By David & Tracy Bell—Syndicated Insurance Resources CEO & President
While the global pandemic impacts everyone, there are countless opportunities to find peace.
Like many of you, we are watching business revenues plummet because we have a substantial presence in California and a great number of clients who are in the restaurant industry.
The personal routines of everyone have been interrupted. (In our house, not being able to socialize is a big deal.)
So how do we find peace as the world around us seems to crumble?
What if we changed our focus onto more positive things.
Here’s an exercise we thought of that you may want to try, too. Once we took steps to do this, we felt more centered and peaceful.
Quite simply, list out the ways you have been blessed.
Here are our top five blessings, not in any particular order.
- Relationships: Our business fosters relationships with clients and partners who often become friends. Our marriage, kids, and friends also bring us great happiness.
- Bottom line: Life is not about accomplishments because relationships are more important than anything else.
- Business: Our insurance business will always be necessary because it provides a financial backbone for businesses of any size.
- Bottom line: It is great to help clients manage through a challenging process, especially in moments of crisis.
- Adventures: Over the years, we’ve traveled all over the country and seen many things others will never see.
- Bottom line: Life has given us wonderful experiences that many dream about doing.
- Faith: Despite my flaws or any bad choices, we know we are forgiven and that we were created for a purpose.
- Bottom line: We both have a personal relationship with our Creator and know we will always have something to look forward to even after our life on earth ends.
- Reality: Today’s crisis is just a blip on the radar. While we may endure some scars, there will be life on the other side of today’s reality.
- Bottom line:This current situation will pass, and the new reality will ultimately lead to opportunity.
We know we could list 100 more ways that we are blessed.
While it would be easy to focus on how bad things are, we choose to stay positive and remember the great pleasures and blessings we’ve experienced in life.
We are all fighting a similar battle of the mind during the trying times.
Know that your friends at Syndicated are here for you before, during, and after the COVID-19 crisis.
What will you focus on today while we wait for the tide to turn?
Imagine that you’re a prospective customer who needs workers’ comp insurance.
You’re searching Google looking for an insurance agent that offers the types of policies and services you need for your business.
You find several agents that look like they may have what you’re looking for, and you send each one the same email with a request.
The Story of Three Agents
Warm Welcome. One agent responds to your email inquiry immediately with a reply. He warmly thanks you for reaching out and lets you know that he will get back to you within the next 24 hours. In the interim, he sends information about their process for working with clients, so you know what to expect next. He also points you to a page with a Workers’ Comp checklist that has questions he should ask as you work together.
Unresponsive. Another agent never responds to your email request or phone calls for days or weeks. In fact, you start to wonder if you sent an email to the right address. When you call, you immediately go into a voicemail box but never receive a response.
Minimal Communications. The third agent you reached out to lets a couple of days go by before they send you a response. When they finally do, they merely point you to their website or a landing page. They don’t say anything more. This leaves you hanging wondering about the credibility of the agent.
Tough Questions to Answer
If you were the prospective client looking for help with insurance coverage, which one of the three agents listed above would you want to consider working with?
It is easy to see that the first agent had done a few simple steps to connect with the prospect and provide them with helpful information before they have even spoken.
The other two agent response examples show a lack of interest or consideration. If you were the prospective customer, you would mark them both off your list and focus on the first agent in a heartbeat.
Pause for a moment and think about the way you respond to your clients and prospects.
It can be tough to admit, but which of the three agents do you look most like?
Communicate and Connect with Customers
With any form of customer interaction, you can have success when you follow the age-old rule of treating others the way you want to be treated. Here are a few tips to consider.
Provide Timely, Personalized Responses: Today’s society is built on instant everything. We tend to look for immediate responses whenever we send an email. So how can you apply this? Give your prospects and customers a timely response that is personalized to them. Ensure they experience a connection and feel valued by you.
Write Clear and Concise Messages. We live in an age of sound-bite journalism. We all tend to scan the pages of things we see and read. From our emails to social posts and billboards—we all are guilty of scanning. So how can you overcome the scanning issue? Write clear and concise messages that are easy to understand.
Speak Your Client’s Language. It is easy to get caught up in insurance jargon or industry speak. Remember that your customers don’t have an insurance world dictionary to help them translate what you’re saying when you use buzzwords. Use easy-to-understand terminology and analogies without acronyms when you communicate. Doing so ensures your clients connect with you and what you have to offer.
Make Lists & Use Bullets. Writing a detailed paragraph takes up your valuable time. It also means the person you’re sending it to has to take time to unravel what you’ve written to determine how it applies to them. Consider writing short sentences. Make lists and use bullet points to make what you’ve written a quick read.
Give Calls to Action. Have you ever read through an email response and scratched your head wondering what to do next? Your client has, too. Make it easy on both of you by spelling out exactly what they need to do next. Give them a call to action.
These are just a few ways you can ensure you are effectively communicating and connecting with your clients and prospects. You can also apply this tips to every audience you reach out to – from vendors to carriers to customers and friends. Doing so consistently is sure to make a positive impact and create a win-win situation for everyone.
Many allied healthcare professionals aren’t aware that the hidden risks they are exposed to every day could create significant liability and financial issues for them. This post shines the light on what allied healthcare providers need to know.
If you’re an insurance agent or broker, feel free to share this post with your clients. If you’re an allied healthcare provider, you’ll want to read this.
You’ve written your business plan, filed the appropriate paperwork, and set yourself up to manage your own business as an allied healthcare provider. You are accepting clients who pay for your specialty services from the get-go. You are well on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
No matter what type of allied healthcare service you offer—from yoga instruction to massage therapy to social work—your focus is on creating, growing and expanding your business opportunities.
You keep reading all the lists to make sure you’re doing it right. Google has become your best friend as you research and absorb all the advice from the “Top Five Ways to Grow Your Business” to “Lessons for Independent Business Owners.”
There is so much to focus on when you run your own business, even if the only person on your payroll is you. Your checklist of things to accomplish is long. But you are confident and focused on creating a unique and genuine business model that is sure to succeed.
Your immediate reaction is to run out and find many clients as quickly as you can. At the same time, you need to create your website, print business cards, and find opportunities to market your services. As you seek opportunities to build your brand and customer base, you discover that you can offer your services by plugging in as a contractor through existing businesses.
Part-Time Opportunities Can Grow Your Client Base
There are many ways to grow your business opportunities as an independent contractor or small business with a handful of employees. Perhaps you’re a yoga instructor or massage therapist at your local gym two days a week. Or maybe you’re a nutritionist or life coach that provides counseling support one day per week at an existing clinic. You could be a licensed independent social worker working as a contractor at a senior living behavioral health center. You may create opportunities that connect your small team of employees with any of the part-time jobs.
Whatever the case may be, you’re on your own and experience the many freedoms of being your own boss. It is glorious to have the flexibility set your schedule and earn more money while you maintain a work-life balance. If you have a small team supporting you, you’re probably enjoying passing along work-life balance to them, too.
With the many freedoms you’re experiencing being your own boss, there is no reason you could fail. Or is there?
When you—or members of your small business—go work with other people you’re offering expert services to others. But no matter how carefully you or your team members work, there are risks that your business can encounter daily.
Liability Incidents Could Potentially Ruin Allied Healthcare Providers
Consider what could happen when you or your employees visit a client’s offices or use a third-party location for any business-related activity. Unexpected accidents, such as trips and falls, could result in unforeseen medical bills that you have to pay.
In today’s lawsuit happy society, you could find yourself needing an attorney because someone sues you for libel or slander. Without even trying, you could find yourself in uncertain situations which create unanticipated financial risks that could leave you bankrupt or at least in a world of hurt.
Most business owners are already aware of the hidden risks. So you shouldn’t be caught off guard when you are required to show proof of insurance to an existing business which you discuss offering your services.
Not convinced yet? There is proof in the numbers…
Small Business Disaster Facts & Numbers
You can have everything aligned for your allied health business to succeed. But, if you get sued or have to pay medical expenses, your business could unexpectedly close the doors. As an independent contractor or small business owner, here are some statistics to consider:
50% of small businesses survive five years or more (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016)
10% of small business claims come from customer slips and falls (Source: The Hartford)
22.2% of small business owners experienced a client complaint or dispute. (Source: Insureon’s 2016 Survey)
If that isn’t enough, Insurance Journal cited the following top most costly liability claims for small businesses: reputational harm ($50,000), customer injury or damage ($30,000), customer slip and fall ($20,000), and struck by an object ($10,000). They went on to share that 35 percent of all general liability claims results in a lawsuit.
So what should you do?
Get Peace of Mind With A Cost Effective Easy Solution
Don’t become another failed business statistic because you didn’t take steps to protect your business. Get a general liability insurance policy so when a lawsuit or unexpected medical claim arises, your hard earned money isn’t at risk.
The minimum cost for a general liability insurance policy can bring you peace of mind and potentially save your business from financial ruin.
Are you an independent contractor or small business owner that provides allied healthcare services? You can enroll online in about 3 minutes and receive a policy by email the same day you sign up. If you’re still not sure, learn more here.
Are you a broker who wants to offer general liability to your clients? Learn more or get a quick quote. You can even add the application on your website.
General liability insurance can seem like a vague and nebulous thing. It sounds important but who needs it and why? The bottom line is general liability insurance provides protection to cover the assets of a business. It also pays for financial obligations that arise from business-related injury costs to lawyer expenses during a suit.
Most independent contractors and small businesses need to have general liability insurance in place to protect themselves from lawsuits, mishaps, and third-party damage. When one manages their own work or business, they need to take steps to cover the safety of their clients and the quality of the products and services they provide.
In basic terms, general liability coverage protects the financial health of a business when something goes wrong.
From property damage to bodily injury and medical expenses – it is smart to make sure business assets are protected should an accident or lawsuit occur. You’ve heard the saying “better safe than sorry,” and that certainly applies with general liability insurance. It is critical to ensure independent contractors have the appropriate coverage – for those “what-if” situations, especially in today’s lawsuit-happy world.
Liability insurance protects a wide array of business classifications that include yoga teachers, social workers, behavioral, and healthcare professionals. Each of these types of professions has the potential for unique risks to occur. Liability insurance protects the businesses and individuals of these occupations from potential claims made against them.
- Clients can unexpectedly get hurt while attempting a yoga pose.
- Clients might sue for malpractice when they “see themselves” in a case study a social worker wrote and published.
- Allegations of negligence, misconduct or breach of confidentiality might unexpectedly arise for behavioral or healthcare professionals.
Industry experts agree that liability insurance is an essential – if not the most important – part of any business plan.
No matter how many safeguards one takes, there is no way to eliminate the risk of a lawsuit. Sadly, lawsuits can occur even if the party isn’t in the wrong or negligent. Liability insurance gives financial protection when a suit arises, so a business owner’s hard-earned money isn’t at risk.
If one doesn’t have liability insurance, the hefty fees of a lawsuit could put an independent contractor or small business owner out of business.
At the end of the day, the minimum cost for general liability insurance brings peace of mind, so one can stop worrying about risks and focus on their business.
Are you an individual who needs coverage? Learn more about general liability coverage. Complete this simple form to get coverage now.
Are you a broker who wants to offer general liability to your clients? Learn more or get a quick quote. You can even add the application on your website.
Each new year brings fresh opportunities for insurance brokers to prepare for success by observing the trends and evaluating how those patterns can positively impact business. Here are two trends to watch and learn more about so you can pivot and adapt your insurance business.
Workers’ Comp Rates Dropping. The price of workers’ compensation insurance is projected to continue going down for many businesses nationwide in 2018. Many factors are contributing to the expected decrease.
A report by the National Academy of Social Insurance shows workers’ comp benefits as a share of payroll falling for the fourth straight year in a row.
The National Council on Compensations Insurance Inc. (NCCI) filing for the 2018 workers’ compensation rate shows a decrease in the voluntary base rate and a decrease for assigned risk workers’ compensation rates.
The rate drop is due, in part, to the decline of the frequency of workers comp injuries across the nation.
Companies are also improving back-to-work programs to help injured employees recover and start work more quickly.
While Workers’ Comp reform is occurring nationwide, it does vary from state to state. From medical benefit caps to cost-control measures on pharmaceuticals to reducing the amount doctors can charge. This reform doesn’t necessarily mean more business for brokers, but it can mean more work. With so many states reforming their Workers’ Comp programs, brokers are destined to play an important role helping clients manage WC costs.
Technology Reshaping Insurance. Technology is pervasive as it impacts everything we do today including how insurance works. Gone are the days of paper processing and dialing for quotes. Technology now enables insurance brokers to efficiently use their time to access a large number of markets and products for quotes online.
Technology and the use of smartphones have given most of your customers the expectation of instant results. In turn, this means you must work smarter and embrace technology to pull together quotes for your customers rapidly. You can harness the power of technology by signing up for a free Syndicated Insurance Resources account that will give you quick access to more than 150 markets and over 40 unique product offerings. The free technology does the work for you to find fast quotes, place those who are high risk, and you even earn higher commissions. You can also tap into offering General Liability through Syndicated or even add General Liability Sign Up onto your website. Another option is StaffPro Plus, which helps you meet the staffing, payroll and insurance needs of your smaller employer-clients with a low-cost, subscription-based service.
In addition to using the technology to increase your speed and responsiveness, you need to enter 2018 prepared to sell your clients on modernizing. From online employee enrollment to electronic claim filing and paying their accounts online, there are lots of tools that allow you to perform sales and service on their mobile devices, laptops, and PCs. You simply need to tap into them and make them part of your offering.
Make 2018 your best year yet by staying on top of trends and making changes to how you deliver products and services to your clients.
Whether you’re a insurance broker or agent, selling is a continual cycle. To sell insurance, you need customers. To get customers, you need to build relationships and network. To build relationships with people, you sometimes feel like you need a degree in psychology.
You really don’t need a degree in marketing. But you do need to know how to build and maintain relationships with customers successfully. Some circles call this common sense, while others call it relationship marketing. Whatever label you put on it, know that anyone can successfully connect with customers and prospects.
If you do this right, you can engender loyalty that will pay off for many years. The pay off can come in the form of referrals, renewals, and genuine friendships that position you well in your community.
It is critical to remember that happy customers become loyal customers. They create repeat business and can bring you their friends, colleagues and business members. Satisfied customers can give positive reviews of your business online, too. In today’s social-driven economy, positive ratings are critical to your success.
Here are some tips for building relationships with clients:
Become a Trusted Resource. Share the most relevant news with your clients. Read the latest industry news and publications. Write articles for publications – both online and print. Keep an up-to-date blog.
Effectively Communicate. Schedule in-person meetings or phone calls. Stay in touch using email and social media to let customers know about changes to the industry and your business. Keep all communications friendly and helpful.
Be Authentic. No one likes the used-car salesman approach. Open and honest relationships with others show them that you are genuine and have their best interest at heart. It also shows that you value the relationship. Cultivate trust and loyalty by consistently being real and authentic.
Reward Loyalty. Everyone loves to feel like they are getting something for their efforts. Sometimes people like to get something for “free.” Invest in gift cards and send them to clients thanking them for their business. When they refer someone to you, acknowledge it with a note and a token of your appreciation.
Remain Visible. Proactively reach out to customers and prospects to let them know you’re thinking of them. Suggest ways you can help them. Don’t be “out of sight.” Ask customers and prospects what you can do for them or how you can help. Asking questions about the client’s potential issues and problems can open dialogue and doors for sales.
Promptly Respond. Excellent customer service and solid customer relationships occur when you make clients feel important. Going dark or being slow to answer calls and emails send a message that they aren’t important. Demonstrate your attentiveness by quickly responding, even if you’re simply acknowledging their message and need to get back with them later.
Building relationships are critical to the success of your business. When you are intentional about how you interact, reach out and follow-up, you are sure to create loyal customers for years to come.