Agent Link - June 2020

JUNE 2020

in $10,000 in commission. His agents are continuing to sell through video calls, and they had the whole process set up and ready to go very quickly. Cases are being issued in 1–3 days, and they are doing really well. By not only assessing the threat but also leveraging it, Danny has continued to see great results. He is just one example of the opportunities we will bring producers through Producer Sensei. If you have a great opportunity for agents like Danny does, we will help you get in front of them through Producer Sensei. We’ve also been inspired by carriers who have taken it upon themselves to accelerate the underwriting line. We see you rising to the occasion, and it is inspiring us to do more. Inside this edition, we give you an in-depth look at Producer Sensei and how this platform will provide new and better opportunities for you. Turn the page to read more! We can’t wait to see what you think! To finding the opportunities, 1 +800 535 4545 -Stu and Senia Gramajo INSIDE 1. Giving You a First Look at Our Exciting New Initiative 2. Care for a Pepsi, Comrade? 2. Why Strategic Branding Is Crucial to Your Success 2. The Secret to Leading in a Crisis 3. You Don’t Want to Miss Out on Producer Sensei 6. Your Guide to the Perfect Virtual Happy Hour

A Brand-New Channel to Reach Producers

and a wealth of other resources. Calling on the success of last year’s Top Producer Summit and inspired by the thousands of producers we talk to, as well as our innovative clients, Producer Sensei is a dynamic platform available on- demand to producers who are ready for better. At the same time, our platform will connect producers with you . It will connect producers with the most experienced, innovative professionals in the industry who have found opportunities that exist even in a quickly shifting environment — people like our client Danny. Danny, who is in the life insurance market, managed to turn his situation around quickly following the pandemic. Danny manages close to 200 agents, and he quickly trained them all on video calls and how to make virtual appointments successful with prospects and clients. With this training, his agents continued to close business. He helped an agent close a $2-million case on a video call. It brought in over $200,000 in commission. On another video call, an agent closed a $50,000 case that brought

Last month, we shared the benefits of the SWOT method in helping an organization assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to make informed decisions. Well, undertaking the process for ourselves uncovered an incredible opportunity that we are so excited to share with you. As you know, our purpose is empowering agents to change lives for the better. Analyzing our work through the SWOT lens, we realized there is even more we could do to carry out this purpose.The result of our analysis led us to create a brand-new initiative to help our clients connect with agents and empower agents in the process: Producer Sensei . Producer Sensei is a powerful new platform that will equip producers with knowledge and connect them to opportunities. Something we hear from producers all the time is that they want to learn more — they want the knowledge, the know-how, and the industry secrets to better serve their clients. Producer Sensei provides that knowledge through free marketing training

Stand Out From the How You Can Leverage You Can you think about Nike without picturing the company’s trademark swoosh or a Mac without seeing the silhouette of an apple with a bite missing? When done well, a company’s name, symbol, or design — their branding — becomes synonymous with who they are, and that’s exactly the way it should be. At that point, it’s not just about a logo anymore. People begin to have an emotional connection with your organization through your brand. Branding is how people get to know your organization and begin to associate you with a specific service and standard of excellence, and strategic branding is the specific, long-term plan you’ll carry out through the evolution of your company. Here are a few reasons it’s worth investing some time to put that plan in place. Strategic branding brings in new business. Once a few people begin to recognize your brand, the power of referrals starts to take over. Your agency becomes recognizable and holds word-of-mouth power. People begin to tell others about you, and you get more and more brand recognition — resulting in more business. Strategic branding builds trust within your industry. Think about Apple again: When you buy a Mac computer, you do so because you are familiar with the brand and know the standard

History of the Pepsi Fleet

Coke or Pepsi? This is one of the oldest brand wars in the world, but these days, most of us are willing to settle for whichever soda is available. But if you happened to be in the Soviet Union during the 1980s, Pepsi was the soda of choice.The Soviets loved Pepsi so much that they were willing to make PepsiCo a naval superpower in order to get more of that refreshing, sugary beverage. In 1972, PepsiCo secured a deal to sell Pepsi syrup to the USSR, where it would be bottled locally. Not only did this deal make Pepsi the first Western product to be sold in the USSR, but it also locked The Coca-Cola Company out of the market, giving PepsiCo a monopoly. But before the deal could be finalized, the Soviets needed to figure out how to pay for the cola syrup. Rubles, the Soviet currency, were worthless internationally. To get around this, the Soviets traded PepsiCo Stolichnaya vodka in exchange for the cola.This deal was great for both parties until the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and the United States boycotted Soviet products, including vodka. If the USSR wanted to keep its supply of sweet cola, then they would need to give PepsiCo something else.That’s when the Soviets offered up part of their naval fleet. In exchange for $3 billion worth of Pepsi, the Soviet Union traded 17 submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer.This trade made PepsiCo the sixth most powerful naval military in the world.The deal was reported in a 1989 New York Times article, which included a quote from the CEO of PepsiCo to the United States’ national security advisor: “We're disarming the Soviet Union faster than you are.” PepsiCo quickly sold the fleet to a Swedish company for scrap recycling, but for a few days, Pepsi had the potential to become the ultimate victor in the cola wars. 2 How Pepsi Became the World’s Sixth Largest Navy

‘The Agony of Decisi When business coach and scholar Helio Fred Garcia published “The Agony of Decision: Mental Readiness and Leadership in a Crisis” back in 2017, he had no way of knowing that a pandemic would break out just three Unsure of Business T

years later. Now, his book about how to make tough calls under pressure is more relevant than ever for entrepreneurs.

“The Agony of Decision” teaches that when your company is on the line, it’s quick thinking — more than smooth communication, effective execution, or even expertise — that can save it.The book offers a framework to guide you through the decision-making process, helping you identify and weigh each outcome, then choose the right one. Answer that first big question, Garcia teaches, and the rest of the tumblers will click into place, allowing you to lead your company forward.To prove it, he weaves his personal experiences and decision-making scaffolding with notable stories of past business failures and successes.

We Are Launching a Platform for Empowerment Producer Sensei Has the Tools, Training, and Resources to Get You the Results You Want

speakers willing to share their insight with independent insurance and financial service professionals.The speakers are true stars in this industry who are making a difference, and upon connecting with each of them, we were humbled by how willing they were to share their hard-earned know-how to help other agents and financial advisors. The collaborative event brought fresh strategies and insight into marketing trends from featured speakers like John Bellamy, international LinkedIn coach; Tyler Norton, CEO and strategic planning specialist; and Manuel Suárez, master of social media marketing. We gathered these top producers, mentors, and coaches with the professionals seeking their guidance for a powerful event intended to make a lasting impact in our industry.Through it all, the theme circled back to how an individual agent can make a difference. The Top Producer Summit received great press coverage, and even more importantly, it was incredibly encouraging and inspiring to see so many producers attend the event. After the summit, and encouraged by all the positive feedback and powerful testimonies we received, we wondered how we could make this an ongoing event so that more people in our industry could have continuous access to the tools, resources, and training they need to be successful. If this single event helped so many people, how could we find a way to share it with others? As is often the case, it wasn’t until we had some hindsight — and used the powerful SWOT analysis — that we clearly saw the opportunity available to empower more agents and organizations in our industry. If we created a platform where the knowledge and expertise brought together by the Top Producer Summit could be housed, we would be able to reach more agents and help more organizations connect with them. We could empower more people to change lives for the better. It was a new realization of our purpose. This year, as we began to think about our purpose, it all came together. After doing a SWOT analysis, it was clear there was an opportunity here to do better and to do more for the people in our industry. Producer Sensei was born.

As we shared on the cover, we are so excited to introduce you to our new initiative that’s going to empower producers and organizations to achieve greater success so they can change lives for the better. Called Producer Sensei, this resource is a growing source of knowledge, connection, and empowerment for producers who want to better their practice and organizations that want to help them do that. When we thought about how to describe our new initiative, the word “sensei” came to mind immediately. In Japanese, sensei means “one who has gone before.” A sensei can be a teacher or guide, but the shared characteristic is someone who has gone before and has the knowledge to share with others. Sensei communicates right away that this platform is about knowledge — and as we all know, knowledge is power. Calling upon other leaders in our industry, Producer Sensei shares the secrets, systems, and know-how of those who have gone before so producers can access the guidance and resources they need. The Beginning of Producer Sensei

Coming off of the success of our Top Producer Summit last summer, we felt inspired by the powerful knowledge exchange that happened.The summit brought together knowledgeable


What Makes Producer Sensei a Game-Changing Platform When we talk to producers, what we hear all the time is that they need more resources — they want the secrets, knowledge, and systems that are making top producers so successful. So that’s what we set out to build in Producer Sensei. Producer Sensei is a trifecta of knowledge. It contains: 1. The secrets , 2. The know-how, 3. And the systems that the top producers out there are having great success with. For producers who want to take a look under the hood and understand how they can do the same thing as producers who are coming out on top, we provide an inside look at industry knowledge. By partnering with top producers and top organizations, we provide the knowledge and training that producers seek. One of the things we set out to make immediately available through Producer Sensei is free marketing training. We’ve put together videos, reports, trends, and more to help agents succeed. On Producer Sensei, agents will find: • Marketing training, including “Marketing Fundamentals: How to Make Promotion Effective” • Marketing analysis • Online assessment that allows agents to evaluate the state of their sales and marketing funnel Built into Produce Sensei are the tools and resources that producers need to reach the top in their industry.There is currently an entire free marketing training video on the site, and that’s only the beginning.

Even better, by partnering with top organizations like you, we connect producers to the organizations and agencies that will allow them to apply that training and knowledge in order to improve everyone’s results. Why You’ll Fall in LoveWith Producer Sensei We know you have a lot to offer producers. We also know that it’s not always easy to get in front of the right ones who will write business in your channel. That’s where Producer Sensei will be a game changer. Producer Sensei will be a meeting place for your knowledge and expertise and the producers you seek. It will house the information and guidance they are looking for, and it will put your organization at the forefront of the producers you would love to connect with. We want to open up this platform so there is opportunity for carriers and organizations who want to come on board with us to empower agents. By making your industry insights and knowledge available to agents, Producer Sensei will become a powerful way to connect with motivated, driven agents so everyone wins. Bringing You the Great Results ofThis Next Step in Our Journey Agent Link was born out of one purpose: empowering those who can change lives for the better. It was after a family tragedy that Senia and Stu learned the power of proper planning and having a life insurance policy. Since then, Agent Link has made its mission to connect those who provide these life-changing services with the organizations who will facilitate them. Producer Sensei is the next exciting venture from the innovative duo who brought you Agent Link. Explore the game-changing platform for yourself at

4 +800 535 4545 -Stu Gramajo

he Competition With Strategic Branding

ur Brand for Better Results

Strategic branding helps you build an emotional connection with your audience. Branding isn’t just a great design or standout logo — it’s also the intangible way people feel about your organization. When it comes time for someone to make a purchasing decision, that emotional connection will win out. By putting some time and thought into your brand, you can develop a brand strategy that keeps you ahead of the competition.

of quality it represents.The same is true for organizations that build brand recognition. Others in the industry recognize your expertise in your specific area and turn to you for it. Strategic branding supports your other marketing efforts. When you have a great logo or design, it’s easy to make everything else — social media, email marketing, direct mail — look more professional and trustworthy. Your branding creates cohesiveness within your organization. People begin to recognize your unique branding and associate it with your purpose. As a result, branding can also have a positive impact on team members, who feel they are part of an established, respected company.

f How to Lead Your Through a Crisis?


ion’ Has Answers As one Amazon reviewer writes, “Helio Fred Garcia provides a thorough discussion of the do’s and don'ts of crisis response with both current and historical events (remember Exxon Valdez or Tylenol?) that clearly demonstrate the right way to respond … and the gateway to disaster.” With more than 30 years of experience mentoring massive international companies and nurturing business leaders at top American universities under his belt, Garcia is the perfect person to give voice to these tough lessons. His prose is self-assured, knowledgeable, and easy to read, which makes “The Agony of Decision” a surprisingly comforting book for an entrepreneur going through hardship.There’s a reason BookAuthority named it one of their best crisis management books of all time! In the last few months, the coronavirus has proven to be the ultimate test of crisis management. If you’re in the process of figuring out how to lead your business effectively through the turbulence and could use a decision-making toolkit to help you when the phone rings with bad news, “The Agony of Decision” might be your ideal summer read.

5 +800 535 4545 800 535 4545

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Your Guide to the Perfect Virtual Happy Hour It’s Time to Raise a Glass!

downloaded it and encourage your buddies to do a test run to ensure they can be seen and heard. 2. Theme it up. Every party is better with a theme, and VHH is no exception! Considering the decade, Roaring ‘20s is a popular choice, but you can go with whatever floats your friend group’s boat, whether that’s Kentucky Derby or “Harry Potter” (alcoholic butterbeer, anyone?). 3. Write your menu. While you could just drink whatever beer or half- open bottle of wine is sitting in your respective refrigerators, where’s the fun in that? To really class up your VHH, chat with your friends about the ingredients you all have on hand and come up with a themed cocktail menu to “order” from on the big night. 4. Dress to the nines. Since you’re in the privacy of your own home, you can try out your wackiest, fanciest outfits without public judgment. If you’ve always wanted to try on a Roaring ‘20s flapper dress or a Roman toga, now is the time! Remember, if you go with the “Harry Potter” theme, your bathrobe could easily pass as a wizard’s robe in a pinch. 5. Drink! You’ve planned perfectly, so now it’s time to enjoy each other’s company. Plus, there’s one final perk: Since you’re drinking and giggling on your own couch, you don’t need to worry about a designated driver or an Uber to get you the handful of steps to your bedroom. You’ve got this!

If you can’t see your friends in person to

clink wine glasses or whiskey tumblers, never fear: A virtual happy hour can bring all of your closest pals right into your living room.The concept is simple. Using online meetup programs like Google Hangouts, Zoom, or FaceTime, you can drink with friends across the country without leaving home. If you don’t want to get out of your sweatpants but want to sip a classy cocktail, this is a win-win. But, you can also ditch the sweats and go all-out for the full virtual happy hour (VHH) experience. Here are five short steps to VHH success. 1. Pick your platform. In the days leading up to your VHH, your friends need to agree on a single platform. Once you choose, make sure everyone has


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