End of the Month Wrap-up

James GrampJames Gramp

Sales Coordinator/Independent Agent

With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is the other half of the RBI phone answering dynamic duo! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for over a year, and has worked at RBI for 2 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

End of the Month Wrap-up: Client Retention in 3 easy steps!

RBI Sales Coordinator and Independent Agent: James Gramp



It seems like every year the days go by faster and faster.  It’s already the end of February, so I’m going to share with you my end of the month wrap-up and a few best practice tips to help you stay in touch with your clients so they remember who to call when they have questions or problems!

Here’s three ways that I keep my business on the books:

End of the Month Wrap-up

If you send a letter to your clients, hand sign it for a personal touch!

Number 1: Thank You Letters

The best piece of advice I can give you is to send your new clients a thank you letter.  This is a great way to make sure your clients remember your name.  Just think of all the seniors you run into during AEP who say they can’t remember who helped them enroll in their current plan. You do not want to be “that” agent.  Instead, by sending a thank you letter, you will stay in touch. The letter should be simple: thank them for the opportunity to be their health insurance agent and include a few business cards. Ask your clients to hand out your card to any friends or family who have questions about Medicare.  In my letters, I also like to include a picture of myself at the bottom and I always hand sign it to add a more personal touch. Depending on how many enrollments you do a month, you can personalize your letters even further by handwriting the whole note!

Number 2: Updating CRM records

This one should be a no-brainer. You should be using a CRM system to manage your clients to help make your life easier, because who likes excel spreadsheets? I use the Medicare Sales Engine, or “MSE” – which is RBI’s own agent-built CRM system. I usually update my client’s CRM record the same day I make the sale so I don’t forget, but if you haven’t yet done so, be sure to update your clients records now. If you use the MSE, check that you have converted the leads you sold into clients.  Another MSE feature I use all the time is tracking commissions: just enter the product you sold, and the commission you expect to be paid.  If you entered the information correctly, you’ll see the potential renewals for the next year on your dashboard.   The end of the month is a good time to check that your commission records inside the MSE match the statement from the carrier. The best part is that RBI provides the MSE tool completely free for contracted agents!   You can get contracted here today!

Number 3: Follow-up Call

Two weeks after I’ve enrolled new members, I like to give my clients a call to make sure they’ve gotten their welcome letter and all their member ID cards.  I usually open the conversation up by saying something like “I just wanted to make sure you got your new member ID card.”  If they haven’t, it’s time to set-up a conference call with myself, my new client and the carrier, to have the ID card re-sent.  Your clients will love the fact that you’re being proactive in asking about their experience and solving their problems.  As a bonus for us as agents, this is also the perfect time to ask for referrals.  Let your clients know that if they have any friends with questions about their Medicare to give you a call.  Be VERY clear that you cannot call them, they have to call you. You’d be surprised how many follow-up with you!

And that’s it!  As you can see, my end of the month wrap-up is just three simple steps.  If you can implement these “best practices” to your business I can guarantee that you’ll see more business stay on the books and also bring in more new business from happy clients when they refer their friends to you!

Click here to learn about the Agent Market Edge and how RBI works with print and fulfillment companies to bring you exclusive pricing! If you’d like sample ideas for client letters give RB Insurance Group a call today at 1-800-997-3107 to see firsthand how RBI can help you take your business to the next level! 


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President’s Day Trivia Quiz

James Gramp Rebecca Howard Photo

Written by James Gramp & Rebecca Howard

Sales Coordinators

When Jim and Rebecca put their heads together, great things happen!  Jim and Rebecca comprise the worker bees of the Marketing Department, and much like this collaboration on United States Presidents, they spend their days swapping fun facts and brilliant puns. Who said work had to be boring anyway?



What do you think of our list?  

Did we miss any President’s Day trivia that you know?

Let us know and we’ll add it to our list.

President’s Day Trivia Quiz

How well do YOU know your history?



From plantation owners to pecan farmers, from frontiersmen to Hollywood, our Presidents hail from all walks of life! This past Monday we celebrated President’s Day and we at RBI have been learning about Presidents all week. How well do you know your Presidents?  Test your knowledge with our President’s Day Trivia Quiz!  Match the President with the facts, or the facts with the President and see how you do!

Music Man:

Which President aspired to be a concert violinist, and often entertained guests at the White House with his performances at parties?

Answer: John Tyler.  Fun Fact: after the death of his first wife, Tyler remarried. He was the first President to marry while in office and he fathered a total of 15 children. Read more about John Tyler here.

A Toothy Problem:

Which President was famous for dental issues, but never had wooden dentures?

Answer: George Washington, of course! George Washington is legendary for many Americans, but according to the folks at Mount Vernon (now a museum), George never had wooden teeth. Instead, his dentures were made of gold, ivory, lead, and animal teeth. Read more about George’s teeth here.

Speed Demon:President's Day Trivia

Which President likes to go fast, and has actually been cited for speeding multiple times?

Answer: Ulysses S. Grant.  While many remember Grant for his role in the Civil War, Grant is often remembered in DC lore as a speed demon!  He is said to have received multiple citations and even speeding tickets.  Read more here and here.

A Shocking Development:

What President was the sitting president when electricity was installed in the White House?

Answer: Benjamin Harrison! In 1891, the White House went electric! At the time, this was such a new development that not many people understood how it worked.  In fact, President Harrison was so afraid of being electrocuted that he refused to touch the light switches. Read more here.

Fun-sized President:

What President was the smallest to date?

Answer: James Madison, though known for his part in framing the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and his many contribution to The Federalist Papers, was the smallest US President, weighing in at 122 lbs, and just 5′ 3″ tall!  Read about him here.

Give me a 4! Give me a 3! 

What President was a Cheerleader in his youth?

Answer: George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, was a cheerleader during his school years. Read more (and see photos!) here.

Polly wants a ****:

Which President of the United States famously taught his pet parrot how to swear?

Answer: Andrew Jackson. Jackson, a President known to cause controversy with his policies during his tenure in office, caused uproar even at his funeral when his pet parrot started swearing. Read more here.

P-P-P-Pokerface:

What President was an avid poker player, and even bet the White House china collection?

Answer: Warren G. Harding was known for his games of chance, and yes, even bet –and lost– the White House china collection in a card game. Read more about Harding here.

So call me maybe:

Which President used the telephone first as an election vehicle?

Answer: William McKinley.  In 1896, the telephone was still a brand new technology, and McKinley’s campaign used it to keep in touch from New York to Ohio to Chicago.  Read more here.

Campaign Financed:

Which President funded his first political campaign with poker winnings?

Answer: Richard Nixon. Nixon is best known for Watergate, but before he entered politics, he won about $6,000 from playing poker as an officer in the Navy.  He later used his winnings to fund his first congressional campaign. Read more here and here.

At RBI, we keep our agents up-to-date on all the important stuff, like our great Fun Friday updates! You can get contracted by clicking here to see our carriers or call us at 1-800-997-3107 to speak to one of our sales team!  Want to get in on the blog newsletter? Click here to subscribe and you’ll never miss an update again!


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Video: The Power of the Portfolio Roll-up

Did you miss Webinar Wednesday this week? Catch up by watching our The Power of the Portfolio Roll-up, below!



Do you know how to make your contracts work for you? It’s not uncommon for agents to only contract with a single carrier or type of product. RBI wants to help you put more dollars in your pocket. If you are not sure where to start, watch our The Power of the Portfolio Roll-up below.

Cut back on stress during certification season, and build a portfolio that works for you.  Here’s what we covered:

  • Planning your sales around product types
  • Using Final Expense and Hospital Indemnity to find leads
  • Working with RBI can get you marketing support that you won’t find elsewhere
  • Join Justin Bever, Director of Marketing in our 60 Second Roll-up below for more details!

Reboot: Finding Dual Eligibles Roll-up

Look for this symbol on all our new “60 Second Roll-up” videos!

As you heard, there is a lot of opportunity to grow your business by being intentional in how you contract with carriers. If you would like to get more details, you can watch the recording of the Webinar Wednesday, by clicking here.

Click here to attend our event “Contracting for Success” to learn even more about how to build a portfolio that works for you! You can follow this link to see a list of our carrier partners and get contracted with additional product in your area.

Still not quite sure what’s next?  RBI has resources for you! Click here to sign up for our Medicare Marketing Crash Course on March 28.  Attend in person at RBI’s Chandler, AZ office, or join us via live stream!  Call RBI at 1-800-997-3107 to speak to our expert team! 


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RBI: A Different Kind of FMO, or How RBI Works for YOU! (Part 2 of 2)

Justin Bever

Director of Marketing: Justin Bever

Author Bio: In his 9 years since joining the family business in 2008 as a Broker Support Representative, Justin has made innovation his top priority. Justin is passionate about bringing technology into agent’s toolboxes, and has developed tools such as a direct mail program for lead generation (2011); Medicare Compare (2013), an online tool for beneficiaries complete with its own brand identity; and the Medicare Sales Engine (2014), a fully integrated Client Relationship Manager for agents.  Justin’s most recent accomplishment is the Agent Market Edge (2016), an online portal that integrates RBI and their print + fulfillment partners to make marketing accessible to agents. When he is not leveraging technology to produce exciting new tools for agents, Justin’s hobbies are skiing, hiking, and cooking exquisite meals in the company of his high school sweetheart and wife, Cassie.

RBI: A Different Kind of FMO

or How RBI Works for You!

Director of Marketing: Justin Bever



As we talked about last week, the essentials of an effective FMO relationship comes down to this simple question: does your FMO save you time and money? The RBI answer is a resounding YES. When you’re done reading today, you’ll have all the facts about what makes RBI a different kind of FMO, and how RBI works for you! Here’s a quick breakdown:

We save you time with our innovative tools, to help you be more efficient.

RBI specializes in developing proprietary tools to make your life easier! We created a one-stop shop for contracting, to streamline your portfolio: choose as many carriers as you want, and get started.  Our RBI contracted agents have access to the Medicare Sales Engine, our CRM tool for RBI-contracted agents. This free, 100% HIPAA compliant system enhances your daily planner, client files, and turns your phone into a mobile office. We have some of the most dedicated staff in the industry and they know their stuff!  Our team is constantly evaluating and updating our tools based upon feedback from our agents.

What does this mean for you?  Well, it means that when you use one of our tools, you get certain guarantees. First, you’ll be able to get a hold of our team for questions, just by calling our toll-free number. Second, you can participate in our live training for our tools, or watch our training videos on your own time. Lastly, if you have a great idea on how a tool could be better and let us know, it actually gets implemented.

We save you money by getting you the best prices.

RBI Team

The RBI Team: We Work for You!

Of course, we don’t stop there – after all, saving you time means saving you money too! Our Agent Market Edge portal integrates with our print and fulfillment partners, so you get access to exclusive pricing. Not only will you get great deals you can’t find anywhere else, but your marketing credits automatically appear in your account. Marketing credits, you say? Direct agents earn $125 in marketing credits for every 5 Medicare Advantage sales. Click here to see how it works. Have an agency? Agencies can participate too, at different rates — call for details!

Not sure what you need to meet or exceed your business goals?  RBI has a fantastic team that can help you evaluate where you are now to find out how to get to the next level! We start with a one-on-one appointment with one of our experts, then build a custom marketing plan to achieve your goals. Our plans use the MAPS method to make sure your plan is Measurable, Actionable, Profitable and Scalable.

In addition to print and fulfillment discounts, RBI partners with you in other ways. When you contract with RBI, you earn the maximum commissions on all contracts. We also offer discounts on your annual AHIP certification as well as E & O Coverage.

RBI is different than other FMOs, because RBI works for you.

Our agents deserve the very best that we can offer them.  RBI takes this very seriously, and when you contract with us, we commit to making your goals happen for you. So let’s get back to the basics. What sets RBI apart from the rest? Simple. Your business is worth more with us, because we work for YOU.

RBI works for you – by offering contracting with a wide variety of carriers throughout the United States.  To get started, call our office at 1-800-997-3107 and speak to our contracting department! Check out some of our training videos by clicking here.



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Top Compliance Mistakes in Home Visits for MA Agents

As RBI’s Director of Training and Compliance, I hear all the time from agents that have gotten into compliance trouble.  So here’s my shortlist of the biggest compliance mistakes in home visits for Medicare Advantage Agents.

Number 1: Failure to collect the Scope of Appointment before presenting the product.

As odd as this sounds, many agents still struggle with the SOA requirements. The CMS requirement is to obtain scope of appointment at minimum 48 hours prior to the appointment whenever practicable. Many agents still fail to complete one prior to the appointment.

Compliance Mistakes in Home Visits

Here’s my shortlist of the 4 biggest compliance mistakes in home visits for Medicare Advantage Agents.

Number 2: Failure to complete a needs analysis.

Many agents view MA sales as an order taking exercise.

  1. Are your doctors covered?
  2. Are you drugs covered?
  3. Is the premium/copay less than what you have now?

While those are good questions to ask, you need to find out what is most important to the member. Find out what services they use most often. Are they worried more about premium or unforeseen costs? Do they plan to travel? If you do this step properly, you will avoid allegations and grievances by vetting them out on the front end.

Number 3: No Cross Sell of Other Products.

I still talk to agents every day that are very wary of cross selling any product during an MA appointment. Cross selling is perfectly fine as long as the products are agreed to on the SOA form. Hospital Indemnity pairs perfectly with MA plans and in many cases can double or more your first year commission on that member. Just remember you can only cross sell health related products. See our blog posts for more info. No Life, burial or annuity sales allowed in the same appointment.

Number 4: Did Not Ask for Referrals

There is a common compliance misconception going around regarding asking for referrals in appointments. In fact, several carriers have been training agents to never ask for a referral in an MA appointment. While soliciting names and phone numbers is prohibited, you can absolutely ask clients to refer their friends and family to you. Many agents leave only one business card and don’t follow up with a letter or even a call after enrollment. Leave at least 5 business cards at every appointment, even if you don’t enroll them and always include a few in any letters you send to your clients. Not only will you get some word-of-mouth marketing, but this ensures that you answer any lingering questions that otherwise may cost you in a disenrollment.

Are you concerned about compliance?  RBI is here to help! Our contracted agents get access to our support team, including Rob Bever, Director of Training and Compliance.  If you would like to get started today, click here to see a list of carriers.  You can also call and speak to the team or Rob directly, at 1-800-997-3107.

Video: Reboot: Finding Dual Eligibles Roll-up

Did you miss Webinar Wednesday this week? Catch up by watching our Reboot: Finding Dual Eligibles Roll-up, below!



Our Dual Eligibles webinar was so popular we brought it back with this reboot! Dual Eligibles are a very under-served market, due in part to a lack of training for agents. RBI is here to fix this problem. If you are not sure where to start, watch our Reboot: Finding Dual Eligibles Roll-up below.

Here’s a few things you may not know about Dual Eligibles:

  • A Dual Eligible client is someone who qualifies for both Medicare (a federal program) and Medicaid (a state program).
  • Dual Eligibles have a year-round SEP, or Special Enrollment Period, which means they can be enrolled into a plan year-round.
  • Dual Eligibles are a very underserved community, with many members not fully understanding what help is available
  • Join Charlie Ferrell, RBI’s National Sales Manager, in our 60 Second Roll-up below for more details!

Reboot: Finding Dual Eligibles Roll-up

Look for this symbol on all our new “60 Second Roll-up” videos!

As you heard, there is a lot of opportunity to grow your business by serving this community. If you would like to get more details, you can watch the recording of the Webinar Wednesday, by clicking here.

Click here to attend our event “Contracting for Success” to learn how to build a portfolio that works for you! You can follow this link to see a list of our carrier partners and get contracted with a Dual Eligible product in your area.

Still not quite sure what’s next?  RBI has resources for you! Click here to sign up for our Medicare Marketing Crash Course on March 28.  Attend in person at RBI’s Chandler, AZ office, or join us via live stream!  Call RBI at 1-800-997-3107 to speak to our expert team! 


2020 ahip discount certification
OEP

Your FMO Should Work for You (Part 1 of 2)

Justin Bever

Director of Marketing: Justin Bever

Author Bio: In his 10 years since joining the family business in 2008 as a Broker Support Representative, Justin has made innovation his top priority. Justin is passionate about bringing technology into agent’s toolboxes, and has developed tools such as a direct mail program for lead generation (2011); Medicare Compare (2013), an online tool for beneficiaries complete with its own brand identity; and the Medicare Sales Engine (2014), a fully integrated Client Relationship Manager for agents.  Justin’s most recent accomplishment is the Agent Market Edge (2016), an online portal that integrates RBI and their print + fulfillment partners to make marketing accessible to agents. When he is not leveraging technology to produce exciting new tools for agents, Justin’s hobbies are skiing, hiking, and cooking exquisite meals in the company of his high school sweetheart and wife, Cassie. 

Your FMO Should Work for You (Part 1 of 2)

Director of Marketing: Justin Bever



We get a lot of calls at RBI from agents that find us online and they tell us the same story: I’m struggling to make the sales that will set me up for success long term.  When we ask what kind of support these agents are getting from their upline or FMO, many times the answer is a “they call me before AEP but not the rest of the year.” Another favorite answer is “they call me all the time, but when I need help, they don’t return my calls.” Oftentimes the response is a simple “my FMO doesn’t support me at all.” At RBI, we think that’s unacceptable, because an agent that isn’t getting the support from an FMO, is an agent that won’t be effective at making sales. In other words, your FMO should work for you!  Here’s 5 secrets that you should keep in mind when evaluating your FMO relationship, because you are worth it!

The 5 secrets your FMO never told you:

  1. Training is king. As agents, your ability to be effective in the field is directly related to your sales ability. Your FMO should know this, and be actively supporting you to be a stronger agent. Are you a part of a FMO that has industry knowledge to help you grow? What about training opportunities?  Do you have access to tools to expand your expertise?
  2. Look for measurable benefits. When you think about any business goal or relationship, it’s important to think in terms of measurable benefits. As a small business, you know that your time is worth something. So put your relationship with your FMO into those terms too. Does your FMO save you time or money? Does your FMO enable you to be more efficient in how you allocate your resources? Does your FMO provide you tools that help you to save money?  Is there training available to help you grow your business?

    Your FMO Should Work for You

    If your FMO is a megaphone, is it getting your message across?

  3. Marketing support is a must! Though many agencies claim to be a “Field Marketing Organization,” very few actually provide REAL marketing services to agents. If you are the only one marketing your business, your ability to bring in new sales is going to be very small. Your FMO should work for you, amplifying your marketing efforts so that your reach is broader, deeper, more effective. Picture your FMO as a megaphone – is your megaphone working?  Are you talking into the right end?  Is it pointed in the right direction?  Is it a big enough megaphone to be effective?
  4. Ask about Compliance Support. As much as we talk about compliance in the Medicare insurance industry, it’s an area that agents often overlook in an FMO relationship. Having a compliance resource on call is a powerful way to protect both yourself as an agent, as well as your clients’ best interests.  Are you getting the most out of the resources available to you? Can you call with compliance questions? Does someone from your FMO look over your postcards and letters to make sure you’re compliant? Does your FMO handle any allegations on your behalf, or are you on your own?
  5. Focus on Customer Support. When you call your FMO, do they answer the phone? Are you able to get answers to your questions or do you get the run-around? If they need to call you back, do they follow up in a timely manner? Does your FMO advocate for you with carriers?  Your FMO should be fun to work with, and should make your life easier!  If they are not, it’s time to take a serious look at why you are sticking with that relationship.

We Make It Happen For You!

At RBI, we take the trust that our agents have in us very seriously.  Your success is our success. Stay tuned, as next week we will talk about how RBI is committed to being a different kind of FMO!

 To find out how RBI will pay for the cost of your AHIP, click here. Interested in getting started on contracting? Click here to see a list of carriers, or call us at 1-800-997-3107 to speak to one of our expert sales team!



2020 ahip discount certification
OEP

What Is Love: is your FMO committed to you?

Elizabeth Spann

Senior Agent Contributor: Elizabeth Spann

Author Bio: My husband, Gary, and I started out in senior insurance sales in 1985, selling Medicare Supplements!  Over the years, we’ve had the opportunity to sell other products, but always seem to come back to senior insurance. Our business goal is to honor our clients’ wishes and needs with kindness and excellent service. We love our clients and look at them more as close friends than clients. When we aren’t working, we recharge by taking advantage of the beautiful landscape here in Arizona, and relax with friends and family.

What Is Love: is your FMO committed to you?

Senior Agent Contributor: Elizabeth Spann



Do you love your FMO? I certainly do! In my experience over the years, finding an FMO that works for my business goals is really rare.  Some FMOs are technology forward, but not very agent-friendly; some have great sales support, but no training; or worst of all are the FMOs that provide nothing beyond the initial contract. Working with RB Insurance Group isn’t that way. Instead, my experience with RBI has made me a better agent, and helped me to increase my reach by partnering my business efforts.

So what is love for an FMO relationship? Here’s my own run-down of the top 5 reasons I love RBI.

  1. Marketing Credits – I can’t say enough about this generous program! For every five Medicare Advantage sales that I make throughout the year, I earn $125 in marketing credits to spend any way I choose – for mailers, client letters, and more.  I love this program and use these marketing credits all the time to market my business. With RBI’s help, I am able to put more appointments on my calendar every week.

    What is Love?

    Is your FMO committed to your needs?

  2. Leads – As an independent agent, I’m always looking for leads.  RBI helps me talk to more qualified prospects about their insurance needs through targeted lead-generating mailers and other marketing. If I purchase leads from RBI, they show up in my Medicare Sales Engine account right away. I just love hearing that text message alert on my cell phone every time a new lead is placed in my account!
  3. Sales Support – The team at RBI is knowledgeable and caring. Each person at RBI has helped in a different way to grow and develop my business. If I need sales advice when I’m in an appointment, I know that I can call Charlie Ferrell (RBI’s National Sales Manager) and get a timely response.  Whether I need help with contracts or commissions, or some new marketing ideas to raise awareness for my business, I know that RBI is only a phone call away.
  4. Training – My number one priority is serving my clients well. RBI helps me to do this by providing training on a wide variety of topics throughout the year. The RBI team conducts webinars, one-on-one business planning and development meetings, and in person classes and seminars. I love these and take advantage of as many as I can.
  5. Tools – If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to streamline your busy day. The Medicare Sales Engine is free to RBI agents and an extremely valuable tool for growing, organizing, and tracking your business and commissions.  Instead of spending countless hours on busy-work in my office, I can work much more effectively in one system. When I want to develop new markets, need more leads to call, or just want to stay in touch with my clients, Agent Market Edge helps me do all this and more. By using these two tools I can keep my hard-earned business on the books year after year and build that renewal check.

The bottom line is, as an independent agent myself, working in the senior market, I love working with RB Insurance because:

RBI helps me to be a better agent and make more money for my family!

So I’ll ask you again: do you love working with your current FMO? If not, you might want to give RB Insurance the opportunity to show you what they can do to make your business more profitable this year.

Happy Valentine’s Day, RB Insurance! Love from, Liz

What is love in your FMO relationship? Is your FMO committed to your needs? At RBI, we love working with our agents to achieve more! If you want to get started with RBI, you can click here for a list of carriers.  Call us to get started as well, at 1-800-997-3107!


2020 ahip discount certification
OEP

The Power of Voice Inflection – the simple change that goes a long way!

The Power of Voice Inflection

– the simple change that goes a long way!

Sales Coordinator, James Gramp

James Gramp

James Gramp

Sales Coordinator

With his signature common sense, quiet good humor, and brilliant customer service, Jim is the other half of the RBI phone answering dynamic duo! An Arizona native, Jim manages agent relationships for the East Coast and specializes in the RBI agent tools, especially the Agent Market Edge. Jim has been a licensed health insurance agent for over a year, and has worked at RBI for 2 years. An accomplished bassoonist, he is known around the office for his amazing musical skills. In addition to keeping busy around the office, Jim frequently contributes to our blog, bringing a new agent’s perspective to the RBI online presence.

Zig Ziglar once said “Selling is essentially the transference of feeling.” I’m not a naturally boisterous kind of guy, so I have to remind myself of how I sound and how I am coming across when I’m interacting with clients. I’ve learned through personal experience that if you speak without any voice inflection not only will you sound like a robot, but you WILL miss out on sales. This is something I’ve been working on since I started at RB Insurance Group and it’s something you should never stop practicing!The Power of Voice Inflection

Listen to Yourself

Whether you’re in a one-on-one home visit or setting appointments over the phone, it is imperative that you master voice inflection. The best way to do this is follow another Zig Ziglar tip. Record yourself giving your sales presentation/script and listen to yourself.  There is a certain initial shock value to how different you sound on a recording versus inside your own head (Here is a great article if you’ve ever wondered why you sound so weird on a recording). Once you’re over the shock, however, listen to your inflection and start to really figure out where you can emphasize certain words to drive your message. I know it sounds silly but just do it! You’ll be surprised at how you perceive your own presentation and immediately start improving your skills as a communicator.

Just Smile!

One way to help improve your inflection, especially over the phone, is to smile while talking.  You may be surprised by why, though. It has more to do with physiology than psychology. For those of you who have sung in a choir, you know that the wider you open your mouth and the more teeth you show, the better tone you get. The same applies over the phone. Smiling helps your voice sound more friendly, warm, and receptive.

Changing the Emphasis of your Words

Be aware of how stressing certain words changes the feeling of what you’re saying. For example, take the following sentence, “What would you like us to do about it?”

  • “What would you like us to do about it?”
    • Emphasizing “would you” makes you sound defensive.
  • “What would you like us to do about it?”
    • Emphasizing “like us” makes you sound curious as to what you can do about it.
  • “What would you like us to do about it?”
    • No emphasis makes you sound apathetic.

Simply by changing your sentence inflection you completely change the perceived meaning or connotation of what you say. Understanding how you are perceived by your clients and prospects is just as important, if not more important, than your mastery of the materials you present.

Breathing is Everything

The inflection in your voice can be greatly affected by your breathing. Typically the more stressful a situation you’re in, the shallower your breathing will be. Your vocal cords tighten and  your voice goes up in pitch — then you just sound strained. Slow down and take deeper breaths the next time you’re in a stressful situation. You’ll notice that your pitch will come down and immediately make you sound more warm and calm.

Voice Inflection Increases Your Sales Effectiveness

As insurance agents, it’s important to provide the best education and explanation we can to our clients. For most of us, our primary route of communication is our voice.

Think of your voice as a tool and inflection as a skill that you can fine tune into an educational instrument, especially if you find potential clients lacking understanding or confidence in what you are telling them. When you properly use inflection to communicate key concepts about a client’s insurance policy, they will have a better understanding of their coverage and more confidence in you as their advocate.

If you’d like more useful tips on how to practice your voice inflection, give me a call at 1-800-997-3107, or send an email!

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Jim’s Playlist: Anti-Road Rage Musical Round-up

Many of you know that I am RBI’s resident musician, as well as being an active agent and working at RBI. I spend a lot of my time in the car (as do many of you), so I’ve compiled a list of the top ten songs that I use to get from point A to point B!  Whether you’re the type for a jam-out session, or just need something to deal with maniacs on the road, check out these tunes! Here’s the Anti-Road Rage Musical Round-up!

Count-down to number 1:

Number 10: Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson

Hopefully you won’t be struck by a “Smooth Criminal” while driving, but I couldn’t not include my favorite MJ song.

Number 9: Three Little Birds by Bob Marley & the Wailers

I dare you to be in a bad mood while listening to Bob.

Number 8: Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Can’t get road rage if you’re too busy jamming out to the best ballad of the 70’s.

Number 7: Any Way You Want It by Journey

Yes, I like me some Journey, don’t judge.

Number 6: Imagine by John Lennon

John Lennon. Enough said.

Number 5: Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel

Perfect for when you’re headed home after a long day

Number 4: Chameleon by Herbie Hancock

No stress is too much nor any mood too nasty that it can’t be cured by some funky tunes.

Number 3: Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John

Love the string section in this tune. They really need to bring back classical instruments in Pop music.

Number 2: The Grand Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in F by Johann Nepomuk Hummel

If you don’t know already, I’m the office Bassoonist. So here is my favorite piece featuring Bassoon.

…and the Number 1 slot goes to: Peer Gynt Suite #1 by Edvard Grieg

Perfect tune for rush hour and if you don’t find this song soothing then I’m not sure what to tell you…

Anti-Road Rage Music

If you’re stuck in traffic on the regular, download this list of anti-road rage music!



Yes, the last two songs are classical. You really shouldn’t be surprised considering my background. I bet you couldn’t tell I’m 25 by looking at my playlist, but pop music isn’t what it used to be. Let me know if you have any suggestions for my playlist! Or share your favorite anti-road rage tips with me! Follow along with us on Spotify, by clicking the play button above!

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