An underutilized sales tool

YOUR VOICE MAIL!!

Seriously, people call you and you have 15-30 seconds to say something cool.  Credit to Jeffrey Gitomer who first put this thought in my head.  ” I am on my phone or away from my desk…”  Says nothing, shows nothing but it does waste the time of the person that called.  Help them smile, maybe even laugh.  Why not?

Not so common courtesy

You would think it would still be common I mean we are all good solid, human beings right?  Well of course we are, except from time to time we just do not act like it.  Call it whatever you want;

The Golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated

I’ve also heard of the

Platinum rule; Treat others the way they want to be treated

Either way just be nice.

Share good feedback as often or preferably more often than you provide bad.

Supporting local, could be the next Walkway over the Hudson

Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society

receives donation from Birchyard LLC

Wappingers Falls N.Y. (August 9, 2013)– Birchyard LLC donates to the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society. The donation was presented on August 4, 2013 at 9 a.m. The funds will help support and repair the Incline Railway on North Beacon Mountain. Scenic Hudson’s Mount Beacon Park currently serves as a nature park, and the incline restoration is intended to preserve and enhance that role.

Big portions = insurance discounts

Stumbling through any amount of commercials can be entertaining and also very revealing.   Many times entertainment takes precedent over information.  Actually more times than not things are done to get your attention in the hopes that  you will provide some attention/dollars to their product.

I have harped on insurance discounts for a while, bottom line is any list of discounts you can provide does not out do your characteristics.  Your credit score, education, residence and marital status mean way more than all the discounts.  But talking about this, the facts, is not appealing so we disguise it with discounts.  Same thing with food.

Lifetime worth of lessons in two years

Two years ago I left a very large, now much larger, international company.  As part of my employment, each year all sales representatives chose to sign a “non-compete” agreement.  Well now those two years are up.  Here are some thoughts;

“Give people reasons to stay instead of leave and they will.”

Pathetic, seriously pathetic that any employer would want to use a non-compete or similar agreement.  I have seen many worse than mine as well.  Here is how I view it;   Yes, you will have to apply some effort and treat people like humans rather than “employees” but both parties will earn more money this way so why not.  What are you so worried about?

Price versus value

Want to change the discussion from Price to value?  STOP ADVERTISING PRICE.  Advertising on price is the easy way.  It is basically telling the consumer we are a commodity and can not come up with anything original that might bring some value to your life.

Want some evidence?  Follow your mail for a month and count the generic garbage being put in front of you that thinks your only concern is price. Even worse , I received the same exact awful letter from four different State Farm agents.  Not only is it an awful, demeaning marketing piece but why does State Farm allow there agents to cannibalize each other?

10 lessons from 10 years in the insurance industry

Yes, it is true that as of 11/11/12 I have been employed in the insurance industry for ten years.  Of course I have learned an uncountable amount of information and a new lesson is learned or reinforced weekly if not daily.  So to keep this a reasonable read I’ll pick 10 things that stand out.

1. Give all things a chance to work.  Yes, your instinct is correct most, but not all ,of the time.  In my case I stumbled into insurance having just finished a brief career in Football.  I have yet to meet anyone that set out with the intention of working in Insurance but I have met a lot of people that did not give themselves a chance to be successful in insurance.

What does your agent have?

Couldn’t help but have this thought after getting an awful solicitation from a local agent.  First the letter had old information for vehicles I have not owned in 5 years.  More important the coverage was not very good.  To my knowledge this is a really solid agent so it kind of makes me wonder if he even knew what he was mailing.

Life is simple, so is marketing; know what you are sending.  Make it useful not just a solicitation.

Do YOU trust your agent?

Do you trust your agent enough to get a second opinion?

How about asking your agent what coverage they have and taking a look at their declarations pages?

Sounds like fun to me, let’s see if your agent has full no-fault coverage.  Let’s see if they have matching liability and supplemental coverage.  Let me know how it turns out.

UPDATE 5/14/2015

It has been over four years since this first post.  Sadly, the majority of times I review a policy I end up saying;

I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m just saying I wouldn’t sign my name to it.”

Appreciate your agent…if

Yes I believe the agent, me, works for you, the customer.  This is no different than any time you are spending money on a product or service.  This relationship tends to go better if you appreciate the person providing the product or service.  How do you do this?

UPDATE 5/19/2015

How do you “appreciate”‘ the person you are paying for a service?

  1. Give them a chance to work for you.
  2. Rather than carrying over the poor previous experience you may have had give your potential new agent the chance to shine without thinking he or she is as bad as the last one.