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!

 



More women who are changing the insurance industry.

Series 2

I’ve enjoyed all the positive feedback on this new series, “What’s the good news, ladies? Women who are changing the industry.” It really has been fun!  For our second installment, I wanted you to hear from four women who come to the industry from entirely different backgrounds.

Juli McNeely, who took over her father’s practice and helped bring it to the next level; Kristin Alfheim, an award-winning financial advisor who runs a successful practice in Green Bay; Meghan Wilke, who took her production experience to the home office level for Mutual of Omaha; and Julie Yunker, who is thriving under a big transition that happened earlier this year with MetLife.

Now sit back, relax and get ready to be inspired by some astounding and accomplished women as they share some of their high points from this year.

Click Here to read all about these amazing women!



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!

 



Start. Stop. Continue. By Susan L. Combs

Stop Lights

I was supposed to be heading back from Atlanta today, but Snowmageddon had a different idea of me and I was unable to leave NYC after about 30 inches of snow fell in my neighborhood. So I did the next best thing as a Millennial/Gen X-cusper and Skyped in for a two-day board meeting for WIFS, the national organization where I currently serve as the Immediate Past President. My biggest takeaway was the concept of Start Stop Continue, which was introduced to me by leadership coach, Whitney Siavelis.

Such a simple thing really, but I think will be tremendous in both my practice and my board work and I wanted to share it with you! It’s a way to be more intentional with what you are doing and realize what is working and what isn’t. Click here to continue reading.



Decoding the millennials

Millenials

So I recently spoke at the Mutual of Omaha National Sales Symposium in Omaha, Nebraska and one of their keynotes was Jason Dorsey. If you’ve never heard him speak, he’s high energy and a lot of fun. He’s basically the “magic decoder ring” when it comes to figuring out millennials.

I’ve always thought that I just missed this generation, but I was informed that Jason is almost exactly a year older than me … and I was annoyed to learn that at age 36, I’m part of this group. He also enlightened me with the knowledge that most Gen Yers feel like they are special and don’t belong in this group. Ho hum…

Click here for some of the key takeaways from his talk that really gave me some “aha” moments.