Category Archives: Uncategorized

Marketing Plans are not Difficult to Develop

When planning to write a marketing plan for your Agency, do not get caught up in thinking that it will be a daunting task.  While you need to take your time and think through the specifics of your plan, you should start by answering these basic questions first:

Who are you and what differentiates your Agency?

What do you do and where do you do it?

Who are you ideal clients?

What are your strategies to get your ideal clients to buy from you and bond with you, to stay with you?

If you start by answering these basic questions first, you will have established a strong foundation for a useful and effective marketing plan.


Renters – Insurance – Real Value


I see a lot of questions from the insurance public about this important coverage.  Renter’s insurance policies provide a considerable amount of coverage for a relatively small premium.  For starters, it is extremely valuable coverage in the event of a loss to your personal property from perils such as fire, smoke, theft and several other common loss circumstances.  It also provides some coverage for liability which can be of significant value. Other desired coverages can be economically added.

From a personal standpoint, my Wife and I saw the value first-hand when our Sons had a severe kitchen fire in their apartment in Raleigh, NC a few years ago. Fortunately, no one was hurt but the apartment became totally uninhabitable as a result of the fire and smoke damage. Because one of our Sons was astute enough to have purchased a renter’s policy (…he finally listened to his Parents!…) they were reimbursed for all of their burned and smoke-damaged possessions.  Additionally, they received full reimbursement for living expenses elsewhere while restoration was being completed. When the landlord sued them for negligence related to the cause of the fire…which was quickly thrown-out in court…the insurance carrier provided them a defense for the  allegation of negligence, including the presence of a defense lawyer during the formal hearing.

All-in-all, it cost our Sons their very affordable premium and a small loss deductible to get back to their lives. Without the renter’s policy, they would have been ‘hurting’ for a long time!


Last Sunday, I was with my 11 year old Grandson at a sports type restaurant where we like to eat lunch and watch multiple football games. The volume from one local game was featured during the singing of the National Anthem by a soldier in uniform.

At the conclusion of the Anthem, everyone …or so it seemed…in the restaurant applauded loudly!

It was a great feeling.

Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers

A couple of years ago, I was reading an insurance industry magazine article about an interesting organization that was hiring, training and licensing disabled veterans for placement into insurance agencies.   I decided to contact both the Founder and President/CEO, to discuss my possible involvement, as a volunteer.   I had retired from my full-time marketing and sales related position and was looking for an organization that was really trying to make a difference, not just spending most of its money on administration and advertising.

When I met the Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers Program founders and staff – I quickly determined that it was the right organization for me.   They made me part of their team as a Strategic Board member, which has been a very rewarding experience for me.  The  DVIC team works together very closely to achieve the mission to educate, train & create meaningful employment opportunities within the insurance industry for disabled veterans.

Take a few minutes to look at the website listed above and particularly the 4-minute video of the interviews with some of our disabled veterans.   You will see how the DVIC program has made a difference in their lives.

Decision Making the ‘Ben Franklin Way’

Most people know that Benjamin Franklin was a really interesting & creative man who contributed greatly to the development of many useful things in both society and industry.

In 1772, he introduced what was considered to be the first ‘decision balance sheet’.  Many of us use it today.  I call it my ‘pros & cons’ list.  It is a simple exercise that can serve us well in many aspects of life, not just in business decision making.

In its most simple form, take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, listing ‘Pros’ on one side of the line and “Cons’ on the other.  Apply this process when you are trying to decide the best option between two choices.

In a business example for an insurance agency principal:  “Should I join the ‘Smith Premium Aggregator Group’ or The ‘Jones Premium Aggregator Group’?

Do a separate sheet on both groups.  List the pros and cons of each, as Ben’s decision making tool indicates.  After the pros and cons of both are listed, weight each one in terms of level of importance to you.  (I use a 1-5 rating scale, with 1 being the least important to me.  However, you can also use 1-3 or whatever scale you choose to apply.)  Add them up and while it isn’t a perfect system, if you do it carefully enough, it should give you a pretty good idea of which insurance network group you should consider joining, based on the values of each of their respective programs’ characteristics, as they relate to your agency.

It will also help you identify issues that may not be clear to you and require that you ask additional questions of the insurance network group representatives, so that you are clear on everything.

Obviously this simple approach can be used to make decisions of all types, both personal and business related.

Thanks, Ben!