combsandco


ShowMe the money: How to charge fees in a commission-based practice

pexels-photo-259027.jpegBack in college, I worked for the University of Missouri, and to this day, the coolest job I’ve ever had was working as an event manager for the Hearnes Center. This is where the magic happens when it comes to concerts and sporting events. During that time, I got to work with some amazing people, one of whom happened to be Bob Dylan. And as Bob once said, “For the times they are a-changin.” As benefits professionals, boy, don’t we know it!

I’ve had a lot of great role models in my life and one of my most incredible ones has been my mother. Like me, she was an entrepreneur. She owned a Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio and a travel agency in my hometown of King City, Missouri. My mom had worked for a number of years in the travel industry with American Airlines and Auto-Train (later sold to Amtrak) in Washington D.C., before relocating to Missouri with my father and working for a small travel agency. She later opened her own, and I remember that she saw a major shift taking place in the industry when the airlines decided that they were no longer going to pay travel agents fees on airline tickets. She made the decision to start charging fees and I remember her telling me, “If you don’t value your time, no one else will.”

Click here to keep reading!

 



The Best Way to Prospect

Prospecting Pic

So I have the pleasure of writing for the Succession Initiative for LifeHealthPro and they come to me with questions from their readers and I get to respond to them!  Here is the latest one:

The Challenge…

How can I make appointments effectively?

Meeting The Challenge…

Hi Terry,

First off, I basically equate that to a mother not teaching her son how to cook and do laundry because she knows he’ll find a wife to do it for him! Learning how to prospect is a life skill in sales. You have to get it down pat in order to be successful in this career. Being handed leads are the reward after you have proven yourself, you know?

OK … now to get off of my soapbox and offer a solution.

Network.

Network with everyone and anyone if you are starting out. Book lunches, coffees and drinks with other salespeople and business professionals in different fields. Get your elevator pitch down and be specific about who you want to be introduced to that are good lead sources for you (CPAs, attorneys, etc.) Be specific about your ideal client, too; if you say “business owners,” they are going to hear Charlie Brown’s parents talking and you’ll go nowhere.  Click here to read more!

 



Advice to a new millennial broker: dream big, do moreBy Susan L. Combs

mentor

Dear New Millennial Broker,

So you know I love to give advice by now, right?  I recently spoke at Baruch College, a business school in NYC where I serve as a mentor. I didn’t go to school there — I mentor there because the students inspire me.

The theme for the night was:  Dream Big, Do More.

How powerful!

I find we so often start thinking about how to improve ourselves or start off the New Year right, but oftentimes we forget to go back to the basics of what got us to where we are today.  Dream big, do more.  To learn more click here.



The Story Exchange

Story Exchange

The Story Exchange is a nonprofit media organization dedicated to telling the personal and professional stories of women business owners. They showcase the often-overlooked entrepreneurial women around the world who are contributing to their communities and collectively making an impact on the global economy. As an independent 501(c)(3) digital initiative, they aim to provide role models to other women who are pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.  To learn more about The Story Exchange click here!  If you would like to visit Susan Combs’s Story Exchange page please click here!



Move fast or get outta the way!
August 17, 2015, 9:23 am
Filed under: Branding You, Marketing Yourself | Tags: , ,

FastChildren_lgA

As many of you know, I live in NYC. But I’m from a town of about 1,000 people called King City, in the Northwest corner of Missouri, or what I refer to as “God’s Country.” I get emailed, texted and Facebook messaged monthly from people asking for suggestions on what to do on their NYC vacation. I have a great list I have compiled over the years that I send, and I also send this video.  It’s from my pal, Johnny T, advising you that there are two speeds in New York: A) You move fast or B) Get outta the way!

I think this is also true for our industry. Let’s face it, it’s been a rough couple of years, but if you are reading this, then you are still standing! How are you adapting? How are you evolving? Here are some things we are doing to stay relevant:

  1. The millennials are invading: So, I’ve hired a rock star producer that is 25 and speaks their language. For millennials, mentoring and feeling imporant is huge. I encourage you to start looking for your successor!

To pick up at #2….Click Here!



3 ways to Brand Yourself in the Market

You Brand

Ok, so one thing I’m really good at is branding, connecting and getting the word out so I thought I’d share a few tips of things I use frequently:

1. Announcement postcards. In this day and age of email marketing, I have found that people miss getting mail. Have you done something amazing? Have you received an award? Tell people! It’s easy and cheap to do a quick postcard through companies like Vistaprint, where you can get 500 postcards for way under $100. When I became national president of WIFS (www.wifsnational.org), I send out a postcard to clients and referral sources thanking them for supporting me through my journey and it turned into referrals.

To pick up at #2, click here!