New Marketing and Training Platforms for Multiple Line Agents, Lance Johnson, Ep. 1

//New Marketing and Training Platforms for Multiple Line Agents, Lance Johnson, Ep. 1
Where the Insurance Pros Meet Podcast


Today’s episode is on new marketing and training platforms for multiple line agents. Lance Johnson is the co-founder of IA Trainers, (Insurance Agent Trainers). Learn more at MarkMiletello.com.

Note: “Where The Insurance Pros Meet” is an audio podcast and is meant for the ear. A transcript of the audio is provided for referencing a particular section or for you to follow along. Listen to the episode to get the most out of our show. We use both speech recognition software and human transcribers to create the transcripts so they may contain errors. If you’re going to quote us in print, please be sure to check the corresponding audio.


TRANSCRIPT
Speaker 1

Where the Insurance Pros Meet, episode one.

Lance Johnson

If you could help someone get what they want, you’re going to get what you want.

Speaker 1

Where the Insurance Pros Meet is a podcast that brings the greatest talent in the world together. Managers, coaches, and producers. The very best experts the insurance and financial services industry has to offer. Get ready to change the way you do business to have your most successful year ever. Now, here’s Mark Miletello, a top one percent producer, manager, and your host of Where the Insurance Pros Meet.

Mark Miletello

Welcome. I’m Mark Miletello. Today we’re going to discuss new marketing and training platforms for multiple line agents. We have on the show with us co-founder of IA Trainers, that stands for Insurance Agent Trainers, and my partner in the development of the new dynamic training platform MarkMiletello.com. Welcome, Lance Johnson to the show. How are you?

Lance Johnson

Well, I’m doing great, Mark. Thanks a lot for having me. I appreciate you having me on board today.

Mark Miletello

Well, I’m excited to have you on board, and some of the things that I know you’re going to share with us is really revolutionizing the industry. Lance, you know I’m a golfer, right?

Lance Johnson

That’s correct.

Mark Miletello

There’s nothing better than to walk up to the first t-box and right off the bat crush a drive down the middle of the fairway while everyone is looking and waiting. The rest of the game may not go so well, so while everyone is listening and waiting, I’d like to start the show the same way with valuable information that will just crush it.

Lance, for our insurance and financial services listeners, can you give us a quick tip right off the first box?

Lance Johnson

Yeah, you know my first tip to anybody in business is it’s all about getting people what they want, providing things to help people get what they want. The first rule of thumb I go by is if you can help someone get what they want, you’re going to get what you want if that makes sense.

Mark Miletello

It absolutely does, and I totally agree with that. I’m excited to dive into this today to find out more about that. But first Lance, let’s go to some industry news. Right now, the insurance industry is going through some crazy times. Training in the industry right now is news that auto insurance losses are climbing at an alarming rate. Many insurance companies have been caught off guard by this trend, some in a major way like I said, and consumers, of course, want to know why?

For some time, auto insurance rates were trending consistently down, believe it or not, competition among other things. Since the great recession, since ’08, ’09 this trend has reversed. Rates again are on the rise; the reasons are there are more and more cars on the road. Those cars are driving much more annual mileage than before. There are higher medical costs, which always seems to be a factor, but also higher repair costs have been a major trend as well. Lance, I know you. You drive all over the state, and I know your commute. You drive a lot of miles, annually right?

Lance Johnson

Yeah, I do. I put the miles on because I love being on the field working with clients.

Mark Miletello

I know, and I think most of us if we look at the mileage we drive, and maybe you and I are just from a larger city, but I think people are driving more as the economy picks up. Also with the age of smart cars, the technology is supposed to be there to help with wrecks, right? Self-driving cars, things like that. What’s going on here? It’s really Lance, it’s the other technologies that are causing more wrecks. Everything I guess cell phone related, navigation apps, texting, calls, et cetera. All this including those higher miles that are driven seems to be causing more wrecks, and guess what, the more wrecks that are happening from cars that are now much more expensive.

Either way, as it stands, the industry right now cannot raise rates fast enough, and consumers, of course, are not too happy of this trend. They want to know why. It’s difficult times not only for the companies but also for agents. That’s what I’m excited to have you on board to help us hear some professional tips and strategies and things that the agents can control. We can’t control the claims, and the trends, and the rates, but it does make things more difficult for us in the field of course.

Before we jump into that, I want to hear some professional strategies from you. This is where the pros meet, and you have shown that you’re a pro in the age of technology and things like that. Lance, can you tell me a little bit about how you became successful?

Lance Johnson

I’ve become successful by really analyzing what successful people do, and trying not to reinvent the wheel. My dad, he was a successful doctor, and he told me, “You know what, you’ve got to find what you like to do, get up every day and just do that same thing every day.” For example, as you know me, I rode motorcycles professionally. I got up, I trained, and I became successful.

I got into real estate. I got up every day, I did real estate. People knew that Lance Johnson did real estate loans. When the crash happened, I went back into technology. As you know, we revolutionized the car industry with some nifty technology, but if you talk to anybody, Lance Johnson was the automotive technology guru. Now my biggest tip is just get up, find what you like to do, and just get up every day and do it.

Mark Miletello

That kind of brings us to today, and again, I know you from the automotive technology, which was really the leading, one of the leading minds out there in that and you had some tremendous success in that arena. Of course, you and I got into dirt bike riding. I know that you were on all the magazine covers back in the day, but that kind of led us to grow together in this new venture called insurance agent trainers or IA Trainers. Tell us how your technology background led to that discovery.

Lance Johnson

Well, you know I’ll just get a little personal. My wife is an agent, she works for one of the top agencies, one of your agents. About a year ago, she came back from an appointment, and the loan officer, which you know, when it comes to agents selling P&C, the best referrals she can get are from loan officers. She was asked to go to lunch, the loan officer was 15 minutes late, was on the phone for 30 minutes and then he hangs the phone up and says, “What are you going to do for me? I already get coffee and donuts.”

I just tried to put my head together, how do I give an insurance agent something of value to where they can have an answer to, “What are you going to do for me?” With the technology out there, I came up with the concept of using our agent marketing software to give, it goes back to that tip of the day. If I can give a realtor what they want, they’re going to give a loan officer what they want, and now that we can help the realtor and the loan officer get what they want, we as insurance agents are going to get what we want, which is referrals on home and auto.

Mark Miletello

Lance, I’ve had the luxury of really being with you from the beginning of this process as a partner in growing this concept, and watching you have the success. Some of those struggles that you have I think is when you say that, yes, I agree, and anyone would agree that if you help others get what they want, you get what you want. I think one of the challenges that you’ve had is relaying exactly. Can you pinpoint as exactly as you can the technology, how the technology helps others get what they want, and in fact benefit the insurance agent?

Lance Johnson

Yeah, so for example, in the insurance, real estate, loan officer world, the loan officer real estate relationship is a fruitful relationship, it’s a proven relationship, it’s working now. A realtor’s best referrals are loan officers, and a loan officers referrals, his best ones are from the real estate agents.

The insurance agent, it may maybe have a great relationship, they may get referrals, but a lot of times as you know are last minute. By providing a real estate agent with the most advanced and automated system to market their properties, you’re helping them sell their properties sooner, giving them technology like text codes and websites that automatically make themselves, you’re not only helping them sell their property sooner, you’re giving them things to make their job easier.

Then for those realtors, when you sponsor it through a loan officer, that loan officer is looking, the realtor is looking to that loan officer as that loan officer gave him something to make his life easier. To cap it off, if you can sponsor the loan officer and the realtor through an insurance agent, it connects the insurance agent like has never been done before.

Mark Miletello

Well, I’ve been obviously part of that process, and I guess to add more to that, what I saw, and again it took you kind of pounding it into me, it from an insurance agent standpoint, typically we’re not known as the most tech-savvy people in the world, our industry, and I think you’ll laugh and agree at that. You’ve had that challenge of the first 70, 80 people that have signed up for your program, I think you’ve had the challenge of really kind of helping us grasp that concept.

What I’m excited about is, and I’ve told you my story before, I had a card mailing system that I offered real estate agents for sending me their referrals, and loan officers as well. The rest of the story is that I ended up becoming the top agent with one of the largest companies in the nation with a card mailing system. This is a full suite marketing platform that gives a real estate agent everything they want to market. Social media, print advertising, everything they want to market that home, right?

Lance Johnson

That’s correct.

Mark Miletello

It’s a full suite of everything that they would want, so if a card mailing system worked on my behalf, I guess how much greater do you feel this program works?

Lance Johnson

Like I said, a card mailing system, it’s something that may work, but it goes back to how often do we open our snail mail anymore. If we don’t get a bill electronically, we don’t open the snail mail, so we’re just taking a card mailing system and turning into the 21st century by turning it digital, turning it into something that’s automatic and very advanced.

Mark Miletello

Again, the first thing you start off with is helping others get what they want. I think a lot of us missed the link as for how are we going to benefit from giving a real estate agent marketing software?

Lance Johnson

Well think about it. What does it start with a P&C agent? It’s the home insurance, correct?

Mark Miletello

Correct.

Lance Johnson

The captive people looking for homes, their first point of contact is going to be a realtor, and realtors have a lot going on. They must show homes, they have to do open houses, they have to go try to get new clients. If you can create a technology package that works automatically for them so when they input their properties into whatever system they’re using, and a product can create a website, a mobile site, a YouTube video, a virtual tour, a text code, other social media posts, give them all the print materials they need so they can print them, and do that automatically, you’re going to make their life easier.

That’s the starting point is starting with the realtor, and once again, if you can have a loan officer work with that realtor, it goes back to helping everyone get what they want. A realtor gets to sell their home quicker, they’re going to have more clients to give to the loan officer, the loan officer’s going to get loans, and now your best referral as a PNC agent is a loan that needs insurance from that loan officer.

Each level, the realtor’s getting what they want, they’re selling their homes. The loan officers are helping those realtors, so now they’re getting referrals, and now you get a chance, and you’re very clear. You want to quote everything that comes across that loan officers desk, so you have referrals. Each level, they’re intertwined where you guys are all working together and it’s the same goal. You’re all getting what you want, which is building your networks and building more business.

Mark Miletello

Then we finally have circled back around to that first tip I believe that point blank, you’ve developed a concept and a software platform behind that concept to make the insurance agent part of that food chain. I guess we were part of that food chain, but not in the referral stages. We were a necessary part of that home being sold, and then having a loan, and then, of course, you need insurance, but what you’re saying is the insurance agent is now a vital part of that process from a networking standpoint right off the bat, right?

Lance Johnson

That’s correct. Basically, we’ve taken the insurance agent and made him, probably because the insurance agent can sponsor loan officers and/or realtors, you become the most important part of the relationship.

Mark Miletello

Well and I have obviously invested interest in this concept because you and I have developed it out together, but I’ve got to tell you Lance, and I’ve told you this before, 27 years of being licensed and being one of the leaders in this industry, I’ve never seen a marketing concept that has opened, and you know me. I must go out and prove something personally before I, number one; endorse it, and number two; recommend it to my own agents.

You and I went out for several months marketing this concept just to see is it as good as we thought it was, and so tell us a little bit maybe about some of the mistakes that one might make in developing this, but also, I want to just say that it is one of the most dynamic concepts that I’ve seen in my career.

Lance Johnson

As you know, this is something that even took you, who’s been in the insurance industry for your whole life a couple weeks to get, and what we’ve been trying to do is really, in the beginning I thought we sold all the features and all the benefits to it, which kind of glazed the eyes of the insurance agents over. Really what we’re doing now is we’re just, this system allows a seasoned insurance agent like yourself, or somebody brand new to go out and talk to any real estate or loan professional and try to network with them.

They can set an appointment, I think Mark you can tell a story about one of your counterparts that he was trying to get in front of a bank for a year, with the software he got the appointment and you had to remind him to be selling himself. Do you want to tell them that story?

Mark Miletello

Yeah, I mean I could tell tons of stories just like that, and so can you where this software opened the door. First, you’re giving a full suite platform marketing, you’re giving it away to become a networking partner, so if you can’t sell free, then I can’t really help you.

You’re giving away a program that they need, want, or are already paying for. Once that door is open then the lead flow, and the connections and the relationships are built. I want to tell you, but you mentioned loan officers and real estate agents have a lot going on, but Lance, you have a lot going on. Tell us in addition to the IA Trainers technology, and training, and webinars, you help people connect with loan officers and real estate agents. The software connects them with real estate agents in their community and a lot of other things that they can get by following you after this show.

Tell us some of the other things that you’re working on that we’re working on together, but I want to hear it from your perspective what your thoughts on the full platform, the training platform that you’re developing and about to launch?

Lance Johnson

The agent marketing IA Trainers is the first piece of this, and as you know, I do a lot of research. When my wife became an agent, I kind of, I started looking and typing insurance agent training. I saw Geico, I saw Progressive, I even saw dog trainers. I even saw a dog trainer show up for insurance agent training because it was insurance and training for a dog. That was a keyword.

I really looked at there was nothing new. There’s so much technology, so together with industry experts like yourself, we’re developing presentation tools so you could overcome objections, so the price isn’t an issue. Groundbreaking, revolutionary ways to sell life insurance where it’s not even a sale, it’s a discussion where we have agents coming that used to get $100, or $200 a month in premium, they’re getting $900 to $5,000 a month in premium now using technology. Tools with webinars and videos that are easy to use and to practice. You don’t really train, you practice these techniques.

I’m excited in the next coming months along with these podcasts, we’re going to have some revolutionary, life-changing technology and just common-sense pieces to bring to agents.

Mark Miletello

Yes, and of course your host Mark Miletello, that’s what the full suite is being launched under. MarkMiletello.com. You’ve talked about the life insurance discussion, the life insurance trainers, LIT, and you’ve also maybe touched quickly on the value sales presentation because really when I think of training agents, there are three areas that agents need the most help.

First is marketing. I believe anyone can do this business if you can get in front of enough people, right? I mean that’s really any business. I think that’s the first challenge that I think you and I’ve tackled with your vision and your concept of how do you get in front of more people, and how do you get leads today, and how can you afford that? Because we know what the cost is for the old platforms of generating leads. If we can handle the marketing, that’s I believe the first big hurdle.

Number two is our pricing is all on the board. We talked a little bit about the industry news auto rates going up. Our rates are going up. There are some companies that don’t take increases, or we take increases, and so your neighbor may in the old days your kind of new where you fit. Now, you could have one client insured and then the very next neighbor is double the rates. There’s no rhyme or reason. It’s all the thousands and maybe millions of factors in rate sophistication of these days. Number two Lance I think, and that’s kind of where I’m leading is helping agents deliver a presentation and maybe win that client regardless of price. Can you kind of tell us a little bit about the value sales presentation, and what your thoughts on how professional that makes an agent look?

Lance Johnson

Here’s the thing. A lot of agents can have their own Excel spreadsheets or their little four squares that they compare. What the value sales presentation does is it illustrate value. it’s very easy to use, it’s updated, the software is very, very intuitive. It puts in a nice comparison in a professional presentation of apples to apple comparison of what they have coverage wise, and what you are recommending.

When this software’s used correctly which is, as you know it’s been developed so anybody can use it, it really overcomes any objections that anybody may have if it comes to any type of price, so-

Mark Miletello

Well said, and that’s the goal is for it to help you win at any price. Number one is marketing, number two is closing the sale, and with pricing being all over the board you must have the psychology, and the training, and the tools behind the value sales presentation to win almost, hopefully, win every time.

Number three you discussed is a life insurance transition, which is where us multiple-line agents struggle the most.  I’m excited to see the early results, and you’re right, we’re seeing agents go from $200 to $300 a month to thousands of monthly premiums in permanent life. The term is dropping the bucket in this new life discussion training.

It’s a full platform suite, and I’ve never seen anything that has been out there like this. Lance, I want to tell you to thank you for your vision and helping me put together I believe a state of the art, you and I went to an industry meeting together, and I think you were kind of shocked that there really hasn’t been anything new in the last decade or two, right?

Lance Johnson

Yeah, and I mean when we went to that industry meeting and we found that we were the first new thing in what, seven or eight years with a new booth at this meeting, it blew me away.

Mark Miletello

Yeah, so I just want to say that I appreciate what you’re doing for our industry, that the agents live that are changing either young, in the business, or veteran alike has reported back tremendous success in marketing. Two of my own agents including your wife, in general, has doubled, if not tripled their production with the IA Trainers piece.

The value sales presentation has continued to help them succeed where pricing is difficult, and now the early success over the last two months of launching life insurance trainers is just unbelievable. Thank you for those tangible, those three tangible products, and technologies, and tips that you’ve given our industry.

Lance Johnson

Let me just say a couple things here. As you know, with technology, we have built this company to be very agile. As we get input from our members, our subscribers, we make changes. We don’t know it all. That’s what makes I think me, our partnership is great because you know what, we learn something new every day. Anytime we see something new, or anytime we hear about something that’s effective, we’ll be able to incorporate it into our platforms, so we’ll always be something that’s … We want to make sure something’s number one effective. We want to make sure something’s affordable, and most of all, we want to make sure that something is actionable where you can go out and get things done and get leads today.

Mark Miletello

I love that because you have researched. You and I both have researched other training sites, right? How’s yours differ?

Lance Johnson

Well honestly, we have it in such a way, a flow that it is … Like I said we don’t train people, we help people practice techniques to be successful. Everything is a very easy flow. Our training and practice videos are written and done in a way where you can understand it in real language, so it makes sense.

When you’re practicing presenting in front of everyday people, they’re not insurance professionals, right?

Mark Miletello

That’s right.

Lance Johnson

You need to talk in their language. We’re always fine-tuning these, so-

Mark Miletello

What I love about the things that you put together is first, it’s state of the art, it’s easy to use like you said, but also the people that have really been initial users of your concepts and the things that I’ve helped add to that have really produced immediate results, like the same day an agent. One of my agents got into seeing 75 realtors. The other one got in to see 500 realtors the day they signed up for this program.

It’s immediate results of connections and referred leads, relationships that are built right off the bat. I think that to me is the most exciting thing about it because when I work on something and this collaboration you have had, I really want the listener or the user to be able to implement something immediately. I’m excited that you’ve built it in such a way that it can immediately help agents with their agencies change and change lives.

Lance Johnson

Like I said, I have a really quick story before we wrap it up. I spent a couple weeks in St. Louis, signed up some district, a pretty large insurance company and the next day, I signed up three loan officers, 50 realtors under one insurance agent’s software. It’s something that most insurance agents already have the connections, now we’re putting those connections to work where everyone wants to give each other referrals.

Mark Miletello

Great point, Lance. How can someone find you? What’s the best way to get in touch?

Lance Johnson: We’re very easy to find. We’re at IATrainers.com. So InsuranceAgentTrainers.com. All the information’s there. Also, MarkMiletello.com is kind of the group site where we’re building this up because Mark you know, my vision is to make you an industry leader, a spokesperson for the new way to connect people and connect agents. It’s either IATrainers.com or MarkMiletello.com would be great.

Mark Miletello

Very good. I want to thank the listeners, and I hope you picked up something in this podcast with Lance Johnson. If you’d like to hear more on this show, please go to iTunes and review, and rate us so that others can find us. I just want to say continue driving on.

Lance Johnson

Okay thank you. Like I said, to all our listeners, don’t hesitate. If you hear something you think effective or neat, or something you think we could benefit from, reach out to us and let us know.

Mark Miletello

Well, you’ve listened to Mark Miletello podcast Where the Insurance Pros Meet. See you next time.