The Wedge Group - September 2018

DELIVERY TRUCKS ARE DRIVING INTO THE FUTURE SPENDING MILLIONS TO BUILD AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

The trailblazer of futuristic American TV shows, “The Jetsons” first aired in September 1962. Set a whole century in the future in 2062, this show offered viewers a compelling and desirable image of everyday life in the 21st century. The characters interacted with robots that cleaned their house, selected their clothes, and even styled their hair, but the automation that viewers tend to remember most is George Jetson’s flying car. While we may still be another century away from flying to work, companies are making a lot of headway when it comes to automotive automation. In 2016, Uber partnered with Otto to build the first autonomous delivery truck. The truck, outfitted with $30,000 of additional hardware and software, transported 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer for 120 miles from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The trip’s success sparked an innovation wildfire, inspiring companies like Starship

several weeks, chapters will be discussed. You might consider this more of a training session than a sales meeting. The book review should happen monthly for about 60 minutes. THE SWAT TEAM MEETING This is designed to eliminate the incumbent on the upcoming sales call that a producer has scheduled. This is the most impactful meeting. We have our own term for this kind of meeting: the CRISP (Continuous and Rapid Improvement Sales Process) sales meeting. This needs to happen weekly, particularly if you have a lot of new producers. If you have a lot of mature producers, you may only need to have it every other week. To really know exactly how often and for how long your meetings need to take place, you have to go back to the philosophy of your agency. Is your agency already a high- growth agency? Technology, Nuro, Robomart, Alibaba, and Boxbot to spend millions and even billions of dollars to build their own autonomous delivery trucks. The Otto technology used within these trucks is unique in that it offers true Level 4 autonomy, meaning that as long as the vehicle pedestrians, four-way stops, or kids on bikes, for example — it has no trouble navigating. The driver just engages the software and lets the computer do the rest. While these delivery trucks have a lot of benefits, many people are worried that this invention could put a lot of drivers out of work. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. According to the American Trucking Association, the U.S. has a staggering shortage of drivers. In 2015, the deficit reached 48,000 drivers and may grow to 175,000 in the next six years. Should stays on well-marked highways with no variables — jaywalking

autonomous technology continue to advance, that deficit may exponentially decrease. And as with other AI inventions — such as Pizza Hut’s and Walmart’s replacement of human employees with robots — the utilization of autonomous delivery trucks will not only increase the efficiency of getting customers their products, but it will also cut down businesses’ spending costs, which in turn lowers prices for customers. So while we may not be able to ride as stylishly as George Jetson for a few more decades, when it comes to building a flying car, these new trucks are definitely a driving force.

HOW OFTEN, AND FOR HOW LONG? SALES MEETINGS 101

There are different kinds of insurance sales meetings. They break down like this:

THE TOWN HALL MEETING The agency owner calls in all the troops and gives a town hall speech and gets some questions from the crowd. It’s not really a sales meeting; it’s more of a communications meeting, but since salespeople are there you can consider it relevant to sales. You should have this kind of meeting about once a quarter. THE SPREADSHEET LIARS’ CLUB MEETING This is where you pull out the spreadsheets and ask producers about the accounts in their pipeline and potential to close. These are great for accountability, but remember, they’re called Liars’ Club meetings for a reason. Have as needed. THE FLAVOR OF THE MONTH SALES MEETING A new book is handed out to all producers to read and study. Over the next

If not, do you have the desire to grow your agency, write a lot of new business and aim to expand your producers' ability to write bigger accounts? If the answer is yes, then CRISP sales meetings are that much more crucial. They are essential to helping producers improve their ability to win business. You should consistently conduct these meetings in small groups of about five to seven producers at least twice a month for 90 minutes each.

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