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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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Why I Am So Passionate About Cyber Liability and Data Breach

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

In 2013, I focused a large portion of marketing, research, networking, etc. on cyber liability and data breach issues.

Why? There are many reasons why this topic is so important so let me explain.

1) Cyber liability and data breach will not just be trendy catch phrases in the coming years, but there will be organizations crippled because of a cyber liability loss.
The amount of data breaches and cyber liability claims continue to rise.  Large companies with good risk managers are already aware of this, but who is looking out for small and medium-sized business owners?

Most business owners and organizations are unaware how susceptible they are with cyber liability.  Business owners work way too hard to have everything taken from them.  I feel a calling to educate, advise, and help all entities understand their cyber exposures and work with them to provide solutions.

2) Cyber liability is complicated and it will take...

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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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What All Sales Professionals Can Learn From Starbucks?

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

As I was sitting at my laptop one afternoon in a Starbucks I realized something obvious. Starbucks employees know how to ask for a sale and they are very good at it.

When I first went to the counter to order my coffee (plain, no cream or sugar), the nice lady asked if I wanted a delicious cookie for some sugar energy. I politely declined (thank you My FItness Pal), but actually had to think about it for a few seconds. She didn’t just say, “Would you like a cookie with that,” she said, “do you want a delicious cookie for some sugar energy?”

I don’t know about you, but I like delicious things, sugar, and energy.

As I began to work, I overheard one customer after another being asked if they wanted a “warm roll, yummy treat, or a bigger drink for only $0.30 more.” About half of the people who were asked agreed. HALF. There was no pressure, no pushing, and no hard sell. They simply asked.

It got me...

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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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Brent Kelly Joins Sitkins Group

Uncategorized Aug 25, 2017

Sitkins Group, Inc. is pleased to announce Brent Kelly has joined their team as a coach for independent insurance agencies. With the addition of Brent to the team, Sitkins Group will be able to expand their training and development programs for agents.

Brent comes to Sitkins Group with extensive hands-on insurance industry experience, having spent 15 years as a successful commercial lines producer. In 2012 he was named one of the top 12 young agents in the country. Knowing what it took to make an agency successful, he decided to take the leap into starting his own speaking and coaching business in 2015. Brent has been focusing on his passion to help insurance professionals gain influence, maximize their potential, and grow their book of business. He is a strong keynote speaker, coach and trainer, and this background makes for an easy transition into his new role with the Sitkins team.

“Brent’s experience and his passion for personal development make him a perfect...

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Is Your Agency Too Comfortable: Part Two

growth May 26, 2017

Ways to get uncomfortable

No doubt, you’re eager to discover the joys of being uncomfortable. But seriously, getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to achieve greatness vs. “okayness.”

1. Start systematically challenging everything you do. This means questioning the What’s, Why’s, and How’s of your agency’s operation. Why do we do this? Why are we doing it this way? How do we improve that? How do we get better at doing that? To quote Thomas Edison, “There’s a way to do it better—find it!” Why not use that as a guiding principle for your agency?

2. Force your producers to rehearse every presentation. Remember it’s okay to look stupid in the office when practicing (low-risk practice). It’s not okay to look stupid in front of clients or prospects. That’s high-risk practice!

Also, when practicing, record your rehearsals and then critique them. Regrettably, far fewer than 5% of agencies do this,...

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