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Increase Your Influence With a Laugh

By Brent Kelly

How many times have you actually listened to the flight instructions before takeoff from the flight attendant?

Unless you are petrified of flying and feel that these instruction may indeed save your life, the answer is probably close to zero.  Most airline travelers are reading a book, whispering to their neighbor, or staring out the window during the pre-flight instructions. They are NOT engaged.

Watch this video. Every passenger is listening and laughing. How often do you see that on a flight?

Southwest Airlines is one of the few (maybe only) airlines that has recently been profitable. Southwest Airline customers are loyal. In fact, I have heard some people tell me that they wouldn’t fly on any other airline unless they had to. That’s powerful stuff.

Why?

Well, there are many reasons, but humor is near the top of the list.

Southwest is actually a fun airline to fly. Are they perfect? Of course not, but they allow their employees to...

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Do I Still Need to Carry Business Cards?

By Brent Kelly

Are Business Cards Still Relevant Today? Is There a Better Way?

Networking and business cards. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

If I have learned anything from my 15 years of business networking, it’s that you can collect a ridiculous amount of business cards in an hour.

I have a drawer full of hundreds of business cards from people whom I have connected with in the past. Many of these cards have not been touched or looked at in many years. In fact, many were not even addressed the days following the networking event.

Why?

Besides the fact that I did a terrible job of following up, there was no real connection made, no engagement, and no valuable reason to follow-up.

Great networking has never been about a business card, it’s always been about a connection.

I used to keep track of how many business cards I collected and how many business cards I gave out. The more cards obtained and given, the greater level of success I felt I...

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The One Question Your Insurance Agency Must Answer

mission motivation purpose Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

One of my all-time favorite business books, is Simon Sinek’s, “Start with Why,”

His TED talk on this exact subject called “The Golden Circle,” is something that every business professional should watch. In fact, I’ll make it easy for you. Click here to watch now.

The simplicity of “The Golden Circle,” makes it easy to understand. However, when I challenge insurance agents and agencies to apply this philosophy to their own business, they often get stuck.

Simple doesn’t equal easy!
Every insurance agency knows what they do. Most insurance agencies can clearly explain how they do it. Very few insurance agencies know why they do it.

Why has nothing to do with revenues or profit.  Why is about your purpose, mission, cause, or belief.

As Simon Sinek so eloquently states, “Why do you get out of bed each morning, and why should anyone care?”

Can you...

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5 Lessons I Learned From a McDonald’s Employee

By Brent Kelly

I rarely frequent fast food restaurants, but on one particular Saturday morning, I took my kids for breakfast at a local McDonalds. Besides their awesome and underrated coffee, I found something even better.

There was an employee I noticed who was in charge of sweeping the floor, cleaning up trays, and other typical unappreciated jobs. I would assume he makes minimum wage and gets little to no benefits. However, you would never know that by watching him.

In twenty minutes, he struck up countless conversations, engaged the customers, and put smiles on their faces. It was awesome. As I sat there listening to him talk to other customers, I couldn’t help but think; How come most salespeople don’t do this?

No, he wasn’t selling anything. He wasn’t making a commission. He just genuinely cared about the people in the restaurant. It wasn’t fake, rehearsed, or manipulative. It was simply from the heart.

I learned more in 20 minutes watching...

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Build Your Confidence & Build Your Image

confidence Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

You want others to believe in you, your company, your product or service, and the value you provide. However, the most important question to ask yourself is, “Do you believe in you?”

Do You Breed Confidence in Others?

How others perceive you is in direct correlation to how you view and carry yourself.
You must project your self-image in a way that breeds confidence in others.

Have you ever met someone who looks sloppy, give a wimpy handshake, or can’t look you in the eye? They portray little to no confidence in themselves and therefore portray minimal confidence in the product or service they represent.

I am sure you have heard the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Although that made a great Head and Shoulders commercial, it is also true.

Whether fair or not, people make quick judgments and those judgments are difficult to alter.

How you think about yourself translates directly into how you act and...

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One Reason Why You Must Adapt to Changing Technology

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

Technology is changing at such a rapid pace that none of us can imagine what new technologies will be available in the next 20 years.

I found a clip on YouTube recently, and it absolutely blew me away. Not even 20 years ago, some of the “smartest people” on television didn’t know anything about the internet. I am not making fun of them, because in 1994, none of us really did.

In 1994, a new technology was surfacing that most of had no clue about. Today, we use the internet for just about everything and businesses would be crippled without it.

What’s my point?

The point is that new technologies are being developed right now that will completely change how we do business in 20 years. We don’t know exactly what they will be, but I guarantee you the face of business will change again in 20 years.
How do I know? Think about the changes made from 1934 to 1954 to 1974 to 1994. Does the automobile or television come to mind?

With that...

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Is the Independent Agent Doomed?

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

Over 50% of People Now Shop For Insurance Online, Is the Independent Agent Doomed?

A recent article found that over 50% of people looking to obtain auto insurance quotes now go online to shop. This trend will probably continue as insurance buyers are looking for convenience and competitive pricing.  Large companies like Geico, Progressive, and Allstate are spending millions of advertising dollars to get these customers.

Does this mean the local independent agent is doomed? 

Quite the contrary in my opinion. I think this presents one of the greatest opportunities independent agents have had in a long time.  What do I mean?  Let me back up and point out a couple of things relating to that article first.

1) The article stated that 54% of consumers turn to the internet for a quote, but most still purchase through an agent or call center.

2) Customers still highly value customer service and typically will still only move to a new company...

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The 3 Risks Every Insurance Producer Must Face

By Brent Kelly

“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller

If you have been an insurance sales producer longer than 10 minutes, you know all about risk.

Risk is defined as “exposure to danger.”

Danger surrounds insurance producers everyday. It could be in the form of a manager, company, prospect, client, product, or service. That list could go on and on, but the key point is that risk is clear everywhere you turn.

I believe you could categorize sales risks into three areas:

  1. Risk of rejection
  2. Risk of failure
  3. Risk of financial hardship

These three risks highlight that even though the sales profession is the highest paid industry in the world, only a small percentage of the population enters this line of work. Furthermore, this is why even a smaller percentage of sales producers survive.

I have dealt with these three risks consistently in my own sales career. Although the context of these three risks...

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3 Questions to Connect to Your Insurance Prospect’s Heart

prospects selling Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

Have you ever felt like you have delivered a powerful and effective sales presentation only to realize that it did not connect with the prospect?

This has happened to me on several occasions. I came into a prospect meeting energetic, ready, and full of answers. Unfortunately, I later realized that my answers did not address the prospect’s problems.

If I asked you what is the most important information to understand when you are meeting a prospect for a sales appointment, what would you say?

Typically, I hear answers like, “Product knowledge, features, benefits, competitive advantages, service philosophy, and more.

These aren’t necessarily bad answers. In fact, I have written and spoken about understanding the importance of these details.

However, none of this information has any impact or carries any value if you don’t first understand the prospect, their situation, and their perspective.

Building solid rapport is the foundation of every great...

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Do You Believe in What You’re Selling? If Not, You Should Quit

selling Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

Genuine belief in your product or service is vital for any salesperson’s success.

Without belief, what you are selling is a lie.

Seems pretty obvious right?  It should be, but I still see people selling products or services in the market they don’t believe in.

Consumers can smell BS a mile away. How do I know? Because just like you, I am also a consumer. I can almost instantly detect if someone genuinely believes in what they are selling or are just trying to make a quick buck. If I don’t smell the BS then my wife will definitely pick it up. She is a master salesperson BS detector!

You can often immediately tell by just watching a salesperson’s actions. Here are few signs to look for when observing a salesperson.

Are they talking or listening?
Are they genuinely excited about their product or service?
Are they helping or selling?

Those with belief in their product or service don’t need to hard sell or be pushy. They know what they...

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