August 2014

August 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter August 2014 Issue 104


Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
Copyright 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.


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In this August 2014 issue:

Thoughts from home
Josmo’s Cafe
Thoughts from the office
Stay energized
Emily Live


Thoughts from home

What’s your finishing touch?

After a widowed friend in the neighborhood died in March, I offered to help the family, all of whom all live in New York and Florida, prepare the house to be sold. It’s been an easy and pleasant experience. The family makes buying decisions based on quality and recommendations – not lowest price.

The first stage of the process was hiring an estate sale firm. Jeff, the owner of the estate sale company, was highly recommended by the realtor. The agreement with Jeff was that the house would be totally empty when he returned the house key to me. He and his team sorted, priced, and staged the house for the multi-day sale like pros. Items that didn’t make the cut for the sale either went to Goodwill or were taken to the dump. The whole process took about three weeks.

Jeff returned the key to me at my house. I had no reason to double check behind him since I’d been in and out of the house regularly and found his expertise superior. The next day I went over to meet a painting contractor. I opened the door and was shocked with what I saw – rubbish.

How much time would it have taken his team to sweep up the debris in the house? It then occurred to me that if the house was left in this poor condition, is there anything else that was overlooked? I started opening kitchen cabinets and closets. There were dozens of small items that were left behind.

In just one moment I went from thinking I would recommend Jeff to everyone to thinking I’d never recommend him at all. All because extra steps weren’t taken to check the completion of the work and leave the house in a quality condition.

Moral of the story. If you finish a job without paying attention to quality and detail, all the experience and knowledge you have may not mean a thing.


Check your work as if you are the customer. EH


Josmo’s Cafe

Quincey, my cousin Lisa’s 11-year old daughter, and I have been on a baking streak this summer. She loves to bake so I like to teach her new baking techniques. Chocolate Chip Scones taught her how to cut in cold butter using a pastry blender. We made kid-size scones using a Nordic Mini-Scone pan. They are great!

Josmo’s Cafe is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Learn its history and try the famous Josmo’s Cosmo cocktail posted on the Josmo’s Café webpage.


Video and pictures of John’s new remote-controlled model tugboat. To come….

The National Alliance Research Academy has just published a new study entitled, Starting, Buying, Selling, and Perpetuating Insurance Agencies. National Alliance faculty member and insurance agency consultant Jon Persky, CPA, CIC, PHR, is the author of this study. This is a valuable resource for insurance agency owners who wish to improve a perpetuation plan, purchase or merge with an agency, or sell an existing agency. This guide can also assist an experienced insurance professional in starting an insurance agency from scratch. Practical legal agreements, exhibits, worksheets, and checklists are key features. I purchased a copy immediately and am thrilled with all the information Jon provides. Thank you, Jon!

Congratulations to The National Alliance of Insurance Education and Research on its 45th anniversary! As part of a gift book for Dr. Hold, I assembled a list of 45 Ways The National Alliance has contributed to insurance industry excellence and education.


Thoughts from the office
Don’t dilute the soup

When I was a commercial casualty underwriting trainee for Aetna Life and Casualty in Pittsburgh, Ron Compton, the general manager, made it a point to periodically take the dozen trainees out to lunch on a rotating basis. It wasn’t pre-planned or fancy, just a casual, “Hey, do you have lunch plans today?” He’d take two or three of us across the street to a local diner.

It was a hole-in-the-wall place, full of Steelers’ paraphernalia, but had reliable food. As customary, we all ordered the chili with extra saltines. Moments later, the steaming bowls arrived. Two bites into the chili, Ron announced, “This is the last time I’m eating here. They’re watering down the chili.” He went on, “Why do restaurants do that? Why, when a business has a great thing going, do they mess with success and drive away loyal customers by lowering their standards?”

Are you or your business guilty of diluting the soup? Intentionally or unintentionally, have you cut back on quality or service? Stopped following up with customers after a sale? Neglected to make annual review phone calls? Not researched an issue as thoroughly as you should?

It never pays to dilute the soup.

This was originally published in the July 2008 newsletter.


Could your front-line staff use a confidence boost? The Personal Lines manager in a Michigan independent agency sent me this comment.

“We are about 1/2 way thru the Great Service Sells book with our staff. Your program is generating much discussion and team bonding. We did Chapter 9 as a group and came up with the lists for both why people want to do business with our agency and with us personally. I think they left the meeting with their heads held a little higher. Thank you for writing the book.”

Great Service Sells contains 21 five-minute chapters – perfect material for a year’s worth of staff meetings. Agents will acquire a dynamic service-oriented mindset and learn tips and techniques to retain business, round out accounts, increase new sales, and earn referrals. A complete chapter list, group learning instructions, and client feedback is on the Great Service Sells info page.

The cost is affordable – The package of 2 Audio CDs & 1 Book is $69.00. Additional books are sold in sets of 5 for $50.00.

In celebration of Selling Strategies’ 20th anniversary, we’re offering a 20% discount on all books and audios. Apply coupon code HAPPY at checkout to receive your savings.

All orders include a complimentary copy of the 2013 Energizer Minute Collection with the bonus track – 27 Tips to Be a Great Co-worker.


Stay Energized!

August Energizer Minute – Flower Power! Get supercharged with Energizer Minutes – one-to-two minute audio stories told by yours truly to energize, invigorate, and inspire!

Follow me on Twitter @EmilyHuling to read my weekday Energizer Moments.

Receive your complimentary copy of the priceless 2013 Energizer Minute Collection plus 27 Tips to Be a Great Co-worker with all learning material orders.


Since 1994, Selling Strategies’ purpose is to build top-performing sales, service, and leadership organizations. We offer insurance industry expertise to companies, agents, MGAs, industry partners, and service providers.

Our Commitment to Our Clients

We will improve your clients’ experience, grow your top-line revenue, and your bottom-line profit. Together we accomplish this through:

· Strategic planning and implementation
· Leadership and management development
· Business development – marketing, sales, service strategies
· Organizational and process improvements
· Individual skill and team development
· Personal coaching

To discuss how to fast forward achieving your goals, please contact me for a complimentary 30-minute conversation. Call 888-309-8802 or


Emily Live
· Private Client – annual employee meeting – How to Become the Agent of Choice and There is an “I” in Team – Madison, WI – August 4-6, 2014
· Private Client – consulting – Madison, WI – August 7, 2014
· PIA of NC Annual Convention – Highpoint, NC – August 13, 2014
· Private Client – operations review, planning, workshops – Blue Ridge, GA – August 19-21, 2014
· Private Client – consulting – Detroit, MI – August 28, 2014
· NAPSLO Annual Convention – Atlanta, GA – September 15-17, 2014
· NAMIC Annual Convention – National Resort, Oxon Hill, MD – Three Strategies to Earn Agents’ Business – September 21-23, 2014
· Private Client – Charlotte, NC – Delivering a Remarkable Patient Experience – September 30, 2014
· Private Client – annual agents event – Indianapolis, IN – Deliver Service that Sells and Protects and Turning Change into Opportunity – October 7-9, 2014
· Agency Management CIC – Louisville, KY – October 15-17, 2014


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Selling Strategies: Strategies for Success Newsletter is published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies. For further information contact

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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