E-Commerce with an emphasis on Social Technologies
Great podcast, IMHO, on the conundrum of independent agents and Web sites. Please join this conversation via Comments below. Peter and I and the other readers will enjoy pinging your ideas back and forth with you.
Listen in [Couple boggles with the tech on the front-end, but it goes away - phew!]
Younger owners doing well… large, forward-thinking brokers doing well…The rest? Opportunity out there.
Think of the Web site as the busiest office of the agency.
Agents get business from referrals…but are they being found via ‘referred’ searching?
And once they get found, what is the Web site saying? How do they handle the care-and-feeding of the Web site?
Interesting comments about Agents and Blogging – Wow, POWERFUL stuff!
Great suggestion about finding sales people – people good at solving problems and helping people, not prima-dona producers.
Aartrijk Brand Camp in Chicago. This is going to be VERY cool.
Word: “You’re good communicators. Leverage it.”
On deck: Tonya Busic, a diamond in the rough, on Web Usability and other “Progressive” ideas!
In the hole: Steve Snell on the ROI of insurance technology.
I had an opportunity to contribute on an eBook on selling in a down economy, my focus being from the perspective of insurance agents selling to consumers. Perhaps the content might also be helpful for others on the bizdev side of things within the insurance space. Please comment.
A Guide by Salespeople for Salespeople on How to Sell Your Way to Recovery
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Charles Green, Founder and CEO,
Trusted Advisor Associates
Selling for Accountants and Consultants
Skip Anderson, Founder,
Selling to Consumers Sales Training
Selling for Retailers
Mike Kujawski, Founder,
Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing
Selling to Public Sector Clients
Mike Wise, VP,Insurance Technologies,
Selling for Insurance Agents
Matt Homann, Founder,
Selling for Lawyers
Anneke Seley, Founder and CEO,
Selling in Health Care
John Caddell, Caddell Insight Group
Selling in Telecommunications Markets
Dave Stein, Founder and CEO,
ES Research Group, Inc
Jill Konrath, Author, Selling to Big Companies
Selling in Services
Anne Miller, Founder, Chiron Associates
Dave Brock, President and CEO,
Partners in EXCELLENCE
Selling to Manufacturers
Brought to you by The Customer Collective and Oracle CRM.
Welcome to the conversation.
Quick Question: What are you seeing as a trend in insurance agent demographics?
Been swamped lately. Absolutely. But in this economy, I’ll take it…
First, an informal Poll: What do you think is critical must-have functionality on a new affinity insurance distribution Web site? Please comment below – and remember the mantra: Lurking is Lame! Just a quick thought would be GREAT!
Got a great new podcast coming up with Peter van Aartrijk from Washington on agent Web sites. Look for that on Friday.
Saw the future of some insurance companies – empty cubes with morale-booster signs still hanging on walls. I won’t mention the insurance company name, but it was quite a chilling experience. I’ve mentioned this before… what happens when big insurance companies don’t adapt to change. Please comment below (I know I’m pushing buttons here…).
Launching three new insurance affinity sites in the next two months. Can’t wait. Each one is unique in the problems and challenges it solves. Of course, as they roll out, I will be reflecting and discussing. June will be a busy launch month. But that also means we’ll have some bandwidth coming available. Of course, we have a bunch of projects in the pipeline, but it might be an opportunity for some of you…
Web-enabling agent onboarding, contracting, and training for two major insurance companies in the Med Supp space. Lot of interesting things happening in Senior Medical. Two of our larger clients are glad they’ve Web-enabled a bunch of their processes as money tightens up-stream.
Speaking of Med Supp, the Jesse Slome conference is coming up in Scottsdale. I hear there will be record attendance – over 200 registered. I’ll be co-speaking with Sam Halpern of Senior Market Sales about Web-enabling agents for greater productivity. Should be really good. Jesse also asked me to pinch-hit about email marketing in another session.
Oh yeah – very excited… Launching a client Blog/Web site shortly. Call it an interactive Web site, but it’s really a blog, actually a team blog built on WordPress technology. Glad someone finally caught the vision that interactivity is what people want. Will be talking off-line about this at the PIMA summer conference in July.
The last couple months, I’ve been working on a bunch of strategic alliances. Look for details in the next few months.
Did you know that we also do Portals?? Any kind of portal. Seems to be some confusion on that. Portals are great – extremely useful.
Trying to figure out Twitter – getting there. How are you using twitter? Please comment
Trying to solve the riddle of independent agents without Web sites… or with bad Web sites. Any ideas?
Spent some time up at Houghton College with my son, Zach Wise – amazing school, amazing people.
I had the great opportunity to have lunch last week with John Steber, Hartford Life and formerly Affinion, and Tim Herr, Life and Health Consultant and former President and CEO, US Financial Life. It was interesting listening to John and Tim talk about recent events in the insurance distribution industry. Both had unique and different backgrounds driving the context of their observations. What I found most interesting though was a couple things Tim said about what’s currently going on inside companies. (I wish I took a picture, but here’s a couple from before…)
The old way of doing business is GONE. What we were doing as recently as 6 months ago – Gone. Forever. Never to return in the same way. Perhaps not even close. Tim has observed that insurance companies seem to be accepting this and are now in deep thought. “When the economy turns around – and it will – how can we make sure we are positioned to maximize the opportunities at that time? How do the products need to be re-tooled. How will marketing efforts be received by the insured public? What about the Internet? How are we positioned there?”
I gotta tell ya… It reminds me of several conversations I’ve had over the last couple years. One in particular with Al Drowne of Chubb over a cup of coffee in NYC. Al very clearly and passionately (in a NY sort of way) spoke of the need to re-tool insurance products to suit the preferences of the buying public. Here we are. If only more executives would listen to the guys on the street when things are going well and resist the temptation to rest on their laurels and ride the Good Times Cruise as long as possible… don’t let me get started. What do you guys think? Remember, Lurking is Lame. What’s going on inside your organization? What are you chewing on? Is this on point?
In between some sales calls discussing some innovative new concepts that might solve some of these challenges…
Later that same day, I had yet another very interesting meeting with Customer Respect, a group that benchmarks Web sites within the insurance industry. As a matter of fact they recently played a significant role in the relaunch of MetLife.com. (I love the Life Insurance Selector.) One thing Terry Golesworthy, President, said that struck home, something that we at IdeaStar do as a matter of course, but which internal IT departments seem to struggle with. “Don’t compare yourself with the competition. Compare yourself with other industries. Your users compare your site with other sites they use as a matter of course. They don’t compare your site with your competitor’s site.” Hmmm – very interesting take. Interested in your thoughts. Please comment re benchmarking Web sites. What do you do on that front???
April 3rd – a significant day I think. It was worth the drive. Btw, the traffic on the interstate is definitely down.