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Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Madison, WI Permit No. 168

It shouldn’t take a storm of immense proportions to find out who your customers can count on.

BUT SOMETIMES IT DOES. And that’s the Silver Lining®.



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From the President .................................................04 PIA

Memos from Madison.............................................06






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From the Boardroom..............................................08







Capitol Update ........................................................10 HR Snapshot Q&A .................................................14 Studies in Selling .....................................................18 E&O/Growing Concern of Insurance to Value ...22 Active Listening: Can You Repeat That? ............24 New Members..........................................................26

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Education Section ............................................. 26-32 Geographic Non-Compete Agreements ................33 The Five Biggest LinkedIn Blinders .....................34

We are a community of independent agents and other dedicated insurance professionals, working to promote and improve the independent agency channel. Our mission is to support the advancement and excellence of all independent agencies.

Educate. Advocate. Collaborate. Educate We are the premier association for insurance education in Wisconsin. Grow your knowledge and your bottom line, at our education sessions. Whether you want to pursue a CIC, CPIA, CISR or CRM designation, or just meet your bi-annual Wisconsin CE requirement, you have come to the right place. Advocate With lobbyists representing you in Madison and in Washington, D.C., PIA is looking out for your interests and promoting the independent agency channel within state and federal government. Our goal is a regulatory environment that allows your agency to grow and prosper.

(800) 261-7429


Collaborate PIA is a place for you to collaborate with, and learn from, other agents and many other professionals in the industry. Starting an agency? We’ve been there. Growing an agency? We’ve been there. Considering a new agency management system? PIA members have been there. Whether at our PIAW Winter GetAway event in Minocqua, Annual Convention, YPC Scholarship Golf Outing or dozens of other events, you can collaborate with other professionals who have “been there.”

6401 Odana Rd. Madison, WI 53719 JULY/AUGUST 21 3

From the

President Julie Ulset, CPIA - President, PIA of Wisconsin

What is PIA Advocacy Day? Each year, PIA agents from around the country come together in Washington, D.C. to attend PIA’s annual congressional fly-in event. PIA Advocacy Day (previously the Federal Legislative Summit), is normally held in the first week of April. This year, it was a very different event, due to the ongoing pandemic. It was held on May 12 and it was totally virtual. Meetings with Congressional offices were done by videoconference or teleconference. PIA Advocacy Day is our opportunity to present our concerns to members of Congress and their policy staff, on issues of importance to the independent agent community. There are many issues of importance that we discuss with lawmakers, on both the Democratic and Republican sides of the aisle. Sometimes, members of Congress or their staff are already familiar with issues we are telling them about, and sometimes we are explaining new concepts and why they affect independent agents. Here are few of the issues we discussed with our lawmakers. Please do not hesitate to send an email or make a phone call to your U.S. Representative or Senator on any of these issues: Reauthorization of Flood Insurance - PIA supports a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP that recognizes the key role agents play in delivering the program to consumers. The NFIP’s most recent five-year reauthorization expired on September 30, 2017. Leading up to that deadline, the 115th Congress was unable to agree on reforms to the program. As a result, the NFIP briefly lapsed three times. Since the 2017 deadline, the NFIP has been subject to a total of 16 extensions of varying lengths, none longer than the one-year extension currently in effect. The program is now set to expire on September 30, 2021. Create Cannabis Safe Harbor for Agents - PIA supports


legislation to protect agents, brokers, and insurers against federal criminal prosecution and civil liability for those who engage in the business of insurance with cannabis-related businesses in states that have legalized cannabis in some form. Nearly every state has legalized the use of marijuana to some degree. Unfortunately, the insurance industry is potentially exposed to civil and criminal liability arising from the differences between the legal status of cannabis in federal and state law. To do their jobs effectively, insurance agents need protection from prosecution in the form of a comprehensive federal safe harbor for agents, brokers, and insurers that engage in the business of insurance with cannabis-related enterprises in states that have legalized cannabis. Repeal of the Federal Insurance Office – PIA was the first organization to call for the repeal of the Federal Insurance Office, or FIO, in 2016. The FIO is a bureaucracy created by the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010, and it should never have been created. Insurance regulations are best handled by the states, but some lawmakers would like to centralize regulation in Washington. Those lawmakers hope to expand the role and size of the FIO, in time. This session, the bill is S. 524 and is authored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Our efforts to explain this bill to the Wisconsin delegation in Washington yielded two new supporters of the effort on the House side, where we hope to get a companion bill introduced. These are just a couple of the issues PIA is speaking to members of Congress and their staff about. PIAW continues to review issues and advocate for independent insurance agents on issues that affect us. If you have questions, or are interested in helping with our advocacy efforts, please contact Pete or Natalie at PIAW.



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. Î Agency Ownership & Operations Î Mergers & Acquisitions Î Drafting & Review of Carrier, Producer, & Other Contracts Î Confidentiality, Non-Solicitation, & Non-Competition Agreements Î Perpetuation & Succession Planning Î Employee & Independent Contractor Issues Î Representation regarding OCI Licensing & Discipline Î E&O Reporting Obligations

Axley’s free insurance hotline is available to all PIAW members. Our attorneys will respond as quickly as possible. Calls do not constitute an attorney-client relationship. If your issues require more in-depth legal action or advice, you may be directed to seek private counsel.


Memos from

Madison Pete Hanson, CAE, CISR — Executive Director, PIA of Wisconsin

What’s New at PIA? Engage 2021 – A New Convention I’m really excited that we’re going to hold a full-fledged convention, this year. This is not just because we all need to reconnect after the pandemic year, to share ideas and camaraderie. It is also because I can’t wait for you all to finally see the newconcept convention we originally planned to roll out in October of 2020. This convention has been in the works for a long time and I’m so proud of our Convention Committee and our staff for the hard work and bold ideas that went into planning it! “Engage 2021 – A New Convention” will be held on September 29 & 30, at the Hyatt Regency in Green Bay. It will be set up so that members can come on the 29th to get some CE credits and/or attend a series of fun opening parties that evening. Additionally, it is also set up so that the annual meeting, trade show, awards luncheon and keynote speakers can all be done in one day, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on September 30th. Those who wish to attend just for one day and catch the key events, may do that on the 30th. That day will also include two professional development tracks, in the morning. One will be aimed at agency staff to help improve their sales techniques, relationship-building and time-management skills. The second track will be aimed at agency principals will focus on digital strategies for agencies. Those who wish to make it a two-day event and stay overnight can attend all of the above. The trade show will no longer look like a trade show. It will be called “Re-connect” and it will have no booths, per se. Additionally, it will not be in a separate room. Instead, it will be a more of an open-concept. A time for mixing and mingling with exhibitors, building a poker hand that could win you prizes and meeting a celebrity special guest (see the Engage 2021 insert inside to find out who!).


The keynote speaker will be Weldon Long, a sales consultant and best-selling author who has a tremendous story to tell and sales philosophy to teach. You can learn more about him in the interview that starts on Page 18 of this publication, or on the convention page of our website: https://www.piaw.org/pia-events/ annual-convention/ Brand Refresh In the coming months, leading up to Engage 2021, you will see our publications and our website get a fresh, new look. I hope you will let me know what you think! New Logo As part of our refreshed look, you’re going to see a new logo on everything from PIAW. You may have seen the new logo that PIA National rolled out, recently. Our new logo merges that design with our motto: Educate. Advocate. Collaborate. It will also help to establish PIA-affiliated organizations as one brand, nationally, reminding members of the suite of valuable benefits that PIA National provides for members. I don’t want to make you wait until the next edition of this magazine to see it, so I will leave you with a first look at the new logo.

I hope to see you in Green Bay for Engage 2021 – A New Convention, on September 29 & 30!

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From the

Boardroom Bob Wolfgram - Director, PIA of Wisconsin

Why PIA? My name is Bob Wolfgram and I’m in my first year of service on the PIA Board of Directors. Our board is made up of men and women with different backgrounds. Some, like myself, have their own small independent agency, while others are part of much larger agencies. They have a huge range of experience. For myself, I was a captive agent for the first 19 years of my insurance life, and now have an equal number of years serving on the independent side. Some have less experience, but all have vast amounts of industry knowledge. I joined the PIA in 2007, when I started my own agency as part of the Couri Group, in Waukesha. I was like a lot of other members of the organization. I read the magazines and looked through the emails about industry news, but that was pretty much it. The content was, and continues to be, a wealth of great information. We are kept abreast of what is happening with legislative changes that affect what we do for our living, as well as what is happening in Washington, D.C. through our PIA National affiliation. But, like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. About 6 years ago, I took my first PIA outing to Minocqua for the PIAW Winter Get Away. This is where I started to understand the real value of belonging to this professional group. Besides the 9-10 CE credits that were available for this

event, it was the camaraderie that was quickly established. I enjoyed bowling, entertainment, breaking bread with others who share our common bond. I can’t think of anyone in our industry who does not enjoy the feeling of helping others. These are great people to hang out with! There are other outings as well. Young Professionals have their Annual Golf Outing, a trap shooting event in the late spring and the PIAW Annual Convention. All fantastic opportunities to mingle and create lasting friendships with others that share our career paths. I’m 61 years old and feel that getting involved with this board was one of the best things I have done for my career at this point. It feels like a good shot in the arm. Many of you have been involved in one way or another with PIA of Wisconsin and already understand what I’m saying. But, some of you are brand new to PIA. For those who are new, I cannot encourage you enough to reach out of your comfort zone and contact the staff or one of us on the board to learn how you can get involved. Come to the convention (Sept. 29-30 in Green Bay), join a committee, pursue a new professional designation. I guarantee you will get more out of it than you put in.

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C APITOL UPDATE The legislative session is flying by – It is already summer! By this time next year, the Legislature will be adjourned and the frenzy of campaign season will have begun. Before that happens, however, PIA is continuing to work down our checklist of priorities. Our most recent check on the list came with the announcement of the Wisconsin Tomorrow Grant Program for Small Businesses. PIA had advocated that funding from the American Rescue Plan Act go towards grants for small businesses of all kinds and not be limited to specific industries. Not only will these flat $5,000 grants help small insurance agencies directly, but they will also help small business commercial clients on their road to recovery from the financial hardships of the last year. PIA will continue to push for programs to help small businesses grow stronger. In the realm of legislation, PIA has continued our push to move the cybersecurity bill (Senate Bill 160/Assembly Bill 147) through the legislative process. Following the public hearing in the Senate, the bill received a unanimous vote out of the committee and flew through the committee process in the Assembly. PIA Board Member and Legislative Committee Co-Chair Tracy Oestreich, CIC, CPIA, AU, CPIW took a trip to Madison where she testified before the Assembly Committee on Science, Technology and Broadband on the importance of cybersecurity, small business exemptions, and the merits of state-based regulation rather than federal oversight. The committee unanimously advanced the bill out of committee only a few days later. PIA is advocating for this bipartisan bill to be on the calendar in both the Assembly and Senate during their next scheduled floor periods. Senator Rob Stafsholt (R – New Richmond), Senator Lena Taylor (D – Milwaukee), and Representative Gae Magnafici (R – Dresser) are authoring a bill to address municipal raze orders. Currently, following a natural disaster, repairs are considered to be unreasonable if the costs exceed 50% of the equalized value of the home. This bill would require municipalities to conduct a physical inspection and to consider all facets of repair prior to 10 JULY/AUGUST 21

issuing a raze order. In addition, it would require the cost of repair to be over 70% of equalized value for repairs to be considered unreasonable. We believe the bill could help keep insurance premiums down, especially in areas of the state with lower property values. In addition to all of our ongoing efforts and those listed above, PIA is always watching the bills circulating in the Capitol. Here are some that might be of interest: Senate Bill 362 – This bill, authored by Senator Tim Carpenter (D – Milwaukee) and Representative Mark Spreitzer (D – Beloit) would make various changes to discrimination laws including on discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, insurance coverage, national guard, jury duty, and adoption and in the receipt of mental health or vocational rehabilitation services. Assembly Bill 338 – This bill, authored by Representative John Spiros (R – Marshfield) and Senator Van Wanggaard (R – Racine), would align Wisconsin with 25 other “handsfree” states in banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Continue to stay up to date on PIA’s legislative efforts by checking out our Capitol Updates included in the Wisconsin Professional Agent and posts on our blog. Also, please feel free to reach out to me, anytime, to discuss what’s going on in the Capitol or in your community. Call me at (608) 274-8188 or email me at nwhite@piaw.org.

Natalie White - PIAW Communications Director

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OCI Administrative

Actions Mark V. Afable - Commissioner of the Office of Insurance

Madison, WI—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 toll-free telephone number: 1-800-236-8517.

Allegations and Actions Against Agents APRIL 2021 David J. McNerney, 801 Gray Oak Dr., Columbia, MO 65201, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose administrative actions taken by the states of Iowa, Colorado, and Missouri on a licensing application.

MAY 2021 Ivan Alvarez, 1181 25th St., Unit 206, San Diego, CA 92154, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Illinois. Christian Bingo, 1752 Ardaly Pl., North Palm Beach, FL 33408, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay a required fee. Troy D. Braxton, 4050 McEwen Rd., Apt. 7306, Dallas, TX 75244, had his application for an insurance license denied for 60 days. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose an administrative action taken by the State of Wisconsin on a licensing application. Christopher M. Bruce, 6346 Silverbrook W, West Bloomfield, MI 48322, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $1,000.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to disclose a FINRA administrative action on a licensing application and failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of California, North Carolina, and Missouri. Christopher M. Bruce, 6346 Silverbrook W, West Bloomfield, MI 48322, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to comply with a forfeiture order. Brandon Carey, 1911 SW 17th St., Ankeny, IA 50023, had his application for an insurance license denied for 60 days. This action was taken based on allegations of having a criminal conviction that 12 JULY/AUGUST 21

may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct and failing to disclose the criminal conviction on previous licensing applications. Julie Carter, N8817 US Hwy 151, Fond du Lac, WI 54937, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having criminal convictions that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct. Michael P. Christofferson, 9237 Hollyhock Ln., Racine, WI 53406, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay a required fee. Brandon Cintron, 260 Lord St., Unit 508, Brookfield, WI 53045, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00 and was ordered to make all required disclosures while licensed and on licensing applications. These actions were taken based on allegations of failing to disclose an administrative action taken by the State of California while licensed and failing to disclose administrative actions on a renewal licensing application. Robert Davis, 8152 Rayenna Rd., Hudson, OH 44236, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of Virginia, Louisiana, and Florida. Robert Davis, 8152 Rayenna Rd., Hudson, OH 44236, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to comply with a forfeiture order. Jaclyn J. Donner, 3000 Schuster Ln., Merrill, WI 54452, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay a required fee. Fabian E. Gonzalez, 1127 N Cass St., Apt. 2A, Milwaukee, WI 53202, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having criminal convictions that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct and failing to completely disclose criminal convictions on

[Continued on page 13]




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[Continued from page 12 - OCI Administrative Actions...] a licensing application. Jesus Gutierrez, 12215 Telegraph Rd., Apt. 211, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having administrative actions taken by securities regulators for fraudulent sales of investment products. Lesa S. Hauser, 2445 S 68th St., West Allis, WI 53219, had her application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having criminal convictions that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct, owing delinquent child support, and soliciting insurance without a license. Nicholette Henry-Stephens, 2721 Brucken Rd., Valrico, FL 33596, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of California, Louisiana, and South Dakota. Nicholette Henry-Stephens, 2721 Brucken Rd., Valrico, FL 33596, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to comply with a forfeiture order. Cory G. Klement, W5710 Cedar Ave., Shawano, WI 54166, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of being party to a lawsuit involving allegations of fraud.

Steven J. Liebherr, 825 Vea Court, Stoughton, WI 53589, agreed to pay consumer restitution of $10,000.00. This action was taken based on allegations of selling an unsuitable annuity and life insurance policy, and selling unregistered securities. Gerald B. Lynch, 1917 Belgium Dr., Plano, TX 75025, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of California, Louisiana, and South Dakota. James J. McAtee, 4255 S Lake Ct., Decatur, IL 62521, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of being party to a lawsuit or arbitration involving allegations of fraud, failing to fully respond to inquiries from OCI, and having an administrative action taken by the Illinois Securities Department. Jeffrey D. Noard, N48W14336 Hampton Rd., Ste. 101, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to make timely and full disclosures to FINRA and OCI, failing to comply with an order of the Commissioner, and failing to provide documentation required to complete a licensing application. David M. Piatt, 4875 Ashbrook Circle, Littleton, CO 80130, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having a criminal conviction that may be substantially

[Continued on page 39] JULY/AUGUST 21 13

Can we still require that employees wear masks?


Answer from Emily, SPHR: You can, yes. While the CDC has announced that those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 may go without a mask in most places, private employers still have the right to enforce mask wearing policies in their own workplaces, regardless of employees’ or customers’ vaccination status. State and local rules also still apply.

Question: What are the penalties and costs for misclassifying employees? Answer from Kara, JD, SPHR: The answer will depend on a number of factors, such as how many employees are misclassified, how much extra money they would have been paid if properly classified, and whether or not lawyers or regulatory agencies get involved. Generally, if an employee goes to the federal Department of Labor (DOL) and claims that they’ve been misclassified, the DOL will investigate. If the DOL determines that an employee—or entire group of employees—should have been paid overtime but wasn’t, the employee will be owed up to two years’ worth of unpaid wages (or up to three if the misclassification was “willful”). The organization may also owe the employee or employees liquidated damages equal to the amount of money owed. So, if an employee should have been paid $2,000 in overtime, the organization may owe them $4,000. The organization would also owe the government taxes on those wages, as well as interest on the taxes. Most states also have their own minimum wage and overtime laws, and often an organization can be held liable under both federal and state law, meaning the employee would be owed additional damages for violations of state wage law. And if you are in a state with late payment penalties, the organization could owe additional damages for not having paid all wages by the time they were due. There’s also a very good chance that the organization will be held liable for attorney’s fees—both the organization’s and the employee’s. On top of the costs mentioned above, there are potential federal civil penalties of $2,074 per violation (generally one penalty per misclassified employee), state penalties (which will vary), and in some cases the potential for jail time. Finally, statutory interest may immediately begin to accrue on the amount owed.

Question: We have a non-exempt employee who has been working from home. Do we need to pay her for time spent traveling to the office? She’s been asked to drop off some files during her normally scheduled work hours. Answer from Laura, SHRM-CP: Yes, in this situation, we recommend paying this employee for travel time during her workday. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), tasks performed during the employee’s “continuous workday” are considered paid time (with a few notable exceptions, such as meal breaks). Because she’ll drop the files off at the office during her normally scheduled work hours, it’s most likely considered part of her continuous workday and needs to be paid accordingly. In addition, choosing not to pay her for this time would also mean asking her to do a task that results in her receiving less income than she normally would, which would likely prompt frustration and decrease employee morale. For these reasons, we recommend paying her for this travel time. 14 JULY/AUGUST 21









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Thank You Supporting Members, We Couldn't Do It Without You! Each year those insurance companies that choose to support the Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin, make so many things possible. It is because of them that we can offer top-notch, affordable networking and education opportunities to our member agents. Be sure to say "Thank You" the next time you see staff from any of our supporting members.

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To learn more about the value of PIAW sponsorships, call Executive Director, Pete Hanson at (608) 274-8188, email him at phanson@piaw.org or visit https://www.piaw.org/stay-connected/supporting-member/ 16 JULY/AUGUST 21

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STUDIES IN SELLING: ONE ON ONE WITH WELDON LONG By: Adam Mendler, Lessons in Leadership

I spoke to sales guru and New York Times bestselling author Weldon Long about his best advice. Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your best sales advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. How did you get here? Weldon: That’s a great question and goes to the heart of my story. From 1987 – 2003, I spent 13 years behind bars. I was a high school drop who lived a life of poverty, desperation and incarceration. In 2006, while I was in prison, my father died and I made a decision to change the course of my life. I spent the last 7 years in prison learning how to create a mindset for success and prosperity. I studied business and sales. I changed my core value system. In 2003, I walked out of prison to a halfway house without a dime to my name. Nevertheless, I had the mindset and skills to succeed. In 2004, I started a company and grew it to $20,000,000 in sales in just 60 months. In fact, in 2009, my company was selected by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s fastest growing small companies. Since then I have written three books on the Prosperity Mindset and my Consistency Selling process and have trainied thousands of sales professionals on the mindset and sales principles that changed my life. Adam: What is the single biggest sales mistake you have ever made and what did you learn from it? Weldon: Believing a prospect was actually going to call me back. There is no Santa Claus. There is no tooth fairy. And prospects rarely (if ever) call back. I learned that sales success requires that we do everything in our power to get our prospects to give us a “Yes” or a “No” while we are with them – even if the answer is “No”. A “Yes” is best, but “No” is a perfectly acceptable answer. In sales “No” won’t kill you. It’s the “I don’t know, call me backs” that will undermine sales success. Adam: In your experience, what are the key pitfalls to succeeding in sales and how can you overcome them? Weldon: Failing to anticipate objections and obstacles. We sell 18 JULY/AUGUST 21

whatever we sell everyday. Customers only buy it occasionally. We should know what the prospect is going to object to before they do. Moreover, we should know EXACTLY how to handle it. Far too many sales professionals trip up on objections, despite hearing them virtually everyday of their professional lives. Adam: What are your three best tips when it comes to selling? Weldon: 1) Build high trust through demonstrating high character and high competence in a systematic fashion. 2) Expect a successful outcome by developing a Prosperity Mindset that is designed to thrive in the face of adversity and obstacles. The Prosperity Mindset is the key to the kingdom. 3) Rely on a sales SYSTEM rather than “winging it” on a sales call. Consistent sales results come from consistent sales activities. Random sale results come from random sales activities. It’s not rocket science. Adam: Describe your sales methodology. Have you found that different types of prospects are responsive to different to types of styles, and if so, do you adapt your style to the type customer you are selling to? Weldon: I keep things super simple because I believe the confused mind says “No”. Show me a complicated sales process and I’ll show you a sales person who isn’t using it. Every sales process can be broken down into what I call the RISC process. 1) Build a RELATIONSHIP. 2) IDENTIFY the prospect’s problems 3) SOLVE the prospect’s problems using your company’s solutions [Continued on page 19]

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[Continued from page 18 - Studies in Selling...] 4) Bring the sales presentation to a reasonable and logical CONCLUSION We can’t close every sales opportunity, but we can bring every sales opportunity to a reasonable and logical conclusion. One of the most important things that leads to sales success is not leaving ourselves with an overwhelming number of loose ends. Extend yourself 100% emotionally and professional to your prospect and take your best shot. When you’re done, move on to the next opportunity. Don’t get caught chasing down phantom deals and make believe sales commissions. Yes, there are different strokes for different folks. Part of being a successful sales professional is having the skill to read people and respond accordingly. There are lots of formal methods to read and react to your prospect (i.e. a DISC analysis or using NLP to “mirror” your prospect). When I am selling I try to use a variety of communication tools to connect to prospects whether they learn through listening, touching, pictures or stories. Sooner or later I’ll find a way to connect with them. Adam: What sets your approach apart from others in your industry? Describe your industry and your best tips specific to selling within it. Weldon: Most sales programs give students one part of a three part puzzle. What I mean is that they give the sales person the sales process but they fail to deliver two other vital components to success: The Prosperity Mindset and Consistency. Without those two bookends the

sales process is another tool that won’t get used. Transformational sales success comes from Getting your Mind Right, Getting your Sales Process Right, and Getting your Consistency Right. Without all three you are taking on Rocky with one hand tied behind your back. Good luck with that. I train in virtually every industry, including transportation, logistics, insurance, financial services, automobile, banking, home services, etc. The same three components are necessary to succeed in all of them. Adam: What do you believe is the hardest step in the sales process and how can it best be navigated? Weldon: The single hardest step for most sales professionals is directly and specifically asking the prospect for the order. To succeed we must overcome the fear and anxiety of asking. That is a Mindset issue. Everybody knows the words. Only the most successful sales professionals actually use them. Adam: What are your best tips for improving your close rate? Weldon: Ask for the damn order! The answer is always NO until we ask. I have a signature close I use and teach that helps sales people have more closing success. Once you understand all the prospect’s problems, make a specific recommendation to solve the problem and then use the four most powerful works in sales, “Will you trust me?” [Continued on page 36] JULY/AUGUST 21 19

PIA PAC Clay Shoot 2021

The 2nd Annual PIA PAC Clay Shoot was held at Milford Hills in Johnson Creek on May 19th. Attendees spent the day shooting clays, enjoying a delicious barbecue lunch, and spending time in the beautiful outdoors with great company. After two spirited rounds of clays, the group came together to award the individual Shoot Champion (Mike Guilfoile) and Team Champions (Joe Kossow, Don Stenson, Rich Keith & Mark Cyganiak) and hand out some exciting prizes. Not only was the event a fantastic time, but the PAC raised almost $10,000 to help fight for issues important to independent agents! If you did not have a chance to attend this year, make sure you are on the lookout for next years’ details – coming soon!

Jacey wins shotgun

Jeff wins rifle 20 JULY/AUGUST 21

Lori wins pistol


Be Aware of the Growing Concern of Insurance to Value by Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA President – Pearsall Associates, Inc. and Consultant to the Utica National E&O Program Several recent industry articles have noted that many personal and commercial properties are potentially vastly undervalued and underinsured. An article from GenRe, authored by James Kenworthy and Shannon Dowd), reported that upwards of 60% of homes and 70% of commercial buildings are undervalued – primarily because the cost of building materials has risen significantly over the last 6-12 months. The GenRe article and a recent Wall Street Journal article noted the following: • • • • • •

Lumber costs up 50%-100% Labor costs up 8% Crude oil, a major component of paint, roof shingles and flooring, up 80% from October 2020 Prices for granite, insulation, concrete blocks and brick at record levels Costs up $9,000 per unit for apartment construction Rising costs for PVC production/availability due to recent hurricanes

The Potential for Claims Issues For many years, E&O claim statistics have shown that issues involving personal property (HO, Dwelling coverage, etc.) and commercial property have been a leading cause of E&O claims. Because the values are traditionally higher in commercial property, the losses can be among the most significant, so simply applying an increase property limit factor at renewal may not be enough. This means that virtually every agency likely has some customers whose property insurance values are insufficient, potentially resulting in claim issues at the time of a loss.

Choosing Limits and Your Role in It Virtually every E&O carrier follows the premise that customers should choose their own property values, with agents/brokers, outside appraisers and various valuation services offering information customers can reference. This provides an element of protection for the agency if a problem arises. It is highly recommended on commercial accounts, and it is suggested that a property disclaimer be provided annually to commercial accounts. In addition, agencies should require customers to sign an applicable statement of value forms. Valuing contents has long been an issue because of the lack of standard industrywide tools available to evaluate most contents exposures. This is another area where customers must play a pivotal role in determining property limits. Issues including the following have been noted: • • •

Machinery and equipment reconstruction costs that may be significantly more expensive as replacement parts might no longer be available Contents customized for the operation Discounts and concessions no longer available from suppliers/original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)

Some articles raise serious concerns for agents who use various insurance-to-value tools and benchmarks as these tools may be outdated and not reflect current conditions. Plus, it is important to distinguish between replacement cost and reconstruction cost. The key item addressed and factored into some valuation tools states that reconstruction cost includes “additional expenses related to repair and restoration contractors’ fees, the construction process itself, the location of the property, demolition costs and debris removal.” These factors create a higher valuation than a new construction. Agencies should have dialogue with their customers about this issue, which can help to minimize the problem if a customer suffers a loss that is not adequately covered.

5-R-1396 Ed. 5-21


Utica Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliated companies New Hartford, NY 13413

Protect the Reputation and Assets You’ve Worked Hard to Build: Choose the Right Agents’ Errors and Omissions Program! Utica National and Agents Service Corporation can help. More than 10,000 agencies have placed their trust in Utica National over the last 50 years because they offer:

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Access to staff, including a claims team, who is dedicated 100% to Agents’ E&O Tailored levels of coverage based on your needs Risk management services that stay ahead of emerging issues to help you prevent claims A variety of ways to pay your premium without premium financing or interest charges

Invest a few minutes in the future security of your agency. Go to www.uticanational.com/eo to get started on an Easy Estimate, and then add and subtract coverages to get the

combination of protection and premium you need! Contact Heidi Hodel at PIA Wisconsin by phone at 608-274-8188 or via email at hhodel@piaw.org for more information.

Don’t just join a company, join a club. AAA is a membership-based organization; we’re a club, not just a company. This means we have an entirely different level of commitment to customers. All with an unbeatable combination of savings and security for customers. And the potential for success for you.

Learn more, contact me. Leo Plese (630) 328-7076 lmplese@autoclubgroup.aaa.com Insurance • Membership • Travel • Banking AAA Independent Agents are not employees of AAA The Auto Club Group; but, rather are independent contractors. Insurance underwritten by one of the following companies: Auto Club Insurance Association, MemberSelect Insurance Company, Auto Club Group Insurance Company, Auto Club Property-Casualty Insurance Company, Auto Club South Insurance Company, Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida, or non-affiliated insurance companies. ©2019 The Auto Club Group. All rights reserved. 19-IN-0147


Active Listening: C a n Yo u R e p e a t T h a t ? The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said,

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Talented salespeople are usually thought to be good conversationalists, or to have the “gift of gab.” But their listening skills — although critical — are highly underrated in a sales environment.

are not waiting to talk, and instead are interested in what is being said. •

Take a breath. When your client is finished talking, harness your instinct to jump in immediately and begin a rebuttal. A few seconds of silence is okay. Instead, collect your thoughts, and start with a phrase that lets your client know you were truly listening, such as, “So what I’m hearing you say, Phil, is that your recent business growth is leaving you unsure of the level of protection you need, is that correct?” Asking a question to make sure you’re on the same page gives your client peace of mind that you are truly trying to assess his needs rather than push your own sales agenda.

Pay attention to the details. When you actively listen, you’ll be able to remember that your prospect volunteers at a local animal shelter, or her daughter is about to start her freshman year at a local community college. Mentioning these details later in conversation will show your client that you are engaged and care about what she is telling you.

Practice makes perfect, and you can practice these active listening skills outside of your sales world. Sound listening skills can pay off in all of life’s relationships.

Think of this next time you’re in a conversation: Are you truly listening to what the other person is saying? Or are you merely waiting to talk? In his hugely successful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey writes, “… most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc.” Learning to listen actively — rather than waiting to talk — can be valuable in both sales and in life. Here are some tips to ensure you are actively engaged in listening: •

Quit multitasking. Sure, your client might not be able to see that you’re scrolling down your Twitter feed while on the phone with him, but rest assured, when you are looking at your smartphone, you are not listening. Similar to “no texting while driving” campaigns, let’s just say no to texting (or Facebooking, etc.) while communicating. Stop interrupting. You know how annoying it is to be interrupted mid-sentence. Even though you are busy, give your client the courtesy of not assuming you know how the sentence will end, and allow him to finish it. This shows you


      promise     



(815) 489- 3275 


Now PIA members can sell the same great PIA cyber insurance coverage that many have already purchased for their own agency. PIA’s cyber insurance is the first cyber insurance program tailor-made for small and medium-sized businesses. The PIA enhanced cyber insurance policy covers both first- and third-party loss for the most common cyber risks such as social engineering, funds transfer fraud, ransomware, network interruption, data breach, network security, and media liability. In addition to the seven coverage parts, PIA members’ clients are provided with special PIA enhancements and reduced rates compared to ABAIS’s standard program for social engineering coverage. PIA members who sell the PIA cyber insurance receive 12.5% in sales commission. Getting started is easy. Start protecting your clients today. Need more information? Contact Heidi Hodel-Faris at hhodel@piaw.org or (800) 261-7429


NEW Members

Please be sure to check out all of the member benefits you now have access to at www.piaw.org

AGENCY Alternative Risk Resources Delafield, WI

Northwoods Insurance Services LLC Winter, WI

Welch Insurance Services Menomonee Falls, WI

Custom Insurance Solutions Inc. Clintonville, WI

Talent Insurance & Financial Solutions Sun Prairie, WI

William M. Swinson West Allis, WI

Michelle Fonk Insurance Agency Kenosha, WI

The Long Term Care Guy Green Bay, WI

Wisconsin Advantage, LLC Green Bay, WI

Musty-Barnhart Agency Inc. Ellsworth, WI

Verdette Insurance Agency DePere, WI

ASSOCIATE The Alliance Madison, WI


Arlington Roe Brookfield, WI




David Grunke CHC, CHU, ChHC 2 CE HOURS


Nick Peters Principal Financial Group 2 CE HOURS



2021 CPIA Webinars & Classroom The PIA of Wisconsin is a proud sponsor of the Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) professional designation program. These three, one-day workshops teach practical "before", "during", and "after" sale techniques for producers, sales managers, account managers and company marketing representatives. Participants leave with ideas that will produce increased sales results immediately. In fact, they are guaranteed: Implement the principles covered in these sessions and experience a 20% increase in personal production within six months, or your registration fee will be refunded!

No Test. Approved for 7 Wisconsin CE credits each. Utica approved. All states are welcome and most approved for 7 CE. While it is not required, it is recommended courses are taken in order.

CPIA 1 - Position for Success

CPIA 2 - Implement for Success

CPIA 3 - Sustain Success

During this program, participants are encouraged to focus on internal and external factors affecting the development of effective business development plans. Factors discussed include a review of the state of the insurance marketplace; analysis of competitive pressures; necessary insurance carrier underwriting criteria; and consumer expectations and understanding.

During this session participants will be provided with specific tools for analyzing consumer needs; will learn to utilize risk identification techniques to gather pertinent prospect information; will develop skills necessary to assimilate information gathered into a customized protection program; and will participate in exercises designed to promote effective delivery of proven solutions.

This program focuses on fulfilling the implied promises contained in the insuring agreement. Students will review methods of providing evidence of insurance coverage; will discuss policies and procedures for controlling E&O including policy review and delivery, endorse-ments, claimsprocessing, and handling of client complaints. This course includes a review of the Professional Expectations; the Law of Agency; and Legal and Ethical Standards.

WI CE Course # 65338

WI CE Course # 65340

WI CE Course # 65339

CPIA 1 CPIA 2 CPIA 3 August 5 - Webinar September 9 - Webinar October 7 – Webinar September 29 - Green Bay (PIA Members receive ½ off the 9/29 CPIA with Engage 2021 registration) Details and Registration at PIAW.ORG ______________________________________________________________________ CPIA is a part of the AIMS Society, a national organization dedicated to providing interactive marketing and sales training, ongoing resources and networking opportunities to insurance professionals. www.aimssociety.org.



Upcoming CIC & CISR Opportunities CIC Webinars & Classroom Approved for 16 Wisconsin CE Credits Each Anyone Can Attend No Exam or Proctor Required for CE Instructor Led July 20-22, 2021

Commercial Casualty West Bend, WI

September 22-23, 2021 Commercial Property Webinar

November 30-December 2, 2021 Personal Lines West Bend, WI

CIC Graduate Ruble Webinars & Classroom Exciting update option for CICs, CRMs, and CISRs! 16 WI CE

October 21-22, 2021 / Green Bay, WI (4 optional Ethics CE)

February 16-17, 2022 / Webinar

CISR Webinars & Classroom Anyone Can Attend 7 WI CE Each - No Exam or Proctor Required for CE Instructor Led

July 14 July 28

Commercial Property Webinar Personal Residential Webinar

August 19

Elements of Risk Management Madison, WI

August 17

Commercial Casualty II Webinar

August 26

Personal Lines Miscellaneous Webinar


Visit the education tab at PIAW.org for schedules and registration.




Competitive advantaGe With a professional desiGnation

Insert Your Name Here CIC, CRM, CPIA, CISR Elite, CISR

Those who have the CIC designation earn 30% more than those without the designation!

Implement the principles covered in the CPIA sessions and experience a 20% increase in personal production within six months.

p i a w. o r g


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 • CPIA • Select PIAW Webinars Register online and view the complete Education schedule at piaw.org Please contact Heidi Hodel-Faris, CIC, CPIA, Insurance and Member Services Director at hhodel@piaw.org or 1-800-261-7429 to find out how you can benefit from Utica’s E&O Loss Control Program. JULY/AUGUST 21 29


New Topics Added! 1 and 3 WI CE Credits. Live. No Test. No Proctor. 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.

July 2021 Webinar Schedule TITLE & WI CE




That’s Personal: Home & Auto Exposures Your Insured Doesn’t Share (and Why That’s Bad) 3 WI CE # 6000080266 Utica Approved



Scott Treen, CIC

An Hour with Nicole: Personal Umbrella Issues & Answers 1 WI CE # 6000082636



Nicole Broch, CIC, CISR, PLCS

Is This Stuff For Real? Understanding & Insuring Emerging Risks 3 WI CE # 6000080265



Steve Lyon CIC, CPCU, ARM

The Small or Hobby Farm: Properly Identifying & Insuring the Risk 3 WI CE # 6000060208



Sam Bennett, CIC, AFIS, CRIS, CPIA

Coverage Problems Your Contractors Hateand How to Solve Them 3 WI CE # 6000060207



Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS

Ethics: Essentials for the Insurance Producer 3 WI ETHICS CE # 6000080505



Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS

Chris Amrhein’s “Adventures in Aging” Financially Surviving Retirement 3 WI CE # 6000061267



Chris Amrhein, CIC

Commercial Property – Direct vs Indirect Damage 3 WI CE # 6000080287



Robin Federici, CIC, AAI, ARM, AINS, AIS, CPIW

Contracts Agents Should Read 3 WI CE # 6000080507



Terry Tadlock, CIC, CPCU, CRIS

An Hour with Corey: Valuation Issues with Custom Cars & Tricked-Out Trucks 1 WI CE # 6000081982



Corey Wilkins

Personal Lines Clients and Their New Normal 3 WI CE # 6000080286



Nicole Broch, CIC, CISR, PLCS

Dead or Alive: The Many Functions of Life Insurance 3 WI CE # 6000058105



Corey Wilkins

Register online at piaw.org or call 1-800-261-7429. Contact Brenda for in-house webinar opportunities. bsteinbach@piaw.org



New Topics Added! 1 and 3 WI CE Credits. Live. No Test. No Proctor. 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.

August 2021 Webinar Schedule TITLE & WI CE




Homeowners in Real Life: Tales of Claims & Coverage 3 WI CE # 6000080508



Nicole Broch, CIC, CISR, PLCS

Exposures That Prove Why ALL Employers Need EPL Coverage 3 WI CE # 6000060206



Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS

Additional Insureds and Certificates: Issues, Answers and When to Say No 3 WI CE # 6000059680



Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS

Culture, Ethics and E&O: The Right Way to Run an Agency 3 WI ETHICS CE # 6000059631 Utica Approved



Terry Tadlock, CIC, CPCU, CRIS

An Hour with Cathy: Additional Insured Endorsements for Contractors 1 WI CE # 6000082723



Catherine Trischan, CPCU, CRM, CIC, ARM, AU, AAI, CRIS, MLIS

Insurance Jeopardy! Testing Your Knowledge of Personal & Commercial Lines 3 WI CE # 6000080506



Steve Lyon, CIC, CPCU, ARM

Chris Amrhein’s “Adventures in Aging” Understanding Social Security & Medicare 3 WI CE # 6000059682



Chris Amrhein, CIC

Flood Insurance and the NFIP 3 WI CE # 6000059679



Robin Federici, CIC, AAI, ARM, AINS, AIS, CPIW

"How/Where the %^* Will I Live?" Insurance Solutions for the Long-Term 3 WI CE # 6000080419



Corey Wilkins

An Hour with Kevin: Drones – Insuring Innovators, Enthusiasts & Idiots 1 WI CE # 6000058123



Kevin Amrhein, CIC< CPIA

Personal Lines Coverage Concerns: Annoying But Important 3 WI CE # 6000080480



Scott Treen, CIC

Insuring Commercial Transportation Exposures: The Business Auto and Motor Coverage Forms 3 WI CE # 6000068375



Sam Bennett, CIC, AFIS, CRIS, CPIA

Register online at piaw.org or call 1-800-261-7429. Contact Brenda for in-house webinar opportunities. bsteinbach@piaw.org



WE DON’T NEED TO TELL YOU HOW GREAT PIA WEBINARS ARE - THEY WILL! “I’m a big fan of the new format and the ability to take webinars online. This was my 14th class since earning my CISR designation in 2011 and 2nd online in the last 2 weeks. I would highly recommend taking advantage of this format.” Jon Smith, CISR Manager / Service Market Operations Liberty Mutual Insurance “The CIC webinar was great! Both instructors are excellent but I would like to especially applaud Cathy Trischan. Even though this is my 12th year being a CIC, her session was one of the top 2% I have enjoyed. (That is my expression of being the best.)” Young Kim, CIC, ARM Rampart Brokerage Corp

“I really enjoyed the CISR webinar. This is the first time I’ve taken one with John Dismukes. He had great examples throughout the whole class and was very easy to follow. I look forward to signing up for more CE classes with him.” Bobbi Gofus Business Account Manager TRICOR “I enjoyed the webinar and following along. I couldn’t believe how easy that was! I will definitely take another online course in the future. Thank you so much!” Bridget Ahrens, CISR

"Thank you for allowing us to complete our update virtually during this crazy time. It was one of my favorite updates to date. The instructors kept our attention presenting solid and applicable material, less stressful as I didn’t have to worry about the drive, I didn’t feel as exhausted at the end of the day as I sometimes do with the in person, less distractions, and overall went very smoothly. If these were offered virtually in the future, I would not hesitate to sign up." Susan M Jones, MBA, CIC General Manager – Sales Acuity Insurance 32 JULY/AUGUST 21

By: Al Diamond

W H Y GE O G RAPHIC NO N-COM PE T E A G R E E M E N T S D ON ’ T W O RK For many years, agencies have attempted to protect their books of business by defining a geographic area in which a departed employee may not solicit the agency’s clients for some period of time. The agency assumed that if they were protected in an area defined by a radius of miles from the agency location that they would be allowed to maintain their customer base unimpeded by competition from a departed employee who may have knowledge about the customers’ insurance programs learned while employed by the host agency. Some geographic limitations were inane (like the prohibition of writing insurance competing with the agency in the U.S., or in an entire State or region of the country). Any challenge to those types of limitations would quickly be resolved by courts, who typically favor the individual over the business entity and generally allow a former employee to practice his chosen and trained profession where he lives. It would seem a stretch to force a dentist, a lawyer, a car salesman OR AN INSURANCE AGENT to move to a new location and start over again just because he chose (or his employer decided) to terminate their relationship, especially when the former employee practices his profession on prospects and clients who are not (or have never been) clients of the former employer. Agents trimmed their geographic non-compete to within a county, or to a geographic area around the former employer’s agency that defines where most of the agency’s clients are located. The agents hoped that this prohibition for a period of a few years would allow the clients relationship to the agency to transfer from the departed employee to a new employee relationship between the client and the agency. If the agency chooses NOT to form a replacement relationship stronger than the relationship the client had with the former employee, that’s truly the agency’s fault and, if they lose the client when the duration of the non-solicitation period is exhausted, they have no one to blame but themselves.

BUT HERE IS THE REAL REASON THAT GEOGRAPHIC NON-COMPETES ARE NOT ONLY INEFFECTIVE BUT POTENTIALLY DESTRUCTIVE AND DEVASTATING TO THE AGENCY WHO USES GEOGRAPHIC NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENTS When you set a radius (10 mi, 25 mi, 50 mi, the County border) around your office as the limitation of the non-competition area, you are also setting “one step beyond that radius” as the location from which you have acknowledged that the former employee can legitimately compete against the former employer on any account. Your intention was to prohibit the former employee from soliciting or accepting your agency’s customers because of the confidential information to which the former employee had access while working for your agency. We hope (and assume) you are not trying to “punish” the employee by telling him that if he doesn’t work for you, he can’t work in the job for which he was trained and for which he is experienced as his career. If punishment is the goal, any court challenge will invalidate that section of your Agreement (or the Agreement in total if the court so chooses). Your best bet is to use a Non-Solicitation Agreement instead of a Non-Competition Agreement. That prohibits the former employee from either soliciting or accepting (if the client wishes to move voluntarily) any of your agency’s customers for a reasonable period of time while you replace that employee with another who can establish a relationship with the clients and “even the playing field.” In a reasonable period of time the information that the former employee knew about the client will no longer be current and if he chooses to solicit that client he and your agency will be in a “head-to-head” competition situation that you face with other agents every day. Yes, the customer is the final arbiter of where he will be insured, but a valid non-solicitation agreement can prohibit the former employee from accepting the customer during the agreed-upon period of time. JULY/AUGUST 21 33

By: Lisa Apolinski

A void Th e F ive B igge st Link e dI n B lunde rs Surprising statistic from Kinsta: LinkedIn has over 575 million users and nearly half of those are active every month (meaning they post, comment or like on the platform). If that isn’t impressive enough, LinkedIn has their sites on further investments into Latin America. What makes LinkedIn even more powerful is that users update their bios regularly, so the connections you are potentially requesting are in the roles they have listed on their bios. LinkedIn is a digital goldmine, especially now in the post-COVID digital paradigm. Users post on career engagement, network with others in the industry and share expertise and advice. Unfortunately, less professional engagement can and does happen on LinkedIn. Understanding what works in the world of LinkedIn for networking, and what hinders, can help remove obstacles for engagement. Here are the five biggest blunders that can hurt credibility and potentially, career advancement: Blunder #1: Being vague in why a connection is requested. Some people believe more connections are better. However, some connection requests come with a note that does not share why the sender wants to network. If there is not a clear reasoning for the network connection, many of these requests appear to not help or enhance the receiver’s network. A connection request with a note can help put the connection request into context for the receiver. Try Instead: Clearly state why a request has been sent and how the connection benefits both parties. To get a connection request accepted, think about why you are requesting the connection. Blunder #2: Focusing on selling versus connecting. Many LinkedIn users complain about this practice and it seems to have become more common. After a connection has been accepted, the next message is a long selling pitch. What is even more surprising is the immediate request for a call or virtual demo. This is a request of someone’s time without taking time to connect first. A focus on selling will not help with lead generation or brand reputation. This type of communication does little for the recipient. Try Instead: Thank the person for the connection and share something that might benefit the new connection, such as a video or article. Sharing knowledge can go a long way. 34 JULY/AUGUST 21

Blunder #3: Not investing in a current professional photo. One of the first digital impressions from a LinkedIn profile is the user photo. Using a photo that is casual, that is old or that is provocative is missing a great opportunity to showcase a level of professionalism. A photo is a visual precursor to a job interview or lecturer. Investment in a professional photo is also a wise one as it can be used in a variety of digital ways. By keeping the photo current, network members are also easy to identify in other settings (remember those trade shows?). Try Instead: Even a quick shot with your mobile can work. Have direct lighting and natural is best (morning or late afternoon). Capture from the shoulders up and minimize distractions in the background. Blunder #4: Posting on politics. While many may have an opinion on the current political climate, sharing political viewpoints may not be the best decision. Posts and articles on LinkedIn should highlight expertise, provide knowledge and leadership within an industry and share resources that can help networks. Political postings do not fall into these three categories. These may also be off putting or polarizing to current and future networks. Try Instead: If you wish to share political viewpoints, consider posting to another social media channel. Keep the LinkedIn channel focused on how to provide professional leadership and insight. Blunder #5: The social channel is LinkedIn, not Love Connection. With so many other dating apps and websites available to find a soul mate, LinkedIn is not the place to request a connection with the purpose of asking someone out. Not only is this request unprofessional, it can easily come across as creepy, especially for women. LinkedIn users are using the platform for career and networking and expect others to do the same. Try Instead: Use LinkedIn for its primary purpose, namely professional networking, and save the search for love to those websites or apps that have been specifically created for that reason. LinkedIn has amazing potential to connect with experts, learn about new trends in your industry and discover new career paths and positions as you explore options. LinkedIn can work well for digital connection and professional networking, especially if these blunders are avoided. These small modifications can unlock new networking

opportunities and strong professional engagement now as well as in the future, and help establish your credibility within both your industry and your organization. With these missteps avoided, you will be able to more easily harness the power of LinkedIn in your professional practice and take your career to new heights.

and share their message using digital assets. Her latest book, Persuade With A Digital Content Story, is available on Amazon. For information on her agency’s digital services visit www.3DogWrite. com.

About the Author: Lisa Apolinski is an international speaker, digital strategist, author and founder of 3 Dog Write. She works with companies to develop

Agency Perpetuation & Acquisition Workshop October 14, 2021/ Sun Prairie, WI What 2019 Attendees Had to Say! “Had a good time and learned a substantial amount of information. Jon certainly exceeded my expectations as well as the overall experience.”

Jon Persky, CPA, CIC, PHR

“Thanks again for having this class put together. In talking to my partner and other agency friends, every person agreed that this was one of the best classes we have attended in our industry. Thanks for what you do to help us.” “WOW, this was just what I needed!” (Please register today at piaw.org) JULY/AUGUST 21 35

[Continued from page 19 - Studies in Selling...] If you can’t ask that question naturally you haven’t worked hard enough or taken enough time to EARN your prospect’s trust. Adam: What is your best advice around making the ask? Weldon: Many sales people fail to ask for the order because they are afraid they are going go annoy or frustrate the prospect. I teach students to imagine their family with them at the moment of closing and ask themselves who they would rather disappoint – their prospect or their family. If I fail to ask I am failing my family by not providing at my true potential. Listen, no one is going to close 100% of their leads. That includes me. But I can promise you that I’ll never go home to my wife and kids and say, “Hey guys, money is going to be a little tight, so there is no vacation or private school because daddy is too big of a chicken shit to ask prospects for the order.” That’s never going to happen. Adam: Language is obviously very important throughout the sales process. What are key phrases or words you have found have helped or hurt your chances of success? Weldon: Good words: Agreement, investment, authorization. Bad words: Contract, cost, signature. Most important words: “Will you trust me with my recommendations?” Adam: On a scale of 1-10, how important are ethics to succeeding in sales? Explain. Weldon: Ten. First of all, I’ve tried it both ways and there is always a consequence to cutting the corners. As my friend and mentor, the late Dr. Stephen Covey, taught me, you can’t break the principles of fidelity, faith, honor and honesty. You can only break yourself against them. Ill gotten gain has a strange way of slipping away. Secondly, successful sales is a reflection of earning a prospect’s trust through high character and high competency. You can fake those things short term, but time will expose or promote all of us. Compromise your ethics and your own peril.

Weldon: It was a $2,000,000 training program sale I made to a billion dollar U.S. manufacturer. I am most proud of that one because when they first called me they told me their budget for the program was $500,000. Even worse, they wanted me to send a proposal over email. I am dead set against sending proposals via email. If a prospect is going to say “no” to me, they are going to say it to my face. To appease them I did send a proposal, but the proposal was for $10,000,000, twenty times their budget. It was all I could do not to laugh when they called me back to discuss. On the call I pointed out several issues they had overlooked such as ongoing training to ensure CONSISTENT implementation of the sales process. About 30-minutes into the conversation they said the magic words, “Mr. Long, you’re going to have to come down and meet with us and explain this proposal.” I never expected they would accept a $10,000,000 proposal but I had to use that to get a face to face. Over the next few weeks I had several face to face meetings, including a final meeting with the Japanese leaders of the company who were the decision makers. I closed the deal for $2,000,000, four times their initial budget. The best part of the story, however, is that at a dinner that night, one of the sales leaders leaned over to me and said, “You know what we were all thinking when we got you down to $2,000,000? At least it wasn’t $10,000,000!” In their minds they got me DOWN from $10,000,000 not UP form $500,000. He who laughs last laughs best. Adam: What is one thing everyone can do tomorrow to become better at selling? Weldon: Haha. Read The Power of Consistency and learn how to create the Prosperity Mindset necessary to excel at sales. Then ask for the darn order!

Adam: What is your best advice on how to best manage and stay on top of leads? Weldon: A CRM is critical to ensure leads are falling through the cracks. But the most important thing to me is having a simple metric to measure sales productivity. For some that might be close rate or average sale or success rate. For me it’s average sales revenue per lead. It’s a combination of close rate and average ticket. I consider it the “gas mileage” of a sales lead. How much am I getting out of each sales opportunity? Adam: What is the single best piece of sales advice you have ever received? Weldon: No is a perfectly acceptable answer in sales. The only unacceptable outcome is uncertainty. Bring the sales call to a conclusion one way or the other. It’s the loose ends that undermine sales success. Adam: What sale are you proudest of? Walk through how you made it happen and its significance. 36 JULY/AUGUST 21

Weldon Long will present at our new convention, “Engage 2021 TESTIMONIAL “I have seen a lot of speakers over the years and some better than others. However, very few in my opinion have the ability to change your life. Weldon Long is one of those speakers. His message has changed my life and I hope he will do the same for you.” Sean M. Paterson, CIC Vice President / Robertson Ryan & Associates


College or University Juniors and Seniors! Are you majoring in insurance or a related field of study? Could you use up to $1,000? The PIA of Wisconsin Past Presidents' Club could award a $1,000 scholarship to you! To be considered for the scholarship, please complete the entry form via our website by September 1, 2021. Go to: https://www.piaw.org/insurance-careers/past-presidents-scholarship/ JULY/AUGUST 21 37

PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS 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



Ms. Julie Ulset, CPIA President Grams Insurance Agency LLC PO Box 336 Edgerton, WI 53534 Phone: (608) 884-3304 Fax: (608) 884-9616 julset@gramsinsurance.com Mr. Ryan Butzke, CIC, CISR Vice President Northbrook Insurance Associates, Inc. PO Box 520 Slinger, WI 53086 Phone: (262) 297-7101 Fax: (262) 783-4075 ryanb@northbrook-ins.com Mr. Steve Clements, CPIA Treasurer Clements Insurance Agency 151577 King Fisher Ln. Wausau, WI 54401 Phone: (715) 842-1664 Fax: (715) 848-3337 steve@clementsagency.com

Mr. Brian MacGillis, CPIA Past Presidents Liaison MacGillis Agency Inc. PO Box 100 Fredonia, WI 53021-0100 Phone: (262) 790-0000 Fax: (888) 798-5040 brian@macgillisinsurance.com

Becca Bredeson Administrative Assistant bbredeson@piaw.org

Mr. Michael Winstanley Winstanley Insurance Agency Inc. 3044 S. 92nd St. West Allis, WI 53227 Phone: (414) 425-6914 mdw@mdwinstanley.com Mr. Bob Wolfgram Wolfgram Insurance Agency PO Box 122 North Prairie, WI 53153 Phone: (262) 349-9605 Fax: (262) 349-9608 bob@wolfgraminsurance.com

Mr. Sean M. Paterson, CIC Immediate Past President Robertson Ryan & Associates, Inc. 20975 Swenson Dr. Ste. 175 Waukesha, WI 53186 Phone: (262) 782-5373 Fax: (262) 782-6327 spaterson@robertsonryan.com

Shirley Faherty Office Manager/Bookkeeper sfaherty@piaw.org Heidi Hodel-Faris, CPIA, CIC Insurance and Member Services Director hhodel@piaw.org Brenda Steinbach Education & Convention Director bsteinbach@piaw.org

PIA National Director Ms. Tracy A. Oestreich, CIC, CPIA, AU, CPIW T4 Insurance Solutions, Inc. PO Box 408 Jackson, WI 53037 Phone: (262) 423-4949 Fax: (262) 423-4959 tracyo@t4ins.com

Natalie White Communications Director nwhite@piaw.org

Coming Events Coming Events

Twelve PIAW Webinars (1 & 3 WI CE Options)


CISR Commercial Property Webinar (7 WI CE)


CIC Commercial Casualty Classroom West Bend (16 WI CE)


STAFF Pete Hanson, CAE, CISR Executive Director phanson@piaw.org

Mr. Mitch Tarras Nett Insurance Agency LLC 607C Eastern Ave. Plymouth, WI 53073 Phone: (920) 893-3252 Fax: (920) 893-3250 mitch@bwoinsurance.com

Mr. Jon M. Strom Image of Wisconsin PO Box 600 St. Germain, WI 54558 Phone: (920) 723-1209 Fax: (715) 542-2443 jon@imageofwi.com

Ms. Lacey Endres, CIC Secretary M3 Insurance, Inc. 828 John Nolan Dr. Madison, WI 53713 Phone: (608) 288-2874 Fax: (608) 273-8873 lacey.endres@m3ins.com

JULY 2021

Ms. Ann Linstroth, CISR, PWCAM Fidelis Insurance Services 4060 N. Main St. Ste 108 Racine, WI 54302 Phone: (262) 456-0521 Fax: (262) 583-0729 annl@trustfidelis.com

CISR Personal Residential Webinar (7 WI CE)


Twelve PIAW Webinars (1 & 3 WI CE Options)


CISR Commercial Casualty II Webinar (7 WI CE)


CISR Elements of Risk Management Madison (7 WI CE)


CISR Personal Lines Miscellaneous Webinar (7 WI CE)


Twelve PIAW Webinars (1 & 3 WI CE Options)


CISR Commercial Casualty I Webinar (7 WI CE) CPIA 2 Webinar (7 WI CE)



CISR Agency Operations Webinar (7 WI CE)


CIC Commercial Property Webinar (16 WI CE)


CPIA 1 Classroom / Green Bay (7 WI CE)


[Continued from page 13 - OCI Administrative Actions...] related to insurance marketing type conduct; being involved in lawsuits containing allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, misappropriation, or breach of fiduciary duty; having a conditional license in his resident state; and failing to disclose administrative actions and lawsuits on a licensing application. Corinthian Preston, 5321 Suncatcher Dr., Wesley Chapel, FL 33545, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of California, Washington, Alabama, Nebraska, and Indiana. Corinthian Preston, 5321 Suncatcher Dr., Wesley Chapel, FL 33545, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to comply with a forfeiture order. Jakeb Rasnake, 9925 Spring Lake Dr., Clermont, FL 34711, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of North Carolina, Alabama, and Nebraska.

signing consumer names on insurance documents. These actions were taken based on allegations of improperly signing an insured's name to change of agent request forms. Alexander Stout, 5206 Timberview Ter., Orlando, FL 32819, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay a required fee. Takara L. Thompkins, 19411 Harlow St., Detroit, MI 48235, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of Washington, Mississippi, Illinois, and Louisiana. Takara L. Thompkins, 19411 Harlow St., Detroit, MI 48235, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to comply with a forfeiture order. Yolanda D. Woods, 3332 N 12th St., Milwaukee, WI 53206, had her insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay a required fee.

Jakeb Rasnake, 9925 Spring Lake Dr., Clermont, FL 34711, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to comply with a forfeiture order. John R. Rosencrans, N2699 State Rd. 67, Williams Bay, WI 53191, had his application for an insurance license denied. This action was taken based on allegations of having criminal convictions and charges that may be substantially related to insurance marketing type conduct; owing delinquent child support; and providing incomplete information on a licensing application. Robert Ryan, 208 S 3rd St., Delavan, WI 53115, had his insurance license revoked. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to pay a required fee. Michael Sanchez, 9814 Balboa Island, San Antonio, TX 78245, was ordered to pay a forfeiture of $500.00. This action was taken based on allegations of failing to timely disclose to OCI administrative actions taken by the states of South Dakota, Louisiana, and Florida. Thomas J. Smith, 8939 N Shore Dr, Amherst Junction, WI 54407, agreed to pay a forfeiture of $500.00 and agreed to cease and desist



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Profile for Professional Insurance Agents of Wisconsin

PIAW July_August 2021 Magazine  


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