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What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industries leading figures.

June 12, 2019

Michael Jans – The 4 Stages of ‘The Marketer’ in the Modern Insurance Agency

How the marketer fits into today’s insurance agency model

Should you hire a marketer for your agency? What should they do? How do you manage them for maximum results?

The ‘shape’ of agencies is quickly changing to meet the modern consumer. More and more agencies are hiring part to full-time marketers to help them scale their organic growth.

Michael Jans calls on his nearly 30 years of insurance marketing experience to answer this emerging problem. To help agency principals—and marketers—clarify their thinking about this important position, Michael presents a 4 stage model that builds a framework for the contemporary agency:

  • What are the ‘4 Stages’ of marketing in the modern agency – and, precisely what should you expect from your marketer at each stage?
  • Michael identifies 7 Principles for the modern marketer… each one will help guide you to find and guide the activities of marketing in your agency.
  • How do you hire a marketer and what should you look for? Michael identifies 8 aspects of ‘marketing as a profession’ to help guide your own strategic thinking about how your agency reaches the marketplace and earns trust and business.

Please don’t miss this conversation with one of the industry’s most respected and experienced marketers. Whether you’re an agency principal or an agency marketer, this podcast will help you get answers on how to move your marketing to the next level.

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where our hosts discuss the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent & broker with the industry’s leading figures.

June 5, 2019

Chuck Blondino – Director of Agency Capabilities and Programs at Safeco Insurance… Returns with 2019 Safeco Survey Data Insights

What the most successful agents are doing today according to the latest Safeco and Liberty Mutual agency survey

Want to know what’s working today? And you want proof?

You’ll get both in this fast-paced, data-loaded conversation with Chuck Blondino, Director of Agency Capabilities and Programs at Safeco Insurance. Chuck returns to the podcast to share the most important data from the latest Safeco and Liberty Mutual agency survey. Listen to this discussion to discover what the most successful personal and commercial lines agencies are doing to get ahead:

  • The eight marketing behaviors most reported by the fastest growing agencies in the US.
  • Precisely what personal lines agents are doing to grow 13-20% and commercial lines agents by 19-30%.
  • The central theme of “connected marketing” that drives the most successful marketing for top performers.

It’s rare that we get solid data on the levers of performance. Chuck delivers it here – and every agent & broker in North America should listen. You’ll get clarity and confidence like never before!

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where our hosts discuss the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent & broker with the industry’s leading figures.

May 29, 2019

Tom Super – Vice President of Insurance at J.D. Power

Tom Super – Vice President of Insurance at J.D. Power

This is what the modern insurance consumer wants… according to science!

Would it be useful for your agency if you better understood the modern insurance consumer? Of course! In this podcast, Michael Jans interviews the man with the answer.

Tom Super leads the Property & Casualty Insurance Intelligence Group at J.D. Power and is responsible for leading the continued expansion of the insurance practice. In this jam-packed interview, Tom shares the results of J.D. Power’s 13 Annual U.S. Insurance Shopping Study.

  • Is the modern consumer unhappy? The number of existing customers shopping for new policies has increased by 4%... and the number of consumers moving policies to a new source has increased by the same amount!
  • Independent agencies and direct carriers continue to show improvements in customer satisfaction, while exclusive agencies are falling behind. Tom and Michael discuss what separates the top-performing insurers from the rest.
  • The survey breaks insurance consumers down to three segments – and Tom reveals who is best suited for independent agents seeking maximum lifetime value from their customers.

If you have time to listen to this one conversation, you’ll get a clear picture of who the modern insurance consumer is, and what you can do to make them your raving fans!

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where our hosts discuss the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.

May 22, 2019

Ashley Fitzsimmons – Customer Experience Manager at Ohio Insurance Agents Association

The “Beyoncé of insurance” delivers insight into how to bring fresh energy into your agency—from a millennial's perspective

Ashley Fitzsimmons has been living and breathing insurance nearly all her life. While she officially started her professional career as a licensed agent for her family’s business, Fitzsimmons Insurance Agency, Ashley has since spread her wings at the OIAA, bringing her knowledge and passion for our industry to as many agents as possible.

In this lively discussion, Joel Zwicker and Ashley Fitzsimmons dive deep into:

  • Why meeting the expectations and embracing the values of the millennial workforce will benefit everyone in your agency—and which traditional concepts you need to leave behind if you don’t want to scare them away!
  • What multi-generational insurance agencies need to consider if they’re thinking about bringing their kids into the family business.
  • How Ashley became known as the “Beyoncé of insurance”… and the important lesson on branding she learned in the process.

Listen to this important discussion with one of the industry’s most passionate advocates, and make sure your agency is prepared for the workforce (and customers!) of the future.

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where our hosts discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.

May 15, 2019

Jamie Trovato – Founder of Trovato Associates

Agency principal shares practical steps you can take to give your customers the wow experience they’re looking for.

When Jamie Trovato left the captive insurance world to start his own independent insurance agency, he discovered how much more control you could really have over the customer experience. As he began investing more of himself into the technologies and processes that make an insurance agency run, one of the most striking things he discovered is how much customers will thank you when marketing automation is implemented effectively.

In this episode, Joel Zwicker and Jamie Trovato get into the nitty-gritty and super-practical details of:

  • Why automation is so much more than scheduling messages to go to your customers (and how Jamie uses it to help customers coordinate with the services they need… effortlessly and instantly).
  • The steps Trovato Associates is taking to future-proof their agency and ensure they’re ahead of the curve on the industry changes that will impact agencies the hardest.
  • How Jamie uses Agency Revolution to make his clients lives easier and deliver a wow experience so good price won’t enter the equation when choosing where to buy their next policy.

Do not miss this important conversation with one of the insurance industry’s most forward thinking and customer-centric agency owners.

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.

May 8, 2019

Attracting Millennials in the Modern Insurance Landscape

Industry experts deliver important insight you need to keep your agency relevant in the future.

The independent insurance channel is facing two deeply interconnected issues with millennials: the average agency is struggling to attract the US’s largest generation as customers… and they’re unable to attract them as members of their team. If you want your agency to stick around for the long haul, you’re going to need to build a workforce that really understands what the customers of tomorrow look like.

To help you navigate this crucial challenge we gathered some of the leading experts on this topic for a Live Webinar Roundtable loaded with so much important information we felt we had to share it here too – because what was discussed is too important for any agent to miss out on.

Listen to this insightful conversation with Tony Cañas (Co-Founder of Insurance Nerds and Client Advisor & National Territory Manager at The Jacobson Group), Matt Masiello (CEO of SIAA and President & CEO of SAN Group), Christopher Cook (Owner & President of Alliance Insurance Services), and Joel Zwicker (Business Development Manager at Agency Revolution) so you can discover:

  • Simple steps insurance agencies can take to get in front of more millennials and young professionals… and how to do a better job showing the values and opportunities in the insurance industry that are a natural fit with what millennials find most important.
  • How millennial expectations differ from their parents. (Training, relationships, the paths to growth, company culture, and more – what they expect and how they define these concepts have evolved significantly from past generations).
  • Key changes any agency can make to become a more attractive workplace for young professionals (and will make them want to stay with you for the long-haul!).

If you plan to keep your agency running in the future without depreciating in value, you must listen to this important, information-rich discussion.

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.

May 1, 2019

Mark McLaughlin – Global Insurance Director at IBM

IBM Global Insurance Director shines a light on the future of the independent agency system (and how agents must respond!)

At the intersection of insurance and technology sits—not yesterday’s startup—but one of the most valuable and influential companies in the world: IBM.

Their Global Insurance Director, Mark McLaughlin, took time from his international duties to discuss the future of the industry with our host, Michael Jans.

Serious students of the industry must listen to this frank and freewheeling conversation about the pace of change, the nature of those changes, and how they’ll affect the day-to-day life of the insurance agent:

  • How agents can (and must) maintain the human connection with the client (and use technology to make those connections deeper and more frequent) as other industry players try to take control of the customer away from the agent.
  • New technologies that agents (not just carriers) must keep an eye on: blockchain, AI, chatbots, and more – and how they’ll affect the agent’s business in the very near future.
  • Make no mistake, Mark believes in the role of the agent… but he shares how other industries set standards that agents must live up to before it’s too late – and his 3-part plan for every agent to succeed.

If you have time for ONE conversation on ‘big picture’ trends (that’s still wrapped in practical advice) this is it. You may not think about IBM every day… but they think about you! Don’t miss this important dialogue with a global industry leader.

NOTE FROM THE PRODUCER: Due to technical difficulties Michael Jans’ audio was not as clear as we would like it to be. However, this discussion is full of such great content, we couldn’t dream of pulling it from the schedule.

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.

April 24, 2019

Mike Demko – CEO of My Insurance Videos and Awesome Social Posts

You cannot ignore the power of video! Leading insurance marketing expert shows how to make it easy for agencies.

Why are marketers swarming to video? Simple. It works. Video is 500% more likely to get engagement than messages with images, and 600% more likely to be remembered… and modern consumers expect video.

Savvy agents are jumping on video now—and getting a leadership position on a rapidly maturing marketing medium. Whether you want more customers or more loyalty from your customers, you owe it to yourself to give a few minutes to this conversation with Mike Demko, nationally recognized digital marketing expert and the founder of My Insurance Videos.

Mike’s company has helped more than 500 agencies drive growth and retention with their “done for you” video and social automation platform. He has been featured in the Insurance Journal, Agency Nation, The Insurance Agent Summit, Property & Casualty 360, Paradiso Presents, IA Magazine, Insurance Agents Alliance, Insurance Nerds, and the Insurance Guys Podcast.

  • Video-made-easy: Mike gives the ‘ultimate video cheat sheet’ on this podcast. (Video may seem hard! This super simple checklist of tools, tech, and content ideas will have you shooting video by Friday!).
  • The simple secrets of video promotion: where to put your messages so you get the most bang for your buck. (A few of these will make you say “Gosh… why didn’t I think of that before!).
  • How you can use video to create deeper, longer, stronger emotional bonds with your marketplace.

Whether you’re an agency principal or an agency marketer, this one conversation will solve your video problems. This is THE masterclass in video for the independent insurance agent. Listen today and get ideas you’ll put into practice immediately!

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.

April 17, 2019

Dennis Chookaszian – Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Premier industry expert delivers a masterclass in ‘the industry right now’.

Note from our host, Michael Jans: When I told a colleague I had just interviewed Dennis Chookaszian, he said, ‘He might know more about insurance than anyone alive.’

I replied, ‘This much I know to be true: I learned more in that one hour than any single hour in the past year – no doubt.’

A legit industry super-star, Dennis is the retired Chairman and CEO of CNA Insurance Companies. He served has served as chairman of FASAC (Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council) which provides guidance to the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) on accounting matters. He was also a member of the FCAG (Financial Crisis Advisory Group) which was the international commission that was created to develop recommendations to solve the financial reporting problems associated with the financial crisis of 2008.

Dennis has served on the Boards of 13 publicly traded companies and 50 private corporations. He currently teaches at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business:

  • Why now is peak-performance time for independent insurance agents – and precisely what you should do now to take advantage of the huge profit opportunity in front of your agency. (Historically, the forces never lined up like this. Dennis explains the forces behind today’s unique advantage for agents).
  • How agents can ‘control the customer’ to gain rapid advantage in the marketplace.
  • End confusion and bewilderment about how to get to the next level. Dennis shares his insight on how to stay on top of change (and which ones are worth paying attention to).

Please don’t miss this conversation with one of the insurance industry’s most respected thought leaders. If you have time for one conversation that will make you much, much smarter about the industry you live and breathe in, this is it.

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.

April 10, 2019

George Krahn – Founder & Principal of Proven Results Marketing Agency

Leading ‘Advanced Technology’ marketing expert shares the newest secrets to online advertising.

What does an agency principal need to know about the latest breakthroughs in digital marketing? After all, it’s likely that the principal won’t be the hands-on technician, right?

But, every principal who sees their primary job as building a reliable Organic Growth Machine for their agency should at least know what today’s marketing technologies can do for them.

George Krahn, Founder & Principal of Proven Results Marketing Agency—one of Canada’s top marketing agencies—shares inside information on what cutting edge marketers are using to fill their lead funnel with pre-qualified leads:

  • The latest advances to help you track your visitors, learn more about them – and guide them through a flawless journey to your agency.
  • New breakthroughs on phone tracking… so you always know the source of your inbound calls. (Extremely valuable when you get your Marketing Engine in place.)
  • Lead Magnets – best uses, best places, best ways to get the market to stand up and pay attention.
  • The ‘insiders’ scoop’ on Facebook. George shares what the best pro’s do to test, measure and explode their inbound leads with Facebook advertising. (Not the same as it was 11 weeks ago.)

If you have time for one conversation, this is the one that will open your eyes up to new ways technology can turbo-charge your lead generation efforts. Whether you’re an agency principal, a marketer – or you’re more-than-curious what’s new in marketing, this is for you. Listen – and get a Master Class in modern growth strategies.

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industry’s leading figures.