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The Ridiculously Amazing Insurance Agent Podcast Episode 3

The Ridiculously Amazing Insurance Podcast Episode 3 has launched!

The wait is over, episode two is here for you to listen to!

Are you an insurance agency owner or insurance agent looking to improve your strategies, communication, customer experience, or marketing in your agency? If so, you have come to the right place!

In this episode, Kelly & Dave discuss how you can build a killer marketing strategy and get your team’s buy in along the way. Marketing is a vital component of growing agencies. Listen to our podcast to learn more!

Agency Performance Partners is ready to help you take your agency to the next level by being ridiculously amazing at all that you do!

Connect With The Hosts:

Kelly Donahue-Piro

David Siekman 

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Transcription of Podcast is below

 

Kelly: Dave, Podcast number three!

Dave: Three!

Kelly: Three! Game signs! Right, well, hey guys. Happy March and first of all, we have another epic podcast. We’re going to talk today about how to handle team members that don’t want to be in marketing and they don’t want to be in photos. Which I think happens a lot.

Dave: All the time.
Kelly: All the time. The cool thing is once you’re going to make that cultural shift it gets a ton easier, but something to consider. So Dave, what have you been up to in the month of March? I hear you have some big personal items.

Dave: Yes, lots of them. My personal items, I just got back from sleeping on a submarine at battleship cove. That was kind of cool with my son. Other than that, just running around a lot, launched a couple of new APPX programs this month. Made a couple of other sales. So it was a good month for me. Where were you all month?

Kelly: Did a little, I don’t know if you remember Ron Berg from ACT, but I got to speak at in an ACT meeting. So that was pretty cool talking about how to get technology adoption. That was fun. Also, I got to see my good friend Steve Holley.  He’s been a great supporter of both Agency Appeal and Agency Performance Partners. So launched a little proactive renewal calls down in Virginia. Yep, so that was good and did a lot of speaking cause of all the spring speaking events. So made it out to Missouri for the Missouri Agency Association and the FYA, the Florida Young Agents. So yeah, it’s that speaking circuit timeframe of year. So super psyched to be out there and about and get the word out to some new people. Hopefully they might even listen to this podcast.

Dave: Cool. Did you get anyone to sign up to subscribe to the podcast?

Kelly: First of all, my life mission is now to get the subscriptions at least up to one hundred. No, I’m just kidding. There’s subscriptions and downloads so, you know, we’re building our audience right now Dave, and for those people who haven’t engaged yet, they just don’t know what they’re missing. We’re building quality content and the good news is we’re going to be back next month.

Dave: God willing.

Kelly: I mean, if you don’t go out to sea. The other fun thing is, while you were out at sea, I was at ARS’s casino night. I know this is a national podcast, but ARS is a big restoration company here in New England and we speak at their events, we’re great supporters, we do CE credits for them and they put on this great casino night for Gloria Gemma of the Breast Cancer Foundation. I got to win so much fake money it was ridiculous. With all my fake money, I’ll buy a fake Louis Vuitton bag, it’ll be great. I digress, let’s get on to some marketing topics cause I know we’ve got listeners out here that need to get to the chase. Dave, why is it so freaking hard to get your entire staff to engage marketing in an agency?

Dave: I don’t know. Can you answer that question?

Kelly: That was a good pivot.

Dave: That’s a good pivot. Dave, you resolve this. I honestly, I don’t know what it is, I think a lot of it has to do with change. A lot of staff members just not liking change. I think there’s a lack of buy-in on the value of it, and then I think there has to be some kind of, I don’t know if embarrassment is the right word, but some kind of factor on, you know, they don’t want their friends and family, I guess, to see their co-workers. I’m not sure, I’m not explaining that well, do you know where I’m trying to go with that?

Kelly: I think it’s like FUD, you know, fear, uncertainty and doubt. So you’re full, they’ve never been in a position where they’ve been a modelling contract or, you know, if you’re like who’s gonna respond and I think a lot of it actually drives down to that work/life separation. So they feel like, well if I’m in this photo now, all of sudden they’re in my personal life and if you pose in a picture at somebody’s birthday party at the office, it’s not going to change your life.

Dave: Right.

Kelly: I think a lot of times people just get it so pent up in their head, when in reality one of our biggest sources of new business is our natural network. So the more times people see on social media you’re an insurance agent, the more natural business is going to come through. I think so much of it is just people get a little self-conscious, right? I know I put my face out on everything, and you know, sometimes you look at a video of yourself and you’re like, “It’s time to cut down on the martinis, Kelly. Things are not lookin’ in the right direction.” or you get that terrible photo with like the…you know, by the way, try to shoot yourself on YouTube, try to shoot video and get the thumbnails correctly.

Dave: Oh, the still picture? Everytime.

Kelly: Everytime. YouTube finds the worst.

Dave: It’s a special algorithm they’ve built.

Kelly: Yeah, so I think that there’s two-fold to it. One, there’s participating in marketing, like generating blog ideas. Like that, anybody should be able to do, but it seems like you meet just as much resistance as being in team photos, right? It’s the whole concept, it’s not just the imagery of it.

Dave: Yeah. I think there’s a component where it’s “not-my-job” type of thing. You know, it’s not much different from if you ask them to do, you know, anything that’s outside of their comfort zone or outside of their job description. I guess it’s highlighted when it’s marketing because it is newer, it’s a newer way to market and it’s just a newer idea. So it just kind of compounds the issue more.

Kelly: Yeah, and you know I think people sort of have to get over the idea that they’re not, you know, we’re not looking for fashion models. We’re here to say we’re real people, we’re in your community, right? It’s not so much about hair and makeup and about being all crazy, it’s just that we’re here and we’re real people just like you. Showing that part of the independent agent side is how you compete against the Geicos and Progressives because they can’t put a person in their commercials, right? That’s why they have a Flo, and that’s why they have a gecko. I’m getting all sorts of notifications on my phone, on my laptop, so let’s shut those off. So what’s the cause and effect, right? So if you have this great marketing strategy and you have a great brand, you want to amplify it, you want to show your people, you want to show that you’re active in the community. What’s the cause and effect? I think one of the biggest causes, you know, it’s our own insecurities cause it. We all think that if we lose ten pounds and we’ll get in the video or what if I get made fun of? Dave, I don’t know if you’re okay sharing, you got some feedback on a recent video you did.

Dave: Yeah, well it’s one of the reasons why I, I mean this is a podcast so I have my camera even a little higher because I wanted to make it look like I was in the studio. One of the things that I’ve always done is I have a smaller laptop and looking down into the camera, it’s just a bad angle. I think we got some feedback saying if you lift it up a little bit, and again I went a little extreme here for this look, but I think that you look back on those. I look back on some of those early videos that I shot and I do see that, you know, it was just kind of a tough angle. So a lot of times I think people get it, they get into their own heads and they’re like, “Oh, well this is the best angle. Oh, how am I gonna look?” and I don’t know that having the wrong angle is going to take away from the content. I think that in fact, to some extent, it shows that you’re a real person and that it’s just real life and now we’re just people trying to sell something to other people or protect them or you know, whatever. Whatever interaction you’re trying to have with the customer. I don’t think that there really is any true reason not to do it, I think it’s a lot of head trash and people trying to come up with a reason not to do it because they don’t like change. They’re insecure and all of those things.

Kelly: I think you have to get to the point that the juice is worth the squeeze, right? So is it better to be part of it and share how great your agency is with the outside world or is it better to not do it because one person is uncomfortable? The answer is keep moving forward. One of the things we want to do is roleplay a situation here, right? So if you’re stuck and you’re an agency owner and, man, you’re just facing this battle, what are some strategies you could use? I was thinking that you’ll be the agency owner and I will be the reluctant to be in any type of team photos at all and I plan on making this really entertaining for the team, so just be careful. Get ready it. I’ve geared up, I’ve heard all the reasons and I’m going to throw them all at you.

Dave: I’m going to try not to break character. Alright, so I’m the agency owner and I’m coming in and we’re going to hold a team photo shoot. I’ve just contracted with Agency Appeal, and we’re putting together our brand guide, and part of that is to have some photos in there, so I know all of that information. I’m just going to come in. What are you doing?

Kelly: I’m in the meeting, and I’m reacting to the fact that you’re gonna do…

Dave: No, I haven’t started yet!

Kelly: I was practicing my facial expressions.

Dave: Oh, okay. I know, you’re too distracting, you’re gonna have to mute you. Okay, so I come in and say, “Hey, great news guys. I’m so excited, we’re gonna have a team photo shoot so that I can take pictures of everyone and share what you guys are doing with the outside world.”

Kelly: Excuse me?

Dave: Yeah, we’re gonna take pictures of you and put them online.

Kelly: I’m definitely not doing that.

Dave: Why not?

Kelly: Because I don’t want to. I’m not comfortable giving you photos and that’s definitely not part of my job. What does that have to do with processing auto ID cards?

Dave: Well, we’re all salespeople, and at the bottom of your job description it says that you have to do all other tasks aside. So this is part of your job description and you are doing it.

Kelly: Um, okay. What day is the photo shoot so I can be sure to call out sick?

Dave: I’m going to make it a surprise. It’s now.

Kelly: I’m going home sick, I’m not doing it. I’m not doing it and here’s the thing, I’m going to go and get my whole posse, my girl posse here, and they’re not doing it either.

Dave: Yeah, that’s the problem, right? Okay, so that’s scenario one, right? Where we have, I think the agency owner comes in with a lack of understanding that he might get some pushback and then the account manager acted like Kelly.

Kelly: The queen bee. I like to call her the queen bee.

Dave: I think you brought up a good point too, it can be toxic in that one person doesn’t want to do it, they get into someone else’s ear and all of a sudden it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened at the agency.

Kelly: And now I’m violating the lady posse, so if I don’t care about the photo, I’m buckling down because I don’t want the queen bee to be mad at me.

Dave: Right, exactly.

Kelly: You broke the ties. So how can we get this to be a little different? What would be a better way to roll this out, Dave?

Dave: Well, I think getting some buy-in early on in the process and getting them to understand that maybe this is an option, maybe we should explore why we’re doing this and having a conversation about the benefits of it. So it’s not just that I want to take your picture and put it out there, but it’s why that’s going to help. How being personal with our marketing is going to help drive business, how we want to celebrate the success that we’ve had and how well we help others protect their financial future. Those are my thoughts, what do you think?

Kelly: I think also sharing some examples of other agencies doing it, so I think we always forget that for a large part of our staff, they’re not engaged with other agencies and seeing things on IAOA’s Facebook group. They’re not seeing other agencies doing this, so they’re like, we’re the only agency doing it when in reality the times are changing and that’s starting to change. So sharing maybe other agencies, sharing like Chris Paradiso, Harbor Bren or any other agencies that are out there showing their team in their marketing helps people feel like, “Oh, that’s not so bad.” I think there’s a lot of pressure that kind of conjures up, like people go to the worst-case scenario.

Dave: Yeah. Well, I think it’s that separation between the work in their life. So in their personal life they’re on Instagram, they’re sending out photos, they’re videotaping everything under the sun. For some reason they don’t want to cross that line and do that in a way that might promote a business. There could be an underlying issue here, too, with there might be a lack of pride for the agency that they work for. Lack of understanding of the mission, the brand. So there’s other things in there that might need to be addressed, it might need to be more than just not wanting to have their picture taken.

Kelly: Yeah, I think you have to deal with that, but I think one of the things that can combat what we’re talking about here is also making it clear in the job description and I like how you put that out there. I even say in our job descriptions, we’ve got samples we give out during all of our programs, but you will participate in marketing, you will get email addresses, you will ask our clients to connect on social media, you will do all of these things. So it’s setup up front, and it’s usually the staff that’s been there for awhile that you kind of have to turn that key over with. It’s easy for a new hire, it’s harder going backwards.  But I also think that there’s a ton of ways to do it tastefully, there’s a ton of there’s no reason not to do it. Honestly, if someone is fighting you this hard on it, I’m going to take a wild guess that they fight you very hard on everything.

Dave: Right.

Kelly: Right, it’s like I don’t like this type of coffee in the coffee maker or I don’t think so and so, I don’t want this, I don’t want that. Everything’s just got to go off the other way, you know? I think we kind of have to keep that in consideration. So you tell agencies to keep moving forward, right? What’s your big takeaway from today, Dave?

Dave: I think that it’s, I actually think your last point there kind of resonated with me a lot and that if they’re not willing to do this, probably part of it, it’s probably just one export, one item that is reflective more of an underlying issue. That they either have from an attitude perspective or, again, lack of understanding, a lack of respect. I’m not sure exactly what it could be, but there’s probably other issues, deeper issues that if resolved could resolve this one as well.

Kelly: Yeah, and I think on my part it’s just sharing with them that this is not strange. It’s strange if you’ve been in insurance twenty years, you’ve never been asked to do it, but if you’re active on a lot of the channels that we are you see it all the time and it’s cool, and it gets results. So you want to engage in it, so I think people just need to understand that this isn’t some harebrained idea, this is really how things are going today and showing them that it’s not as scary as they might think.

Dave: Right, and I think that’s a good point and if anyone has any questions or wants to see any samples we can certainly steer them in the direction of a number of different agencies that have done stuff on their website or are ongoing with their marketing materials on different social media platforms.

Kelly: Totally. So, I think that ends our podcast for today.

Dave: Excellent.

Kelly: And I don’t think we have a topic for the next one, so we have to think about that.

Dave: We don’t have a topic for April?

Kelly: I don’t think we do. I think we do, I just don’t think we have it in the show notes.

Dave: Baseball season.

Kelly: I’m sure whatever topic it’s going to be so amazing, and follow our social media to find out. How about that?

Dave: Yeah, it’s mysterious. It’s probably the best one we’ve ever done.

Kelly: 100%. I mean, episode four.

Dave: Four? That’s a new hope.

Kelly: Four. The all-time high for us of podcasts.

Dave: I love how my movie references always just go way over your head.

Kelly: I don’t know movies, like I don’t know math and I don’t know movies.

Dave: So, do you know episode four, a new hope? Do you know that one?

Kelly: No.

Dave: No, okay, that’s just Star Wars, don’t worry about it.

Kelly: You’re killin me smalls, how about that?

Dave: Alright, I got that one. That’s a good one.

Kelly: Alright guys, thank you for putting up with Dave and I’s bad movie banter, and if this podcast resonated with you, share it with your team if they’re struggling with the whole photo shoot thing. Like I said, we’re offering to give up some examples so take that to heart, watch our social media for the next podcast and it’s been real. Number four coming soon. Bye guys.

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