Category Archives: Insurance

Financial Friday Round-Up: November 16 – November 20, 2020

Every week, our Financial Friday Round-Up compiles the best things to read, watch, or listen to regarding finance on the web. The articles below include advice on selling your home in retirement, tips for virtual meetings and conferences, and more.

Planning to Sell Your Home in Retirement? Downsize Costs Along With Space

Today, buyers who are looking to sell their homes are in a tough spot, with high prices and less inventory. This makes it easy to overpay if you are looking to downsize in retirement. Kiplinger outlines some ways to ensure you get the most from your home sale.

4 Powerful Ways To Improve Creative Collaboration When Working Remotely

All year, Forbes has been doing work to help businesses adjust to virtual communication. Their series continues this week with great advice on how to work best with a virtual team, with unique tips such as “make room for mindfulness.”

A Study Shows Why You Shouldn't Just Rely on Google Maps or Yelp for Restaurant Reviews

Businesses have always been beholden to a degree of customer service, but with the rise of technology, the methods of customer feedback have been in the hands of a few companies like Yelp and Google. This illuminating report from Business Insider sheds light on just how inaccurate these reviews can be, creating what they call a “false simplicity.”

The Key to Creating Virtual Conferences That Work

Conferences are almost all virtual these days and will remain so for the foreseeable future. What have we learned after a year of holding large events over video? The Wall Street Journal took some time this week to advise businesses on how to structure their virtual conferences for the largest possible engagement.

Check out our other Financial Friday Round-Up posts for more great reads!

Financial Friday Round-Up: November 9 - November 13, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: November 2 - November 6, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: October 26 - October 30, 2020

Eight Ways to Run Your Business and Still Enjoy the Holidays

Running a business during the holidays can make it harder to relax, reflect, and prepare for the new year. Corporations and larger businesses slow as people take vacations to spend time with their families, but as an entrepreneur, it can be hard not to fret over your business in that downtime. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do over the holidays to balance your business and family time. Below are some ideas for how to prepare for the holiday season.

Making the Best of the Holiday Season

1. Mark your calendar

Even if you know the date by heart, it helps to mark holidays on your calendar. They tend to sneak up on us in busy years, but keeping a reminder near your desk will help you plan accordingly. You can also schedule social media posts, emails, and other office plans.

2. Set an out-of-office reply

Set your out of office email before you are going to be unavailable so people will know to expect a slower response. You can still monitor your email in smaller moments, but it helps to be upfront with clients.

3. Send a year-end email

Checking in with clients is an important part of customer service, and the holidays are the perfect time for a simple email to check in with them. You can use this email to touch base, ask for referrals, or wish them and their families well. This keeps you in their mind when their financial needs take priority again after the holidays end.

The holidays are the perfect time for a simple well-wishing email to touch base with clients.

4. Give gifts

If you want to go the extra mile, a gift or just a card is a great way to stand out. Especially after a tough year, sending clients a simple gift can go a long way in showing you care.

5. Change up your space

Clear up this year’s clutter at your home office or move your desk to a new part of the room for a different view. A change like this can give you a different perspective and while you don’t have to do a deep clean, you’ll be ready for a new start next year if your space feels fresh.

6. Reflect and evaluate

Chances are that your priorities shifted in 2020. Recognize that this has been a year where maintaining your life and business has become a serious accomplishment. Take a look at what you wanted to accomplish in 2020 and recognize what was possible and what became a challenge this year.  

7. Consider next year’s goals

With last year’s benchmarks in mind, see how you can feed them into the new year’s goals. What felt impossible in 2020 but seems achievable in 2021? Were there any new opportunities in 2020? How can you keep successful programs going after the pandemic is over? Think of your goals in terms of sales, teamwork, product knowledge, productivity, and work/life balance.

8. Engage with your team

Boost spirits and culture by sending thank you notes, gifts, and whatever bonuses you can to your team. It’s not just about clients — everybody in your office worked hard to keep the business running, and this is a time to show people just how special they are in keeping the momentum.

With last year’s benchmarks in mind, see how you can feed them into this new year’s goals.

Learning how to enjoy your holiday break while making the most of this time of year can take some getting used to, but these eight steps will put you ahead in keeping your business running when it is time to get back to work. Enjoy what you can during this time of reflection and carry this peace of mind with you as you look toward the new year.

FFS Agents – share this post with your networks using our resources in the ABO.

Financial Friday Round-Up: November 9 – November 13, 2020

Every week, our Financial Friday Round-Up compiles the best things to read, watch, or listen to regarding finance on the web. The articles below include a celebration of National Entrepreneurship Month, a report on Americans’ rise in savings, a guide to the Roth IRA, and more.

4 Things To Keep In Mind During National Entrepreneurship Month

This year, Nation Entrepreneurship Month takes on a new importance, as many small businesses have struggled to survive over the past months. Forbes acknowledges this and published four reminders for every entrepreneur going forward, from the basics like “Always put the customer first” to “Get your books in order.”

Lockdown Converted Many Americans Into Serious Savers. Now They Have Houses to Show for It

More than a quarter of first-time homebuyers find saving for the down payment is the most difficult part of buying a home — in the past, almost a third got that money from a friend or family. It’s no wonder that lockdown caused such a surge in first-time homebuyers this year, as Americans were able to save on daily costs of commute and eating out and put that money into savings instead, according to Money this week.

The 10 Best Career Paths for Veterans After Leaving the Military

This week, to honor Veteran’s Day, Business Insider rounded up the best careers where veterans can use the skills they developed in the military to the greatest effect. Careers range from I.T. to education — as well as, notably, careers in financial services.

Everything You Need to Know About Roth IRAs

Many retirement vehicles are available to workers out there now that companies have said goodbye to pension packages, and the Roth IRA is one of the most important to know about. Use this guide from Money to learn everything you need to know about the benefits of this retirement vehicle.

Check out our other Financial Friday Round-Up posts for more great reads!

Financial Friday Round-Up: November 2 - November 6, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: October 26 - October 30, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: October 19 - October 23, 2020

Focus Your Energy on Your Client Retention Strategy

A common mistake an entrepreneur can make is ignoring a client retention strategy in pursuit of new customers. The best customers are the ones who keep returning to your business — there is overwhelming evidence that client retention saves a massive amount of marketing money, increases revenue across the board, and generates new referrals for you and your business. Here is why:

Client retention is cheaper.

It costs five times less money in the marketing budget to retain customers than to acquire new ones. Adobe reports that an average of 80% of any digital budget is spent on acquiring new customers, while each 1% of customers who return will increase revenue by around 10%.

Returning clients spend more.

Selling to existing clients will result in them likely spending 31% more. Returning customers are also 50% more likely to try a brand-new product.

Revenue comes from returning clients.

According to a study by Gartner Group, 80% of a business’s future revenue will come from 20% of existing customers.

Particularly in an industry that provides lifetime policies, it is important to maintain great relationships with clients through annual reviews and milestones. Clients should know that they can trust you and you are on their side. The better your relationships, the more you are set apart from the competition.

How to Increase Client Retention

There are a few steps any entrepreneur can take to develop their client retention strategy:

Calculate your retention rate.

You must know your retention rate to work on improving it. Determine the period of time you want to calculate the rate for — say, a month or a quarter — then make note of how many existing customers you have at the start of that period. At the end of the period, count the number of those customers that you have retained. Then, subtract any new customers you attained from the amount of retained customers at the end of the period, and divide that number by the number of customers you began with. Multiply this by 100, and you have your retention rate.

Set sales and follow up goals.

Establish the number of sales you want to make and the number of follow-ups you want to achieve, aiming to keep your retention rate up. The more micro-goals you can make, the better — make quarterly, monthly and daily goals.

Follow a sales system.

Having a well-oiled process, from attaining a customer through following up and performing an annual review is essential. Use the Success Tracks™ courses in the Sell Principle to iron out your process. Courses like GET SELLING: Making the Sale can help you build a process, from the Needs Analysis through the application process through follow up.

Make a good first impression.

There is a reason the cliché exists — first impressions can influence a client’s image of you for months. Be sure to dress professionally, smile a lot, be polite, and be organized.

Use technology for a smooth process.

Technology now makes it easier to stay engaged with clients between follow-ups. Share blog posts and social media posts whenever you can. The FFS Edge app makes it easy to stay engaged with clients using our compliant marketing content.

Stay in touch

Check in on your clients for birthdays and send gifts for milestones like weddings and graduations. You want to make sure they remember you when they need you.

Ask for feedback

Make sure you’re giving your clients opportunities to tell you how you can help them. Then, be sure to act on the feedback!

Having a well-oiled process from attaining a customer through following up and performing an annual review is essential.

Retention Leads to Referrals

If you do a good job retaining your clients, referrals will start to appear like magic. A happy customer creates free word-of-mouth advertising. For example:

49% of customers say family and friends were their top source of brand awareness.

• People are four times more likely to buy from a business when they were referred by a friend.

• 92% of clients say they trust family and friends most when recommended businesses.

Good referrals come when you start exceeding the expectations of your clients. If you use the strategies listed above, you will be one step closer to delivering this kind of customer service. Word of mouth comes from clients who have been delighted to see you go above and beyond for their needs.

Good referrals come when you start exceeding the expectations of your clients.

Client Retention Grows More Important Every Day

The need to build great relationships and focus on keeping clients only continues to grow. Customers are bombarded by advertising every day as technology use increases and attention spans diminish. You can use to your advantage — with so many choices, people just want services they already know they can trust. Cut through the noise with a

Financial Friday Round-Up: November 2 – November 6, 2020

Every week, our Financial Friday Round-Up compiles the best things to read, watch, or listen to regarding finance on the web. The articles below include a guide to building credit, an exploration of how much to save for retirement, the importance of child care benefits for companies, and more.

How to Build Credit with Credit Cards and Improve Your Credit Score

The importance of good credit practices can never be overstated, and this week Business Insider provided a good reminder for anyone who wants a better credit score. You will find all the common tips here, including prompt payments, advice on utilization, and how to find the cards with good rewards programs.

How Much Should You Save for Retirement?

Money published a guide this week on how much you should be saving for the day you retire from the workforce, and it is a great read for anyone who wants to recalibrate after a tumultuous year. This piece gives advice on everything from what percentage you should save to what types of accounts you should be using to hold the savings.

Child Care Benefits May Be as Important as Healthcare If You Want To Keep Top Employees

This week, Forbes published an article about the importance of child care benefits in preventing employee turnover. As the pandemic continues to take its toll on child care and schooling, this piece is a great way to touch up on why this issue is so important to many Americans in the workforce.

How Leaders Are Tackling the Issues of Diversity, Inclusion and Equality

In the latest from their “Lonely CEO” column, Worth magazine put out this interesting investigation of the many ways different CEOs are solving problems of inclusion and diversity which are so prevalent in our time. These CEOs give a wide range of advice on accountability, consulting experts, and the benefits of getting comfortable with uncomfortable conversations for a better company.

Check out our other Financial Friday Round-Up posts for more great reads!

Financial Friday Round-Up: October 26 - October 30, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: October 19 - October 23, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: October 12 - October 16, 2020

The Secret to Employee Happiness is a Great Onboarding System

It is impossible to overstate the importance of building a great onboarding system if employers want to solve the all-too-common problem of employee turnover in the first 90 days of a new hire. Hiring practices tend to focus on identifying a perfect fit for the position during the interview and then leave it at that. The interview is an important first impression, but it is the momentum built in the weeks following the interview that is crucial to keeping a new employee from feeling dissatisfied.

Too often, an employer ends up checking out right when a new employee needs engagement, support, and commitment most in order to know that a new position is the right fit. Too much money and energy are spent on recruiting just to end up leaving a new hire with no idea what to do or how to get started after the paperwork is signed.

Onboarding is the crucial momentum that is built to keep a new employee from feeling dissatisfied.

The Proof is in the Statistics

Don’t just take our word for it — there are countless statistics gathered over years of research which point to the power of a great onboarding system in making sure employees stay happy. To name just a few:

  • Turnover during the first 18 months of a new hire can be as high as 50%.
  • From Forbes: “In surveying 1,024 U.S.-based full-time-employed adults, we learned that over 80% of employees who rated their onboarding experience highly feel strongly committed to their jobs and have higher role clarity than those who had a poor onboarding experience.”
  • In the same study, employees reported being 30 times more satisfied in jobs with a great onboarding system.
  • Employees who experience a good onboarding process are 69% more likely to stay with the company for at least 3 years.

The evidence is clear that onboarding is essential to building a business. Not only does it reduce turnover, but it gives companies an edge over their competition, makes sure everyone is working in compliance from their first day, and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation.

In a study by Forbes, employees reported being 30 times more satisfied in jobs with a great onboarding system.

The Power of a Good System

The first step to onboarding is establishing a relationship with the employee that proves the company can follow through on the promise of the interview. Employees should feel like they have someone they can comfortably turn to who speaks to them with integrity and honesty. Onboarding is the best time to establish evidence of this time and effort.

Of course, it can be a little more difficult for entrepreneurs than for large corporations — when someone has to split their time between onboarding new recruits and their own daily duties to their business, the onboarding process can start to slip. This is why, in our efforts to provide the resources to make entrepreneurship easier, First Financial Security established the Success Tracks™ online learning curriculum to teach recruits our proven Business Building System.

The first two Success Tracks™ courses, First Things First and Get Started, show that the FFS Business Building System is intuitive and easy-to-use. Our onboarding system gives new employees an introduction to who we are, what we do, and what steps to take to get set up as a new FFS agent. Then, recruits learn about the wide variety of life insurance products along with walkthroughs on how to grow their business, how to build their team, and how to get licensed and contracted with our carriers — all within their first 90 days.

Building a great onboarding system is tricky, as it takes a balance between a proven system and efforts from trustworthy and dedicated individuals. The key lies in leaders that know the system like the backs of their hands and to whom new employees feel they can safely turn. We established Success Tracks™ and our Business Building System so our agents would only have to focus on the relationship and leave the rest of their energy in leading their businesses to success.

FFS Agents – share this post with your networks using our resources in the ABO.

Financial Friday Round-Up: October 26 – October 30, 2020

Welcome to the Financial Friday Round-Up, where we scour the web for the best things to read, watch, or listen to regarding finance every week. Check out the links below for a senior’s guide to life insurance, managing student loans during the pandemic, leadership tips for small businesses, and more.

A Guide to Life Insurance for Seniors

Ideally, no one would approach old age without life insurance of some sort, but reality shows us that there are a lot of reasons one might not have a policy in place when they reach retirement. If you or a loved one has been wondering if it may be too late to get a policy, the answer is to get a needs analysis and use this helpful guide from Money to find out which policy may be the best one, if any is necessary at all.

Managing Student Loans During COVID-19

COVID-19 has left many Americans with financial questions, and one of the areas most affected by the pandemic has been student loans. With federal loan payments suspended for months now, loan policies have gone through many changes this year — read this from Kiplinger for help on understanding the big picture.

5 leadership tips every small-business owner should practice during the COVID-19 crisis

This helpful round-up of advice from Business Insider is the perfect short read to start your day and motivate you to guide your team to success. Read this piece for wisdom about how to embrace change with enthusiasm, how to pivot to a new game plan, and how to be fearless in the face of transformation.

Venus Williams’ Advice For Entrepreneurs: Don’t Let Fear Take Over—Just Push Through It

Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams knows a thing or two about pressure after playing tennis in the 1999 U.S. Open when she was only 19. Now, in this piece from Forbes, she has some words of inspiration for any small business owners who are facing uncertainty — “push through.” Read this for a burst of motivation from one of America’s greatest athletes.

Check out our other Financial Friday Round-Up posts for more great reads!

Financial Friday Round-Up: October 19 - October 23, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: October 12 - October 16, 2020
Financial Friday Round-Up: October 4 - October 9, 2020