Agent Link- March 2020

MARCH 2020

broker-dealer for many years.This top-level planner recently came up against a case that underwriting wouldn’t approve. So he turned around and asked his peers in the office, “Who would you use in such a situation?”They referred him to an IMO that specializes in sophisticated life cases. One of their primary target markets? Planners and advisors. What looked like an easy new client for this IMO actually involved a lot of work that came before.They earned their position to be first in line for that call. As this example reveals, there is a way to be more strategic and effective when it comes to promoting your company and services to top- level producers and advisors. Jumping in where we left off last month, we’ll introduce you to the second of our three game- changing strategies inside this edition . Turn the page to find out the steps required to truly win at the process of client acquisition. 1 +800 535 4545 -Senia and Stu Gramajo INSIDE 1. Getting to the Heart of Producer Acquisition 2. Would You Like Some Pi? The Role of the Chief Marketing Officer 3. Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams to Work Together for Success 4. How Your Vibes Affect Your Business

The Relationship Makes the Difference Producer Acquisition

New top producers are not going to take action and come under your distribution channel unless they like and trust your company. Because it takes time to build trust, the best time to build your company brand and initiate a new client relationship is at least a couple of years before your services are needed. When you and your marketing team do a great job, your company is the first call when producers are ready to take action. If you’re frantically marketing exclusively to those who need your service right now, you are too late. You might capture some of the “low- hanging fruit,” but you won’t get the quality leads you’re looking for. To build a sound and consistently successful marketing strategy, you must switch your mindset from a tactical approach (thinking only in the present) to a strategic approach — planning both for today and well into tomorrow. A little while ago, we interviewed a top-level planner who has been with an insurance-based

You’re an experienced professional in this industry, so you’ve probably noticed the same sad reality that we have: The majority of marketing falls on deaf ears. People in our industry are bombarded with literature, emails, and ads, and often, those marketing messages only speak to a very small segment of the real market: active producers who have a need now . Because of this, most of what goes out to them fails to build any sort of relationship. As is often the case in the acquisition of top-level producers, the relationship makes the difference between being a client’s first choice and fighting it out with your competitors. When you truly connect with a client and build a relationship with them before they need you, they will seek you out when they have that advanced case they need help with, when their other upline cannot get their case through underwriting, or when they get tired of not getting enough marketing support with their upline and need a change. It's a matter of trust.

Another Slice of Pi(e)

A Match Ma How Sales and Marketing

The Sweetest Ways to Celebrate Pi Day

Break out your calculators and grab your aprons because it’s almost Pi Day! This holiday has gained popularity among mathematicians and bakers alike — two groups that rarely overlap. Pi Day is March 14, which, when written numerically, is 3/14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi. Pi is special because it’s used to calculate the circumference of a circle.This might not sound like a big deal, but pi is used in engineering, construction, GPS, motors, power generation, and even television! If we hadn’t calculated pi, none of these achievements would be possible. Pi is pretty important, and it’s definitely worth celebrating! Here are two ways you can Pi has fascinated mathematicians for centuries because it’s an irrational number, meaning the digits go on forever. If you want to try your hand at memorizing some of the numbers, here are the first 50 decimal digits of pi (with spaces, so they’re easier to remember!). 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510 To make things simple, we often round pi up to 3.14, but many people have challenged themselves to memorize and recite as many digits as possible. In the Guinness Book of World Records, the record is currently held by Rajveer Meena, who recited pi to the 70,000th digit on March 21, 2015. And he did it all while blindfolded! Eat Some Pie Another popular way to enjoy Pi Day is to bake and eat pie.This dessert is perfect because it’s both a homophone (same pronunciation as “pi” but with a different spelling and meaning) and a circle. Challenge your friends to a pie- baking contest, or buy your favorite pie from the store and have a pie- eating contest. And, while this may be a controversial stance, we believe pizza pie deserves a place in Pi Day celebrations, too. Here’s to Pi Day: the tastiest, nerdiest holiday of the year! get in on the fun. Learn to Recite Pi

3 Influential Functi Over the last few years, the role of a chief marketing officer (CMO) has changed and evolved with the digital landscape, and some companies are even choosing to do away with the position altogether. Those that do risk missing out on an influential, guiding role within an organization. Here are three of the prime roles that a CMO plays within an organization that greatly influence the success of marketing and growth as a whole. Client Champion Adept CMOs know their clients inside and out.They use this understanding, built from data and analytics, to drive the customer experience and define what a customer will feel when they interact with and think of your company.This knowledge is crucial to marketing success. Because the funnel is not as fluid as it once was, a skilled CMO can help champion how and when a prospect enters it and make sure a company connects with them from there. In addition, data insight from a CMO can help build out the metrics that sales and marketing teams rely on to work together. Chief Storyteller This is a role that should not be underestimated. As a study conducted by Deloitte and featured in The Wall Street Journal highlighted, a The Role o


e in Business

an Work Hand in Hand to Maximize Results

1. Lack of communication 2. Broken or flawed processes 3. The pursuit of different metrics

Anyone who’s worked on a sales team can likely relate to the frustration of feeling like your marketing team is sending over leads that aren’t hot. On the flip side, anyone who’s worked in marketing has probably felt the frustration of sending over great leads to the sales team, only to have them fall through the cracks. While it often feels like the two departments are at odds, a solid sales team and marketing team are two parts of the same puzzle. By working together, they can fuel growth and lead your business to success. Just look at some of the stats, like data fromMarketo and Reachforce research: By aligning their sales and marketing, businesses can become 67%better at closing deals. Getting these two parts of your business to work hand in hand closes a massive gap. So how do you begin to get these teams to see one another as friends? First of all, recognize that you’re in good company when tackling this challenge. According to statistics from HubSpot, 1 in 4 companies says their sales and marketing teams are misaligned or rarely aligned. Next, according to data from Demand Gen Report, there are three major obstacles you need to overcome to get sales and marketing aligned: ns CMO can and should lead campaigns that build brand awareness and relevancy.These define what clients see and invite them to interact with your company. When deployed successfully, these campaigns work for growth goals and, through trackable measures, increase revenue. Metric Mogul Perhaps one of the most important roles of a CMO is also the one that, when navigated successfully, will allow marketing and sales teams to work together to the benefit of the company. Working with the chief sales officer and/or sales leadership team, a CMO can define metrics that overlap between sales and marketing goals and drive growth. As a leader within a company, a CMO is in a dynamic and energetic position to have a positive impact on growth, and your best bet is to be there to support and guide them toward delivering maximum results. the CMO

To overcome these obstacles and align sales and marketing, the initiative must start with leadership. Leadership will be in the best position to break down some of the barriers to communication and develop processes that will streamline what sales and marketing do. In addition, leadership in both the sales and marketing teams can begin to communicate about which metrics need to change so they can better align with one another. Ultimately, it’s up to leadership to help both teams recognize that they’re working on the same goal. Sure, the way they go about it is slightly different: Marketing focuses on getting the sales team in front of agents. The sales team focuses on taking those leads marketing has brought in to close the deal and bring on quality agents who will write business. But ultimately, both teams want to secure new business, because that’s how everyone prospers.


3 +800 535 4545 800 535 4545

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Are You Vibing With Your Business? Boost Your Company’s Culture With ‘Five Frequencies’ The authors assert that leaders are, at every moment, transmitting signals to their team, whether intentionally or not. Teams take cues from those who lead them, so if leaders aren’t dialed into the frequencies they’re giving off, they could be transmitting troublesome signals. Instead, leaders should always be dialed into their “vibes” and be particularly aware of five specific frequencies: 1. Their decisions and actions 2. What they choose to reward and recognize 3. What they do and do not tolerate 4. The way they show up informally 5. How they compose formal communications “Five Frequencies” illustrates how correctly tuning into these frequencies can give leaders the tools they need to make bad culture good and good culture great. Full of tried-and-true examples from real companies around the globe, this guide proves that culture is not something tangible you can hold, nor is it a procedural element you can simply implement. It’s something people feel, and it’s built and explained by the behaviors that surround it.This means it can be difficult to manage, measure, and, most importantly, change. But if leaders take the time to look at themselves and the actions they exemplify, they’ll have a solid foundation to start.

If you dive deep into the tactics of successful businesses and startups, a common thread among them is that culture reigns king. More and more value is placed on fostering an uplifting atmosphere for employees, which allows them to generate better business.The general consensus says great culture is built over time and can take many tries in an attempt to get it “just right.” But one book suggests that you might not need to look very far to pinpoint the biggest influence behind company culture. In “Five Frequencies: Leadership Signals That Turn Culture Into Competitive Advantage,” a team of four authors compile their years of extensive experience working with companies to execute cohesive strategies for building effective culture. Jeff Grimshaw, Tanya Mann, Lynne Viscio, and Jennifer Landis have witnessed company cultures of every type be successful and fail.They concluded that culture doesn’t cultivate from the many but, rather, is affected by the few. In this case, the few are the leaders of the business.


Our Game-Changing Marketing Strategy No. 2: It Takes 12 Uncover the Treasure Chest Hidden in Plain Sight

isn’t necessarily doing anything significant to help them. It’s just another piece of promotion. Because I’ve been in sales, I can put myself in the shoes of the recruiter. I know that everything is riding on closing a prospect. A recruiter is focused on the question, “How can I get this prospect to take action now?”The recruiter is going to do their best to close a prospect as soon as possible. If the prospect isn’t ready at that time, the company tends to plug them into an automated marketing system and send prewritten emails from then on out. But to actually recruit quality producers, those actions alone don’t cut it. Move past auto mode. Automated marketing definitely has its place, but the realm of building relationships and trust is not the place for automation.

Before we jump into the second of our game-changing strategies, I need to ask you a very important question: Who is the person you trust most in the world? Think about them for a few seconds. Now, how long did it take to build that type of trust? As we all know, trust isn’t something that’s built overnight. But for some reason, in the sales world, we often expect it to be. When a recruiter reaches out to a prospect, they hope to establish that sort of trust almost immediately.They are focused on getting the prospect to contract and write business. Maybe they give them a call and follow up with a promotion from the agency.Then they wait, expecting the agent to come calling. But imagine that interaction through the eyes of the agent: Someone is trying to sell them something, and that someone

Give value without a contract: Focus on creating 12 positive interactions. The key to building this trust is 12 positive interactions. In our study, it quickly became evident that those BGAs and IMOs that were more proactive and systematic in their follow-up approaches with producers were more likely to be expanding and showing measurable indicators of success compared to the other BGAs that were exhibiting less frequent follow-up efforts or not following up at all. Consider the numbers: 80% of sales are made around the 10th interaction with a prospect, yet only 8% of salespeople are getting to that stage! There is so much opportunity there that people are letting go simply because they are not taking the time to get to the 10th, 11th, or 12th positive interaction. The multiple-contact model is especially relevant to agent recruitment. Most prospective producers who initiate contact with a BGA and who may be interested in the BGA’s value proposition may not necessarily have an existing piece of business that they’re looking to write and funnel through the BGA’s channel.This insight is simple, but it’s vitally important for the BGA to keep in mind. Furthermore, many of those producers who eventually decide to move forward and contract with an IMO do not have a specific case at that moment that they’re looking to place.Thus, because there often is no immediate contact, it becomes even more critical for the IMO to have a firm, tightly managed follow-up protocol in place. It is relatively easy to institute a system for responding to agent inquiries without requiring additional hires or the purchase of resources, and if marketing executives and recruiters were to execute on this concept, then efficiencies, closing, contracting, and producer activation would rise. And we believe it would rise significantly. Optimize the agent recruitment and producer activation funnel. While it’s not news that strong follow-up is essential to a growing business, the follow-up opportunity that exists in the field of agent recruitment and producer activation appears far greater than many of us in our industry ever imagined. If you’re as surprised as we were by these results, we encourage you to take a serious look at your own agent recruitment and follow-up system. It’s important to honestly evaluate what you’re doing well and where you could stand to improve. We’re here to help. Agent Link is ready with the predictive analytics and in-depth knowledge to help your organization claim the quality prospects that 80% of people are letting fall through the cracks. Give us a call and see what we can do for you. P.S. If you’d like to learn more about the results of our secret-shopper study and how they can inform a follow-up initiative, our e-book, “Agent Recruitment and Activation Secret Revealed: What Only 11% of BGAs and IMOs Understand, and How to Avoid Being Among the 89%” offers an in-depth look at the topic. Download your copy here: -Senia Gramajo

Mass emails are not the way to connect to a prospect and build a relationship. (You wouldn’t build a relationship with your future spouse with generic texts or flowers that trigger their allergies.) Your prospect may not be ready to write business today, tomorrow, or next month, but they may be ready in a year, and when the positive interactions haven’t happened, that producer is no longer a prospect for your company — they’ve found someone else who has put in the time to build trust with them. Hello? Is anybody out there? Imagine checking out a company’s website, reaching out for information, and never hearing back. If that happened, you obviously wouldn’t trust them and definitely wouldn’t do business with them. So why would a prospect do business with a company that behaves this way? You might think your recruiters are behaving differently, but when we conducted a secret-shopper survey of 164 different BGAs and IMOs, we found some startling results. As many as 53% of the BGAs our secret-shopper requested information from failed to contact us at all! In the words of the licensed agent who reached out to them: “Of course, there is a 0% chance of converting a prospective agent to a producing agent on your override statement if you fail to respond to their inquiry.” Only 47% of the BGAs responded to our request at least once, and only 26% of them actually used a telephone and called us back.The other 21% simply sent emails, many of which were automated. In addition, only 16% of them followed up with us on the same day we requested information. With these types of interactions, you can imagine what an agent on the other side is going through.They must feel like a lonely astronaut in space, wondering if anyone else is out there. How can I help you? To implement the interactions that will ultimately turn a prospect into a producing agent, you must start with a mindset shift. When it comes to how you view prospects, rather than looking for the potential value a prospect is adding, turn your focus toward how you can provide value to them. Rather than automated marketing, it takes sequences of valuable information that recruiters reach out to prospects with, such as a free report or webinar that actually tackles a challenge they are facing. In addition, these interactions must be consistent and positive to build trust. In the eyes of a prospect, they begin to see that a recruiter isn’t just focused on closing them but on delivering value to them.That’s what creates the trust factor. When those interactions happen consistently over time, the prospect begins to see the recruiter as someone they like and can trust.Then, when the agent has a pressing need, who will they think of? The person who took the time to build trust with them.

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