Insurance Industry Tips and Insights from Roger Sitkins and Brent Kelly
By Brent M Kelly
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...
By Brent Kelly
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.
By Brent Kelly
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...
By Brent Kelly
So you started your business out of your home and now you need some part-time help. Do you need workers compensation insurance?
Your family member is helping you on the weekends and you are paying them for their help. Do you need workers compensation insurance?
You hired a one-man subcontractor who does not have workers compensation insurance on himself. Do you need workers compensation insurance?
The short answer in almost all of these cases is YES. That answer; however, is a little too simple.
The first idea you need to understand is that workers compensation laws vary by state. If you live in New York, the workers compensation laws may be much different than what they are...
By Brent Kelly
If you have been in business a long time with multiple employees, chances are you are aware of the experience modification rating factor. However, if you are new in business or just starting to add employees, you may be thinking, “What in the world is this guy talking about?”
The experience modification is simply a factor that insurance companies use to adjust workers compensation premiums based on your loss experience. There is a very complex formula to determine this factor, but I simply want to explain how it can affect your business. I have met with many business owners who really do not understand the experience modification rate and how it affects their business and more importantly their profits.
The basis of the experience modification concept is to determine if your workers compensation loss history is above or below average. If your business has had less claims than other related business, you will receive a credit. If you...
By Brent Kelly
Despite what some people may think, the insurance industry is a highly noble profession. So why do insurance agents come and go? Why do so many new insurance agents fail and experienced agents plateau?
The insurance industry offers amazing career opportunities for those who seize it. This is especially true for insurance agents/producers. I spent 15 years as a property & casualty agent and have had many ups and downs. There were moments of great success and days where I simply wanted to throw in the towel.
The insurance industry needs some new young talent and strong leadership.Unfortunately, young people aren’t flocking to become insurance agents. For those new agents that do take on the challenge of becoming a new insurance agent, many fail. Why?
I think there are three main reasons why insurance agents fail.
1- Expect too much too soon.
By Brent Kelly
If so, I believe you could be wasting valuable time.
Let me ask you some straight forward questions about cold calling.
Long time sales professionals and managers will state that cold calling is part of the deal. You put your time in, work through the rejection, and if you make enough calls, you will get some appointments.
The last statement is true. If you make enough calls, you will get some appointments and eventually some sales. YAY!!!
Here is my response.
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...
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,...
It dawned on me recently that too many agencies and their teams are too comfortable (or complacent) to really grow. What they have are “lifestyle agencies,” which is absolutely okay if that’s what they want.
Gary Holgate, my mentor in the business and the first-ever true independent agency consultant, always said that what happens at so many agencies is that the owners start out selling insurance and wind up running a business. So often, they get overwhelmed by the day-to-day minutiae of operating an agency and subsequently fall into the trap of just being busy.
Now the good news/bad news is that you don’t have to implement many— if any—of the Sitkins Strategies to do just fine. As we’ve discussed many times, in this business, owners and producers can make a great living and support a very nice lifestyle without having to do too much, aside from just showing up. It’s hard to find fault...
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