Agent Link- September 2019

AGENT LINK To empower those who change lives for the better

SEPT 2019

what support agents are looking for in their practice. Using tools from Stu’s extensive communication-focused training process, producer liaisons create the foundation for a successful match. Since Agent Link’s founding almost 10 years ago, the team has grown immensely. We’ve talked with over 150,000 insurance professionals and worked with hundreds of brokerage agencies, BD-affiliated organizations, and carriers. Predictive analytics have been revolutionary in terms of connecting BGAs and IMOs to the exact producers they seek. Our producer liaisons put this data to work to build a bridge between agents and the organizations they’ll thrive in. Happily, our solutions have gone beyond increasing activation and conversion rates: We’ve seen our clients find a renewed sense of purpose. At the end of the day, that’s why we’re here. INSIDE 1. Meet Agent Link’s Founders 2. The Proof Is in the Pudding Inside the No B.S. Guide to Referrals 3. How to Attract Millennials to Your Business 4. A Reading List for Real Success

MEET THE FOUNDERS Infusing Purpose Into the Industry

completely transforms your perspective,” Stu says. “You realize the power of having insurance and a financial plan,” adds Senia, who had already been working in the insurance industry for a number of years. “You understand what it means to have a quality producer in a crisis: It changes your life.” As a result of their experience, the two joined forces to co-found Agent Link. Fueled by their purpose to help insurance and financial services professionals and organizations achieve greater success to change people’s lives for the better, Senia and Stu have watched their business thrive. Recruitment and activation have always been the focal points. Stu’s extensive background in predictive analytics and data analysis equips him with the tools to improve efficiencies and solve the core issues many BGAs and IMOs face. Agent Link’s database of 1.6 million licensed agents — the most comprehensive in the industry — combined with marketing intelligence tools have given insurance marketing organizations the ability to zero in on the quality producers who are the right fit for them. “The way we look at it, we’re matchmakers,” Stu says. “In a sea of 1.6 million agents, we’re going to connect you to the quality producer who activates. It’s all about empowering people: our clients, producers, and consumers.” Predictive analytics, while important, couldn’t drive conversion and activation all on their own. Adding the human element of producer liaisons brought all the pieces together. Producer liaisons use their honed sales instinct and knack for relationship-building to discover

Earlier this summer, to accommodate growth, Agent Link expanded to a new office. (You may have noticed our new address.)There’s excitement in the air as we watch this growth take place.This event also coincides with another big milestone for Agent Link: 10 years since we began. As we near this milestone, we want to take a moment to step back and look at what’s led us here. After all, if you don’t know where you came from, you don’t know where you’re going. From day one, our founders Stu and Senia have strived to empower the industry by returning a sense of purpose to the people who work in it. Senia’s marketing and consulting experience in independent insurance distribution channels paired with Stu’s background in market research and business management have allowed them to deliver unparalleled results to their clients. Following an unexpected loss 10 years ago, Stu and Senia learned firsthand about the life- changing impact of insurance and financial services. “It was one of those events that

-Senia & Stu

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With our winning trifecta of predictive analytics, a vetted database, and the expertise of our producer liaisons, Agent Link delivers results. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what some of our clients have shared about their recent experiences with Agent Link. “We Had No Shortage of Qualified Agents.” After their recruitment campaign achieved its aims and all territories were filled with new producers, our friends at a national senior market IMO were wowed by their results.They had these words to share about what we delivered: "Agent Link provided us with a large number of qualified agents to speak to and recruit. We had no shortage of candidates to pitch our program to and hope to use them again in the future when we have more available territory." – C.S., national senior market IMO “Where Others Failed, You Guys Succeeded.” We heard back from this national annuity IMO after we provided them with top-level annuity producers in precise territories they wanted to fill. Here’s what they had to say about their results: "Where our other vendors had failed, you guys succeeded. What other companies couldn't pull off in terms of getting us big producers in open territories, you guys actually pulled it off." – J.S., national annuity IMO These are just a few examples of the results Agent Link delivers for our clients. After all, the proof is in the pudding. Agent Link Delivers Results The Proof Is in the Pudding

A Look Inside Dan Kennedy and S There are countless business books out there, each claiming to tell you the “best way to run your business” or the “key factor you’ve been No B.S. — Give It to

missing.” But Dan Kennedy and Shaun Buck’s “No B.S. Guide to Maximum Referrals and Customer Retention: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Securing New Customers and Maximum Profits” is among the most direct and helpful guides when it comes to growing your referral network. The “No B.S. Guide” uses a combination of case studies, examples, stories, and factual evidence to exemplify what has brought Kennedy and Buck their successes.The “No B.S. Guide” centers around two key strategies: retention and referrals. The authors buck the cold-call culture and offer up a long-term strategy for maximizing what you already have: relationship building. Stop relying on passive referrals, the authors implore. Their guide shows you how to create an active acquisition/referral network, gives you the steps to make it self-sufficient (yes, it’s really possible), and teaches you how to become a lead magnet. ISBN 13: 978-1-59918-584-2 ISBN 10: 1-59918-584-0 $17.95 Business /Marketing Coverdesignby David Shaw&AndrewWelyczko DanS.Kennedy is a strategic advisor, consultant,business coach and editor of six businessnewsletters.Hedirectly influencesmore than onemillionbusiness owners annually andhas a long track record of taking entrepreneurs to seven-figure incomes andmulti-millionairewealth. ShaunBuck is theCEO ofBoise, Idaho-basedTheNewsletterPro, the largest customprintnewsletter company in theworld—printing andmailingmillions of newsletters annually fordiverse industries all over the globe. Businessowners agree. The referred customer is far superior to the one brought in by ‘cold’advertising. Yetmostbusinessownerswill investmoremoney tofindnew customers than getting referrals from current,happy customers. MillionairemakerDan S.Kennedy and customer retention expert ShaunBuckdare you to stop chasingnew customers andkeep an iron cage around theones you alreadyhave. Kennedy andBuckpresent a systematic approach tohelp youkeep, cultivate, and multiply customers so that your entirebusiness growsmore valuable and sustainable, and you replace incomeuncertaintywith reliable income through retention and referrals. Learnhow to: • Apply the#1best retention strategy (hint: it’s exclusive) • Catch customers before they leave you • Grow each customer’s value (andhavemorepower in themarketplace) • Implement the three-step customer retention formula • Use otherpeople’s events to getmore referrals • Create your ownCustomerMultiplierSystem • Calculate themath and cost behind customer retention Discover the referral-getting, sales-increasing,battle-tested tacticsdesigned tohelp you build a thrivingbusiness for the long-term. FACT: NOTHING IS COSTLIER OR MORE DIFFICULT THAN GETTING A NEW CUSTOMER.

N MAX REFE & CUSTOM THE U NOHOL BARRE GUI SECUR CUST PLAN TO

Dan S. Kenne

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RECOGNITION, FLEXIBILITY, AND PURPOSE 3 Tips for Attracting Millennial Employees

should embrace modernity. Have the latest tech and tools for day-to-day operations, offer frequent opportunities for promotions and raises, avoid micromanagement, and give your young employees room to learn and grow. Create a Sense of Purpose More than anything, millennials are looking for some level of personal fulfillment — not just a paycheck. Create a brand story and work culture that expresses a greater purpose for prospective employees to get behind. Set high standards for the culture you want to create and maintain those standards. If you do this right, the talent you’re looking for will come to you. Just because millennials want more flexible work schedules and individual recognition doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to work hard. In fact, the opposite is true. By adapting your company culture to suit their lifestyle preferences, you can make sure your younger employees take an interest in your business and stick around.

You might have heard people call millennials lazy, entitled, and afraid of long-term commitments, but that trend is starting to shift.Today, businesses can’t afford to write off millennials because they actually make up a major percentage of the workforce. According to the Pew Research Center, there were 56 million millennials either working or looking for work in 2017, making up 35% of the labor force.When so much of the country’s available labor is part of one demographic, you must ask yourself this question: How do I get millennials to work for me? Cater to the Individual Millennials don’t want to be just another cog in the machine. They want to work somewhere that values their unique skills and lets them use those skills effectively. When seeking millennial talent for your company, highly specific job listings will attract exceptional employees. Once they’re on board, be sure to nurture their skill set. Give them a chance to grow with your company, and they’ll be sure to stick around. Ditch the 9-to-5 Standard Offering more flexible work hours is a start, but if you really want to attract millennials, then your entire work environment

Me Straight

aun Buck’s Ultimate Referral Guide In addition to giving it to you straight, Kennedy and Buck’s book is entertaining. After all, Kennedy is a legendary copywriter. Between the two of them, Kennedy and Buck have over 60 years of entrepreneurial experience. Kennedy served as a mentor to Buck, and, from that foundation, the idea for the book was born.

HAVE A LAUGH!

S . . MUM RALS R RETENTION TIMATE S E TO y & Shaun Buck MAXIMUM PROFITS AND NG NEW MERS

If you’re looking for soft, sugar-coated business advice, look elsewhere. But if you want straightforward, honest advice about securing new customers and growing your business, you need the “No B.S. Guide.” As Kim Walsh-Phillips, author and CEO of Elite Digital Group, says, “This is a must-read for any goal-driven business owner.” In our industry, we can’t afford to ignore the power of referrals. In the vast sea of independent agents, you can maximize and utilize your current relationships to grow your business and your profits. Check out the “No B.S. Guide to Maximum Referrals and Customer Retention: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Plan to Securing New Customers and Maximum Profits” to learn how to capture and profit from the power of referrals.

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BUILD A MILLIONAIRE’S LIBRARY Book Recommendations From the Ultra Successful

‘It's Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles From a Life at Starbucks’ by Howard Behar Who read it? Katrina Lake, founder and CEO of Stitch Fix Starbucks is known for its quick coffee and seasonally controversial cups, but that’s not what turned the company into a world-conquering success. In “It’s Not About the Coffee,” Howard Behar highlights the importance of company culture and the role business leaders play in helping their team members reach their full potential. ‘Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen ForcesThat Stand in theWay of True Inspiration’ by Ed Catmull With AmyWallace Who read it? Mark Zuckerberg, co- founder and CEO of Facebook Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, is responsible for some of the most successful animated movies in the history of cinema. “Creativity, Inc.” explores the creative process behind such films and how this process can be replicated in any industry. Forbes has suggested that Catmull’s book “just might be the best business book ever written.”

What does every successful person have in common? They read. Avid reading is a key characteristic of the ultra successful because, through great ideas, you can learn how to achieve your full potential. If you want to be more successful in business and in life, you should definitely add these great books to your reading list.

‘Business Adventures:Twelve Classic Tales From theWorld of Wall Street’ by John Brooks Who read it? Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Famously loaned to Bill Gates by Warren Buffett himself, “Business Adventures” was written and originally published shortly after the stock market crash of 1962. In this book, John Brooks recorded the successes and failures of 12 major companies of the era, including Ford, Xerox, and General Electric. ‘Letters to a Young Poet’ by Rainer Maria Rilke Who read it? Jen Rubio, co-founder and president of Away From 1903–1908, renowned German poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote letters to a young, aspiring poet.These candid thoughts from one of the greatest artistic minds offer insights on life, love, and how to fully experience the world we live in. Each letter is a valuable reminder that we should never underestimate our own artistic spirit.

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Trying to Be All Things to Everyone: Are You Making This Agent Recruitment Mistake?

Apple did not try to be everything for everybody. Instead, they clearly targeted which segment of the market houses their ideal customers. The success of an ad campaign can often be measured by its longevity.This campaign ran from May 2006 to the end of 2010, and it consisted of a whopping 66 commercials. Apple reported a staggering 39% increase in overall sales after the first year, and increased sales continued through the end of the campaign. IDC, a technology industry research firm, reported that Apple’s share of the computer desktop market in the U.S. more than doubled during this time.* A Valuable Lesson in Agent Recruitment You may be wondering by now what this all has to do with agent recruitment, but, I assure you, there’s something to be learned from this Apple campaign that can help you with your producer recruiting efforts. The fact that agents and producers cross-sell across a variety of markets and try to help their clients with multiple products is a factor that invites BGAs, IMOs, carriers, and other wholesalers to be a lot of things to a lot of producers. But trying to be everything for everyone often results in attracting no one. To Narrow or Not to Narrow? Huge, profitable companies like Walmart and Amazon didn’t start as the all-encompassing retailers we know today. Each went from a good to a great company by having a specific focus that helped them find and nurture a strong customer base. Amazon famously limited itself to just books for years before finally expanding into selling things like DVDs and motorcycle gear. Bear in mind that focus requires some exclusion. But, as in the case of Apple, great success and growth eventually captured a bigger segment of the market. Perhaps honing

Few ad campaigns in recent times have been as memorable as Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaign.The ads featured actors Justin Long, a hipster who uses a Mac, and John Hodgman, a working stiff who favors a PC. The ad presents consumers with the question, “Who would you rather be?” More than simply making an attempt to convert PC users into Mac users, Apple delivered a clear message about who their targeted customer is. Yes, the campaign used stereotypes to suggest that Mac users have fundamentally different personalities than PC users, and that may be an interesting subject to debate. But no matter where you stand on that point, there’s one thing you cannot deny:

in on the group of producers that best fit your company culture and services — the type of producers you enjoy helping the most — is really the best way to grow. Whatever markets you’re in, you’ve likely got a lot of competition. If you’re not able to differentiate yourself in a specific marketplace, it may be best to invest your resources where you can really set yourself apart. Often, carriers and wholesalers will target several types of producers and may have services or products that appeal to very different types. While it can be beneficial for your business to diversify, at the very least, it’s vital to do a promotional campaign for one audience at a time. Trying to be all things to everyone is reason No. 4 in our e-book, “7 Reasons Your Producer List Is Failing to Turn Into Active Producers.”To read about more ways to strengthen your agent recruitment efforts, download our free e-book now. *Case study done by Hannah Drobits, Sam Morris, and Elan Fingles. Sites.psu.edu/drobitsleap/2014/07/23/case-study-mac- vs-pc-advertisement-campaign -Stu Gramajo

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