsin. OCI encourages anyone with a question or a complaint regarding an insurance company or agent to contact the office at this tollfree telephone number: 1-800-236-8517.
ALLEGATIoNS AND AcTIoNS AGAINST AGENTS Devon C. Dunmire, 3025 Cantabrian Dr., Killeen, TX 76542, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having a criminal conviction that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type activities. Van E. Johnson, 7900 W. Denver Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53223, agreed to the 30-day denial of his application for an insurance license and agreed to work under the direct supervision of a licensed intermediary for a period of one year. These actions were taken based on allegations of providing false information on a licensing application and owing delinquent taxes and civil money judgments. Daniel J. Kussmaul, 1109 S. 13th St., Prairie du Chien, WI 53821, agreed to permanently surrender his insurance license, agreed to pay a civil forfeiture of $10,000.00, and agreed to pay consumer restitution of $13,500.00. These actions were taken based on allegations of obtaining power of attorney over a client's finances, knowingly being named a beneficiary of a client's insurance policies, misrepresenting insurance policies, and soliciting the sale of unsuitable insurance products. Delores A. Kussmaul, 1109 S. 13th St., Prairie du Chien, WI 53821, agreed to permanently surrender her insurance authority to sell life insurance and agreed to pay a civil forfeiture of $5,000.00. These actions were taken based on allegations of obtaining power of attorney over a client's finances and knowingly being named a beneficiary of a client's insurance policies. Ryan N. Lewis, 1324 S.W. Surrey Trace, Lees Summit, MO 64081, agreed to the revocation of his insurance license and agreed to pay a forfeiture of $1,000.00. These actions were taken based on allegations of failing to comply with a previous OCI order, failing to timely report an administrative action taken by the state of Virginia, and failing to disclose 8 NOVEMBER 18
an administrative action taken by the state of Virginia on a licensing renewal application. Jeffrey B. Steers, N96 W6601 Aspen St., Cedarburg, WI 53012, had his application for an insurance license denied for 60 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose criminal convictions on a licensing application. Jason B. Vanclef, 8107 Loyola Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045, was ordered to pay a civil forfeiture of $500.00 and was ordered to fully report all matters required to be disclosed to OCI. These actions were taken based on allegations of failing to disclose an administrative action taken by FINRA. Tia B. Walker, 9838 Lychee Loop, Apt. 202, Riverview, FL 33569, had her application for an insurance license denied for 60 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose administrative actions taken by the states of Florida and North Dakota on a licensing application. Chad J. Webler, 805 Anchorage Ct., Unit B, Oshkosh, WI 54901, had his application for an insurance license denied and his hearing request dismissed. These actions were taken based on allegations of having criminal convictions that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type activities, exhibiting evidence of financial irresponsibility, and failing to appear at a scheduled administrative proceeding. Jason K. Ziccarelli, 10314 Wake Robin Dr., Grand Blanc, MI 48439, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of being named in a lawsuit alleging fraud and misrepresentation.
ALLEGATIoNS AND AcTIoNS AGAINST coMPANIES None to mention.
Is Your Agency Team Really Trained to Handle The New Customer Demands? By: Kelly Donahue-Piro Owner: Agency Performance Partners Co Founder: Agency Appeal Let’s face it. Most agencies really struggle with training. It’s fair to say that for most common humans, learning it all in 30 days is impossible! Think of the challenges: Your processes, 12 company products and website, learning how to handle the customer and let’s not forget what to document. It’s hard and as life everywhere else gets easier, insurance hasn’t quite caught up. However, we can focus on training our team to handle the new consumer challenges. What are the new consumer challenges? First of all everyone wants everything like 10 minutes ago and no one understands why things take the timeframe they do in insurance. Next, people don’t like dealing with insurance. They deal with us when they absolutely have to which means the don’t always call in so enthusiastically. Finally, all the advertising has gotten to them, price matters and we all feel we pay too much for insurance. Now it’s not that we do, it’s that we feel like we pay too much for our insurance. So all this has been happening and many agents haven’t had a great solution for training their team to handle these new challenges. Generally it boils down to time. Who has time to train? Build the content, sit and explain it at least 22 times and then see that it sticks. For most agencies they barely have time to go to the bathroom let alone train. But let’s be honest, what comes first? Less customer flair ups or more training? One kills the root of the problem and the other delays success. Sometimes we have to stop being too busy to be better. The other challenge with training is breaking through the “too busy” in the team’s mind. From their perspective they are doing the best job they can. There isn’t one more ounce they can give. They leave it all out on the floor every day. But they may not have been trained how to control a client call, work efficiently with technology or diffuse an upset client. Without training we rely on our own perspective and instinct to handle really challenging situations.
Let’s also be fair. Many people in insurance didn’t sign up for the role they have today. They were admins, assistants or service team members. We have asked them to be salespeople, solve problems and be in charge of retention. In exchange for this shift we owe them training, fair expectations and our genuine support and enthusiasm. However, burnout runs high with the jack of all trades agents. They are unsure on what direction to turn to and struggle to figure out how to keep people happy. So how does the independent insurance industry solve the training challenge? You have to use your resources! The agency owner must set the course of direction on where you want to head and what you want to be. When you have a clear direction first, then the team can follow! Without leadership everyone is going in the direction they feel will be best. What a waste of resources, right? Next, many Wisconsin agents don’t know that there are state training grants to help you defray the cost of building a ridiculously amazing team! Yes, did you know your state may refund you 50% of the cost of getting your team high quality training? This covers sales training, retention training and even basic customer service! What a benefit. So if the state is willing to pay for half to develop then what’s the challenge? The next challenge is time and buy in. Will the team embrace the training or will it be a waste? A waste of time and resources (even with half off!). You have to decide as a leader what's important to you and if the team is not open to training and learning new things, what’s next? How will the agency survive and thrive and ultimately serve you? We have to embrace training and have a plan to continuously get better. Remember, Michael Phelps is still swimming laps today and he's the best. How are we going to get to be the best with all of our resources?
NOVEMBER 18 9
Fact or Fiction?
By: Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA President – Pearsall Associates Inc. and Consultant to the Utica National Ins Program
Fact or Fiction – most E&O claims are reported within a year after the underlying loss has occurred. Actually, this is fiction. In a recent study done by Utica National, the analysis focused on the date of the underlying loss as compared to the date that the E&O claim was made against the agency. It was extremely interesting to note that less than half (the number was 43.5%) of the E&O claims reported were reported within 12 months of the actual date of the underlying loss. Stretching the time-period to 2 years and 3 years increased the percentages to 67.2% and 81.7% respectively. Why does this happen? Typically, when a loss occurs and is reported to the carrier, there is a time lag where the carrier is evaluating the claim and looking to determine whether there is coverage for the loss. If there is no coverage, the claim is subsequently denied where upon the client starts to have some discussion with the agency as to why there was no coverage. This is when attorneys may start to get involved. Here is a real life example: The underlying loss occurred in September 2008. It involved a slip and fall resulting in a torn rotator cuff injury. The agency client had a snow plowing service. When the claim was reported to the carrier, they denied the claim due to an exclusion in the policy. The exclusion involved the size of the lots that the snowplow service was handling. The current coverage had an exclusion for any lots larger than 5,000 square feet. The lot where the injury occurred was larger than this. The key issue was that the prior policy the agency had provided (the same agency) did not contain this exclusion. When the coverage was moved to a different carrier, that carrier had the 5,000 square foot exclusion but this exclusion was apparently not brought to the attention of the client. As a result, the snow plowing business was working on lots bigger than 5,000 square feet and thus subject to the exclusion. Thus, the claim was denied. It was not until 2014 (5 years later) that an E&O claim was brought against the agency. Final settlement was just short of $20,000, not including legal expenses. Why is this issue of importance? One area where it has tremendous relevance deals with agencies that are selling or thinking of selling their business over the next couple of years.
Industry reports are noting the tremendous activity in Mergers and Acquisitions. One report highlighted that mergers and acquisitions of insurance agencies broke all records in 2017 and was up 31% over 2016. For the agencies looking to sell, there is a key issue that needs to be extensively considered. Most claims-made policies refer to this provision as an “Extended Reporting Period” (also known as tail coverage). This coverage allows an insured to report claims that are made against the agency after a policy has expired or been canceled with the condition that the wrongful act that gave rise to the claim took place during the expired/canceled policy. With the above scenario, if the agency would have been sold effective Dec 2010 and a 1-year tail (extending the period to report claims to Dec 2011), the claim would not have been covered under the tail since it was made against the agency after Dec 2011. Actually, anything short of a 4-year tail would still have resulted in a lack of E&O coverage. Too often, it seems that agencies (when they are selling) are buying only a 1 or 2-year tail. This is leaving them extremely vulnerable to claims that are made after the 1 or 2-year period has expired. To restate the statistics in a different manner – buying a two-year tail translates into a lack of coverage for 30% of the claims being made. Even stretching this out to a 5-year tail would still result in 5% of the claims not being covered. Obviously, there is a cost to buying a tail and the longer the period, the more expensive the premium. Normally, the options are in annual periods of 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5 and 10 years. For an agency paying an annual premium of $10,000, a 2-year tail would cost $10,000, a 5-year tail would run around $19,000 and a 10-year tail would come in around $20,000 (only $2,000 more). For agencies looking to sell, they should do their homework and factor in to the cost of the sale, the premium for the “tail coverage”. The decision on the length of the “tail” may just determine how comfortable you are in enjoying your retirement. NOVEMBER 18 11
The Four Ingredients Needed for Sales and Business Success By: John Chapin It happened again two weeks ago. I met with someone struggling to get their business going. One of the first questions I asked, and always ask: “What are you doing to bring in revenue (sell something)?” “I have a display at the local Walmart, and I belong to five Chambers of Commerce.” “And how long have you been doing that?” “Five years.” “And how much business have you gotten from each one?” “Pretty much zero from all.” I’m not kidding. I also wish I could say this experience is the exception to the rule. Actually, it is more the rule than the exception when I talk to a struggling salesperson or solopreneur. What’s the definition of insanity? Right. For five years. Look, it really only takes four things to be successful in sales and business. If you have all four, success is virtually guaranteed. If you are missing even one, eventual failure is guaranteed. 4 Items for Sales and Business Success Item #1: Good people skills If you’re good with people, in other words, people like you because they feel good around you and believe you care about them, you’re off to a good start. If people like you, they’ll buy from you. The best salespeople and business people always have great people skills. They can connect and carry on a conversation with anyone at any level or any age. They have a charisma about them and their conversions flow smoothly and easily. They are able to make people feel important by talking about what’s important to them, being a good listener, and focusing completely on the other person as if they are the only person in the world. Even in a crowd, they can make you feel as if the two of you are the only ones there. That relationship, that connection, is usually the most important aspect when selling most items. Item #2: A great attitude A great attitude includes: passion, confidence, conviction, commitment, and perseverance. It also includes being positive. 12 NOVEMBER 18
The former attributes ensure you have the mental wherewithal to go out into the world with enthusiasm and remain that way while suffering the slings and arrows necessary to succeed in business and sales. The latter attribute, being positive, ensures that you present well to people. Your objective is to be a pleasure to interact with, to be the most pleasant person that people encounter during the day, and to be a joy to do business with. You want people to enjoy the experience of working with you. This means going above and beyond, doing more than people expect, and always doing everything in your power to make sure the client feels important. You want to have a can-do, happy-tohelp-you attitude. Item #3: The right activities Activity starts by having a plan which includes how much business you need, how many people you need to talk to, and where to find those people. In addition, you need the selfdiscipline to stick to the plan and ensure that you spend your time and money on the right activities and resources. The most important activities you spend time on during the day are the ones that bring money into the business. It isn’t working on your logo, driving to the post office, or entering information into the computer. During business hours 90+% of your time should be spent on activities that generate cash flow.
The fastest way to build business is by calling on people inperson or on the phone. Business is a contact sport and is all about relationships. In order to build relationships and connect with people, you need to be talking to them live, not sending spam e-mails, LinkedIn messages, or connecting on Facebook. Also, your activities should be focused on meeting new people (strangers). Going to the same networking events and seeing the same people over and over again is a mistake. Incidentally, discomfort and fear of calling on people, both strangers and people you know, is what stops most people and causes them to fail in sales and business. If you’re going to be successful, you need to get over that. Bottom line: focus on meeting strangers and making lots of contacts. Business is a numbers game, if you talk to enough people during the day you will eventually run into someone who needs what you have or knows someone who needs what you have. So go out there and take massive action.
Item #4: A good product and support This one goes without saying. If you have good people skills, a great attitude, and are focused on the right activities, you’ll make your share of one-time sales. But if you have a bad product, or are lacking support, the word will get out and any success will be short-lived. John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker and trainer. For his free newsletter, or to have him speak at your next event, go to: www.completeselling.com John has over 29 years of sales experience as a number one sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia. You can reprint provided you keep contact information in place. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to do so prospects won’t turn you down for an appointment The purpose of the appointment call is to demonstrate that you’re a competent professional worth the prospect’s time: 1. Research the company so you understand what they do, as well as their challenges. 2. Don’t assume you have the right person. Double check to make sure. 3. Give three reasons why you want an appointment. 4. Ask if there are questions you should be prepared to answer. 5. Confirm the amount of time set aside for the meeting. 6. Get the names and functions of others attending the meeting. [Source: GrahamComm]
There when it matters most. with
Commercial Insurance When it comes to the independent agency system, Donegal is all in! Donegal remains 100% committed to using the independent agency system exclusively to sell our products. As an independent agency we realize you have lots of choices when it comes to recommending commercial and personal insurance coverage options for your clients. That’s why Donegal delivers competitively priced insurance products and outstanding claims service. In addition, agencies appreciate our timely underwriting and superior technology that makes quoting and issuing Donegal policies easy. Plus, Donegal’s total compensation package is recognized as one of the best in the industry. A 100% commitment to the independent agency system, another way Donegal is “There When It Matters Most” for independent insurance agencies. To learn more visit DonegalGroup.com or call Connie Jones at 800-242-7698 ext. 2800
DonegalGroup.com NOVEMBER 18 13
BEYOND THE CLOSE: 7 Tips for Keeping the Business When Your Contact Leaves As a sales manager, dealing with the unexpected is expected. Change is a certainty. No matter how well your producers get along with their customers, there are no guarantees they’ll renew each year. This is especially true when an old contact leaves the company and a new contact arrives. While a new regime doesn’t automatically herald a change in all business relationships, making too many assumptions could lose the customer for good. As you coach your sales team, here’s some advice to help them avoid common mistakes. 1. Take a New-Customer Inventory New players create new dynamics. You and your producer may have worked with this company for years, but that’s not the same as working with a particular individual for years. That means rebuilding trust and credibility from the ground up, which is going to take time and a willingness to learn the likes, dislikes, preferences, and goals of the new contact.
3. Follow the Chain of Command Every leader has a distinct style of delegation, and that’ll be important as you get to know your new contact. For example, you may have worked directly with your previous contact, but this new decision maker prefers you to interact with the head of HR. Don’t resist, or you’ll have two people annoyed with you who now have good reason to wonder whether you’re the best producer for them. Sure, every salesperson wants to get as close to the key decision makers as possible, but respectfully engaging with every member of the company will earn the kind of longevity that usurping the chain never could. 4. Complacency Is Your Enemy
On the bright side, this mission is more than doable. Ask the customer what he or she values in a producer. Inquire about any past experiences that may have influenced her perception of your agency. Reveal what you know about the company’s pain points and how your risk management strategy has helped to eliminate them, and invite feedback. Sales is about relationships, after all.
Just as we can take our personal relationships for granted, we can sometimes take our work relationships for granted, making it easy for our competitors to lure our customers away. Defend your turf by keeping your relationship fresh. Stay in touch with monthly e-blasts or short e-newsletters. Be available to answer questions and solve problems. Know your products inside and out to quickly point out benefits your customers may be unaware of. Develop and offer related services. Be thorough and diligent; these qualities are precious in the complex, small-print world of insurance.
2. Assume Nothing
5. Deliver What You Promise
This warning is particularly crucial when it comes to the new contact’s level of expertise. It could be that the previous decision maker knew almost nothing about insurance and was happy to keep it that way by relying exclusively on the producer’s knowledge, but this new decision maker could be cut from a different cloth. He could know quite a lot and even begin to dislike questions and statements that seem to imply otherwise.
This seems obvious, but many fail to do it. Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than to request a specific policy with certain features, be told he can get it, and then be presented, without explanation, with something that doesn’t fit the bill. At best, the customer will conclude you’re a poor listener. At worst, she may determine you’re arrogant and careless. It goes without saying that neither of these characterizations is desirable.
On the other hand, the new decision maker could consider insurance talk less than scintillating and become annoyed by efforts to engage in the details that the predecessor relished.
A reasonable customer is open to hearing why something isn’t possible and will respect you for taking the time to explain it.
However the wind blows, avoid finding out the hard way with a little research. 14 NOVEMBER 18
6. Know Your Sales Style Self-awareness is often the difference between success and failure. When we have insight into our own sales style, it helps us connect [Continued on page 31]
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PIA Partners With InsureZone to Launch PIA Market Access PIA is proud to announce a partnership with InsureZone, Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. Through PIA’s partnership with InsureZone, PIA members will be able to access over 50 national and specialty carriers plus real-time, online rating for personal and commercial lines. PIA Market Access, available at www.PIAMarketAccess.com, is a wholesale market access program that will help PIA members access personal and commercial lines markets from a number of admitted “A” or better-rated companies. Agents submitting applications through the platform can receive quotes from most of these companies through a technologically advanced personal and commercial lines rater. “PIA Market Access can help those agents who may have difficulty obtaining carrier appointments while initially growing their book of business gain access by utilizing InsureZone’s contracts,” said PIA National President Timothy Russell, CPCU, of Southport, Connecticut. “Not only will agents in this program retain ownership of their book of business, but if they should choose to leave, there are no exit fees. A win-win for agents everywhere.” If agents already have their own carrier appointments but are seeking a comparative rater with the PIA Market Access “Best of Both Worlds” Program, agents can also augment their existing carrier contracts with the InsureZone contracts within the platform. Agents using their own contracts will receive 100 percent of the commission. “PIA members have been asking for a market access program for some time and we are excited to be able to offer a program that will meet many of our members’ needs,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “We are dedicated to helping agents grow their businesses. It’s exciting to think that going forward many PIA members will start writing business with the carriers on the PIA Market Access platform and eventually qualify to have their own contracts with those carriers.” Through the PIA Market Access Program, PIA members will have access to over 50 national and specialty carriers. For a current list of carriers available in each state, please refer to the Carrier page at www.PIAMarketAccess.com. PIA has negotiated an exclusive low monthly rate for the use of InsureZone technology and market access and agents can expect to see competitive commission rates. Agents who enroll in the PIA Market Access Program will receive the first two months free. InsureZone is a full-service provider that is fully staffed with underwriters to answer agents’ questions and make the sales process as smooth as possible. The program provides insurance CSRs to make requested policy changes and the standard of service is to begin processing all requests the same business day. PIA Market Access is available to PIA members in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Carrier availability varies by state. Register for a free webinar to learn more about PIA Market Access.
Solving Problems Makes Us Attorneys; Anticipating Them, Makes Us a Partner. Our attorneys have extensive experience in the unique legal needs of insurance agencies. We have represented hundreds of agencies, agents and brokers in all aspects of their business. Agency Ownership & Operations • CSR & Producer Employment • Appearances Before OCI • Drafting Contracts • Mergers & Acquisitions • Perpetuation & Succession • E&O Consultations
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NOVEMBER 18 17
GETTING THE FISH ON THE LINE
How to Get Prospects to Find You The prospecting problem “I am looking to further my prospecting techniques,” the salesperson wrote in his email. “It seems I need to increase my ratios by the end of the quarter.” The story isn’t new. Twenty years ago, salespeople were expected to get in front of prospects. Today, those doors are sealed shut. Voice mail and email messages are ignored. If all that isn’t enough, few customers are willing to stick their neck out and make referrals. All of which makes prospecting frustrating and, unfortunately, bordering on useless. No wonder salespeople across the board plead for leads and, hoping to get lucky, keep their fingers crossed. If you’re looking for an easy, quick way to find prospects, forget it. No matter what anyone may say, it doesn’t exist. Nevertheless, hope springs eternal, which is why there are 17,300,000 hits in .25 seconds when you Google “prospecting in sales.” Here’s the problem: how is a salesperson to go about finding prospects who are not only interested in buying, but who are also willing to do business with someone they don’t know, let alone trust? Getting negligible results from searching for prospects takes a lot of effort—wasted effort. Salespeople are often told, “It takes 10 calls to get one appointment.” They are also told that out of 10 appointments they can expect to make one sale. That means it will take 100 actual appointments to make 10 sales. Whether you do a little better or worse, the message is clear: finding prospects who are interested and ready to buy is so inefficient it doesn’t work. The prospecting possibility It should come as no surprise why there’s so much resistance to 18 NOVEMBER 18
By: John Graham
getting out and finding new customers. Even if we know who and where the prospects are, the obstacles to access thwart our efforts. It’s time to step back and take a careful look at how selling and prospecting differ. When you think about it, they require two different types of skills: prospecting is all about getting the fish on the line and selling is getting it in the boat. In other words, successful prospecting depends on getting customers to find you. Specifically, those who to want to do business with you. If you’re thinking this takes work, you’re right. It does. But if you’re investing time and energy and not getting the results you want, that’s a lot of work, too. Besides, if prospects don’t know you and trust you, it’s easy for them to ignore you or say no. So, why keep on doing what doesn’t work? Why not take a different approach, one that’s consistent with how prospects think and what they expect from today’s sales professionals? The task is helping prospects find you, getting them to recognize that it’s in their best interest to seek you out and learn more so they can make informed decisions. This is how savvy restaurants, businesses, insurance advisors, and real estate agents, for example, attract the customers they want. They use carefully crafted messaging, ratings and recommendations, testimonials and blog posts on social media, advertising, promotional campaigns, and, of course, word-of-mouth to attract prospects. Instead of trying to get through a prospect’s door, the job of salespeople is shaping the way prospects think about them. No matter what you’re selling, it's all about pulling prospects into your orbit so they’re “sold” even before meeting you.
Four principles that pull prospects to you Here are the four basic principles that attract prospects and bring prospects closer to you: 1.
Never stop building your prospect and customer cultivation database and keep it up to date. Why is this so important? It’s your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow so never neglect it. Without this database, picture yourself in a darkened room with no windows or doors. Develop a prospect mindset. Here’s why: less than 24% of prospects open sales emails, according to TOPCO Associates. So, if you want to engage them, it’s essential to let them know you understand their issues. They don’t care about what you sell; frankly, they tune it out. Always stay focused on what prospects want or need. Share your competence. To do this, salespeople must answer one critical question that’s on every prospect’s mind: “Why should I believe you?” or to put it another way, “Why should I give you my money?” Selling is all about sharing what you know. To become customers, prospects must believe that your knowledge and experience will benefit them. Cultivate prospects constantly. No salesperson is wise enough
to know when a prospect is ready to buy. If you’re not top-ofmind, the chances are a competitor will get the sale. Prospects need reminding why they should do business with you. By staying in touch regularly with helpful information (not sales pitches) by email and social media, blogs, and presentations, you’re there when they have questions and are ready to buy. Staying in contact sends the message that you care enough to stay in touch. When they’re ready, the chances are they will pay you back by becoming customers. Those in sales spend considerable time talking about getting the fish in the boat, closing the sale. But something important needs to happen before that can occur and that’s getting the fish on the hook. John Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing and sales strategy consultant and business writer. He is the creator of “Magnet Marketing,” and publishes a free monthly eBulletin, “No Nonsense Marketing & Sales Ideas.” Contact him at jgraham@grahamcomm. com or johnrgraham.com.
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AAA Gift Membership program and availability are subject to change without notice at any time. Visit AAA.com/Gift for full terms and conditions. 17-MS-2518K
NOVEMBER 18 19
10th Annual PIAW Winter Get-Away
Registration Fee Only $119.00
Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2019 The Waters of Minocqua $59.99 Two Queens Includes Deluxe Continental Breakfast 715-358-4000
Wednesday & Thursday Education Todd Davis, CIC
Friday Education Patti Gardner, CIC, CRM, CPCU
Two Dinners, Lunch 10 WI CE Credits, Prizes & More!
Wednesday, January 30 2:00 – 5:00
“For a Few Dollars More-Endorsements”
(3 WI CE)
5:30 – 11:30 Get-Away Fun at Island City Lanes Buffet and Free Beer, Wine & Soda to 7:30 Fun, Games, Live Music 10:00 Pizza Shuttle to and from Hotel
Thursday, January 31 8:00 – noon
“E&O – It’s Not My Fault” (4 WI CE, Utica Approved)
Buffet Lunch at The Waters
Northwoods Pub Adventure Buses / Pub Stop Fun / Prizes / Beverages On Your Own Bus options to return to hotel or directly to Whitetail Inn
6:45 – 7:45
Buffet Dinner at beautiful Whitetail Inn Buses provided to and from hotel. Cash bar.
Friday, February 1 9:00 – noon
“Insurance Decisions & Ethics (3 WI Ethics CE, Utica Approved) Visit piaw.org for details and registration!
20 NOVEMBER 18
cERTIFIED INSURANcE SERVIcE REPRESENTATIVE
Open to Anyone!
COMMERCIAL CASUALTY II 7 WI CE Credits. Course # 69338 • • •
Business Auto Exposures and Coverages Workers Compensation & Employers Liability Insurance Policy Commercial Umbrella and Excess Liability Policies
November 13 – Madison
coURSE INSTRUcToR PATTI GARDNER, cIc, cRM, cPcU
COMMERCIAL CASUALTY II 7 WI CE Credits. Course # 69338 • • •
Business Auto Exposures & Coverages Workers Compensation & Employers Liability Insurance Policy Commercial Umbrella & Excess Liability Policies
December 5 – Waukesha
coURSE INSTRUcToR ToDD DAVIS, cIc
AGENCY OPERATIONS 7 WI CE Credits, 1 of 7 is Ethics. Course # 69356 / Utica Approved
coURSE INSTRUcToR ToDD DAVIS, cIc
• • • • • • •
Legal & Ethical Requirements The Insurance Agency The Insurance Industry & Marketplace Communication Agency Workflow Account Management Errors & Omissions
Instruction 8:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. Group Lunch 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Optional Exam 4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
$170 Per Course Includes Lunch
December 6 – Rothschild
Register at www.piaw.org or call 800-261-7429
NOVEMBER 18 21
EDUcATIoN 22 NOVEMBER 18
Visit the Education tab at piaw.org for a complete list of topics, descriptions, webinar demo and registration. Several approved for Utica credit. Ethics is offered each month. Fee per Webinar: $55 PIAW Member, $70 Non Member – Includes WI CE fees.
November 2018 Webinar Schedule TITLE & WI CE
Money in Retirement Accounts: Options, Problems & Opportunities 3 CE # 1012436
Jerry Rhinehart, CIC, CLU, ChFC, RHU
Finding and Fixing Personal Lines Coverage Gaps 3 WI CE # 6000036145
Bill Wilson, Chris Amrhein, CIC
Excess and Umbrella Fundamentals PLUS 3 CE # 6000023799
Jerry Hargrove, J.D., CIC, CPIA, SCLA, FCLA, PICS, LICS
Hope I Die Before I Get Old 3 WI CE # 6000022417
Chris Amrhein, CIC
So You Made Some Money…Now What? Financial Planning from Salary to Social Security 3 WI CE # 1012438
Karin Klaassen, CLU, LUTCF
Cyber Insurance: When Convenience Turns Catastrophic 3 WI CE # 6000031623
Jerry Hargrove, J.D., CIC, CPIA, SCLA, FCLA, PICS, LICS
Certificates of Insurance and Additional Insureds: Making Sense of it All 3 WI CE # 6000023796
Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS
Additional Insureds: The Quandary 3 WI CE # 1012432
Robin Federici, CIC, AAI, ARM, AINS, AIS, CPIW
Contractors, Contractors, Contractors 3 WI CE # 6000023797
Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS
On Ethics: Data, Dilemmas, and Knuckleheads 3 WI CE # 6000018541 Utica Approved
Kevin Amrhein, CIC
Register online at piaw.org or call 1-800-261-7429. Contact Brenda for in-house webinar opportunities. email@example.com NOVEMBER 18 23
edu c ati o n
New Topics! Each Approved for 3 WI CE Credits. Live. No Test. No Proctor.
Certified Insurance Counselor Each Approved for 20 Wisconsin CE Credits LIFE & HEALTH November 14-16, 2018 Crowne Plaza – Madison, WI 866-424-0835 $111 PIA room rate through 10/14/18
NEW in 2019! All CIC Institutes reduced from 20 to 16 hours
LIFE INSURANCE CONCEPTS David Grunke, CHC, RHU
HEALTH INSURANCE CONCEPTS
LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE
DISABILITY INCOME INSURANCE Corey Wilkins, CIC, LUTCF
BUSINESS CONTUNUATION AND SUCCESSION PLANNING
RETIREMENT PLANNING AND ANNUITIES
PLANNING FOR PERSONAL NEEDS Jerry Rhinehart, CIC, CLU, ChFC, RHU
• • •
8:00 – 5:15 day one 8:00 – 5:00 day two 8:00 – 10:00 day three - exam
WI CE COURSE # 1012423 Day One: 8:00 – 5:15
Day Two: 8:00 – 5:00
Day Three: 8:00–noon, Optional Exam 2:00 – 4:00
$415.00 per institute Register at www.piaw.org or call 800-261-7429.
Gives You the Credit You Deserve! The following PIAW education classes are approved for the Utica premium credit. • Any CIC Update • CIC Agency Management • CISR Agency Operations • Dynamics of Service • Select PIAW Webinars • PIAW Conducted Ethics and E&O Seminars (classroom or in house) To register online and view upcoming CE courses visit www.piaw.org dinator
24 NOVEMBER 18
Please contact Heidi Hodel, CIC, CRIS, Member Benefits Coorhhodel@piaw.org or 1-800-261-7429 to find out how you can benefit from Utica’s E&O Loss Control Program.
The Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) Program has been the insurance industry’s premier, proven source for practical, real-world education since 1969. For insurance professionals everywhere, the 20 hour Institutes represent a thoroughly rewarding learning experience, led by accomplished insurance and risk management speakers. Are you ready to challenge yourself?
Jessica DaRonco, CIC Marsh & McLennan Agency New Berlin, WI
Katie Flottum, CIC, CISR M3 Insurance, Inc. Madison, WI
Amy Felckowski, CIC Sentry Insurance Madison, WI
Sean Little, CIC M3 Insurance, Inc. Madison, WI
Timothy Partenheimer, CIC AAA Wisconsin Madison, WI
The CISR Program empowers outstanding individuals to provide exceptional customer service. Join the many thousands of insurance professionals who have already experienced the benefits.
Charlotte Anthes, CISR Church Mutual Insurance Co. Merrill, WI
Jennifer Harbin, CISR Mayville Insurance Agency, Inc. West Bend, WI
David Oas, CISR BWO Insurance Group, LLC Oak Creek, WI
Lisa Brown, CISR Church Mutual Insurance Co. Merrill, WI
Amanda Harness, CISR M3 Insurance, Inc. Milwaukee, WI
Sara Seikkula-Smith, CISR Marsh & McLennan Agency Hayward, WI
Elizabeth Griffin, CISR West Bend - A Mutual Insurance Company West Bend, WI
Jodi Hoban, CISR CIS Group Tomahawk, WI
Catherine Zancig, CISR Ansay & Associates LLC Port Washington, WI
Linda Hang, CISR The Benefit Companies of Plymouth dba Flanagan Ins Plymouth, WI
Cheryl Kiernan, CISR Insurance Associates of America LLC New Berlin, WI
CIC RUBLE SEMINARS
Exciting update options for CICs, CRMs & now CISRs! 16 WI CE (Includes 4 optional Ethics) February 13 & 14 / Graduate Ruble / Crowne Plaza – Milwaukee, WI May 8 & 9 / Graduate Ruble / Crowne Plaza - Madison, WI Visit www.piaw.org or call PIA at 1-800-261-7429
NOVEMBER 18 25
17 Practical Tips for Modern Dining Success in Our Global Business World
By: Sharon Schweitzer
Conducting business centered around a meal provides a level of shared experience that opens up a dialogue unlike ordinary business meetings in the office. Dining in a restaurant or home allows an escape from the familiar work atmosphere and adds an element of social connectivity. Business meals can be an enjoyable way to improve your business standing or professional persona, and can provide an upper hand with the correct planning and execution. Consider these 15 practical tips for modern dining success in our global business world: •
Soup: Do you know the correct way to enjoy your soup? Remember the proverb, “Just like ships that sail out to sea, I spoon my soup away from me.”
Dress based on culture: Remember Peter Drucker’s advice “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Research the corporate dress code, country, dining companion and restaurant information. If unsure, ask about the expected attire.
Special dietary needs: When extending invitations, it’s the host’s responsibility to inquire about special dietary needs like food allergies or kosher, halal, gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free. This aids in booking a restaurant with proper accommodations for guests. Guests must also advise hosts about special dietary needs within 24-48 hours of receiving the invitation when making the RSVP.
Table additions: Smartphones, purses, wallets, keys, and glasses stay off the table.
Hosts pre-arrange payment: As a sophisticated host, arrive early to provide a credit card, or call the restaurant in advance. Women in male-dominated cultures especially must do so when extending the invitation. Guests don’t split the bill unless agreed in advance.
Napkin knowledge: The host will place their napkin in their lap first. When excusing yourself between courses, the napkin
26 NOVEMBER 18
is placed on the chair seat soiled side protectively rolled in. When returning, the unsoiled side touches the lap. At meal’s end, place the loosely folded napkin on the left of the plate setting. Avoid refolding. •
Wine: Share with the sommelier wines preferred, entrées ordered, and an idea of price range by identifying two or three wines within the preferred range. Using these signals the sommelier will stay within your ideal range, allowing you to order with finesse without discussing budget in front of guests.
Nonverbal cues: A closed menu indicates ‘ready to order.’ If you or your counterparts continue to browse the menu after deciding, the server has the impression the group isn’t ready. If you require assistance, catch the eye of the server or slightly raise your hand up fingers pressed together. If they’re busy, softly call their name or “server?”
How many courses? Order the same number of courses as the host, or your companion. Unsure? Ask if they are ordering one or two courses to avoid awkwardness and keep pace with the host and guests.
Conversation starters: Avoid starting a business conversation before the main course concludes. Conversational topics vary by country. In Western cultures, topics include industry news, travel, sports, museum exhibits, books, films, and weather. Avoid complaints about colleagues and work. Please take my guests’ order first: The host, especially
women, must be crystal clear that they are hosting. Clear requests to the server such as ‘Please bring my guest…’ or ‘My guest will order first please’ avoid confusion. •
Pace: Observe and pause every few bites, especially when you’re the host. When hosting, the goal is for guests to feel relaxed, not rushed, when dining. Watch the time discreetly to finish when promised.
Silent service signals: When you are resting between bites, place your fork, with tines up, near the top of your plate. To signal you’re finished to the server, place your fork and knife across the center of the plate at the four twenty o’clock position.
Silverware savvy: Once silverware is used, including handles, it doesn’t touch the table again. Rest forks, knives, and spoons on the side of your plate. Any unused silverware stays on the table
Tipping: The tip reflects the total bill before coupons, discounts, or gift certificates. Tipping before or after tax is discretionary. Suggestions for good service in the U.S.: • Bartender: 15-20 percent of bar bill • Valet: $2.00- $5.00 • Coat check: $1.00 per coat
Server: 15-20 percent of bill; 25 percent extraordinary service Sommelier: 15 percent of wine bill
Guest’s food cooked improperly: With group dining, if a guest sends under-cooked food back, it’s the guest’s responsibility to insist that everyone else start without them.
Host’s food cooked improperly: As a host, if the food isn’t properly prepared, stay silent rather than inconveniencing the guests, or worse, causing awkwardness by encouraging them to begin before the host. Enjoy the other properly prepared foods and avoid the improperly prepared food.
Your skills and industry experience are certainly critical in business, but how you conduct yourself in a more causal and social setting such as a meal also says a lot about you as a person. Learn to master proper protocol and etiquette around the business meal and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors. Sharon Schweitzer is an international etiquette and modern manners expert and cross-cultural trainer who is founder of Access to Culture. https://www.protocolww.com/
Experience no longer gives us an edge, in fact…. All jobs today are technology-based. They require knowledge, not experience. Up until about the start of the 21st century, experience was the prize—it represented value in the workplace. Today, experience often is a handicap that points in the wrong direction, to past rather than the future. Those with the most experience feel the pain. The successful Uber drivers are entrepreneurs, managing their business on smartphones to make money. Without Uber, Lyft and others, there would only be taxi drivers idling their motors waiting for the next dispatch. The most dangerous three words are “They’ll always need….” Why is it we can see it coming in every industry and every job but one: ours.
NOVEMBER 18 27
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ACUITY Named PIA National Company of The Year
Presenting the award to ACUITY in Portland Maine were (L–R); Dennis Kuhnke, PIA National President Elect, John Kautzer, ACUITY General Manager of Sales, Brian Little, ACUITY Territory Director and Jodi Cordes, PIA of Wisconsin Past President The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has named Acuity the recipient of its prestigious 2018 Company Award of Excellence. The presentation was made on September 28, 2018 at a gala ceremony held in conjunction with PIA’s Board of Directors meeting in Portland, Maine. “This is our Association’s highest annual company honor,” said PIA National President Tim Russell, in presenting the award. “In all that it does, Acuity places a high value on creating the best partnership with independent agents. One of Acuity’s major priorities is making it easy for agents to do business with them.” “Acuity is a perfect business partner for independent insurance agents,” Russell said. “Acuity loves agents,” said Ben Salzmann, Acuity President and CEO. “Acuity has the heart of a regional carrier with the strength of a national and is honored to have earned the PIA National Company Award of Excellence.”
The PIA National Company Award of Excellence honors a company for its commitment to PIA, to the American Agency System and to furthering the interests of professional insurance agents by creating a better business environment. “To be recognized as company of the year from PIA National is a tremendous honor and very humbling,” said Wally Waldhart, Acuity Vice President - Sales and Communications. “We work to be a strong business partner and the ‘go-to’ company for independent agents, and to receive national recognition for our efforts is a wonderful validation of the efforts of everyone at Acuity.” Acuity Insurance, headquartered in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, insures over 100,000 businesses, including 300,000 commercial vehicles, and nearly a half million homes and private passenger autos across 26 states. Rated A+ by A.M. Best and S&P, Acuity employs over 1,300 people.
NOVEMBER 18 29
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[7 Tips - Continued from page 14] better with others, including the new contact. Are you verbose or straightforward? Fast paced or methodical? Thorough or light on the details? Knowing who you are as a salesperson is the best tool for effectively modifying your approach to meet the demands of your audience. A behavioral assessment geared specifically to sales in a nonthreatening, helpful format is a great way to build self-awareness in a sales team and even improve the sales manager’s ability to coach to each individual producer. 7. It’s Always Personal: Customer Service and the “Emotional Bank Account” Steven Covey popularized the concept of an emotional bank account in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Just like a financial institution, our emotional banks are subject to deposits and withdrawals. Acts that increase trust (telling the truth, apologizing for errors, and keeping promises) are deposits into the emotional bank; acts that decrease trust (failing to keep
commitments and showing unkindness) are withdrawals. Too many withdrawals and not enough deposits makes for damaged relationships. Closing the deal feels great, but maintaining the business feels better. Follow these tips, and your customers’ personnel changes don’t have to mean big changes for your agency and producers. Author: Carletta Clyatt, SVP Sales, The Omnia Group, Inc. www. OmniaGroup.com Carletta Clyatt, a popular seminar speaker, is the SVP at The Omnia Group. She offers clients advice on how to manage more effectively and gain insight into employee strengths, weaknesses and behaviors. For more information about employee behavioral assessments, call Carletta at 813-280-3026 or email: Carletta@ omniagroup.com
How often should you send marketing emails? While this is a common question, a clear answer is often missing. That's why The Manifest, a small business support website, surveyed 501 digital marketers at companies with 100 or more employees. B2C accounted for 73% of the respondents and B2B the other 27%. Here are some of the findings: • 41% report sending marketing emails weekly; and 32% daily; 13% every other week; 11% monthly, and 2% less than monthly • Larger firms send emails more frequently • What’s sent: 69%, product and company updates; 69%, promotional messages; and 68%, newsletters It may all be well-and-good to know that companies with 100 to more than 500 employees can juggle multiple campaigns weekly, monthly, and daily but where does that leave smaller organizations that can’t keep pace? There’s good news for businesses of every size. They too can benefit from email marketing. Business size is not an issue, not even for a one-person operation. Email marketing services do the heavy lifting and they keep getting better all the time. A number of them specialize in small businesses. There are others, but four are worth exploring if you’re not familiar with them. They’re not identical, far from it. One may be a better fit than others, depending on what you want to accomplish, the particular business, and your operational capabilities. The four are Constant Contact, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, and sendinblue. [Source: GrahamComm]
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Lunch & Learn How many times have you worked through lunch? It’s likely too many to count. And the same is probably true for your clients and potential clients. So here’s a great idea from mortgage broker Wendy Kenney, to take advantage of that common lunchtime dynamic: “I bought small bright red gift bags from Walmart (just 49 cents each) that happened to match the red of my company logo. I filled them with bottled water, granola bar, string cheese, candy, crackers and a small apple, stapled my business card to them and included a note: ‘If you’re busy enough to work through lunch, you need this. If you want a mortgage lender who works as hard as you do, you need me.’ I delivered them to new companies and they worked like a charm. I was even invited by a few HR departments to do a presentation … Each lunch cost me under $3.” Sometimes it’s the simplest idea that can have the greatest payoff. Why not give this idea a go? And if you do, please share the results in the comments section! If to-go lunches aren’t your thing, don’t forget the power client invitation to coffee or a meal either. There’s just something about meeting across a meal table that allows people to relax and share more about themselves, their job and the work stresses that keep them up at night. As Rhonda Abrams notes in USA Today, “The single most important thing you can do at a business meal is to listen.” This is not the time for a sales pitch. Instead, go into each meal meeting with only one goal: to build a relationship. A few final tips, just to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward: •
Don’t be in a rush. If you have an appointment scheduled right after a meal, make sure you’ve allowed for plenty of
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travel time between the two time slots. •
Leave the laptop. Again, you’re there to talk, not to present.
Avoid messy foods. Sloppy doesn’t impress.
Pick up the tab. Make it clear to the server before ordering that you are to receive the bill at the end of the meal (unless, of course, the other person’s company policy prohibits such).
Get personal. Don’t launch into business-speak. This is your opportunity to get to know the other person better. Ask about hobbies, family, travel. A simple question such as, “Do you have any summer plans coming up that you’re looking forward to?” can open a great dialogue. Why is this so important? Because people are more likely to buy from someone with whom they have a shared connection.
Pack a notepad. A tiny spiral pad and a pen that fit in a pocket or purse provide the opportunity to take notes should business discussion naturally arise or questions are asked that you need to follow up on.
Put your phone on mute, turned upside down on the seat or table. Eliminate the distraction. Be in the moment.
Follow up. A quick text or email thanking the person for his or her time is always appropriate. Even better, add an article that relates to your discussion to show you were listening. If you talked about an upcoming trip, share a link about travel insurance. Is the person’s child headed off to campus soon? Share a related article about renter’s insurance. Of course, this isn’t intended as a heavy sale, but as a chance to position yourself as a resource.
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When something goes wrong, don’t let it become a disaster Getting new customers always gets the adrenaline going; nothing even comes close when you’re in sales. Unfortunately, there’s a darker side that few in sales are prepared to handle. It happens when something goes wrong that can undermine the customer relationship if botched or allowed to spin out of control. Because they are so close to the situation, salespeople are not attuned to dealing with damage control. Here are ways to defuse a potentially disastrous situation: 1. Get to the customer quickly. Make it clear you are concerned by being the first responder. 2. Focus on the facts. The first job is gathering the facts. This will show that you care and are not defensive. 3. Meet with the customer. This is when you share the facts, get the customer’s input, and come a resolution, if possible. 4. Take it to the next step, if necessary. Have each party come back with a proposal for resolving the situation. By having a process for gaining a more complete understanding, it can be possible to avoid a disaster. [Source: GrahamComm] NOVEMBER 18 33
I realize the importance of political contributions to the future of the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin and our customers. I want to be part of the process leading to success in achieving PIA’s goals in the Wisconsin Legislative arena. Please hold my contribution as a deposit in the PIA Legislative Conduit account to be used at my direction. I understand that I will be contacted in the future, by telephone, email or direct mail, to authorize the use of these contributions. I will be asked to respond with my signature on appropriate authorization forms. Name:___________________________________________________________________________________ (Please Print)
Primary Employer:________________________________________________________________________ (required to disburse any contributions greater than $100, by Wisconsin Law)
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Contributions are NOT tax deductible for income tax purposes. Donations must be made from Personal accounts only. NO Corporate or Business Checks or Credit Cards accepted Return to: PIAW Legislative Conduit Account PIA of Wisconsin, Inc. ● 6401 Odana Rd. ● Madison, WI 53719 Fax: 608-274-8195 ● www.piaw.org ● Email: email@example.com
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GERMANTOWN MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY W209 N11845 Insurance Place PO Box 1020 Germantown, WI 53022-8220 Phone (262) 251-6680 Fax (262) 623-3130 www.gmic.com
SERVING POLICYHOLDERS AND INDEPENDENT AGENTS IN WISCONSIN SINCE 1854
NOVEMBER 18 35
How to Avoid Losing Customers to Competitors
By: John Graham
Many times you hear a salesperson say, “We service the heck out of our customers. They’ll never leave us.” But then a competitor walks away with an account. No one saw it coming or what went wrong. You work hard getting new accounts, take servicing them seriously, and yet they still leave. Why? Think about it this way: you buy a new car—it’s just what you wanted. But after a year or so, you start thinking about the new models. That’s when little things about your current car start bugging you—it doesn’t have this-or-that, there’s a squeak, the technology is outdated. Before you know it, you’re back in the showroom. It’s no different with customers. When competitors come calling, they’re ripe for the picking. All of a sudden, the list of little things that fester over time gets longer. Before you know it, you’re sacked, replaced by a competitor. It’s the accumulation of seemingly minor issues that do the damage and make customers vulnerable. To help avoid it happening, here’s a check-list for keeping customers: 1. Be irritation aware. By themselves little things accumulate in a customer’s mind, tolerated and quietly dormant until something triggers a reaction. “I’ll call you back about that,” but you forgot. “I’ll get on it right now,” but you didn’t. Minor irritations to be sure, but over time, they become a big issue. That’s when the competitor arrives. 2. Meet deadlines. “Sorry, Susan, would it be OK if I got that to you tomorrow?” although he knew the due date well in advance. If it happens once, that’s understandable. Twice and it’s seen as a pattern. 36 NOVEMBER 18
3. Exhibit self-confidence. Few things raise red flags faster than those who come across as wishy-washy and unsure of themselves. Surprising as it may seem, it can happen to people who take their work seriously and make a point of being thorough. Even so, their behavior can be interpreted as being doubtful and lacking in confidence. 4. Be a resource. Make it a practice to keep your antennae tuned for ideas that may be of interest to customers. Then, pass them along. It’s not only helpful but a way to let them know you’re thinking of them. 5. Become a better presenter. A regional rep for a steel company signed up for a public speaking class. “I’m not good enough on my feet,” he told the instructor. Months later, he received a big promotion and credited what he learned in the class as making the difference. 6. Get better organized. Smart salespeople know the value of being well organized. Intuitively, perhaps, they recognize that getting customers what they need fast helps being seen as reliable, someone they can count on. 7. Don’t talk about yourself. Understandably, salespeople want to impress prospects and customers. Sometimes they try too hard; they don’t do themselves any favors by telling stories about
themselves. It’s not what customers want to hear. 8. Ask questions. How many times do we need to be reminded that “telling isn’t selling”? Yet, there are times when the urge is so strong, it gets out of control. Just remember, asking questions works better since it gives customers and prospects a chance to do what they know best: to talk about themselves and what they do. 9. Be attentive. Salespeople know the danger of ignoring customers and do everything possible to avoid it from happening. But some customers see it differently. What they notice are subtle changes in attentiveness: “Have we heard from Lurleen lately?” or “When was the last time Carl was in?” A picture begins to take shape. Once it starts, it sticks. 10. Be on time. Keeping customers waiting is dangerous at any time. Calling or texting you’ll be late doesn’t cut it. Some may think, it lets you off the hook, it doesn’t. Customers, including those who don’t say anything, may feel differently. Being late may be ignored, but it’s not forgotten. 11. Respond rapidly. Those expecting a response have their own perception of “quickly.” Not yours. It seems a bit tough, but a good rule of thumb is 15 minutes to one hour for responding to both phone calls and email. This includes simply letting someone know you received their message and when you will get back to them. 12. Anticipate problems. While optimism is essential if you’re in sales, it’s also useful to be bit pessimistic. It creates doubt, which will help you spot potential problems before disaster strikes. It’s better to be aware of what’s coming so you can correct it, while there’s still time.
13. Listen intently. We all find ourselves thinking, “What did I just read? I can’t remember a word!” Our eyes were moving across the page, but we were thinking about something else. It’s the same with listening, including sales situations. The customer is talking and we’re thinking about what we will to say next. All it takes to avoid this is to take a few notes, just enough to capture what the customer is saying. Besides getting the message, you will impress customers that you’re focused on them. 14. Write simply. The goal is to make everything you write as easy to read as possible. To do this, some suggest shooting for a 3rd grade reading level. Don’t laugh. It’s difficult, requiring skill to reach that level of clarity. However, a 5th to 7th grade level works well for capturing and holding attention. You can check your writing (memos, emails, white papers, proposals, etc.) using MS Word. Go to tools > spelling and grammar to see your scores. This article has a Flesch Readability Ease score of 66.8, fairly easy, along with a 6.8 grade level. 15. Express appreciation. Letting customers know you appreciate their business goes without saying—they like knowing you care. However, tickets to sporting events, gifts, meals at popular restaurants, or contributions to a customer’s favorite charity are thoughtful but weak substitutes for consistent top performance. That’s what justifies relationships. So, what’s the best strategy for keeping encroaching competitors away from your customers. Simple, see above—1 through 15. John Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing and sales strategy consultant and business writer. He is the creator of “Magnet Marketing,” and publishes a free monthly eBulletin, “No Nonsense Marketing & Sales Ideas.” Contact him at jgraham@ grahamcomm.com or johnrgraham.com.
Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing. ~ Vince Lombardi
Ellington Mutual Insurance Company
Proudly providing all of Wisconsin with prompt, personal service.
PO Box 356 • Hortonville, WI 54944 920-779-4515 • 800-953-4515
Homeowners • Farmowners • Commercial • Rental Properties • Seasonal Properties • Umbrella NOVEMBER 18 37
PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS OF WISCONSIN, INC. OFFICERS
Mr. Matt Cranney, CIC, CRM President M3 Insurance, Inc. 3133 W Beltline Hwy Madison, WI 53713 Phone 608-273-0655 Fax 608-273-7783 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Sean M. Paterson, CIC Vice President Robertson Ryan & Associates 12750 W. North Ave., Building A Brookfield, WI 53005 Phone 262-782-5373 Fax 262-782-6327 email@example.com Ms. Julie Ulset, CPIA Treasurer Grams Insurance Agency LLC 103 W Fulton St. Edgerton, WI 53534 Phone 608-884-3304 Fax 608-884-9616 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Dan Wolfgram AINS, CPIA Secretary R & R Insurance Services, Inc. 1581 E. Racine Ave. Waukesha, WI 53186 Phone 262-574-7000 Fax 262-574-7080 email@example.com
Mr. Thomas Budzisz, CPIA BWO Insurance Group, LLC 2111 E Rawson Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154 Phone 414-768-8100 Fax 414-768-8110 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sandy L. Hardrath, CIC, CPIA Ansay & Associates 4712 Expo Dr. Manitowoc, WI 54220 Phone 920-370-4283 Fax 920-682-7799 Sandy.Hardrath@Ansay.com
Mr. Ryan Butzke, CIC, CISR Northbrook Insurance Associates, Inc. P.O. Box 780. Menomonee Falls, WI 53052 Phone 262-783-5533 email@example.com
Mr. Michael Keener, CIC Keener Insurance Solutions, LLC W 175 N11081 Stonewood Dr Ste 105 Germantown, WI Phone 262-293-9144 Fax 262-293-9254 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Jodi Cordes, CIC, CRM, CPIA Past President A.F. Glass Insurance Center P.O. Box 1149 Lake Geneva, WI 53147 Phone 262-248-5555 Fax 262-248-5544 email@example.com Mr. Jeremy Cordova, CIC Cordova Agency, Inc. 716 E 2nd St. Merrill, WI Phone 715-536-9576 Fax 715-539-3349 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Dennis Kuhnke, CIC, CPIA PIAW National Director Robertson Ryan & Associates Inc. 330 E Kilbourn Ave. Suite 650 Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone 414-271-1561 Fax 414-271-3012 email@example.com Mr. Mitchell Tarras Nett Insurance Agency LLC 607C Eastern Ave Plymouth, WI 53073 Phone 920-893-3252 Fax 920-893-3250 firstname.lastname@example.org
PIA of Wisconsin, Inc. 6401 Odana Road Madison WI 53719 Phone: 608-274-8188 Toll Free: 800-261-7429 Fax: 608-274-8195 Toll Free Fax: 866-203-7461 www.piaw.org Ronald Von Haden, CIC Executive Vice President email@example.com Heather Falk, CISR Bookkeeping firstname.lastname@example.org Claire Gribble Administrative Assistant email@example.com Heidi Hodel, CIC, CRIS Member Benefits Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Becca Prestbroten Administrative Assistant email@example.com Brenda Steinbach Education & Convention Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming Events NOVEMBER 2018 13
CISR Commercial Casualty 2 Madison, WI (7 WI CE)
CIC Life & Health Madison, WI (20 WI CE)
DECEMBER 2018 5
CISR Commercial Casualty 2 Waukesha, WI (7 WI CE)
CISR Agency Operations Rothschild, WI (7 WI CE)
JANUARY 2019 Jan 30-Feb 1
Winter Get-Away Minocqua, WI (10 WI CE)
FEBRUARY 2019 13-14
CIC Ruble Graduate Seminar Milwaukee, WI (16 WI CE credits - 4 of 16 are optional Ethics)
Hot Topic / William T. Hold Seminar - Cyber Liability, Basics of Life & Health for the P/C Agent, Ethics Waukesha, WI (7 WI CE - 3 of 7 are Ethics)
CISR Agency Operations Madison, WI ( 7 WI CE - 1 of 7 is Ethics)
CIC Personal Lines Institute Appleton, WI (16 WI CE)
38 NOVEMBER 18
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