The Hive Five Podcast

5 Key Takeaways from Brian Appleton

1. Work to improve your copywriting skills – Know how to write messages that contain a successful call to action

2. Work to create partnerships and relationships that can benefit you and create value

3. Work on maintaining your brand

4. Understand your numbers

5. Be creative in your spending (Brian’s Recommended Read: Profit First)


Description


Our guest on today’s episode is Brian Appleton. Brian is the founder and host of the Insurance Agent Summit. The Insurance Agent Summit is the world’s largest online event dedicated to insurance agents. He helps agents take strategies for getting better leads, putting those strategies to work on their online platforms, and allowing them to use this information to grow their business.

The Insurance Agent Summit was started back in 2015 and they had more than 60 different speakers at their first ever event. Brian details the story of how they’ve grown from 0 to over 10,000 agents taking part in their events. He also gives the story behind their move overseas and continuing to share the story of how they’ve grown.

Brian also talks about who the Insurance Agent Summit can benefit and who can be involved. While it is oriented towards insurance agents, both captive and independent agents, it can also be beneficial to business owners who want to innovate, continue to grow, and learn about the insurance industry. Real estate agents and other insurance related industries have benefitted from the Summit.

Brian discusses the unique niche that insurance agents find themselves in. They are in an industry with reoccurring revenue, causing them to become complacent in their business. The Insurance Agent Summit helps agents to prevent from becoming complacent, and encourages them to continue growing and gaining business.

Lastly, Brian gives some insight into what agents will find after joining the Insurance Agent Summit. He details the difference between the long-term game and the short-term game and how you succeed in each. He also talks about how to build a community and understand your customers instead of just trying to sell them. Overall, this episode is full of valuable information for insurance agents looking to grow their business, but also business owners outside of insurance that aim to grow in business.

Transcript


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When the going gets rough, you know how the saying goes. Sometimes things happen, life happens, and it’s not always our fault. In this podcast, we’ll feature real life testimonials from people like you, from good times to bath, funny memories and heartless.
Everyone has a story and everyone has been there for business owners, to parents to young adults. The hive five aims to tell stories about overcoming the struggles and adulting while celebrating the little victories of life in each podcast. Our guests will give insight to five key takeaways from someone who’s been there and done that, leaving you better than when you started.
Thank you so much for listening today. My name is Kagan Henson with bright B, and we also have Katherine Parker, marketing director or. Hey guys. Welcome back to the high five. We have a great guest today. His name is Brian Appleton, just like it sounds. That’s how it’s spelled. Brian Appleton with insurance agent summit. Welcome Brian.
Thanks for having me. Excited to be here, man. Looking forward to doing this today.
We really appreciate you taking time. We know you’re so busy and, but really want to get down to it. What is insurance agent summit?
Well, great question. Uh, again, thanks for having me here. And I’m excited to take part. It’s cool to see new and innovative stuff like this and more podcasts and more things coming into the insurance industry. So Kudos to you guys for, for doing this. So simply put, you know, I have to explain this a fair amount when we get speakers or new people that haven’t heard or seen what we do yet, but the simplest way I put it for her insurance agents out there is, you know, a lot of people are used to going to association events or trade events. And so really in a way what we’re doing is taking that and put it online. Uh, we saw an opportunity where, you know, across the country and even outside of the US. I mean we’ve had agents from obviously Canada, but also overseas. That’s, you know, that a lot of agents unfortunately are kind of in their own little bubble and a lot of places where they used to get valuable content or information.
They’re not necessarily available or it can be expensive or a lot of time out of the office. So they’re saying, how can I learn, I’m really what the best are doing. And so what we did was take all that and put it online and what the insurance agent summit is, is basically an open resource sharing what the best agents and owners and some we do have some vendors and trade partners that come onto but truly focused on the agent and the owner and what they’re doing to be successful as they grow and look to the future, what they’re having success with now, some of the most innovative and creative things. What we do is we get on with them, we do short, impactful, uh, training sessions where we try to go as deep as we can on what they’re doing. And it’s really focused on some of the biggest areas that agents and owners want to focus on, which is a, continues to be, uh, how do I get more quality leads?
Do I improve my sales and how do I grow my overall business effectively? And so we take that information and put it on an ongoing plan online platform and then people can take it and take part in it from wherever they are, wherever they are and honestly any way they want to at anytime they want to. So that’s the cool thing when we put it in video and audio format and, and uh, we put it on our online platform and to be able to do that. So the cool part is in a short couple couple of years, two years now, we’ve went from, we had no one on our email list. All I had was a few great connections. Just started sharing the story and saying, Hey, if I can find a way to put this together, will you take part? And so in our first event we had more than 60 speakers, which was way too many.
Uh, we’ve really narrowed it down from there. But I was really excited the first year. And so in the, in the last two years, we’ve grown from nothing to. We’ve had over 10,000 agents a register and take part in our events. So it’s been a fun journey. And a short time to see it grow to that level and have that, have that amount of people take part in every, every day and every year we continue to find more, more agents that haven’t found this yet. So it’s growing and we continue to, to find those. And like I said, we’ve gone overseas, we’ve gone into all these other niches and areas and, and activity to share our story and kind of our mission of putting information and content out there for agents to share and take part in because if we’re not, you know, working together, we’re all failing, you know, really it’s the rising tide lifts all ships. And so, um, stuff like this, the podcast and where you guys are doing what we’re trying to do, it’s all in that same vein
just like you. What you’re trying to do is create this community of support and which, whichever one needs and so that, that definitely speaks to what you’re doing. But also also to what bright bs striving to do as well. And so tell me, I want to talk about overseas some time later because that seems intriguing, but what I want to talk to you about real quick is who can be involved in this at, you know, I know a lot of insurance agents are asking themselves the question of, well, I’m, you know, with a I’m a captive agent or I’m an independent, so is it for me? And so who is it for?
We like to think it’s for both. We do have so far this specific event has quite a bit of focus in the PNC, but a lot of the principles, a captive independent apply to it because a lot of it is, again, it’s, it’s, I know insurance agents, we all like to think, you know, we’re, we’re different than every other niche out there. In some ways we are and we have a lot of benefits. You know, as you, as I were talk you and I were talking before the podcast started, one of the greatest things about the insurance industry is reoccurring revenue. It’s also one of the biggest challenges that will, you know, it’s easy to get complacent or keep doing what you’re doing, but we, we’ve realized that, you know, we need to change or so it’s for anyone that realizes I need to know or I need to see what the best are doing.
And so businesses, business, it’s, you know, selling is selling a business growth. The challenges that entrepreneurs face are across all industries. And so really we to think of this information, we’ve even had people take part in it outside of the insurance industry. You know, we’ve even had a few real estate agents and other people that’s just say, hey, I just want to learn how to grow my business. I saw this somewhere. I thought, Hey, I’m a business owner. If insurance agents can do it, I can do it or, or if it’s information for them, it’s information for me. So we’ve even had a little bit of that. So you know, really it’s for anyone that’s focused on is selling insurance products. Now again, I will say life insurance is a little different or this, you know, different products, a little different, you know, health insurance is a little different, but we’ve had health agents, we’ve had life agents, we had all those guys take part and so we do have a heavy pnc focus because that’s a lot of, that’s my background.
That’s a lot of the agents that we work with exclusively are, you know, have a large pnc focus, but they also sell, I mean, one of my best friends that we’ve had on the podcast multiple times, Chris Paradiso is now partnering with agencies in different markets to now, you know, cross sell and up sell different products. A lot of agents are doing that now. So, you know, we see the opportunity in all of those niches. It just really depends on. I think it’s more if you’re focused on growth, you know, this is an event for you. Yeah, definitely. That sounds great. So let’s talk you, you’re doing a blog, you’re doing an email list and I, I’ve, I’ve actually gotten your email list as well and you’re also doing a podcast. Um, is there anything else that you’re doing right now? Yeah. So, um, these are all things we’re working on launching right now.
We’re uh, you know, as we’ve started to, one of the big things we’ve done through a lot of events, good question, is a lot of surveys, so a lot of information on what people want more of and what people really want is what we found is more information from the agents and the owners themselves. I mean, people, you know, obviously all of us relate to people that are going through the same thing as us, same challenges, same things that they’re doing. So we said, hey, how can we provide more value and get more content? So we’re working on a podcast, which our podcast is going to be focused on agency gross stories. So it’s really a, how did you get to where you are? How did you get into the industry? What were your challenges? How did you overcome and get to where you are now?
And then how do things look for the future? How are you building for the future? Uh, we have our summit content. Obviously we’re working on a video blog which is focused on some of the sales stories we want to bring out some of how are you selling or what’s some of the strategies or what’s one of your greatest sales story and how can other people listed that take it and apply it, let’s say. I’m trying to think of what else we have and then yeah, obviously our email lists where we try to put out as much value and do those things and then we look for different partners that have different webinars, different content, different trainings that we can provide a value to you and we send that out to our list as well with um, just, you know, here’s some other great things that we see going on in the industry. So those are our big focuses right now. But really honestly, I, I, we’ve dropped the ball a little bit on providing continuous, ongoing free value and we see how important that is. So now that’s a big shift for us is how much free value can we provide in doing that?
Man, it’s hard to get free value because it’s still, it’s free, free is not free.
Yeah, and that’s what, that’s one thing that,
that Catherine and I are
learning as we go through this and
we’ve been asking ourselves a lot lately of how do we add more value for our agents so that we make bright be more valuable, but giving them this idea that bright b is not here just to take their money, it, they’re here to actually help them succeed and help them thrive in this one
Sri. Well, and there’s, there’s, you know, talking with somebody about this the other day. I mean there’s the, there’s the short term game and the longterm game, right? And agents, you know, understanding this to and needing to what you’re doing, what we’re doing, what we’re creating with the free content, the blogs did the podcast, the things of that nature, those take time to really build up, to get people listening to it, to get enough to get enough exposure to get enough, you know, uh, uh, organic is what we might call it, you know, those are the ganache things that as they build and you have a huge list and a following, it’s great. It brings in a lot of organic traffic. But it takes time to do that in the short term. We may talk about this more today in the short term, there’s a what’s called direct response.
So running ads, doing things of that nature that get the direct responsibility, that’s the short term, uh, in both complained together in the longterm, but understanding how each have importance in value and what each, what you’re trying to do with each and so in the blogs and the email list, in all of those things, it’s really about exactly what you said, community value. Almost like getting to understand them that you have a personality and you’re a real person and not just a company trying to get their money because when you do that, you build that over time. It, it’s a huge asset. And so getting agents to understand that too, you know, and you have to find the things that are right for you. If it’s email list, if it’s a blog, if it’s a video, I’m starting to see more and more agents do video, which I think is great, but there’s other guys.
It’s like, I, I have no interest in getting in front of the camera. That’s okay. You don’t have to do that. You mean you really don’t have to do that? Uh, you can write if you want to be a writer, you can, you can you do this, do a podcast or do audio or do something like that. Whatever you feel like is the right fit for you. But, but building that, it’s so hard because it’s like, man, when, when do I get the payoff? It might be a year, it might be a couple of years, but it can be really powerful if done in the right way and for the right people in the right audience and when you build that connection, it really does do that and I’ve even stumbled in it with myself and made a ton of mistakes and learned a lot along the way, but it’s, but it’s a huge asset. So understanding the short term versus the long term, the organic versus the direct response and how they both play in your business and that’s a huge thing for agents to understand as well. And I think that’s what, you know, we try to teach them and I think you are too with what you’re building here.
I just want to talk about this leads thing, you know, because you all are focused a lot on leads and you know, business to business sales and as we all know, business to business sales is completely different than business to consumer sales. I mean those are two, two completely
different animals to try to tackle. I just want to pick your brain for a second. You know, I think it’s important to know, you know, for Brian too, there are a lot of different things out there in insurance in insuretech and we hear often when we’re approaching agents, you know, they’ve been burned by something or they don’t buy leads or uh, the market is too saturated with people who are trying to come in and disrupt it and so, you know, how, how would you say is the best way to reach agents and you know, we can really relate to the struggle that is real with business to business sales and so I just want to pick your brain. I mean, how, how have you seen most effective
just to clarify reaching agents or for agents to reach their customers?
I think both. I mean I think that bright B is trying to reach these agents in order to help these agents reach consumers. And, and like I said, it’s, it’s, it’s different, you know, US marketing, business to business and then marketing them, business to consumer. It’s just, it’s an interesting, it’s an interesting pattern that we have here and it’s a struggle that we face daily.
Yeah, I mean you’re right, B, b is different than B to c, you know, selling to each one whether we’re talking about trying to connect with agents or agents trying to sell their services, B to B or b to c, you know, there’s different channels that are effective. Even if we just talk about, you know, linkedin is where a lot of bws happening just to simplify linkedin’s, where a lot of BDB happening. Facebook’s where probably a lot of b to c now that’s not, that doesn’t work 100 percent across the board, but in general terms, you know, there’s different avenues or different things that you’re doing that and such connecting with the insurance agent and really doing that and building the value. Again, I think what you’re doing here with the podcast is a great step. You know, Kiki and I were talking to before and I was actually in my conversation with a friend of this the other day, you know, the more you can and for insurance agent.
So I think for anyone and what’s helped our growth most significantly is when you can partner with someone and it’s a, a mutually beneficial partnership and they have access to something that you want to have access to. So if you’re, let’s even go to the insurance agent, if you’re talking about if there’s people in your area that have a great email list, now, there may not be, but maybe there are. I usually like to think there are, um, that maybe their speakers or people that are educating people on Financial Literacy or accountants or lawyers or whoever it is that has some type of customer base that you can cross reference with. I know you guys are looking at some strategic partnerships that you’re saying to say, Hey, you’ve got a client base or you’ve got a list. How can we provide value to that? And then in return, grow that list.
That’s what we did with the first summit is you know, all these speakers we just said, hey, by cross pollinating each other’s email lists, you know, you’re all going to get a lot of exposure. But what we ask that you do is you obviously share it with your list, then they’re going to come over and, and um, so we built our email list significantly because of that, because of what they did and they each got the value out of it as well. I think the challenge with all of that is always asking the question, you can’t get what you want until they get what they want. So, you know, in any of this that the, the, the biggest stumbling block that people always make that I see again and again is, well, just give me access to your email list, will just give me what I want.
Can I just get what I want? And you know, not worrying about that. You always have to provide the value first. You always have to ask yourself, what do they really want? Can I get them what they really want? So at the end, now again it, it’s put in that context. I don’t want people to listeners to think of it in a negative way. Oh, you’re just trying to get what you want and, but, but really think about put yourself in that person. She would say, how can I provide them value? So after the end of this, hopefully maybe I’ll get some value in return. Hopefully I’ll get that. Yeah, so I think that’s a great question though, is asking. So B to B and B, c sales are very different. They’re very different things. I hope I’m answering your question, but that’s kind of the first thought I would take to building those partnership relationships and trying to get access with insurance agents and building value with them.
That’s great feedback. And I actually looked at each other the other day and we were like, this is why businesses don’t advertise to consumers. This is what businesses do, B to b because advertising to consumers is so hard. It really is. I mean, it’s just such a vast market. I want to go back to the email, the email list that you keep talking about. Um, how do you find the balance between growing your email list? Everybody says that it’s a really vital part of business and also having been a consumer that gets emails all the time and thanks. I wish people would just stop emailing me. You know what I mean? I mean if it, if it’s important to your business, but you want to please them to. I mean, do you ever face that struggle yourself? Because we talk about that a lot here. Right?
That’s a really good question. You know, I, I love to be on other, so I’m, I’m a, I’m a, I’m a marketer and honestly, well you guys are too. And honestly every insurance agent, the best ones that I know, again, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some of the best marketing minds, you know, the Michael Jordans of the world and you know, but also some of the best agency marketing minds, the Chris Paradiso’s and the Jeff Roy’s and you know, all these people that are really doing really innovative and creative things and they really see themselves really as marketers first. And so being on a great email list and put, you know, getting on there and seeing what they send out. It keeps, it keeps my ideas going and generating and and you know, always how are they providing that and then also like you said, seeing okay, because you really put yourself in, in the people that are getting your email shoes when you do that and you really, okay, how are they providing value?
In what ways are they finding to provide value to me where I’m like, yes, I’m feeling connected with them. I’m feeling like I’m getting to know them and who they are and what the value is of me being on their list or the list where you feel like, oh my God, I’m just getting emails all the time where either they’re selling me something or they’re trying to sell me somebody else’s product. They’re trying to affiliate sale and it’s just again and again and again and I started out really liking this person. I read their book, I, I got their content, I subscribed to their list. I’m like, wow, this is really great stuff. And then they just beat me down over time and, and I didn’t want to be a part of it. I’ve done that. I unfortunately, I’ve learned that lesson first hand where I’ve done that to our list and it got burned out over time and I, and then I started meeting other people’s.
I’m like, wow, this is really. And so I think we have to think about that, about all of our marketing to say, are we beating people up? You know, I had somebody a long time ago that I’d done some work for and a width and he was doing some consulting for agencies and you know, this agent reach out to him and he’s like, Hey, will you take a look at my facebook profile back when everybody was talking about social media and you need to post and that’s how you’re going to get leads and all this stuff. And some people still do generate leads doing it that way, but he won’t look at their profile. And, and, and I mean every post was about buy from me, call for a quote, you know, it’s just like, dude, that doesn’t work. Like you’re not building any value in using that medium.
Why would people stay on that? And so, you know, I started to realize, I mean, you have to make offers to people if you’re, if you’re in the business to make money, you should be. But I now kind of prescribed more to the, uh, if you’ve ever read, read any Gary v, Gary Vanerchuck, I was booking butcher his last name I used, uh, um, it’s written differently than it says his books. It’s Jab, Jab, Jab, right hook, you know, so it’s value, value, value offer, you know, and it doesn’t have to be exactly that, but we’ve started to prescribe to that and I’ve started to see better results because of that. So value, value, value than offer. And that can be a couple of emails. But, uh, it’s really kind of that, that formula,
at one point in time people were saying, you know, it’s about 80 percent content and about 20 percent sell. And that may have been a specific social media reference, I’m not sure, but would you, would you kind of agree? Do you think those statistics are about right? Yeah, I think
that’s, I think that’s pretty close. And again, it’s all it. Again, it depends on what you’re doing, how you’re doing it so that what we’re talking about is more of the organic, more the once they’re in your community and on your list than. Yes, that’s what you should be doing. Yeah. I would say that 75 to 80 percent is probably pretty accurate. Again, if we’re running facebook ads directly to somebody to get them to sign up for something, whether we’re doing that for an insurance agent or we’re doing it for ourselves, that is all legion. That is all now. Now again, you could do an offer to a free, you know, maybe it’s a white paper or a piece of content or a video or something of value where you do that, but again, driving them directly to something that we want them to do.
What we’re talking about specifically here is yes, once they’re in your community and on your list and doing that, you need to do as much as you can to make them feel trusted and cared for and value. I just, I just sent out an email to, to give an example that was about, you know, what the fourth of July kind of means and I didn’t really use to appreciate the fourth of July. Then I started really following an agent friend of mine who his whole brand of his agency is about veterans and that’s really a brand he’s built. So not only did I talk about what, what fourth of July has now turned into a meant for me. I talked about branding and how his brand has transformed and why I believe he does such a good brand and what he stands for. And then I linked to his facebook so people could go see that.
So now it’s value. And then he sent me some fourth of July printout of a flag that kids could do. So I sent that said, hey, use this printed out with your kids and do something fun. So I put a little fun and something different in there and what they could do. And then I’m trying to. And then the last thing was like a video piece of content from one of the summits is a free thing. So I did a lot of different things in one email, but it was a lot about getting to know me about adding as much value as I could to them about something fun you could do with your kids are doing that. So you just got to mix those things up and do that too. It can’t be so monotone. And so like, you know, hey, the fourth of July is an oh my God, something that drives me nuts.
Do you guys get these? It’s like, it’s like the stagnant photo of, of the, of the the military guy and it’s like the flag and it’s like happy fourth of July. I just said, hey, we’re thinking about you and so forth. It’s like, oh my God, if I get one more of those, I got 12 of them on the fourth of July. There’s nothing here that connects with me about your brand. I, I get that you’re sending me that, that email newsletter, fourth of July standard thing that you just put out and send, but I’d rather it was something about telling a story or something you’re connecting with or like if your grandfather was in the military and how you know, how much it meant to you that he got in his uniform every year and you guys celebrated in that way. Wow. It’s a personal story that I’m connected you with. Why the fourth of July means. So they were saying that they were closed. I think that’s what they were probably. I don’t know. I mean he gets some of both, you know, but, but yeah, it’s just, it’s just, that has no connection with me, you know, just standard, you know, the more personal you can get in the, in, the better you can do that. I think it connects so much better with your audience
and Kagan, our team, we talk about this all the time because man in the world of insurance, I mean you go down the street nowadays and you may find four or five agencies on one strip. I mean, there are, there are insurance agents everywhere. They’re on every corner and so how do you differentiate yourself? I mean, what is truly going to be that differentiating between agent a and agent b who are just 100 meters apart and, but they’re close to your house and I really think that the key to that is humanizing yourself where they don’t see you so much as a sales professional. Obviously you want them to see you as the expert, but give them a reason to connect with you, tell a story. Um, let them see that you’re not that different from you. And that’s one of the things that we really pushed your agents because people want to work with other people that they click with.
They can do that. I mean, I couldn’t, I couldn’t agree more. I mean, just to give you an example to talk about and even more transactional business. Real estate agents are real estate agents that we had was random long story, but we got her. I mean, this woman does more than any. I’ve had four or five real estate agents in my life is we bought and sold homes. She does more than any other. That is the most transactional business there is around every real estate agent moves from one sale to the next. This woman does events. She invites you to things. She gives away free state fair tickets. She, she follows us on facebook and if we need a dog sitter, she’s watched our dog before. I mean just crazy things like she goes far and beyond. I, I tell you guys, we have built a relationship with this woman.
I will refer her to anyone else just because of that and I believe she does a great job and she really cares. There are so many agents out there that are that, but don’t do it. I mean to go back to my friend Chris Parody, so he has a big fourth of July party and they cook hot dogs. He does a bike, a bike program where they give bikes to kids at school. He does. They do a fundraiser at Eddie Halloween and they share this on their, on their platforms with their email or social media and they let people know about it, not to boast about it, but to actually get more people helping with their charities and their causes and the things that they believe in. But in turn it does help sell insurance policies. It does help them do those seem like you said, it separates them from everyone else on the street.
And I guarantee if you’re a veteran in his hometown, there’s probably a 90 percent chance you have your insurance with him because you know it means something to him. You know, he cares about veterans. You know he’s going to take great care of you and that’s really important to them. And so, so many agents look at the businesses transactional we do. I’ve done that so many. You know, like I’m just moving onto the next thing. We did a summit and let’s move on. And that was a huge mistake that we made a huge mistake agents made. How can you separate yourself from everyone else and build that value and build that brand? And again, it’s, it’s hard because it takes a little bit, it’s a longterm strategy, it takes a little more. But man, it’s like a snowball down a hill once it’s going. It is incredibly powerful for what it does for your business and the staying power.
The best agents that I see, again, I see these guys, I see them across the board, they do this over and over again is they, they believe in their brand, they do unique, different things out of the box and they let people know that this is who we stand for, this is what we do and they’re really, really good at it. And so I can’t stress it enough about differentiating. It’s a great point. We’re so excited to hear what you’re saying. To be able to be a part a more so of what you’re doing and hopefully that we can have you be a part of what we’re doing as well. I think we can compliment each other but also just add value for each other and learn from each other. And I think that’s what it’s all about. But we don’t have a lot more time.
So I want to get and make sure that we get to the five key takeaways because I think this is extremely important for our listeners. So we asked for five key takeaways that you can give to our listeners that will benefit them as they continue down this down this path. So can you give us those five? Oh man, that’s a great question. So you know, something that we didn’t get to talk too much about it today and I know you had down is something you wanted to discuss is just about, you know, writing and so, you know, wanting to be a good or just a good marketing and salesperson. Something that a lot of people don’t talk about is this whole idea of copywriting. And I talk about copywriting, not in the context of like how you might edit a paper or something like that.
But copywriting as far as great salespeople are good copywriters. They know how to write messages that draw people’s interest in and get them to read or get them to take part or get them to take the next steps. And so, uh, there’s great people out there, a lot of people are an industry of follow people like Dan Kennedy or a Eugene Schwartz or you know, so many others that Gary Halbert was one for a long time. So, you know, I would highly recommend looking at copywriting if you want to be not only better at sales but better at marketing a really work on copywriting we talked today about. So that’s number one. Number two, we talked today about creating those partnerships and relationships that can benefit you and add value. You know, if there’s somebody you can partner with to quickly grow your email list, I think that’s really valuable.
Try to these as fast as I can. Uh, number three, I would say what we talked about today, you know, brand, you know, it’s, it’s a hot button word. It’s something that I do feel some agents are really trying to understand and put their finger on and it can be as complicated as you want it to be or it can really be as simple as you want to be. I mean, I mentioned his name a few times a day, Chris Parody, so his brand encompasses a few different things, but you know, one of it at its core is just, he’s very pro America, you know, pro American, you know, which is they buy locally. He promotes local business. He’s, you know, supports the military and veterans. He’s, he does big things on the fourth of July. I mean everything about how can we be as pro about our country and our people and help our community as much as we can.
That’s what he stands for. And so it can be as simple as that and having it come out in the things you do and what you believe in is incredibly important. You know, I would like to say something around, you know, we talked a little bit today about leads. I don’t even really like the word leads because it’s been so it’s just taken such a negative turn in our industry. You guys talked about it before. I mean, they, you know, agents have either bought leads or are generated, you know, or, or this didn’t work or that didn’t work or we bought cheap leads or we did that or you know, whatever, but we’ve done. So we’ve got over a thousand responses to surveys. It continues to be one of the top things in, in agencies and one of their challenges and their struggles is, you know, how do I get more leads, how do I get more operative, how do we get more quality leads?
So, you know, thinking differently about that. And really there’s a short term and a longterm game and generating quality opportunities. And part of that too is really knowing your numbers. What’s your, what, you know, a lot of agents don’t dive into what’s your cost per lead, you know, what’s your cost to convert a lead? What’s your. I mean there’s all these things associated with the numbers and understanding what does it take for you to break even on that opportunity once you sell. I mean there’s, there’s all these different numbers, so really looking to understand your numbers and then that will determine because if you come to me and say how much are you willing to spend to acquire a client? Well, if I know a client to our business is worth a thousand dollars, I’ll spend $999 to acquire that client because I know if I can make a thousand dollars on the front end from them in the long term over the next three years, that’s gonna be another $5,000.
You know, same thing with agencies. If they, you know, you’re going to keep somebody on the books for an average of five years, then that person is not worth $350 today for the policy. They’re actually worth, you know, over a thousand, whatever the math is times five, $1,500, you know, for. That’s what they’re actually worth. So you need to think about differently about acquisition costs and all of those things. So we’re working on partnering with agencies to look at that differently and build a different relationship on that. That’s for a number five. You know, trying to think off the top of my head, but it, you know, in working with a lot of agencies and working with a lot of the top ones, what I see over and over again is, you know, a, what, what agents struggle with is what business owners and everybody struggles with is how do I get over some type of hump to get to get to a place where I, you know, we’re making enough money that the business is doing well enough.
So I’m going to talk. Tell you quick about a book called profit first. I read it recently, completely changed my business, completely changed everything in the way I look at my business. So what happens to a lot of agency owners and business owners is basically we become glorified glory, glorified consultants. Where as the business makes more money, we pay ourselves more as the business makes less money. We pair selfless and we ride this roller coaster month to month, year to year, up and down, back and forth. We never get ahead in the business. Really what you need to think about the business differently. We basically just pay ourselves based on how the business do it instead of what profit first talks about it with business owners, no matter what level you’re at, need to look at how do we run this business like a big business would, creating a profit dividend paying ourselves a set salary, no matter how much the business makes month to month learning how to be more creative.
And uh, because what happens, you know, this is how people spend money. This is a business about money. We make more of it, we spend more of it, you know, so be creative in if you know, you only have this much, be creative in how can I find ways to get clients and when you have more money, setting it aside, creating a marketing budget. So then now you can say, hey, how can we go spend this money effectively with services like you guys provide or other services so that now we’ve got the ability to do that because most agencies don’t do that. And now they wonder why do I never have a marketing budget? Why am I, you know, you need to learn to be lean in those first few years so that you can really get over that hump and then now do the big things you need to do.
So, um, I believe in spending money on marketing those things, but do it in the right way and run your business in the right way and highly recommend that book. It’s a great, it’s so simple, but it’s so powerful and the things that can do to make your business profit, we’ll definitely put that in the show notes as well to make sure that, that people have that. And uh, I don’t know if you have a link to that on, on your site, but we’ll definitely find it. And if you want to provide any more now, Doug, tell us what is the best way after, after hearing all this information and you’re a wealth of knowledge and wisdom and what’s the best way to get in contact with you and to find more about what the insurance agent summit is doing and the upcoming events. Yeah.
Awesome. Well, first, uh, obviously insurance agent summit.com agent is singular. Check that out. That always has our update. Um, you know, if it’s either got the information about last year summit or the upcoming summit, you can always put your email in there, you’ll claim your spot for the event. Uh, we obviously do, some of our trainings are free and then we’ve got other stuff that if you become a vip, you get access to all the content anytime or additional bonus content, all of that stuff. So check out [inaudible] dot com or email me for free to email me any questions, Brian@insuranceagentsummit.com. That is great. Well, that is all the time we have today, but Brian, you are awesome. We really appreciate all the information that you gave and we’ll definitely be putting more information from you in the near future. If anyone has ever looking for insurance quotes that don’t sting, make sure to go to bing.com and click on get a quote and find qualified agents of your choice. Thanks again Brian, and hope everyone has a wonderful day.

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