Category: 2014

December 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter December 2014 Issue 108

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

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In this December 2014 issue:

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

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Thoughts from the office

What does a dollar cost? A customer.

I needed to drop off a package with a pre-paid shipping label at a UPS location. Staples is my normal shipping store, but I had some errands to do at my local community strip shopping center. I had noticed an independent packing and shipping store in this center and thought this would be my opportunity to check it out in my effort to buy local, buy independent.

The store was not well lighted. In fact, it was dark and uninviting. A man without a smile greeted me as I approached the counter. “Do you take UPS pre-paid packages?” I inquired. “Yes. There is a $1.00 charge.” “Really?” I asked. It was his attitude that influenced my reply. “Well I’ll just take it where I don’t have to pay a dollar.” All he said was okay, and I left.

I have a dollar. It’s not about the dollar. How about welcoming me to the store? How about explaining that UPS charges them for pre-paid package pickup and they pass the cost along? How about letting me know it costs a dollar, but since I’ve obviously not done this before, it’s complimentary? There were lots of options for him to create a positive customer experience, but it didn’t happen.

Moral of the story: Before company policy is set, ask yourself what is gained or lost by creating the policy. Is flexibility allowed? Are employees empowered to be make an on-the-spot modification? The businesses that are welcoming, helpful, and grateful are the ones that deserve your business.

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Josmo’s Cafe

Twenty years ago at Christmas time, Sherry Jackson, wife of my boss Steve, gave all the marketing reps at Aetna Life and Casualty a loaf of homemade Strawberry Bread. This easy, pretty, delicious, and moist bread is a perfect holiday gift. I’ve been it making it every year since! Enjoy!

Josmo’s Cafe, named in honor of John’s delicious Josmo’s Cosmo, is the name we use for our in-house entertaining. Many of our favorite recipes are posted on the Josmo’s Café webpage. We hope you’ll find one or two to try!

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The 17 Terrific Tips series will continue in January with 17 Terrific Tips to be Polished and Professional. You’ll find the four previously published articles on the Free Stuff page of the website. Feel free to use the material in your internal and external publications.

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Special notice – December is the last month for the 20th anniversary 20% discount on all learning materials. Do you need more Great Service Sells books for your 2015 Service Selling classes? Could your salespeople benefit from the self-study program Two Hours to a Winning Sales Plan? Do you have managers interested in learning How to be a Better Boss? Order any books and audios by December 31 for 20% savings. Use coupon code HAPPY at checkout to receive your 20% savings.

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Thoughts from others
With the greatest leader above them,
people barely know one exists.
Next comes one whom they love and praise.
Next comes one whom they fear.
Next comes one whom they despise and defy.
When a leader trusts no one,
no one trusts him.
The great leader speaks little.
He never speaks carelessly.
He works without self-interest
and leaves no trace.
When all is finished, the people say
“We did it ourselves.”

Lao-tzu
Tao Te Ching: Verse 17

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Meeting planners – 2015 Convention and Meeting Topics and Descriptions provide program ideas to make your event a bigger success! These relevant, thought-provoking topics offer how-to strategies for participants to apply back at the office. Newly written programs are:

Stop Selling! Essential Strategies to Help Buyers Buy
Modern-Day Management – Get Work Done and Develop People
Create Career Success: A Short Course to Advance Professionally
Organic Growth – The Process and Practices of Sustained Success
Strengthening Agency-Company Relationships
How to Become the Agent of Choice
For more information, please get in touch.

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Stay Energized!

December Energizer Minute – Laugh until you cry 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.

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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
· Organization 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@sellingstrategies.com.

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Emily Live
· Private Client – agency consulting, planning, How to Become the Agent of Choice workshops – Blue Ridge, GA – December 9-11, 2014
· Private Client – consulting – Phoenix, AZ – January 12-14, 2015
· Private Client – Revving Up Revenues workshops and consulting – Oklahoma City, OK – January 20-22, 2015
· Private Client – agency consulting – Kansas City, MO – February 18, 2015
· Agency Management CIC – Overland Park, KS – February 19, 2015
· NAPSLO Mid-Year Conference – Miami, FL – February 23-25, 2015
· NAMIC Commercial Lines Underwriting Conference – Putting Customers First While Maintaining Profitability – Chicago, IL – March 4-5, 2015
· NetVU Annual Conference – Modern-Day Management – Get Work Done and Develop People – Indianapolis, IN – March 26-28, 2015
· Agency Management CIC – Little Rock, AR – April 8-9, 2015
· Private Client – agency consulting and workshops – South Bend, IN – April 13-16, 2015

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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

2014 Business Trends

2014 Insurance Business Trends – My Take

Dear Clients and Colleagues,

I hope you are finding 2014 productive and prosperous! I see this year as one of accelerating change. My conversations with insurance professionals from agencies, carriers, MGAs, associations, and network/aggregator group members have been of such interest, I thought they might hold value for you.

Surge in employee retirements. Here are some reasons. 30+ year employees are being offered nice retirement packages; 55+ year-old workers have changing priorities as parent caregivers or spending time with grandchildren; personal events trigger a work-changing decision; owners are selling the business or restructuring for the future.
As retirements increase, the orientation and development of new employees is critical. Does your firm have a purpose, strategy, and methodology to assure continued success? Is there a 30, 60, 90-day checkpoint program to validate a good hiring decision or end a poor one? Do the owners have a successful method of communicating the vision, culture, and history of the business? Are there standards and competency measures to assure education, development, and training are leading to performance excellence? Top firms now have specific positions assigned to lead and coordinate employee development.
Remote workers and flexible scheduling expands. Hip hip hooray for mobile technology, reliable telephone and video conferencing, and the global economy! Valued employees can keep their positions from anywhere in the world. Home-based or distant offices are invisible to clients. Off-site workers feel included in the team.
High-quality employees don’t have to be on your payroll. WAHVE, Work at Home Vintage Employees, is an innovative contract staffing solution that engages vintage professionals who work from home on a full-time, part-time, long-term or short-term basis for insurance firms. Sharon Emek, President and CEO of WAHVE, wrote an interesting blog post about the boomer’s reinvention of retirement called “pretirement.” A career’s worth of knowledge remaining in the industry! How great is that?

Great service sells. You’re not selling a product. You’re selling a relationship. My main street, community-focused agency clients are making Caring Claim Handling their competitive advantage. Is your agency doing all it can to reaffirm value when a client has a claim? Compare your agency claim-handling process to the 10 ideas I recommend in George Nordhaus’ Monday Morning webinar broadcast. It’s a fast-paced, 25-minute program.
Do what you do best and partner for the rest. I love ResourcePro’s tagline – Do What Counts. Why spend time on certain activities when you can partner with experts? Growth organizations spend time on client-focused, profit-producing activities. ResourcePro is the partner of choice used by my clients to drive operations excellence and process efficiency. AgenciesOnline is the one-stop expert in insurance online marketing and communications. Both firms are experiencing enormous increases in clients this year. Smart business decisions!

Speaking of partnerships… If your firm is looking for an experienced guide to help navigate the future, create employee orientation and development programs, or find your competitive advantage, I can help you create your ideal enterprise. Learn more about Selling Strategies or Be the Agent of Choice Consulting Services. Reach me at 888-309-8802 or emily@sellingstrategies.com.

Thank you for your support and business. Wishing you continued success!

Emily

November 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter November 2014 Issue 107

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

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In this November 2014 issue:

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

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Thoughts from home

Please call me Ms.

Rachel, a young, well-spoken woman from Consumer Reports called me to ask if I would please make an additional contribution to the organization. She went through her script reminding me that Consumer Reports has no advertising and relies on public support for all of its work. She was delighted when I agreed.

I followed my rule of not providing a credit card by phone when I don’t initiate the call. Rachel needed to confirm my contact information to mail me the notice. After confirming my name Rachel asked, “Are you a Miss or Mrs.?” I replied, “Neither. I’m a Ms.” There was silence.

I couldn’t help myself. I launched into a lecture. I said, “Rachel, in the 1970’s we women fought long and hard to not be identified by our marital status. When you call a man Mr., you don’t know whether he’s married or not. It doesn’t matter. But when we identify a woman by Miss or Mrs. we’ve labeled her. It shouldn’t matter, but to many it does. Thus, the prefix Ms. was created to avoid any labeling. I suggest you learn about Gloria Steinem and the women’s movements in the 1960’s and 70’s.”

I give Rachel a lot of credit. Once I was quiet she said, “Wow, I really learned something. Thank you.”

If you’re interested in the history and use of Ms., read this piece I found in Slate magazine.

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Josmo’s Cafe
I love pumpkin season! Those of you who love pumpkin baked goods and have not yet tried Frosted Pumpkin Cake Squares created by Troyer’s Home Pantry in Apple Creek, Ohio, are in for a palate-pleasing treat! After ten years, they remain our most popular fall dessert. Enjoy!

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.

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The 17 Terrific Tips series continues with 17 Terrific Management Tips. Included are ideas to manage remote workers, overcome self-doubt, and develop independent thinkers. You’ll find the whole series on the Free Stuff page of the website.

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Anyone need a short course to advance management skills?

Please note: This is the last month to order the Management Short Course bundle package, which is only available through this newsletter link.

Susan Koshewa, ARM, CRIS, Workers Compensation Underwriting Manager, says this:

“Emily’s experience in developing managers and no-nonsense communication style is a perfect combination to learn dozens of pertinent ideas quickly. I listen to the audios twice. Once in the car and once at my desk to take notes. Emily’s management skill-building programs supply real-world valuable information.”

Retirements, company restructuring, and growing businesses are launching new leaders and managers. Four self-study learning tools will quickly advance front-line manager proficiency in these key areas:

· Developing staff accountability
· Effective delegation
· Managing remote workers
· Leading results-producing meetings
· Handling employee performance problems

We’re offering newsletter readers four management development tools for a package price of $115.00, a 40% savings. This product package is only available through this newsletter link – Management Short Course.

Be a Better Boss: 10 Strategies to Develop Top Performers (1 CD program) Upgrade your management strategies for current employee challenges. Learn how to lead and communicate emotional support, bolster intellectual potential, and provide performance and professional feedback.

Managing People for Maximum Performance (2 CD program) People with direct reports will learn how to maximize team and individual performance, eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors, develop staff accountability and confidence, and a fail-proof intervention technique to handle any specific employee issue.

Touchpoints for Managers: Improving Employee Satisfaction and Productivity (1 CD program) Valued, encouraged, and intellectually stimulated employees are productive employees. Learn dozens of fresh management strategies including eliminating backlog, delegating effectively, and leading productive meetings.

Selling from the Inside: Creating a Front Line that Adds to the Bottom Line (Book) Dozens of ideas to create a client-focused organization, keep clients happy, and equip your front line to sell.

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Thoughts from the road
I read it on the Internet.

During a group dinner after speaking at a company’s annual Career Improvement Seminar, the conversation at my table turned to how our food is grown, raised, and processed. Since I was in the agricultural Midwest, everyone had knowledge and experiences to offer on a variety of topics – gluten intolerance, formaldehyde in food, grass-fed versus hormone-injected animals, organic fruits and vegetables, food allergy tests, and new information to me – chemicals in toothpaste. The claim, which has been widely circulated on the Internet, is that the color-coded bars at the crimped end of toothpaste tubes identify the severity level of toxins in the toothpaste. I was skeptical so I checked it out.

Sure enough, I found plenty of information confirming that claim. I also happened upon a website called Hoax-Slayer that provided their assertion that the chemicals in toothpaste claim is a hoax.

I told this story to a friend. She said she had heard Hoax-Slayer was the hoax. I asked where she had learned that. She looked at me with a straight face and said, “I read it on the Internet.”

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John’s remote-control model boat building has continued! He just completed the Geo W Washburn with working smoke stacks! To see a picture and view a short video of the tugboat water launch, click here.

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2015 Convention and Meeting Topics and Descriptions are now available!

Are you looking for a thought-provoking presenter who is at the cutting edge of workplace changes and challenges and provides doable solutions? Newly-written programs are:

Stop Selling! Essential Strategies to Help Buyers Buy
Modern-Day Management – Get Work Done and Develop People
Create Career Success: A Short Course to Advance Professionally
Organic Growth – The Process and Practices of Sustained Success
Strengthening Agency-Company Relationships
How to Become the Agent of Choice
For more information, please get in touch.

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In celebration of Selling Strategies’ 20th anniversary, we’re offering a 20% discount on books and audios (excludes product bundle offers). 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.

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Stay Energized!

November Energizer Minute – I need your help 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.

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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
· Organization 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@sellingstrategies.com.

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Emily Live
· Private Client – management consulting – Phoenix, AZ – November 12-14, 2014
· Private Client – Building the Business workshops and consulting – Madison, WI – November 17-20, 2014
· Private Client – operations review, planning, workshops – Blue Ridge, GA – December 8-10, 2014

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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

October 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter October 2014 Issue 106

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

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In this October 2014 issue:

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

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Thoughts from the road

No double dipping!

I was enjoying a late afternoon snack of vegetables and dips at the September NAPSLO convention in Atlanta. Sitting in the Broker’s Lounge at a table by myself, I was taking in all the people and conversations that were going on around me. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a man hovering over the snack buffet table. He takes a carrot, dips it in the hummus, takes a bite, and dips it in the hummus again.

I jumped out of my seat and rushed over to this guy. I looked at him and said, “What are you doing? There’s no double dipping allowed. Who do you think you are – George Costanza? Get a plate. ” He looked at me quite innocently and replied, “I didn’t think anyone was watching.”

Moral of the story. People are watching. Watch the famous Chip Dip scene from Seinfeld.

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Josmo’s Cafe

Football season calls for healthy munchies to feed a crowd! There are many variations of Cowboy Salsa, but when my cousin Kathy served her creation to us, John and I quickly deemed this our favorite. There are no tomatoes so it’s not messy to eat and no cilantro which John doesn’t care for. Enjoy Kathy’s Cowboy Salsa!

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.

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The 17 Terrific Tips series continues with 17 Terrific Management Tips. Included are ideas to manage remote workers, overcome self-doubt, and develop independent thinkers. You’ll find the whole series on the Free Stuff page of the website.

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Anyone need a short course to advance management skills?

Susan Koshewa, ARM, CRIS, Workers Compensation Underwriting Manager, says this:

“Emily’s experience in developing managers and no-nonsense communication style is a perfect combination to learn dozens of pertinent ideas quickly. I listen to the audios twice. Once in the car and once at my desk to take notes. Emily’s management skill-building programs supply real-world valuable information.”

Retirements, company restructuring, and growing businesses are launching new leaders and managers. Four self-study learning tools will quickly advance front-line manager proficiency in these key areas:

· Developing staff accountability
· Effective delegation
· Managing remote workers
· Leading results-producing meetings
· Handling employee performance problems

For a limited time, we’re offering newsletter readers four management development tools for a package price of $115.00, a 40% savings. This product package is only available through this newsletter link – Management Short Course.

Be a Better Boss: 10 Strategies to Develop Top Performers (1 CD program) Upgrade your management strategies for current employee challenges. Learn how to lead and communicate emotional support, bolster intellectual potential, and provide performance and professional feedback.

Managing People for Maximum Performance (2 CD program) People with direct reports will learn how to maximize team and individual performance, eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors, develop staff accountability and confidence, and a fail-proof intervention technique to handle any specific employee issue.

Touchpoints for Managers: Improving Employee Satisfaction and Productivity (1 CD program) Valued, encouraged, and intellectually stimulated employees are productive employees. Learn dozens of fresh management strategies including eliminating backlog, delegating effectively, and leading productive meetings.

Selling from the Inside: Creating a Front Line that Adds to the Bottom Line (Book) Dozens of ideas to create a client-focused organization, keep clients happy, and equip your front line to sell.

This bundle package is only available through this newsletter link – Management Short Course.

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Thoughts from the office
Hello?

I was in the Detroit airport waiting for a plane and checking my e-mail. I had a message from an intern working at a client’s office requesting permission to use one of my articles in an upcoming publication. Ashley’s direct phone number was on her professional and complete e-mail signature (it even stated that she was an intern), so instead of e-mailing back, I just hit the hyperlink phone number to call. I knew it was the office number, not a mobile phone.

“Hello?” is what I heard when the line was picked up. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said, “I must have the wrong number. I’m calling a business and looking for Ashley.” “This is Ashley.” “Oh,” I said and told her who I was.

Ashley was surprised to hear from me by phone. I gathered from her casual “Hello” that she didn’t get many calls and would benefit from some coaching. I asked Ashley if I could make a suggestion about answering an office phone. She said yes. “Always use your first and last name when answering the phone. It confirms your professionalism and identifies who you are to the caller. In addition, it provides a needed mental shift for you if the ringing phone has interrupted your concentration.” Ashley thanked me and was appreciative of the advice.

My subsequent communication with Ashley has demonstrated excellent communication, problem solving, and professional skills. She has a wonderful career ahead of her, but only if she learns and applies fundamental business practices.

Moral of the story: Don’t assume new professionals know proper protocols and office etiquette. Create a checklist of standards to review. Here are five categories to get you started.

· Confidentiality – HIPPAA, client information and conversation privacy

· Workspace – appearance, food, music, voice levels, wall art, pictures, heaters

· Phone – answering – number of rings and what to say; transferring calls; outgoing voice mail message; leaving a message, use of DND

· E-mail tips – a list of 20 tips are on my website Free Stuff page

· Breakroom

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John’s remote-control model boat building has continued! He just completed the Geo. W. Washburn with working smoke stacks! To see a picture and view an short video of the tugboat water launch, click here.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

2015 Convention and Meeting Topics and Descriptions are now available!

Are you looking for a thought-provoking presenter who is at the cutting edge of workplace changes and challenges and provides doable solutions? Newly-written programs are:

Stop Selling! Essential Strategies to Help Buyers Buy
Modern-Day Management – Get Work Done and Develop People
Create Career Success: A Short Course to Advance Professionally
Organic Growth – The Process and Practices of Sustained Success
Strengthening Agency-Company Relationships
How to Become the Agent of Choice
For more information, please get in touch.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

In celebration of Selling Strategies’ 20th anniversary, we’re offering a 20% discount on books and audios (excludes product bundle offers). 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.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Stay Energized!

October Energizer Minute – That happens all the time 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.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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
· Organization 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@sellingstrategies.com.

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Emily Live
· 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
· Private Client – operations review, planning, sales and service workshops – South Bend, IN – October 27-31, 2014
· Private Client – Building the Business workshops and consulting – Madison, WI – November 17-20, 2014
· Private Client – operations review, planning, workshops – Blue Ridge, GA – December 8-10, 2014

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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

September 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter September 2014 Issue 105

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

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In this September 2014 issue:

Thoughts from the road
Josmo’s Cafe
Thoughts from others
Stay energized
Emily Live

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Thoughts from the road

This is not a good idea.

This summer John and I vacationed with our friends, Debbie and Richard, at John’s brother’s beautiful home in Colorado. Our friends are adventurous and experienced hikers. Their family hiked the Grand Canyon a few years ago. John and I consider a walk in the woods on a well-worn flat trail a healthy hike! On a solo morning walk, Richard discovered a rocky and steep all-purpose recreation trail (hiking, ATV, dirt bikes) near us. He said the views were amazing and announced, “We’re going up!”

The four of us responded in sync with our risk-type personality. Richard leaps and knows the chute will open, Debbie was excited, John was game, and I emphatically stated, “This is not a good idea.” My years of insurance underwriting has permeated my sense of adventure. I stated my views – a motorized vehicle could run us down if we walked; who knows what animals live up there; a boulder could fall; and if we drove up in a four-wheel drive vehicle we might meet another car, and be stuck. Everyone laughed. I didn’t have to go, they told me, but they were going!

So I went. We took the four-wheel drive car. At every sharp turn and steep drop, I said, “This is not a good idea.” Thank goodness they laughed and ignored me. The adventure, mountain views, flowers, and sky were spectacular!

Moral of the story: If you’re lacking confidence in a specific area, surround yourself with friends who aren’t!

“Confidence is what you have when you don’t thoroughly understand the situation.” Message on a T-shirt that Richard appropriately bought for himself later in the week.

If you’d like to see some of our Colorado trip pictures, we’ve posted some on the website.

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Josmo’s Cafe
I haven’t made a Bundt cake in years. Then I saw a recipe for Key Lime Bundt Cake in the Charlotte Observer and thought is sounded great. It combines tart lemon and lime flavors in the cake and is topped with a lot of sugar. It was moist and flavorful. Like all Bundt cakes, every day it sat it just got better! Enjoy!

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.

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Anyone need a short course to advance management skills?

Susan Koshewa, ARM, CRIS, Workers Compensation Underwriting Manager says this:

“Emily’s experience in developing managers and no-nonsense communication style is a perfect combination to learn dozens of pertinent ideas quickly. I listen to the audios twice. Once in the car and once at my desk to take notes. Emily’s management skill-building programs supply real-world valuable information.”

Retirements, company restructuring, and growing businesses are launching new leaders and managers. Four self-study learning tools will quickly advance front-line manager proficiency in these key areas:

· Developing staff accountability
· Effective delegation
· Managing remote workers
· Leading results-producing meetings
· Handling employee performance problems

For a limited time, we’re offering newsletter readers four management development tools for a package price of $115.00, a 40% savings. This product package is only available through this newsletter link – Management Short Course.

Be a Better Boss: 10 Strategies to Develop Top Performers (1 CD program) Upgrade your management strategies for current employee challenges. Learn how to lead and communicate emotional support, bolster intellectual potential, and provide performance and professional feedback.

Managing People for Maximum Performance (2 CD program) People with direct reports will learn how to maximize team and individual performance, eliminate harmful attitudes and behaviors, develop staff accountability and confidence, and a fail-proof intervention technique to handle any specific employee issue.

Touchpoints for Managers: Improving Employee Satisfaction and Productivity (1 CD program) Valued, encouraged, and intellectually-stimulated employees are productive employees. Learn dozens of fresh management strategies including eliminating backlog, delegating effectively, and leading productive meetings.

Selling from the Inside: Creating a Front Line that Adds to the Bottom Line (Book) Dozens of ideas to create a client-focused organization, keep clients happy, and equip your front line to sell.

This bundle package is only available through this newsletter link – Management Short Course.

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Thoughts from others
Shake it off and step up
One day a farmer’s donkey fell into an abandoned well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and the well needed to be covered up anyway; so it just wasn’t worth it to him to try to retrieve the donkey.

He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. Realizing what was happening, the donkey at first cried and wailed horribly. Then, a few shovelfuls later, he quieted down completely.

The farmer peered down into the well, and was astounded by what he saw. With every shovelful of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up on the new layer of dirt. As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.

Pretty soon, the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off, to the shock and astonishment of all the neighbors.

Moral of the story: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick is to not let it bury you, but to shake it off and step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone.

Second moral of the story: The donkey gave the farmer who tried to bury him a very good kicking. When you try to cover your ass, it always comes back and gets you.

Author unknown

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2015 Convention and Meeting Topics and Descriptions are now available!

Are you looking for a thought-provoking presenter who is at the cutting edge of workplace changes and challenges and provides doable solutions? Newly-written programs are:

Stop Selling! Essential Strategies to Help Buyers Buy
Modern-Day Management – Get Work Done and Develop People
Create Career Success: A Short Course to Advance Professionally
Organic Growth – The Process and Practices of Sustained Success
Strengthening Agency-Company Relationships
How to Become the Agent of Choice
For more information, read the program descriptions and get in touch.

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In celebration of Selling Strategies’ 20th anniversary, we’re offering a 20% discount on books and audios (excludes product bundle offers). 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.

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Stay Energized!

September Energizer Minute – Prevent or Fix? 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.

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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
· Organization 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@sellingstrategies.com.

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Emily Live
· Private Client – consulting – Phoenix, AZ – September 6-10, 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
· Private Client – operations review, planning, sales and service workshops – South Bend, IN – October 27-31, 2014
· Private Client – operations review, planning, workshops – Blue Ridge, GA – November 4-6, 2014

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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

August 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter August 2014 Issue 104

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

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To view this newsletter as a pretty webpage, please click here:

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In this August 2014 issue:

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

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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.

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Check your work as if you are the customer. EH

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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@sellingstrategies.com.

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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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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

July 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter July 2014 Issue 103

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

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In this July 2014 issue:

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

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Thoughts from home

What happened to common sense?

My cousin Lisa coordinates the annual spring Mitzvah Day at our temple. It’s a great event for families to work on community projects together. This year I volunteered at the registration table to greet and direct the 500+ participants.

Looking official with my color-coded registration and project list in hand, a young family approached me. The mother said they had just parked their car next to a SUV that had a passenger door ajar and the car light was still on. They didn’t want the owner to return to a dead battery. She gave me the license plate number and asked if we could make an announcement.

I could tell the parents were using this as a teaching moment for their children. Find something wrong, be responsible, and tell somebody who can fix it. But I knew the chances of an announcement being heard in a hall with 500 people talking was impossible. I quietly asked the parents if they happened to try closing the car door. The father snapped at me, “No! We don’t touch other people’s cars. We could have set off a burglar alarm.” They weren’t at all happy with me and walked away. At my first opportunity, I went to the parking lot, found the SUV, and closed the door.

So that made me wonder about people who rely too much on others to fix a problem for fear of a negative result. Would they not help an accident or choking victim for fear of a lawsuit? That was probably not the teaching concept they intended.

Moral of the story: Using common sense is the first step of personal responsibility.

Postscript: I did see the family later that morning and let them know I found the vehicle and closed the door. The parents thanked me.

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In striving to do exactly right, we risk losing our common sense. EH

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Josmo’s Cafe

John and I are happily flooded with company this summer! To be able to enjoy relaxing evenings and still prepare awesome meals, we’ve been trying some new and easy side dish recipes for the grill using non-stick aluminum foil. Here are two terrific Guy Fieri recipes I found in June’s Good Housekeeping magazine. Carrots with Cumin, Ginger & Honey and Potatoes with Parmesan, Garlic & Rosemary.

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.

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Happy 45th anniversary to The National Alliance of Insurance Education and Research! I’ve had my CIC designation for 25 years and have been a proud faculty member for 20 years. When invited to contribute to a gift book for Dr. Hold commemorating this occasion, I assembled a list of 45 Ways The National Alliance has contributed to insurance industry excellence and education. Which ones on my list have made a difference in your life?

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Thoughts from the office
Do you have a minute?

Interruptions are a fact of office life. Phones ring, e-mail messages beep, and people invade. We can put the phone on Do Not Disturb (DND), silent the technological noise, but it can be difficult to address the human interrupter. Here are five tips to take charge of personal intrusions.

Two ideas to manage the question, “Do you have a minute?” Say no, but yes. Reply “I do, but not just now. I’m finishing a project for Sue. Can I give you a call (or stop by your office) in about thirty minutes when I can give you my full attention?” Another strategy is to say “I do, sort of. Can we talk while I refill my coffee cup?”
Interrupters who can’t get to the point. Nicely interrupt back and ask, “What exactly can I help you with?”
Perpetual interrupters. The cause of the constant intrusion must be determined. Is it a training issue? Work performance issue? Someone not understanding his or her level of authority? If you’re a supervisor with this intrusion, identify the cause and implement corrective action. If you’re the coworker affected by this, speak with your supervisor about what’s going on and how it’s impacting your work.
Doorway stalkers. It can be most annoying to have people lurking outside your office when you’re on a phone call. Consider keeping a note handy to raise for the stalker to read. The note should say, “I’ll call you when I’m off the phone.”
Keep a clock in your office visible to both you and your visitors. A quick, noticeable glance at the clock when time is up will send your interrupter a clear signal.

Be professional, be nice, practice what you preach, and you’ll find extra minutes in your day by appropriately handling interruptions.

This was originally published in the March 2006 newsletter.

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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 why 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.

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Stay Energized!

July Energizer Minute – Oh Nuts! 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.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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@sellingstrategies.com.

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Emily Live
· Private Client – operations review, planning, workshops – St. Louis, MO – July 29-31, 2014
· 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 – 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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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

June 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter June 2014 Issue 102

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

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In this June 2014 issue:

Thoughts from home
Josmo’s Café
Thoughts from others
Stay energized
Emily Live

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1. Thoughts from home

Find fault or find a friend?

John and I continue to find new and interesting activities to experience with Quincey (10 1/2) and Nathan (9), my cousin’s children who live in Charlotte. In mid-April, we attended the Rural Hill Scottish Festival in the north Charlotte community of Huntersville.

It was the warmest and sunniest weekend we’d had all year so the crowds were heavy. Children were given Scottish Passports to be stamped at the 70 clan tents around the field. In between meeting the proud clan representatives, we saw the bagpipe parade, sheep and duck herding by talented border collies, and athletic events including battle ax, tug-o-war, hammer throw, and clachneart competitions.

Lunchtime hunger struck everyone at once. The lines were long. The sun was hot. There were two types of people in line. Those that found fault and those that found friends. Fault finders complained about the heat, the lines, the wait, the lack of shade, and their impatient children. The friend finders were cheerful. They were meeting, greeting, and sharing personal stories as to what brought them to the event. I learned a lot about Scotland’s history from the two people I chatted with.

Moral of the story: The clock ticks away at the same rate for everyone. Why not make that time more pleasant by finding a friend rather than finding fault?

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Be interested in others. You’ll be surprised what you can learn.

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2. Josmo’s Café

I felt like I was competing in Food Network’s Iron Chef America competition last month. I bought way too many shallots for a recipe and was looking for other dishes in which to use them. Lucky for me, I found two terrific recipes. All the guests wanted copies to take home. I hope you also enjoy both the Roasted Broccoli and Tomatoes and the Strawberry Feta Salad.

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

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3. Thoughts from others

Dr. Wayne Dyer, one of my very favorite inspirational speakers, presented his tenth PBS fundraising program called I Can See Clearly Now in March. In a conversational format, Dr. Dyer shares his personal stories and the five key principles that have guided his life choices – willingness, determination, fearlessness, compassion, and love. As part of his message, he read the poem The Cookie Thief by Valerie Cox. Here’s the text of the poem. I hope you like the story and the message as much as I do!
The Cookie Thief by Valerie Cox
A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shops.
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see,
That the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be.
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock,
As the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too,
When only one was left, she wondered what he would do.
With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other,
She snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.
This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude,
Why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled,
And sighed with relief when her flight was called.
She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate,
Refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat,
Then she sought her book, which was almost complete.

As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise,
There was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair,
The others were his, and he tried to share.
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

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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 why 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.

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4. Stay Energized!

June Energizer Minute – Three Good Things Get supercharged with Energizer Minutes – one-to-two minute audio stories told by yours truly to energize, invigorate, and inspire!

Our series of 17 Terrific Tips continues with 17 Terrific Networking Tips. For those of you who read the special mailing on this, thanks for asking me to clarify #6 about name tags. It should have read “Wear your name tag on the right. It makes it easier to see both the person and the name badge.”

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.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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@sellingstrategies.com.

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5. Emily Live

Let me know if you want to connect when I’m in your area!
Private Client – Phoenix, AZ – May 31- June 4, 2014
International Association of Insurance Professionals Annual Convention – San Diego, CA – Great Service Sells – June 6, 2014
Private Client – operations review, planning, workshops – St. Louis, MO – July 29-31, 2014
Private Client – How to Become the Agent of Choice and There is an “I” in Team – Madison, WI – August 5-7, 2014
PIA of NC Annual Convention – Highpoint, NC – August 13, 2014
Private Client – operations review, planning, workshops – Blue Ridge, GA – August 19-21, 2014
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 – 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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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

May 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter May 2014 Issue 101

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

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In this May 2014 issue:

Thoughts from home
Josmo’s Café
Thoughts from the road
Stay energized
Emily Live

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Looking for new topics for a staff meeting? 17 Terrific Negotiating Tips will fuel good conversation. These tips are one of 30 free documents on the Free Stuff page on the website.

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1. Thoughts from home

What’s important to a customer?

After years of use, the seats on our neighbor Rick’s pontoon boat needed to be reupholstered. In the Lake Norman area, there are dozens of businesses that service boats and three of them are within a few miles of where we live. Over dinner at Josmo’s Cafe, Rick told us about his customer service experiences visiting three local boat shops.

Rick’s first stop was to a high-end full service boat dealership and service operation. He went in the door marked “Service” and stated his needs. Rick said the man didn’t even get up, just sat behind his desk. Rick left.

The second stop was at a service marina where Rick was told he had to bring his boat over to get an estimate. Rick could do that by boat, but asked the service man if he could just stop by his house and see the boat one day when he was out for lunch. The marina is just a five-minute car ride away. “No,” the man said, “that’s our policy. Bring the boat over.” Rick left.

Rick’s third stop was at a weather-beaten storage and service marina. Rick said some of the boats in the yard must have been there for decades. Rick walked in. The old man behind the battered desk smiled and said “Have a seat. What can I do for you?” Rick explained that his pontoon boat seats needed to be reupholstered. Through a series of focused and knowledge-based questions about the boat seats, condition of the deck (good), and how the motor runs (fine), the man said to Rick, “May I offer another option?”

It turned out the best and least expensive fix is simply to replace the seats, not reupholster them. The man was more than happy to help Rick get that done.

Moral of the story: Impressive stores or inflexible policies are not what customers want. It’s caring, asking relevant questions, and providing expertise that earn business and build business longevity.

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2014 Insurance Business Trends – My Take – Thanks for all of your positive feedback on my industry perspective mailing!

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2. Josmo’s Café

I love orange and chocolate! A big thank you to my client Sarah Kueffer, co-owner of Integrity Insurance in Lawrence, KS, for sharing this yummy Mandarin Orange Chocolate Pie recipe with me!

Josmo’s Cafe is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Learn the history and try the famous Josmo’s Cosmo cocktail posted on the Josmo’s Café webpage. If you’re having trouble finding Ocean Spray white cranberry juice at your local store, which is what makes this cosmopolitan so yummy, we get our supply from My Brands.

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3. Thoughts from the road

How to use a paper towel

In the February 2011 newsletter, I ran a story about a four-year-old girl wasting paper towels in the Baltimore airport ladies restroom. I stopped her from taking an excessive number of towels and luckily didn’t get bashed by her mother.

I just came across this short, informative, and humorous TED talk by Joe Smith of Oregon from March 2012 called How to Use a Paper Towel. It’s 4.5 minutes long and has had over 2,000,000 views! Please watch it and pass it along.

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What do you do to show respect for our environment?

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Selling from the Inside Learning Materials

In-house continuous learning initiatives develop superior employees and more satisfied clients – key factors that increase bottom-line profits. Make 2014 a banner year with a structured, service-selling, skill-building program.

My book and CD audio program 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.

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4. Stay Energized!

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

Caring Claim Handling – Is your agency doing all it can to reaffirm value when a client has a claim? Why not compare your agency claim handling process to the 10 ideas I recommend? George Nordhaus interviewed me for his Monday Morning webinar broadcast. It’s fast-paced, 25-minutes, and covers 10 tips. Now available On Demand.

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.

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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@sellingstrategies.com.

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5. Emily Live

Let me know if you want to connect when I’m in your area!
Agency Management CIC – Denver, CO – May 7, 2014
Professional Insurance Agents of Indiana Annual Conference – Indianapolis, IN – Strengthening Agent-Company Relationships and Deliver Service that Sells and Protects – May 8, 2014
Private Client – Great Service Sells – Appleton, WI – May 20-21, 2014
Private Client – Phoenix, AZ – May 31- June 4, 2014
International Association of Insurance Professionals Annual Convention – San Diego, CA – Great Service Sells – June 6, 2014
Private Client – How to Become the Agent of Choice – Madison, WI – August 6, 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
Agency Management CIC – Louisville, KY – October 15-17, 2014
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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

April 2014

Strategies for Success Newsletter April 2014 Issue 100

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

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In this April 2014 issue:

Thoughts from others
Josmo’s Café
Thoughts from the road
Stay energized
Emily Live

This is the 100th issue of the Strategies for Success newsletter! On occasion I’ll be rerunning some of the most popular pieces from the past eight years and when I do, it will be noted.

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Did you miss my recent webinar Clients are Forever – 5 Carats to Dazzle and Retain Buyers? Read a concise and accurate summary this IA magazine article. Perfect material for your next staff meeting!

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1. Thoughts from others

Having clients whom I love and learn from has been the greatest joy of my career. Nathan Einstein, Chairman of Rosenfeld Einstein, A Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company, is one of those clients. Nathan has logged 56 highly successful years in the insurance business. When Nathan talks, I listen! After an inspiring and heartfelt personal visit with Nathan in his office in February, Nathan e-mailed me more thoughts – thoughts worth sharing.

“Always remember to convey the following message – selling insurance is the easy part of our profession; taking care of your client is the hard part! Many in our profession do not know what this means, but find out the hard way. They lose the right to represent the client. Keeping a client is a lot easier than obtaining new one!

“Perhaps the most favorite of all of my daily activities is to convey the following message (to our staff) – when the phone stops ringing is when you have the problem. As long as clients need you and you favorably respond, opportunities are unbelievable in our insurance profession.”

Thank you, Nathan, for continuing to encourage and enlighten others!

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Highly successful agents believe it is a privilege to represent their clients. EH

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2. Josmo’s Café

In this never-ending winter, homemade soup has become a staple in our home. It had been years since I made French Onion Soup and decided it was time to give it a go. I merged and modified a few recipes and came up with Heavenly Homemade Onion Soup. Enjoy!

Josmo’s Cafe is celebrating its 10th anniversary! Learn the history and try the famous Josmo’s Cosmo cocktail posted on the Josmo’s Café webpage. If you’re having trouble finding Ocean Spray white cranberry juice at your local store, which is what makes this cosmopolitan so yummy, we get our supply from My Brands.

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3. Thoughts from the road

Message on a Bottle

I woke up this morning thinking about Angela Brown. Angela, in her mid-twenties when I knew her 10 years ago, was a woman ahead of her time and beyond her years. We attended Toastmasters together every Monday morning for five years. Because of the speeches given and the regularity of the meetings, members get to know each other very well. What I remember most about Angela are not her speeches, but her water bottle.

At each meeting, Angela’s water bottle had a different message taped to it. Kindness. Determination. Believe. Imagine. Respect. Wisdom. Finally one day, Angela’s speech topic was her water bottle. “What are you ingesting in your mind and body?” she challenged us. “Is it stuff that is positive and nurturing? Or is it negative and destructive? The choices we make in our thoughts, actions, behavior, food and water directly affect our lives. Are you making choices to live the life you want?” She told us her water bottle signs were daily reminders of her personal values. Her positive thoughts were absorbed by both her mind and body.

Angela’s speech was a decade before the making of the 2004 documentary “What the Bleep Do We Know?” The compelling movie brought insight to the general public about Quantum Physics – the theory that our thoughts manifest what we see and experience. One powerful scene in the movie illustrates Dr. Masaru Emoto’s 1999 study that shows contrasting signs on containers of water. The molecules in the containers react differently depending on the message. The “chi of love” molecules are peaceful while the “I will kill you” molecules are discolored, combative and aggressive. Watch a three-minute movie clip if you want to view this theory yourself.

For me, the truth of this concept is evident in words as well. Try this. Repeat these words aloud to yourself several times. Hate, Kill, Grudge, Can’t, Impossible. Take a deep breath. Now say these contrasting words to yourself several times. Love, Smile, Forgive, Beauty, Laugh.

Do you sense a difference? Pay attention to your thoughts, words, and body connection and decide for yourself.

Originally published October 2008

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Learning Materials to Turn Service into Sales

In-house continuous learning initiatives develop superior employees and more satisfied clients – key factors that increase bottom-line profits. Make 2014 a banner year with a structured, service-selling, skill-building program.

My book and CD audio program 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.

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4. Stay Energized!

April Energizer Minute – Bitter or Better? 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.

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Attention Agency Owners…

Have you ever had these thoughts? Are ready to do something about it?

I’m working too hard for so little return.
Do I have the right people in the right positions?
There are opportunities out there, but I just don’t know where to start.
What can we do to strengthen carrier and wholesaler relationships?
I’m sure our organizational structure and processes could be more efficient.

If you’re seeking a trusted advisor to help your agency reach its full potential, read more about our Agency Development Consulting Services.

To discuss how we can help, please contact me for a complimentary 30-minute conversation. Call 888-309-8802 or emily@sellingstrategies.com.

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5. Emily Live

Let me know if you want to connect when I’m in your area!
Louisiana Surplus Lines Association Annual Meeting –Developing Top Performers: How to Engage, Mentor, and Mobilize Employees – Biloxi, MS – April 2-3, 2014
Agency Management CIC – Denver, CO – May 7, 2014
Professional Insurance Agents of Indiana Annual Conference – Indianapolis, IN – Strengthening Agent-Company Relationships and Deliver Service that Sells and Protects – May 8, 2014
Private Client – Great Service Sells – Appleton, WI – May 20-21, 2014
Private Client – Phoenix, AZ – June 2-4, 2014
International Association of Insurance Professionals Annual Convention – San Diego, CA – Great Service Sells – June 6, 2014
NAPSLO Annual Convention – Atlanta, GA – September 15-17, 2014
NAMIC Annual Convention – National Resort, Oxon Hill, MD – September 21-23, 2014
Agency Management CIC – Louisville, KY – October 15-17, 2014
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Share any of my free stuff, articles, or newsletter content as long as proper credit is included.

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

© 2014 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.