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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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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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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 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’s the One Word that Motivates You Each Day?

motivation Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

If you had to pick one word that gets you out of bed each day and motivates you to attain success, what word would it be?

My business partner asked me this question recently and I had never really thought about it in great depth.

There are many words that came to mind for me and some of these will probably relate to you as well. Words like purpose, family, achievement, success, security, goals, and legacy came to mind.

Those are all true in some capacity, but didn’t get to the heart of why I wake up each day with a plan of action.

My word is challenge.

All of those words I described above are a challenge. I’m challenged to become a man who lives out his faith through action, to become a dad who is a spiritual, emotional, and a physical provider to his family, and be a man who achieves in business by empowering others.

The list could go on and on, but the it all comes back to challenge. Every day presents new challenges, which thus provides new...

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Overcoming the “Too Young” Objection in Insurance Sales

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

Being a young insurance agent can seem downright overwhelming at times.

I started in the insurance business right out of college at the ripe old age of 22. I had superb initial training, wonderful mentors, learned as much as I could as quickly as possible, and then was sent straight to the wolves. I was ready to take on the world, but scared to death all at the same time.  If you are new in this business, you may know the feeling.

My first boss made a true and important statement to me in my first year. He said, “This business is really tough until you start getting some gray hairs, but it will be worth it in the long run.”

Looking back at this statement 13 years later, I have realized several important truths.

  1. This business is very tough
  2. If you persevere, it is also worth it
  3. I didn’t expect to get gray hairs so quickly


If you are young agent (or maybe just look young), I have some great news. Although you may still...

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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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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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Want to Ask Great Questions to Prospects and Customers? Think Scattergories

propects sales Sep 01, 2017

By Brent M Kelly

Use creativity and differentiation when asking questions to stand out from your competition.

Do you remember the game Scattergories? It has always been one of my favorite games.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, let me briefly explain how the game works.

Every player has a list of items on a sheet. They could be items like cities, dog breeds, actors, automobiles, etc. One player would roll a funky looking die with letters on it. Players would then have to name every item on their list starting with the letter rolled in a short period of time. For example, if the letter “B” came up, every item on you list would have to start with “B.”

What I love about this game is that you have to be extremely creative because the only way you can score points was if no other players have the same answer as you. The more players, the more difficult the challenge was to create answers that are unique.

If the list item was...

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Why People Can’t Stand Insurance and What You Can Do About It

Uncategorized Sep 01, 2017

By Brent Kelly

They may like you, your agency, or your funny commercial, but they don’t like insurance.

When I attended my very first insurance training course back in 2000, the instructor said something to us I will never forget.  He said, ”Congratulations, you get to sell a product that nobody likes, understands, thinks is too expensive, and only use when something bad happens.” Talk about a kick in the pants for a young guy getting ready to take on the world.

Looking back 13 years later, there is actually quite a bit of truth in what he said.  Most people I talk to about insurance don’t like it, don’t really understand it, always tell me it’s too expensive, and only get to use when they suffer a financial loss.

I started thinking a little bit more why most people have such disgust for insurance, and I came up with a list of my top three reasons.

Brent’s Top 3 Reasons Why People Hate Insurance

1. It’s...

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