Thoughts, real-world observations, and anonymous examples – good and bad – regarding the use of Web/Social/Mobile technology in the insurance industry. Follow Mike Wise, President WebWisedom LLC, for the latest in Social Technologies.
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As I cruised through the crowd at the PIMA 2010 MidYear Meeting looking for new faces to introduce myself to, I ran across a new guy who had just stepped into the conference. Looking at his name tag, Craig had the “Prospective Member” white ribbon. Cool. A ‘younger’ guy, Craig had a nice way about him – smart, professional, confident, clean cut, articulate. Great. After finding out a little about how he came to know about PIMA, where he was from, and what line of business he was in, he asked me, “What to you do, Mike? What is WebWisedom?” “I’m helping PIMA members understand the Social Web and how to leverage it for marketing results.” Then he said a very significant thing, “Great! Just the person I want to ask: What’s the hash-tag for the conference?” WOW! WOW! WOW! So mark the date: 07/15/10 6pm, opening session of the 2010 MidYear Meeting – the first time someone actually asked ME about Twitter!!! And yes, he was a Gen-X’er.
Relative to the new two-meeting format, netnet, PIMA is doing its best to be a good steward of precious resources. I’d be interested in Comments (below after the pictures), but the new “MidYear Meeting” we just experienced had a record attendance for a summer meeting. So whether you are an Agency, a Company, or a Business Partner, there seemed to have been plenty of people to talk to and network with. My observation – there seemed to be a good mix of decision-makers and influencers as well. From the Business Partner perspective, I felt there was good buzz in the Exhibit Hall on both Friday and Saturday. I loved the indoor/outdoor places to have private conversations as well. Any other thoughts? Please Comment below, start a thread on the PIMA Linkedin Group page, or drop an email. Feedback is always welcome.
Lastly, I recorded some sound bites from the speakers at the conference (with their permission). When I get a few spare minutes, I will relay the recording via podcasts… some compelling content to consider.
As normal, I took a few pictures at the event. Wanted to share two here. One is of the “Best of PIMA” winner – significant because it went to a Broker (Aon) for a Social Media Marketing campaign. The other is of the Panel gathered to discuss the impacts of PPACA. This was a phenomenal trio of industry wizards who spoke extremely clearly about the potential adverse consequences of PPACA, about how similar legislation has failed in MA, and about the very real possibilities for the ultimate destiny of the bill. I’ve got some sound bites from that as well.
Cheers! Comments welcome. What did you think of the conference?
PIMA Attendees: Are you looking for Revenue??? How much revenue did you get from Social Media Marketing last month? In 2010? How much time, talent, and funds did you allocate to Social Media Marketing? Did you know that marketers of all shapes and sizes, across all industries, B2C, B2B, etc., are seeing some really good results from Social - in the midst of the economic climate? I’ll show you a few in the limited time I have. Put on your thinking cap and connect the dots for how this applies “to my business”. Plenty of opportunity and potential IF you do it right – as always.
PIMA 2010 Midyear Meeting
Unofficial Educational Session
Conant Room, Landsdowne Resort
I. First things first – Monitoring, Control, and Compliance
II. 4 Marketing Strategies using Social Technologies
III. Measuring Results
Promoted via Social Tech and Word of Mouth only
Teasers: What are these brands doing, Why, and the Results.
Btw, I shot my first official wedding last weekend. See the pics HERE.
Oh Man – this stuff is where it’s at for B2B Sales. I finally have the whole thing wired…
Thoughts and Comments? Please Share below..
(Excerpted from the Crowdsourced book due out soon called Enterprise Social Technologies. Chapter 7: Social Sales, written by YT!)
What’s happening out there???
Selling has changed, whether you’re selling commodities or complex products. In fact a whole new layer has been added to the sales process, a layer with fantastic power. This new layer of Social Technologies has forever altered the art and process of selling. Take a hard look at your most recent sales – or losses. Whether business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), did the buyers “check you out online,” either before or after they contacted you? In this due-diligence process, what did they find out about you? What is ‘out there’ relative to YOU, your product reputation, and/or your brand reputation? Have you searched yourself, your product, your brand, your market, and your competition? Have you thought about how much influence these data-points have had on your recent sales results, or your lead volume? Perhaps if you really look at the trends, you’d have to admit that selling has changed A LOT in the last few years. Perhaps it’s time for you to change your processes as well.
In the mid-2000‘s, things started turning a bit chaotic. The Internet and E-Commerce began to mature. User-generated content started to proliferate with YouTube and Blogs. Search engines like Google began to disinter-mediate salespeople. Some brands like Progressive Insurance even went so far as to pronounce the end of the era of the sales agent. In spite of many claims of ROI and productivity gains, few understood how to use these mediums for business, let alone how to generate sales. Meanwhile buyers started getting savvy to all these tools, too – and started using them in their buying process! In a sense, the tables were turned.
Today, circa 2010, this chaos has stabilized, matured, synthesized, intersected, and emerged into the next major evolution in sales known as Socially Facilitated Selling (B2B) or Socially Directed Buying (B2C). Social Technology now augments communication and provides new ways to build trust. As such, Social Tech is reorganizing how buyers buy – and thereby forcing sellers to adapt. Social Tech is also helping sales people be at the right place at the right time on a scale never before attainable, and at a cost never imagined – essentially FOR FREE! A powerfully constructed Blog, integrated with Twitter and Linkedin, is replacing a premium Country Club membership and the closely guarded ‘rolodex’.
Why Socially Facilitated Selling?
Whenever I talk to sales people about using Social in their sales process, they always want to know the “How”, but often skip the necessary “Why”? The ‘How’ is the easy part. But to really be effective at Social, we need to deeply understand the answers to questions like, Why is it helpful for the sales person to join online professional networks, update their Status daily, and get Recommendations from clients? Why is updating a professional Blog once a week one of the most important activities a sales person can do each week? Further, why is getting a customer to Comment on a Blog post a huge event in the life of a customer relationship? What role do Facebook and Twitter play in the sales process? Why are ‘listening’ devices such as Tweetdeck, Google Alerts, SocialMention, and Addictomatic helpful in the sales process? What is the best way to proactively target prospects using Linkedin? Once in your crosshairs, why is it important to use Social Tech for warm introductions, to gain credibility, build rapport, and/or understand concerns and priorities of a prospect – all BEFORE the first contact, certainly before the first sales event or discovery session? Once we clearly understand the answers to these and other related questions, with real-life facts and figures, then we are ready to tackle the tactical execution.
The book is due out in a few months. Can’t wait!
Comments? Do you resonate with any of this? Helpful info?
Need help “Getting there”? I’ve got a process. Contact me at WebWisedomLLC at GMail dot com.
Terrific new group on Linkedin! Social Media – Insurance and Reinsurance
I commented on the thread about helping Executives take a more active interest in Social Media. Thought I’d share the comments here as well… Interested in what you think? Please Comment at the bottom of this thread.
From Nico Conradie in Johannesburg Area, South Africa… “I find it an interesting challenge: how to persuade others (key decision takers) within a large international company to take a more active interest in social media. Any experiences in this respect that can be shared? Any tips? Any pitfalls to avoid? I would be interested in learning from others who have had success in this respect.”
“This is the million dollar question for sure. Like Mairi says, data is critical. There are simply tons of data-driven case studies that establish the value-prop of Enterprise Social Tech. What I’m finding most successful is two 2-hour small-group, executive sessions that drill down into what Social Tech is, why it’s important, and how to leverage it – IN GENERAL. If you can start the session with a flip chart page called “Expectations”, it’s incredibly powerful on several levels.
Here’s the real key from my perspective – Keynote (TM – iWork) slides. For some reason, kind of like seeing Avatar in 3D, these .Key slides are so different than standard .PPT, that they are helping execs ‘see’ the new concepts of ‘Social’ in a new way.
Small group is key as well because it helps the exec’s cough up their preconceived notions in the safety of their board room with the peers. I absolutely LOVE it when an exec says something like “I just don’t get tweeter [sic]. Why would I want to know what someone had for breakfast?!?!?” Usually everyone in the room laughs in agreement. But it’s a PERFECT setup for talking about effective streams of information, Listening, and within 5 minutes I can have the group understanding why that cliche is so destructive. That then leads to more myths being dumped out on the table, etc. etc..
A deep dive into Enterprise Social Tech facilitated by an outsider with incredibly rich visuals and powerful case studies in a small-group, interactive setting. It’s tough to carve out the time, and people usually come kicking and screaming with their arms crossed and skeptical frowns. But if you have the right stuff and can push through the resistance with whimsy yet credibility, you can break through. Of course implementing the resulting strategies, like any other business endeavor, is what will separate the wheat from the chaff in the months and years to come.”
Interested in what you think? Please Comment below the picture.
Recent picture from a wedding I attended