January 2013

January 2013

Strategies for Success Newsletter January 2013 Issue 85


Published by Emily Huling Selling Strategies
Copyright 2013 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.


In this January 2013 issue:

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

1. Thoughts from the office

Consulting Day Tips

What a wonderful day I had December 20 speaking with six amazing insurance professionals – all women – from GA to CA and points in between! In my December Thoughts for 2013 mid-month mailing, I offered six complimentary consulting hours which filled within minutes. Apologies to those I was unable to accommodate.

There was a common theme that’s not surprising given a new year ahead. Everyone wanted assistance in creating a plan to accomplish their goals – career development plan, agency growth plan, new producer sales plan, and manager development plan. We discussed everyday issues and I thought a couple of my recommendations could be helpful to you.

If your goal is to be promoted, create your own skill development plan. Not only does this demonstrate initiative to your boss, it helps you identify skills vital for a long and successful career. My Rough Notes article Take Charge of Your Career provides a simple seven-step process and lists 18 skills and behaviors to consider. For example, if your goal is to shift from a service position or underwriting into management, you may choose presentation skills, training others, and priority and time management as areas to develop.
An agency owner wanted guidance on how to lead and empower her 12-person agency staff. Not unusual for a small business owner, she is the point person on almost everything. I recommended she read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. It helps entrepreneurs understand why they must work on the business, not in the business. Instead of taking the lead herself on projects to improve efficiency and sales, we discussed a proven technique to engage and empower others. Schedule an all-agency meeting. At the top of two pieces of flip chart paper, write two specific agency goals. The agency owner chose “Implement Front-End Scanning by September 2013” and “Improve Personal Lines Quote-to-Written Ratio.” At the meeting, divide the staff into two teams and ask each team to post as many ideas as possible on the flip charts to accomplish those goals. Discuss the posted thoughts and choose the best strategies to pursue. Ask for volunteers to work together on those initiatives, set deadlines, and schedule follow-up meetings to discuss action plans and track progress.

What was rewarding for me was that each person was totally clear that her choices and actions determine her future. William Shakespeare said it best. “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

2. Thoughts from home

For the love of it

My friend Fran and I rang in the holiday season by attending the annual Christmas program presented by a well-established community chorus. At the start of the program, the president of the group reminded us that the 75-person singing group sustains itself through generous donations from people and organizations. “Anyone can join,” she told us, “No auditions. We welcome everyone.”

The program revealed that we would be hearing Christmas classics and watching some special holiday short movies. If you haven’t seen the charming Ornaments (When Humans are Sleeping) and have five minutes, it’s worth the time.

Like most choral programs, some songs feature soloists, who step out from the group, pick up a microphone and take the stage front and center. That’s what happened when it was time for Angels We Have Heard on High. The soloist, a woman in her 40’s, started belting it out. It was not good. She was really, really off key. My friend and I glanced at each other cringing. Our eyes spoke wondering how the heck this woman was selected for a solo.

The song ended. The soloist took her bow. People applauded. Our seats were on the right side of the stage so we witnessed an interesting exchange between the soloist and the conductor. The soloist turned around to face the conductor. She was beaming with pride. The conductor smiled and said, “Wow” and nodded her head with genuine approval. My friend and I looked at each other and smiled.

While I’ll never know the real story, the one I made up is this. That woman loves singing. She joined a caring, supportive, and encouraging group who gave her the opportunity to do that, no matter what. We should all be so lucky!

What is it you’ve always wanted to do, but have been shy or fearful about it? Why not make 2013 the year to make it happen?


Find the courage to do what you never thought possible. EH


3. Josmo’s Café

John and I did a lot of entertaining over the holidays. Two main dishes were standouts with rave reviews. Instead of posting them to the website, here are the links. Be sure and read the reviews. Good tips to know when preparing! Roast Stuffed Pork Loin with Port Sauce (Pinot Noir was a perfect pairing) and Herbed Rib Roast which was easy and amazing!

It’s almost Super Bowl time!! Sunday, February 3 will be here before we know it. My friend Lisa made Chicken and Broccoli Braid for a party we had this summer. She found it on allrecipes.com a favorite source for online recipes. It’s a super-duper easy, delicious, and warm sandwich for a party buffet. We’ve added it to our Josmo’s Café website recipe list.

To access more café recipes, visit Josmo’s Café! Enjoy!


4. Stay Energized!

January Energizer Minute – Get supercharged with Energizer Minutes – one to two minute audio stories told by yours truly to energize, invigorate, and inspire! Click to hear Clothes Closet Cleaning.

Want to take a one-minute trip to Paris? John posted some of our Christmas in Paris pictures on the website. What a fabulous city even in bone-chilling weather! Click for Paris Pictures

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

Fast Forward Your Success – Selling Strategies offers strategic planning, workshops, coaching, books, and audio learning materials to build top-performing sales and customer service organizations. To learn more, visit www.sellingstrategies.com or call me at 888-309-8802.


Coming in 2013 – New Audio Learning Programs to Advance Workplace Success

Touchpoints for Managers: Improve Employee Satisfaction and Productivity
Touchpoints for Producers: Savvy Selling Strategies
Touchpoints for CSRs: Creating Client Connections


5. Emily Live

Please get in touch if you want to connect when I’m in your area or if you’re interested in a similar program for your organization.

Private client webinar – Polishing the Message and Messenger – January 4, 2013
Private client – Rockford, IL – January 22, 2013
Agency Management CIC – Chicago, IL – January 24, 2013
Agency Management CIC – Little Rock, AR – February 7, 2013
Private client – Sharpening Your Skills – Shreveport, LA – February 13, 2013
Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina – Spring Conference – Deliver Service that Sells and Protects – February 20, 2013
NAMIC Commercial Lines Conference – Chicago, IL – February 27-March 1, 2013
NetVu Conference – Grapevine, TX – Proven Producer Strategies to Earn More Money and How to Change – Where to Start – March 14-16, 2013
Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois Management Conference – Employee Engagement: Strategies to Gain Competitive Advantage – Chicago, IL – April 17, 2013
Professional Insurance Agents of Indiana Annual Conference – Indianapolis, IN – A Marketing Plan: Your Roadmap to Success and Creating Sales Superstars – May 9-10, 2013
Private client – Great Service Sells – Appleton, WI – May 15, 2013
International Association of Insurance Professionals Annual Convention – Take Charge of Your Career and Time Tactics: Accomplish More, Stress Less – Orlando, FL – June 5-7, 2013


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

© 2013 Emily Huling. All rights reserved.

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