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March 2010
Agents of America

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    What is AgentsofAmerica.org?
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    AgentsofAmerica.ORG is an Insurance Agent's Association and indispensable resource for news, products, services, education, and industry information throughout America. The organization's Mission is to deliver the BEST people, products, information, and services to Agents on a daily basis all designed to help them manage and grow their business, increase their revenues and provide ongoing value to their clients. Our motto is "Bringing the BEST Together."

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    AOA eBook Chapter 7
    Letter from the Editor
     
    Available this month is Chapter 7 of AoA's eBook, entitled "THE PERILS AND PITFALLS OF THE INSURANCE APPLICATION."
     
    Also please join us on Wednesday March 31st, 2010 at 4:00 PM EST for a one-hour free webinar with one of the nations' leading authorities and experts on Mergers & Acquisitions, Hales & Company.  This informative and timely webinar will provide you with 2009 results as well as current trends in insurance brokerage M&A that will impact the market for both buyers and sellers.
     
    M&A activity in 2009 was one of the least active by number of deals in the last 10 years. We will discuss prior year results and current trends that will impact the overall insurance brokerage/agency M&A market for buyers and sellers.  Whether interested in buying or selling, participants will come away with an understanding of current trends in transaction pricing and structuring.  Understanding the "truths from the myths" in valuations and deal structures is half the battle in today's M&A marketplace. Reserve your Webinar seat now, Space is limited.
     
    Click below to register and to get a reminder email before the webinar starts:
     
    For insurance professionals seeking a more in depth discussion, Hales & Company will be presenting four full day seminars - Chart a New Course With Purpose and Passion. Participants will come away from these seminars with the tools needed to Create and Enhance Shareholder Value. Seminars will be held at the following locations: 
     
    April 13, 2010 - New York, NY - Westin NY Times Square
     
    April 22, 2010 - Chicago - Chicago Hyatt Regency
     
    May 12, 2010 - Dallas - Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria
     
    May 19, 2010 - San Francisco - San Francisco Grand Hyatt
     
    Hales & Company is very pleased to extend a special invitation to the members of Agents of America. The standard registration fee for the seminar is $499, but as a member of AOA, you are entitled to a reduced registration fee of only $200. In addition, all seminar participants will receive a free copy of the book, 2010 Insurance Agency Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Analysis of Mergers & Acquisitions and Growth Strategies, a $275 value, with paid registration. The book includes 400 pages of detailed information related to M&A and best practices to create and enhance shareholder value.  To register go to:
    Finally, remember to tell your friends and associates that AgentsofAmerica.ORG is now offering FREE MEMBERSHIP, due to the support of our sponsors, advertisers and contributors.  This increases the networking possibilities for everyone involved with AoA. 
     
    Britton Weimer
    Editor
    Table of Contents

     

     

    mercer1HOW TO HIRE APPLICANTS WHO 'FIT IN' YOUR COMPANY'S CULTURE

    By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

     

    PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS ACCURATELY TELL YOU IF APPLICANT WILL 'FIT IN' YOUR COMPANY'S CULTURE

     

    Pre-employment tests clearly tell you if a job applicant could 'fit in' your company's culture.  But, you must carry out an important step. 

     
     
     

    foretLACK OF CELL PHONE DRIVING LAWS MAY NOT PROTECT AGAINST

    EMPLOYER LIABILITY FOR EMPLOYEE ACCIDENTS

    By Robin Foret, J.D.

     

    Most of us have experienced the frustration caused by another driver's lack of attention while he or she is embroiled in a conversation on a cellular telephone.  The scenario usually involves a driver with only one hand on the wheel holding a cell phone to his or her ear and at the same time attempting complicated vehicular maneuvers such as backing up, turning, parking, changing lanes, etc.  Near misses with such vehicles lead most of us to say "there ought to be a law" concerning talking on a cell phone and driving with one hand on the wheel. 

     
    shulman8 Reasons to Pair Up P&C Producers as Sales Partners
    By Alan Shulman, CPCU
     
    When an agency has multiple P&C producers, it increases its odds of sales success.  However, problems can develop when the agents compete against each other rather than cooperate.  Internal friction and out of control rivalries limit an agency's ability to grow its book.  That's why it's logical to explore avenues where producers collaborate for their employer's benefit as well as their own.  Pairing up agents as sales buddies, much like police partners, is a possible approach (based on my years of watching all those TV cop shows).
     

    read more...

    ________________________________________________

     Ernest Agent
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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    daprileShould I Stay or Should I Go: 

    Insurance Agency Retention Strategies for the Economic Rebound

    By Jay D'Aprile

     

    With the seemingly never-ending soft market, health insurance reform and the great recession it seems as if everything is going against the Independent Insurance Agent; main street agencies may have suffered more in this recession than their larger counterparts.  According to the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) the average insurance agency has about ten people in their office which magnifies the impact of employee attrition.  With all that being said, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and with the recovery looking more robust every quarter the independent insurance agency is going to have to prepare to hold on to their best people. 

     

    wilson2Embezzlement: The Crime We Hate To Admit
    By Charles T. Wilson, CMC, CRM, RPLU
     
     

    You may know about a business that's experienced employee theft or fraud.  But many owners feel foolish and prefer not to talk about it.

     

    American businesses lose $50 billion annually to employee dishonesty: that's $9 per employee per day.  And small businesses are much more vulnerable because they can't afford the sophisticated audit and detection tools used by larger firms.

     
     

    lamontRules of Negotiation

    By Ed Lamont

     

    Whether negotiating renewals or competing for new business, rules of negotiation are critical to sales success.  Far too often rules are vague, assumed, or, worst of all, unstated when insurance agents negotiate protection programs and conditions for acceptance.  The result - low closing ratios, sales failure, and wasted time.

     
    read more... 
     
     
     
    AOA Insurance Credit Card Offer 
     
     

    hunterSales Motivation and the Disastrous Sales Call

    By Mark Hunter

     

    Yes, even people who have a high level of sales motivation can at one time or another experience a disastrous sales call.   The key is when you experience this type of a situation to not let it throw the rest of your day into the toilet.   Now don't go saying this has never happened to you.  Even the most motivated of brokers and sales professionals have experienced a call that went completely awry.

    .
     

    ervinSeverance Agreements - Requirements and Recommendations

    By Kevin M. Ervin, Esq.

     

    As the country and the State of California go through challenging economic times, many employers have made the economic decision to lay off individual employees or entire parts of their workforce. To protect themselves against possible future lawsuits, many employers have chosen to enter into severance agreements with their departing employees. Employers are generally not required to provide their at-will employees with severance pay, but having their employees sign severance agreements can go a long way in protecting a company from future lawsuits.

     

    martinezWinning Isn't Everything?

    By Ed Martinez, PHR

     

    Have you ever poured your heart and soul into a task or goal that you wanted desperately to achieve only to fall short?  Obviously, everyone has not been successful at achieving every goal and we have all experienced disappointment.  Certainly, we have all had the friend or business associate utter that famous adage, "winning isn't everything". This seemingly empathetic phrase is used frequently on such occasions. Some people believe that they may be helping the disappointed person by offering these stale words.

    mercer3MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES
    Dr. Michael Mercer

    "You will be remembered for the problems you overcame, and the problems you helped other people overcome."

    -  Mike Murdoch

     

    "Do not get tired of doing good works.  At just the right time, you will reap a harvest if you do not give up."

    -  Galatians 6:9

     

    "Like attracts like.  Praise and appreciation bring greater praise and appreciation to you."

    -  Robert Collier

     

    "Remember:  The mediocre always are at their best."

    -  W. Somerset Maughn

     

    JOKE-OF-THE-MONTH
    mercer4Dr. Michael Mercer

     

    Many celebrities put in many years of hard work to become famous. 

     

    Then, when they finally become famous, they wear dark glasses and do other things to avoid being recognized.


    Dr. Michael Mercer, www.MercerSystems.com, provided these motivational quotes and joke-of-the-month from his management newsletter.

     

    This newsletter is produced in conjunction with Agents of America, www.agentsofamerica.org. The contents of which may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Agents of America.