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The Most Important 30 Seconds in Every Conversation

communication success Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

“Hi my name is Brent. I help insurance leaders communicate with purpose, connect with confidence, and lead with greater influence so they achieve world-class results. I would love to see how I could help your organization. Here is my card, would you like to grab coffee or hop on a call sometime so you can learn more?”

While this is true and I am proud of what I do for insurance professionals and organizations, this is NOT the best way to open up a conversation. Yet this is how most people start conversations with others……by talking all about themselves.

The 30-second rule

I learned something from my mentor called the 30-second rule and I have applied it to my conversations with prospects, clients, business partners, and my family. It’s one of the best communication and leadership ideas I have ever learned and it’s something that any leader can and should apply to their daily conversations.

Most of the time, we focus our...

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What Price Are You Placing on Yourself?

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

One of the most common frustrations I heard from insurance clients in my 15 years of insurance production was that the premium is too high.

If you are an insurance producer, you probably hear things like………

“Can we get a better price?”
“Can you do any better?”
“Why is it so expensive?”
“Why did the price go up.”
“That’s way too much.”

I have discussed in previous blog posts why all salespeople need to focus on selling “real value” and quit playing the price game.

Let’s be real though. Our society loves to price shop. They want to feel like they are getting the “best deal.”

Here’s the good news. They also like to buy things.

There is nothing sexy or exciting about insurance, but that’s not why people want (or need) to buy insurance.

In a nutshell, people buy insurance because they don’t want to lose money they have...

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4 Ways Insurance Agents Can Help Their Underwriters Write More Business

partnerships underwriters Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

The relationship between insurance agent and underwriter is critical.

Both parties are vital to each other’s success, yet often times, the agent/underwriter relationship is strained. Why?

There could be countless reasons, but ultimately many agents feel that their underwriters make their lives more difficult by asking for additional information, not providing a competitive price, or just plain make it a challenge to make sales.

Although it may seem that some underwriters don’t want to write business or overanalyze basic risks, they have a tough job to do. They want to write business, but equally important, they want to write profitable business.

No, underwriters are not all the same and some are better than others, but if you want to be a successful agent, establishing a positive relationship with your underwriter is critical.

I asked one of my company marketing representatives to ask her team of underwriters a basic...

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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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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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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 4 Components of Finding a Niche for Your Insurance Agency

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

The idea of creating a niche to grow your book of business for insurance agents is certainly not a new idea.

However, I often hear from insurance agents wanting to find their niche market, but unsure of where to start.

This is a common question as there is no perfect science to establishing yourself as an insurance expert in a particular niche. While that may seem frustrating, discovering a niche market that may work for you only requires four key components.

If you can tie these four components together, you will be well on your way to becoming an industry leader in a niche you love, understand, and provides long-term opportunity.

1) Passion
Passion for a specific industry or type of coverage is how most agents begin the process of discovering their niche. I agree that this is the most important aspect, but it’s not the only qualification.

Having passion or love for a certain industry or segment is vital because you will be...

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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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Does My Subcontractor Need to Carry Workers Compensation in Illinois?

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

Over the past few years, one of the biggest frustrations from both general contractors and subcontractors in the state of Illinois has been the issue of workers compensation.

General contractors can use subcontractors for many different jobs and projects.  The subcontractors they use can range from million dollar corporations to a one-man electrical contractor.

Insurance companies in Illinois have and will include subcontractors costs as payroll if those subcontractors do not show proof of workers compensation insurance.  It doesn’t matter if they have 100 employees or no employees.

For the larger subcontractors this is not an issue.  They have employees and thus carry workers compensation insurance that will satisfy this requirement.  The problem arises for the small one-man subcontractor who has never carried workers compensation insurance and is now being told they must obtain this coverage.

Why is this so important?

If you are using...

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