Agent Link February 2019

AGENT LINK To empower those who change lives for the better

FEBRUARY 2019

THE RESULTS OUR CLIENTS ARE GETTING Taking You to the Next Level in 3 Easy, Powerful Steps

Recently, we had the pleasure of catching up with one of our favorite clients: Danny. (Okay, to be honest, that’s like choosing a favorite child — all of our clients are our favorite.) As we’ve said before, we follow up with our clients at each point in their campaign to find out how it’s going. Danny said that before Agent Link, he never had the results he’s getting now. “There’s no comparison,” Danny said about working with other companies. “I’ve been using Agent Link for over five years and have never been disappointed, not in one single campaign. Your entire team is top-notch.” This made us feel good of course, but we have to give Danny some credit. One of the reasons he’s had so much success with our services is the strong system he has in place to build agents up and help them find success in their roles. Because Danny knows his audience well, his system addresses the most critical challenges producers face. In addition, he has sales support, consistent follow-up, and concrete marketing — all the building blocks of a successful BGA. It’s a winning combination, but like so many of you, Danny still struggled to connect with consistent, quality leads.That’s where Agent Link comes in. Danny already brings a lot to the table in terms of value to an agent, and he’s really delivering on that proposition. How do we contribute to that momentum? At Agent Link, we use analytics and our honed instinct to match Danny with agents who are going to thrive at his organization.

2. Craft a home-run narrative. This communicates the great value Danny brings to the table that will resonate with producers. 3. Deploy our wonderful team of Producer Liaisons. We leverage existing connections and make introductions for Danny. Our clients — people like Danny — are the reason we love our jobs. It’s that simple. Hearing that we’ve helped a BGA or IMO connect with motivated producers and made a match on both ends communicates to us that we’re accomplishing the vision we set out with when we started Agent Link: helping people.

For us, the key is taking the time to really understand what type of agent is a good fit for our client so we can target and attract them. We have to understand both sides of the equation to achieve results — we understand the needs of our clients, the needs of BGAs and IMOs like Danny’s, and the needs of independent agents in a specific market. Based on these building blocks, we help elevate what he is doing well and take that foundation to the next level by targeting and attracting higher quality agents with three easy and powerful steps. 1. Create a producer profile for Danny. We answer the question, “Who is going to be the right fit?”

-Senia Gramajo

1 +800 535 4545

Now, Not Later A survey by Paychex recently found that 68 percent of small-business leaders remain unworried about their digital security. If you need proof, you can just look at the passwords they and their employees use. According to SecureAuth, a staggering 81 percent of Americans use the same passwords for multiple accounts, the majority of which are unimaginative old standbys like “1234567,” “qwerty,” and “password.” These trends, compounded by the fact that passwords generally aren’t very airtight, turn the typical login and password combination into a paper shield for hackers. Even stronger passwords that include multiple uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and other characters often only take a few hours to crack with an advanced brute-force tool. Once they’re cracked, they’re often posted on the darknet or sold to the highest bidder. Here’s where two-factor authentication (2FA) comes in. 2FA forces users to input more than one field of identification to access their account. If you’ve ever used your PIN at an ATM, you’ve already used 2FA, but many other forms exist. When logging into your email, Google can send an alert to your phone that includes a login number, which you type on your PC to gain access to your account. Banks often couple passwords with one of your security questions. Whatever the tactic, it’s much sturdier than your average password. It’s still not foolproof, but it’s an excellent first-line defense against hackers. However, implementing 2FA into your own business isn’t the easiest proposition. You’ll either need to create a custom solution — a big headache that may not be worth it for your small business — or hire a technical company suited for the job. This doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s worth noting, though, that whenever you bring in an outside party, it’s a potential failure point for your cybersecurity. It’s vital to vet them properly and ensure they practice what they preach. 2FA can’t be the beginning and end of your cybersecurity strategy, but consider it a large first step toward protecting your livelihood. Trust us — when the digital wolves come knocking at your door, you’ll be glad you installed the door in the first place. WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO IMPLEMENT TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION

O ver the last 10 years, Agent Link has worked with hundreds of Carriers, BDs, and BGAs to help them grow their distribution of independent agents/advisors. In the process, we have come across so many stories from IMOs seeking to raise their production and override commissions that are from producers themselves interacting with groups that are seeking to bring them on board under their distribution channel. In our continuous effort to understand the challenges of each audience, we’ve asked BGAs/IMOs what their biggest challenge is when it comes to expanding distribution.The following graph shows our findings.

As you can see, the majority reports that getting in front of agents isn’t the biggest challenge; it’s getting producers to write business — even more so than contracting.This inevitably reminds us of the concept of a funnel — the Agent Recruitment and Activation Funnel. It’s wide at the top with many prospects at first; some describe generating hundreds of leads from promotional actions such as emails, webinars, and phone calls. But the funnel gets constrained and narrow at the bottom. Only a small number of producers are even qualified for your opportunity. Too few end

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Based on Real Agent Recruitment Events Journey to the Center of the Funnel

The subject of being open to new relationships with IMOs and carriers has very much been a topic of our research for nine years; the amount of data we have compiled is great. Such insight allows us to help our clients better communicate their value proposition so that they not only attract the right type of producers into their funnel, but also end up traveling a full journey — not one that just goes to the center of the funnel, but one that descends down to contracting and taking action in writing business. We hope you join us for the second part of this article, as we continue sharing further statistics and insight regarding this. In the meantime, we invite you to take our Recruitment and Activation Funnel Analysis and discover immediately how you stack up against other organizations. Whether you are open to working with us or not, this may point to areas that need attention, and it could show you areas of upside potential. Try your own Funnel Analysis today at agentlinkmarketing.com/funnel-analysis

up contracted and writing business repeatedly.The survey results are also telling — many producers are making the journey to the center of this recruiting funnel, but they’re not descending all the way down to the bottom — the BGA’s target. The question is why? What are the factors that can most effectively influence producers to take action? How can recruiters elicit more contracting? How can the company obtain more production out of those advisors they are seeking to help? Our analysis clearly points to two main culprits in this riddle. One is either dealing with the wrong type of traffic — the wrong type of agents — going into the funnel, while the other is dealing with a large “leak” in the process. It’s one or the other. Organizations that have both problems will find it hard to thrive in business. Covering up for this critical issue is the fact that some companies’ revenue continues with much of the weight being carried on the shoulders of a small percentage of producers continuing to do well. But the same issue remains: How can one get more out of the funnel? What is the actual cost of acquiring an agent or advisor who actively writes business? To answer this question, we’ll travel to the center of a funnel and take a look from the point of view of a producer.

-Stu Gramajo

VALENTINE’S DAY HUMOR!

What many recruiters do not thoroughly understand is that it can take up to 12 positive interactions before a qualified producer decides to move forward and write business through a new distribution channel. Agent Link just completed a survey with 1,500 producers and advisors around the U.S., and one of the things we asked producers is how many active BGA relationships they already had. We also asked on a subjective scale from 1 to 10 how happy they felt with their current upline.

3 +800 535 4545

www.agentlinkmarketing.com 800 535 4545

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INSIDE

1. What Our Clients Are Saying

2. 2FA Is Essential to Business Security 3. Journey to the Center of the Funnel

Have a Laugh

4. Book Review: ‘Do the Work’

‘Do the Work’

Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way

Compared to its predecessor, “Do the Work” is a quick read.Though it’s less than 100 pages, what this guide lacks in length it makes up for in specificity and approachability.The book is laser-focused on helping anyone who is undertaking creative endeavors to identify their own resistances and overcome them. Combined with Pressfield’s no-nonsense delivery, every page is filled with the distilled, biting wisdom of a man wholly dedicated to his craft. Pressfield manages to strike a tone that is stern, humorous, cynical, and at times even whimsical without missing a beat. You can feel the author smirking at you through the page when he tells you, “Stay stupid. Follow your unconventional, crazy heart.”He dares you to pick your pen back up and return to your drawing board. “Do the Work” crackles with the tempered passion and biting wit of a learned master. If you’re looking to reignite your creative spark, “Do the Work” needs to be a permanent fixture on your nightstand.

Few modern authors have a resume as colorful or textured as Steven Pressfield. A graduate of Duke University, the best- selling author served in the Marine Corps, drove tractor trailers, taught school children, and worked as an oil field roustabout — all before penning his first published work. Having struggled as a writer for 17 years before seeing his first paycheck, it’s no surprise that Pressfield has plenty of wisdom to share when it comes to making long-term dreams a reality. Pressfield first addressed the challenges aspiring artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes face in “The War of Art.”This guidebook lays out Pressfield’s core philosophy that a creator is their own greatest enemy. It’s in this work that he first coined his idea of “resistance,” Pressfield’s word for the self- defeatist attitude that causes so many great ideas to be left on the drawing board. “Do the Work” is a follow up to it, prescribing Pressfield’s antidote to resistance — you guessed it: doing the work.

DO THE WORK

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