Miles Merwin: Doing Less Helps Us Focus More on What We Can Do
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COVID19 Special Episode #5
Less is more, it is a statement I say often when I return from Cuba.
Miles reminded me of this today. In a weird strange way that has become us. Right now we have less to do yet the things we can do, we focus on more and those are the things that matter.
It’s the same with your business. Enjoy
Jason Cass 0:00
Hey, hey hey welcome everybody. Welcome to Agency Intelligence podcast where we give you real agents inside real agencies giving you the real agency intelligence and not the artificial that the industry tries to make you believe out there. This is Jason Cass and today I have on Mr. Miles Merwin as we continue on with the COVID Special Episodes. This one right here I believe if I’m correct is going to be episode number 5. And Miles Merwin who is in our Mastermind you loyal listeners out there definitely knows who Miles is because I talk about him a lot. He’s somebody that I look up to. And when I look up to him, I look up to him to the things that, him and I think very similar in the way that we run our agencies and the different metrics that we look at and we use and derive and actually, I think that I use a lot of metrics Miles until I read some of your posts that you have in there and I’m thinking wow, I didn’t understand, I didn’t realize that I could, you know, break that down even further. And so.
Jason Cass 1:02
When I was reading Miles, what you had put inside of the Mastermind, about adding value right now, that was one of the things that we talked about with Jeff Roy and the CEOs checklist. I think was like number three or something like that with being proactive to reaching out to your clients. And you said in there, I don’t remember exactly, but it was pretty much this, that you should focus on the 20% that are providing 80% of your revenue. And then you said that you had reached out to those people personally, and I think you said you had done voice drops if I’m correct. On the other, a lot of my loyal listeners don’t know what that is. And we may talk about it a lot. So I want this conversation, loyal listeners and Miles to be about that, like what are (phone ringing) Oh, excuse me, sorry about that. What are those actual strategies? You know?
Jason Cass 1:53
(Automated Voice Recording) …Sorry about that. That’s how you know you’re getting real insurance agents inside real agencies right Miles? Hey sorry, I forgot I turned off like everything I have. Well, actually, let me check this one as well. So, Miles, that’s what I want this to be about. And I think you know that so Miles Merwin for the third time, fourth time, don’t know, we’ve been buddies for a long time. Welcome to Agency Intelligence podcast.
Miles Merwin 2:18
Thanks for having me, Jason. I really appreciate it.
Miles Merwin 2:22
Great intro thing, I was writing some notes as well.
Miles Merwin 2:27
You know, something this year, a couple things. And especially during these times, right, one thing that I’ve been focusing on is education for myself and my team, so we have extra time. You know, what are we doing to educate ourselves to run our businesses, whether that’s me is the principal of the agency running my business or it’s my agents running their own books of business.
Miles Merwin 2:51
What I’m trying to do is is find ways to become a better leader during these times when I’m not sitting across from agents or my account managers. How am I supposed lead people from afar.
Miles Merwin 3:03
And educating myself in the best way to do that, and I’ve introduced a couple of business coaches over the last couple of years to help me do that. So I’m not being led by my team, I’m able to be led by someone else and then lead my team. And so a couple things that’s come out of this recently, trying to learn how to better lead is how do we lead our clients? How do we lead them through a path that we want them to go through? Of course, we’re listening to their comments, we’re listening to their suggestions, their testimonies, their survey responses to find out what they want, what they need.
Miles Merwin 3:41
But are we leading the agency? Are we leading our team are we leading our account managers are leading our sales team to do what we’re, what we need to. And so one of my mentors, he said recently, now is not a time to sell. Now is time to provide value.
Miles Merwin 4:00
And it doesn’t mean that you’re not going to sell to take off the table that now’s not a time to actually go out and sell policies. That’s not right, you need to have 100% confidence, you can go in that room and close the deal. But the way that we go into these rooms, these zoom videos, these, you know, the way that we go into the sales room is different. And the way that we go into the sale is different.
Jason Cass 4:28
True. Very true.
Miles Merwin 4:31
You know, we’re looking to provide value in a way that someone else is not. And as Jason said, you know, there’s so many agents that are just average or below average, because average in this industry is freakin awesome. You were making more money than your neighbors, your family, your friends just being average. And so the average or under average agents, now they’re the ones that are going to fail right?
Miles Merwin 5:00
The ones that are above average, they’re leading this initiative, they’re providing value where their current agents are not are going to find double the sales coming out of this with their prospects and the current clients.
Miles Merwin 5:18
So you’re doing in selling that value to your clients, and you’re picking who you’re going to provide that value to, in certain niches and classes of business. Are you calling your personalized client list that was working in the service industry?
Miles Merwin 5:37
You know, you’re not spending time on the phone with them. There’s other ways to communicate with them to build that value because you want to help them but you’re really identifying who are the centers of influence? Who are the people who have sent me quality, targeted business, who the clients that are my, that the the 20% of clients that create 80% of my revenue. Who are these people?
Miles Merwin 6:00
They provided me value in the past by earning their business or their referrals during this time of need, what kind of value Am I providing back to them? Because they’re not necessarily filing claims or claims that are being covered. So what kind of value am I giving them during this time when they’re at their largest need?
Jason Cass 6:22
That’s right. I like that in sometimes saying what you just said is so transparent that it works right? At the time you have valued me as a business enough to give me your business and I am reaching out to you to say besides paying claims besides looking you know, for the best price for you best coverage, what value can I provide you? Is there something I can do I will tell you what we’ve done with with personally we know that our non for profits, they have they do Meals on Wheels, a lot of those deliveries to the elderly are done by the elderly, right?
Jason Cass 6:59
The 75 year old delivering to the 90 year old. And so now we have those situations. So we have not been taken up on it. I think I’m going to be next week on next Wednesday but…
Miles Merwin 7:10
…is canceled for meals on wheels they said we weren’t delivering anymore.
Jason Cass 7:13
No, they’re not so but there’s still people that need to eat. So what I have said is I will go to to the senior center, and I think I’m going to do it next Wednesday for Clinton County Senior Center. And I’m going to go there and I’m going to deliver these meals. I think they have like seven meals that need delivered, but they’re like 20 miles away in different directions, you know? Yeah, like, load me up, you know what I mean? And then I just and they’ve got these instructions that they email me I have to set it at a certain area, I have to leave, you know.
Jason Cass 7:43
maybe everybody can’t do that. Right. But this was something that I just sat back and literally looked at the wall and was like, What can I do? Like where can I help there? And and and that’s where we got that idea to do that. I mean, what are the things we’re going to be doing there? There are a lot of pantries. There’s a lot of places, they’re talking about shortages of places that normally have the food or that have food, they’re not getting the same amount of food. Once again, a lot of these social services because we do a lot of them are ran by the elderly. They’re the ones that now can’t service people. Where can we step in those situations? Believe me call a non for profit, and say, Hey, what do you need from me? They’ll put you to work, I promise. So,
Miles Merwin 8:25
One of the other, you know, and talking about provided value and communication with your clients just to further advance that relationship is we’ve, as you mentioned earlier, we’ve dissected that book of business, there’s a certain client list that you need to spend time with. I’m talking like, get on the phone, call them right, get on a zoom video, call, schedule it, get on the call, and just provide some value there. Who was that for you guys? What’s that? Who was that for you guys? What did that client look like for you guys?
Miles Merwin 9:00
So those are our top commercial clients. So you know, multi location restaurants, they are really any of our large commercial clients. So we should-
Jason Cass 9:11
So you did it kind of by revenue as a way to simplifies it.
Miles Merwin 9:14
Yeah. Okay, we start there, right, we’re going to start with our taxes.
Miles Merwin 9:18
Miles Merwin 9:19
And our personalized agents are going to start with their top revenue, personalized clients. So we’re going to start at the top. And we’re going to work ourselves down every day, every week, right? We start with a list and we’re working ourselves down, and you have a certain number. So if you’ve got 1000 clients, maybe that’s 20, you need to have a phone call with maybe it’s 100. It’s top 10% 100. Right are there. But at some point, you’ve got a broad list of clients that you need to touch. But you don’t have time to hop on the phone with every single one of them. And most likely, you’re not going to even get them on the phone. And so as you mentioned, there’s some tools to make this a lot easier, right? There’s curious I don’t know
Miles Merwin 10:00
A slide broadcast at all but you know, voicemail drops we’ve used. And as a principle of so and I was going to kind of mention there’s different sections of your agency as well so I don’t know other people are doing this what we’re doing. As the principal, the agent, I did a voicemail to all of our clients I’ve always dropped.
Miles Merwin 10:20
As an owner of advisors Insurance Agency, and I just kind of put a message out there to all our clients.
Jason Cass 10:25
Kinda like everybody else did in emails all the COVID emails you got, but you did a voice drop That’s good stuff.
Miles Merwin 10:30
I did both right. I did both.
Miles Merwin 10:33
Maybe five people look at that and the mixture of all the emails, I did the voicedrop too.
Miles Merwin 10:39
And I’ll mention the email in the voicedrop. I also sent you an email with additional information about our agency.
Miles Merwin 10:46
So that’s from the producer from the principal. Then I’ve got agents of record that are response for their books of business. They also did the voicedrop for their own clients.
Jason Cass 10:55
Miles Merwin 10:56
Want to let you know I personally appreciate your business.You know, during these times we’re here for you. You know, I know we don’t typically talk a lot about value, we don’t typically talk about the specifics of your budget, you know, whether your insurance programs affordable, you know, talk about price or cost. But now maybe as a time, we do need to talk about price. You might be financially strapped, let’s just put that on the table and go ahead and discuss it.
Miles Merwin 11:22
So feel free to call us.
Jason Cass 11:23
Wow, that’s a very proactive Miles
Miles Merwin 11:26
So that agents are calling them and then I’m getting their account managers to do loom videos and voice drops too. So they’re going to get communication from the principal, they’re going to get communication from their agent, and they’re going to get communication with their account manager to know that, hey, my whole insurance team is very connected. I know who they are. They’ve all reached out to me. They feel confident calling us to talk to us, and they’re not going to call a commercial just to get their their quotes. reshops by the time they call you, they’ve already got someone entered into their lives.
Jason Cass 12:05
So Miles, a lot of people would say, I don’t want to be that proactive because if they want to shop, then they’re going to want to shop and I’m going to want a lot of people to shop. Here’s what you’re kind of saying is you’re saying, When financial hardship hits people, they’re gonna shop, they’re going, Well, this is the way you know that you’re going to be involved in it.
Miles Merwin 12:22
Jason Cass 12:24
That makes sense. Because sometimes I think that could be a little bit pushback. Let me ask you this over these, these messages, you sent them this communication? What was that time span? What is that? What is that? A week, two weeks, three weeks? How was that was that overload to the customer?
Miles Merwin 12:38
So as a principal of the agent, I did that very early on right at the very beginning of this whole thing kind of going down. I wanted it. I almost did it. A little. I don’t know if too early, but I kind of wanted to let people know that. Hey, we’re on top of this. I’m not the last person you’re going to be heard from you’re gonna be hearing from on the first person. No schools weren’t even closed yet. No one was shut into their homes yet. And I was saying, Hey, this is a serious situation, we can see what’s coming. We’re a leader in the community putting this message out first, and then they’re like, Wow, you know, so the sooner the faster from the principal on the top leadership, the better. right because they’re being led versus following.
Miles Merwin 13:25
Great. That’s very good point. That’s a very good point. So did you say that time timeline so yours was first how long until the others did theirs? The agents did theirs about a week afterwards. Okay. And then the account managers are falling about a week after that.
Jason Cass 13:40
Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet Sweet. Well, you do look good because this has turned into a world crisis. National crisis and we hate using the word I gotta find a different word crisis it just like like Erik Garcia says when you say the word crisis it just makes it seem like it’s just like there’s white when right now. You know, it’s just I hate it. But anyways, it is what it is.
Miles Merwin 14:04
You know, Jason other than just emails like we’re doing the voice drops and then we’re using loom again I’m not doing a sponsor loom but we’re using that for it again. I’m doing videos, my agents are doing videos, and my account managers are doing videos and we’re texting and emailing those links to all of our clients within our books of business to again kind of say maybe we’ve you’ve probably never seen me before. As you can see, I’m working home just like many other people we’re in this together. Just want to let you know this is my face. This is my team. We’re just trying to better the general that’s not to each client. That’s a general Hey, here I am and then dropping the link into the email or sending it song. Okay.
Jason Cass 14:51
I like that. I think you’re dropping any messages in any texting and in this communication just curious.
Miles Merwin 14:57
I haven’t yet.
Jason Cass 14:58
You haven’t yet. Yeah.
Jason Cass 14:59
I was just curious about that myself if you did like instead of doing the loom for everybody out there we’ll tell you what loom is in a minute but I’m doing the video and then dropping it into their text to where they could click it and open it up on their phone but i don’t know i still I’m so private with that kind of stuff. You know what I mean? I want people to be private with me on that. But this is a something that that is important. explain to them how you use a loom and what that is I know loyal listeners, you probably know but you don’t maybe understand what it is what is loom.
Miles Merwin 15:29
No loom is where zoom is great for meetings. A loom is good for just creating video messages with just your picture or video messages explaining something on a computer screen so you can circle things just really edit those the way you want it. You can trim things off super fast so you can start a video trim off the first 10 seconds trim off the last 10 seconds. It takes a minute to do that. And you can send them out via text. Email multiple ways. The nice thing too is you can see how many unique viewers you had.
Miles Merwin 16:06
You know, so did you have 20 people see this video? Was it 30 people was it being a shared video? You know how many people actually saw this video, you’ll know how many people saw it. You’ll know how I was seen and how many unique people saw it. So if you send out an email to 1000 people, and it could have that link, you can go back and see how many people from that email link actually watched the video. Totally, very, very helpful. You can grab data from it, versus zoom. You can record yourself on zoom too, but you have no idea how many people saw it.
Jason Cass 16:40
That’s true. I never realized that. It’s zoom and loom that’s very cool. Are they are they part of the same? I don’t think so. That’s crazy. I was just thinking of that. That was that’s interesting. So yeah, so Okay, yeah, dude, it’s very, very helpful. I use I always mispronounce that I think I use Vidyard. V-I-D_Y-A-R-D.
Jason Cass 17:00
Exact same thing, exact same thing. Marcus Sheridan told me about told us about that at one of his conferences or whatever and it says same exact thing. I mean identical, it really, really works well. And then also some of you guys out there who use quote vids for advisory evolved, you could do the same exact thing using that software as well. You know what’s so amazing, Miles and I think we can we can elaborate on this some more, because you’ve talked about it a lot, is how much people have been using the word communication, right? For people who are having to work at home, the fact that they’re not sitting next to each other. Now that communication, that channel is different. They’re having to figure that out. The communication we’re having with our clients, the way that our clients are able to communicate with us if they used to walk in verse Now they can’t walk in. There’s now they have to service now they’re figuring out I said it on a couple other podcasts. I bet you we’ve had more insureds actually go to their online account than ever before.
Jason Cass 17:57
That’s going to change the way the consumer is going to want to expect to do business which is great. You know, a lot of us agents have trying to get our consumers to go to online portals, and they’re just not really worth the money right now because you really don’t see the action often maybe if you’re high commercial, they do do a really good job of training your clients and coaching them. But overall, it’s not something that’s highly used in a lot of situations non standard It is used. But But I think that there’s a lot of change there. But it all comes down to communication, right. So why reason why we’re doing this Miles You started it at the beginning. But literally the this covert Special Edition is is helping leaders lead their people. And that’s what you started out with. That’s what I’m putting this together because agents are just clueless as what to do right now. And so am I in a lot of things, but I’ve been able to find out a lot of things just from listening to you and other things. So but what I want to read right back to it, it’s communication. That’s what we’re talking about in all of this stuff. Huge. It’s communication. And you know, these are just always true.
Miles Merwin 19:00
To look for trends in my own household, right, I’m gonna buy a stock I start looking at things in my own house like, okay, I recently just bought a bunch of sono speakers from my house. I’m like, if I’ve seen it, okay, and I’m nobody if I’ve seen it and I bought it, then there must be a lot of people buying it. So I want my own household in one is like my wife hasn’t been on Facebook and a year or two, she hasn’t posted on Facebook and at least a year. She’s been on Facebook, looking for a commit connecting back again with friends because she, you know, she’s seeing what they’re doing with their families, how they play with the kids, like she’s back on. If mild depression on Facebook, then how many other people are looking for ways to connect again, that they were just they were too distracted by social media before because they already were limited in time. But now, they’re not out and about in the town, they’re at home. That’s the way they’re connecting again. And so to think about your marketing efforts, maybe you had swung away from Facebook marketing or in
Miles Merwin 19:59
Instagram marketing, whatever is but I feel like if my own wife is back on Facebook, true, then how many other people are that’s how they’re connecting. They’re doing Facebook groups for their church community groups, they’re doing Facebook groups for their neighborhood groups because the kids aren’t playing together. Like, you know that, that that’s how people are connecting again. So we don’t you don’t want to necessarily eliminate your marketing efforts, it may be time to boost that back up and consider that this is how people are communicating again and getting these people are, you know, people want to see people. They’re one that can’t get out and see people anymore, so they’ve got to see people online. So using these Rubio’s getting comfortable with it.
Miles Merwin 20:46
One of my commercial producers, he’s a little bit behind on getting new technology stuff and we were doing a meeting this morning. And I said you need to start using loom and doing videos. He’s like, I just you know, haven’t done it before.
Miles Merwin 21:00
This is a Brent Kelly right here, some low-risk practice versus high-risk practice versus you know, which is low risk practices, practicing on your team with your team risk Practice, practice on your clients. You need to get on the phone right now and do some low-risk practice and send me a loom video summarizing our conversation we just had.
Miles Merwin 21:23
I mean, you can do these, you know, stop, you know, in between picking weeds in the yard. I think all of us our yards have never looked this great. Mine is looking frickin fantastic,
Jason Cass 21:32
Perfect houses cleaning stuff hasn’t been done forever. It’s wild. You know? I mean, let’s get off here for a second. You’re right. I like that. Let’s capture that because people are you can watch what other people are doing and you can and your wife is the same way I knew two years three years ago that video is going to be huge because my wife started stopping and watching video in her newsfeed. Whereas before she would be like why do people put this no one’s gonna watch this and then she did and I was like, oh video is gonna become big and do the same exact thing.
Jason Cass 22:00
Have you seen also the drive bys that the kids are getting for their birthdays and different types of things that parents are doing? Yeah, you know, and they’re communicating through Facebook on that Instagram so you’ve got to be there that makes that makes a total lot of sense. And man, I forgot what I was going to I wanted to talk about something that was kind of off the cuff and was funny.
Jason Cass 22:20
What Yeah, mowing the lawn and Oh, wait, wait, I was something like that, you know, lawn, mowing the lawn and just doing just things that just need to be done. Oh, this is what I was going to say. How is it possible that we could change our society drastically from learning from this, right? Something that we could change drastically? Because here’s, yeah, let’s talk about this real quick Miles. Let’s talk about the good side because I believe there is a lot of good side now. I think a lot of agents are going to walk away with realizing that they’re going to come out of this better than the way they did because they’re going to trim the fat.
Jason Cass 22:57
You know, we talked about yesterday on the on the state of the industry. Sometimes it’s not so much about cutting expenses. It’s also about cutting revenue, right? Cutting revenue that’s costing too much because you’re not getting anything back from it. But I think that there’s a society shift that could happen here. And let me read you this right here. This is what this lady posted yesterday, which maybe you’ve heard this before somebody but to me it made sense it said traffic is gone. gases affordable. bills are extended. Kids are at home with their families. Parents are home taking care of their children, fast foods replaced by home cooked meals. hectic schedules are replaced by naps. The air seems clear the world quieter people are walking around riding their bikes again. People are conscious about hygiene and health again, we finally listen to authorities and head home and when they say so money doesn’t seem to make the world go around anymore. And now we have time finally to stop and smell the roses. Families are spending quality time together. And lastly, we become closer to God. And it seems like the COVID-19 is a reset button for humanity. There’s a lot of truth in that. That’s powerful. And I’m thinking to myself, how do we do this as a society to where we are all kind of like teachers into where my business is somehow changed that for 11 months, I can get the same run revenue out of it, that I could out of 12 months, but yet my team gets to take off, but yet we shut down stuff like we shut down everything that’s not essential. And but those people would still get paid. Okay, but like, so the government doesn’t have to bail them out. We can plan for this. But I know that starting to get a little European stuff, you know, but the way that they’re going down to like 32 hour work weeks and they take six, seven weeks off. Maybe they got some figured out, you know, maybe we don’t have to lose money, but we can somehow uh, readjust how our system is set up.
Jason Cass 25:00
So people don’t lose money. But yet we’re still allowed to do that. I think we could somehow do that. And what do you think about that? Miles I mean, I know there’s a lot of complications into that. But man, well reminds me not too long ago, you were talking about the maybe our Erik Garcia, you were talking about this with.
Miles Merwin 25:18
The culture and the community in Cuba. And they have less, but they have more.
Jason Cass 25:27
Miles Merwin 25:27
And so it’s kind of like right now you’re saying we have less to do, but we’re getting more value out of everything that we can do. That’s right. Because you can’t go with Country Club and have dinner with your with your social friends. You’re having to spend time with your family. Right? I know.
Miles Merwin 25:50
But it’s just interesting when you strip out the water, the things that you think that you want, you end up finding out what you need.
Jason Cass 25:59
You’re so exactly right. And I love what you say I’ve never really put the two and two together. But I have to tell you, this is a lot like how kubis I mean, like they go to work when they go to work. You know, I saw these guys, they were playing dominoes. And it’s like 11 o’clock at night underneath like this, this lamp light out in the street, they just took their card table and put it right in the side of the street is crazy. And so they’re playing and the next morning they’re playing and and and I see on his name’s Ani, and I see Ani out there and I say, not marvel makani. And I see him out there. And I say and I said to him, it’s like 630 in the morning, we’re getting ready to head over to the mission. And he goes, and I’m like, you guys are still out here playing like Domino’s, like all night and keep in mind, they’re not drinking doing drugs, right? They’re just out there just like having fun. And I’m just like, Guys, guys, when you gotta go to work, they’re like, Oh, we gotta go to work and you know, like two hours, but we may get done by 10 and I’m like, two hours. I mean, gee, we work at nine but you may be done by 10 they’re like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And they don’t that’s just how they are.
Jason Cass 27:00
Because there’s low commitments now their economy is not as robust as ours not, you know, don’t have all the nice luxuries. Yeah. Everybody’s walking around, though. Everybody’s stopping at each other’s yard saying hi, whatever, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s just it’s it’s a remarkable place and that’s, that’s very good, because they do have less but yet they have more. And I like how you say we’re actually, uh, we’re able to we’re having to do less, but we’re getting more out of the things that we are able to do. And I think that that is that is really vital. We’re not spreading ourselves thin. We’re focusing on things, something that, that Eric also brought up to that I since I’ve went back and read because he brought something into my mind and at the time of, of, of, of crisis or of times like now,I had read and talking to strangers with Malcolm Gladwell about how we become very narrow minded and we come very focused, it’s actually upon going back and reading it.You have this a time when you have great stress and you’re very mad, or if you’re drunk, or in a time of crisis like this follows along with the same type of madness, it is actually a,a survival instinct that we have, that in the time of great fright, or need or shock and all that what we do is we shut down parts of our brain so that we can put all the energy and focus on what is on the here and now. And that is really that really works to our benefit more than it does not. But as business owners, leading people today and being focused is important. How do we get them today to be working from home tomorrow, right? How are we doing this stuff that we didn’t have plans for? But we can’t lose sight of that thing that our brain won’t let us think about, which is that long term vision of long term planning and strategy, and if you listen to Miles that are my Miles, Erik’s most recent one, he said is beautiful is can be the only thing that we know about uncertain times his recovery. We don’t know about when it’s going to be our if it’s good, how high it’s going to go, how but bad it’s going to be. But we know that we always recover and he talks about rational overconfidence being in making decisions as a business owner today for the future, being confident in them knowing that we will recover. And I think that that’s a very, very powerful message. What do you what say you there Miles?
Miles Merwin 29:25
Yeah, I think I’ve heard Bret Kelly, other business coaches with Sandler Training and my pastor all say, This too shall pass trainings. You know, I keep thinking about that we, you know, as I look at my refrigerator in my house that’s packed to the rims my beer fridge has no beer it’s packed of the rims with food and frozen meat I never frozen meat my wife. I’ve got a whole like thing in my garage full of like canned goods. I mean, we got six things are milk or we know it’s absurd the stuff that we have
Miles Merwin 30:00
I’m like, you know, at some point we’re gonna bust out of this house like we’re going to work at some point this too shall pass and we’re gonna be out of here we look at ourselves we all this food we have in this house we have to eat.
Jason Cass 30:13
Miles Merwin 30:14
You know, we changed our behavior but this you know, looking at it like you just said, we’ve narrowed a vision, or my goal is to survive with, you know, to go to the grocery store and not come out of this with a disease. You know, that’s what we’re worried about.
Miles Merwin 30:32
Oh, man, a great club tonight for me go to dinner, you know, are we going to have enough dinner in three weeks when this thing’s at its worst? And I’m gonna have to go to the grocery store in two weeks. I don’t think so. But, you know, this too shall pass. So thinking ahead, you know, which is what as the leader of our businesses, we don’t need to be spending time as the leader of your business to principle, you should not be spending time with each client talking and recovering their accounts like, he should stop. I mean, I don’t know, let’s stop selling. It depends on where you’re at and what kind of you know how you’re leading your business. Now is a time to be making sure you’re keeping your team accountable. You’re continuing to give them goals. You’re continuing to discuss what this looks like in the fall. How are we coming out of this in fall? What is our plan, I wrote a note down here. If you can take this time to learn how to sell professionally now, you will be way above any other salesperson out there when we come out of this, because if you can learn to sell now, oh my goodness, you will crush it when people are just close-minded to this. I mean, because there’s a difference between selling and selling professionally. Being prepared, going through this with a process you know, taking concerns away, dealing with objections
Miles Merwin 32:00
Like, if you can do this and close some good, great accounts. Now, when you get out of this, you’re gonna feel it’s gonna, you’re gonna feel even more like you deserve to be at the table. I killed it during a time that everyone else was depressed and narrow minded.
Miles Merwin 32:17
Now that I’m coming out of this, they’re all trying to figure out what’s going on. Their pipelines are empty. Mine are my sales teams, pipelines are full. We took this time to provide value. And we’re coming out of this with full pipelines versus coming out of this thing. I didn’t lead my team. Well, I didn’t lead my prospects. Well, I didn’t lead my clients. Well.
Jason Cass 32:42
That’s true. It’s very, very, very true. And I think there will be those. I mean, it’s it there will be that separation, you know, and one of the things that we always use as an excuse Miles is, I don’t ever have time. Your time now, Kelly said yesterday. He’s got time now.
Jason Cass 32:59
Kelly and I love why I love Brenda’s because he humanizes things to his own to his own.Not so great look, you know, he tries to expose himself and how he makes these mistakes. And he says, You know, I always want to spend more time with my daughters.Like he said, he said, he said, Well, now Brett, you got all the time that you need to spend with your daughters. You know what I mean? And and I’m being real. It’s like, it’s overwhelming sometimes. But I believe it’s probably overwhelming to our kids. It’s like it. I the heck is dad or mom around all the dang time. You know what I mean? It’s good. One of the things I loved from what I did with West West said, I want my kids to look back at this time. And us as a world go, Wow, that was crazy. Like what happened and the kids look back and go, Oh, I remember that time dad. That was the time that we did this and this and this and this and this. And it’s like,wow, that’s crazy that we recognize that but yet we will fall back into where we are. I don’t think everybody permanently Will you do things for 45 years.
Jason Cass 34:00
You’re going to start forming habits. I think there’s going to be people who are going to break out of a lot of this stuff. I think this I think once again, we couldn’t see it at 911 and but once 911 you month 234 went out after that our nation got stronger we came together our economy actually if people remember roared back now we did have a dumb ass war but you know, here this is a word that needs to continue to keep on going on here on because this one this one is serious. I have to admit I think that the the media hypes up so much stuff Miles, I think they I bought so much stuff you don’t know who to believe.
Jason Cass 34:39
I really, about a month ago, I really kind of thought to myself to like, really, how big is this? Like, I know this is gonna get I mean, really, is it gonna be that you know, but now we’re recording this loyal listeners on for two.
Jason Cass 34:52
You know, the president came out two days ago and I mean, he’s basically saying if we can keep it under 100,000 deaths. Hmm. You know, that’s prettyThat’s where I want to turn this to because I want to I want to I want to I want to pinpoint on this here for a minute because I think this is important to have this written down.It’s hard to sit here Miles and talk about how things are going to be good and things are going to be better and everybody needs to have their head up and you need to be taken advantage of these times. And these times are great families are together, blah, blah, blah, blah.And then there’s people on the front lines who have been fighting as a medical professional for 25 to 3035 years who are frickin frantic, you’re freaking the EFF out and don’t know what to do.Teresa Teresa, Teresa Swartz is someone, one of my friends who’s a medicalin profession, and she’s posted recently on and she’s not a bullshitter she’s a very hard fighting tough girl. And I mean, she’s just I mean, she’s just broke breaking down. I mean, these people are just dying all around her and she can’t do a damn thing about ityou know, and then you get these idiots on there on Facebook, some of my own friends will be like, you know what I was talking with local hospitals and it’s not really as bad. You know, and it’s just like, we’ve sailed it forget that if we don’t experience it person to person firsthand, we don’t really get the true feeling of it. What say you on some of this stuff Miles? Well, I was gonna add, you know that in talking about even leading our own teams of people.
Miles Merwin 36:27
This is very real out there. And you have to understand as well that maybe you are not concerned about this as much in your financial situation, because you own an insurance agency, which I’ve never thought of before. But insurance happens to be fairly recession-proof and pandemic proof. Think about other businesses. That’s both recession and pandemic proof. There’s not many out there that there are those people who are really struggling right now. And it’s a really good idea right now. To reach out to your team members that are your service team and let them know that, hey you happen to be in the insurance industry and in you know whatever your situation is hey, this business has been led well we are debt-free or maybe not. Now we have plenty of capital reverts reserves, in the wake of your friends losing income, losing jobs, your jobs very secure. In the wake of your friends and family losing income, your income is very secure. I promised that with reserves the way that we run this business that I will be able to retain your job make sure you fully get paid the same amount now as you always will. And if you have any friends and family need help, you need to let us know. But to let them know and be confident that Hey, no matter what happens, how bad it gets around to me, how beautiful is this insurance industry thing? And how beautiful is it that the wieder was able to financially put the business into a situation that I can be secure in my job. Talk about retaining employees and providing some confidence and a time of insecurity. You know that this is a time to do some of those things that we’d kind of be open with people to let them know.
Jason Cass 38:12
I agree so I said yesterday and I’ve said it before on some of the podcasts. I mean, this is a this is an okay time.I have to say that one of the people that when I said this yesterday, I felt as if one of them very strong cultural person, and just kind of I could tell they agreed with what I said, but at the same time, I don’t think that they quite did and maybe I came across rough with it. But I think that our staff get used to the luxuries that we have here and the insurance industry. Yeah. You can say whatever you want, as you know, I am culturally driven or whatever. Listen, if you’re an RN, and you work at the hospital and you work seven to seven, and you say hey, I need to come in an hour too late or I need to leave for some that Yeah, you
Jason Cass 39:00
Have those you get that like once? 2 ,3, 4 times right for the whole year? And that’s it. And if it’s like, well, I don’t have any more personal days or any vacation days, it’s like, sorry, get somebody else in the family to take them to the doctor, right?
Miles Merwin 39:13
Jason, if you’re a nurse, and you get assigned the COVID floor, and you say, No, you can be arrested.
Jason Cass 39:19
You can be arrested. Okay, you can be arrested. But But what I’m saying is, is these normal sees that are that our staff has, they have this? Well, you know, I want to do this, or I want to do that, or I’m going to leave early today for this or that and they’re allowed to do that. That’s great. I’m not saying that you should be considered a special boss because of that. But actually, in most jobs, you don’t get that you just can’t tell the team Hey, I need to run out. So that becomes a normalcy if I if that’s the right word to say it like that just becomes the norm. I think it’s I don’t think you should ever sit in front of a leader and say, This is why this is the greatest place to work because you get this done and I think that should be seen. But I also think in times of need, like you just said pandemic proof. I think it’s okay to remind them of how great this industry is. It’s okay to i didn’t i didn’t add what you did. You added something great about giving them examples of, Hey, we are flush with cash. We do have reserves we have. I didn’t plan for a pandemic. But I plan that if something went wrong, we would have this right.
Miles Merwin 40:21
We call home immediately. Like there wasn’t a big, big sacrifice for us to be able to pick up and go home. The business was planned that if something like this, we could connect with our clients, and you can now work from home, it took one day for us to all go home and work like. I mean, just as my next show communication leading a company. I’ve been thinking about these things for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 years. Yes, this is a new situation. But as a leader, this is a great time to show. We’ve prepared for anything like this. This is a different situation, never face but we can apply these principles right on here and we can continue on
Jason Cass 41:01
The vision you’re trying to give them in the middle of the crisis is is sometimes not believable. But if you get led them this well and doing the things like you’re saying they had a plan, you guys were able to go home quick. Businesses flush we plan for the future. Now that we’re in the crisis, here’s what I’m going to say that we need to do. It makes it much more believable. Now, there’s people listening to this though, and they’re saying, Yeah, that’s great Miles and Jason, but we’re in the middle of the crisis. Now. There will be many more crisis’s and you know, we need to learn from this we need to have an action plan I mean, let’s get crazy here. No one frickin pictured this. This is not a military you know, think of think of a nuclear weapon up until now. This was like the the thing that you thought when we’d like in the world or something and I’m not going to say this is going to end the world. But I’ll tell you what, throw a Corona virus and then throw another virus out there at the same time and you could have some serious mayhem on your on your hands.
Jason Cass 42:00
To be honest with you, which is scary is I think there might be some mad crazy people out there that may have learned a lot from this. So this is something we’re gonna have to start planning for. It’s gonna happen again. I think when we get these little bitty flu type things that we’ve had the h1 in one and all this stuff, I think next time we get anything I think people are it’s going to be pandemonium and I hope not. Yeah, that’s a great time to learn from this. And again, we talked a ton about providing value and communicating is providing value and communication to your team and your centers of influence and your employees that no matter the situation that the economy gets into, no matter the situation that we you know, or health wise, whatever it is, that we are going to be here for our employees. If you if we’re here for our senators influence to provide them the the tools that they need that maybe that they weren’t as prepared. We can give them the tools they need to be prepared and your team.
Miles Merwin 43:00
Central influence in our clients that hey no matter what happens you’re gonna be able to call us if you need to plan for yourself we’ve got plans we can provide you these plans you’re not creating it you know all by yourself right now in a recent video I just didn’t send out on I think it was Facebook I just kind of tell you if you’re a small business owner and you feel like you don’t have a community of people to talk to to help through through the situation. We are a small business some people just think of insurance as insurance right now a small business owner like we started zero and worked up to this we’ve gone through this process we use I sell insurance policies, we you know what I mean? Yeah, we’re business owners and some of our team members, a little side business rental properties, whatever, like, we’re experiencing these things, call us Let’s be your community to bounce things off of we’ve got you know, 100 other business owners that we’re talking to as well. If you don’t have a community of business owners to help them understand the situation call us. Let’s let’s, let’s help each other out. Let’s get to this thing. Let’s get through this together.
Jason Cass 44:08
I agree, dude, I agree. Miles thank you very much for coming on. I just want everybody to remember.When I do take advice from Miles, sometimes directly sometimes he reaches out to me but I’m reaching out to him and listening to what he has to say. I also know that him and I go get water from the same Well, when it comes to some of our coaching specifically with Brent Kelly. And I do I just think Brent, you know, the thing is with with Brent Kelly to me is just like Billy Williams, they’re very similar. They keep things very simple. They all have these like acronyms, you know, what, what was one that Brent said yesterday, everybody should go to the spa, which is I can’t remember and something and say, you know, whatever, and he has his things and, and, and and but Billy’s more on the personal line side. Billy’s kind of more, he has that same fundamental but I get a lot more of commercial driven, sales focused retention agency management focused out of that than I do sometimes over on the personalized side, which that’s one of my weaknesses. So that’s why I like and I rely on Billy hardcore there. We Brent is fantastic. And I know you guys take a lot of training from Brent as well, right?
Miles Merwin 45:22
Yeah, we do. He’s, you know, I mean, I hired him as a as a coach through their team and we work with them on a monthly basis.And then, you know, again, education, I also hired a company called sandwich sales training. And they’ve been fantastic as well on just professional sales so that you know, any kind of Billy Williams or the sickens program really good as insurance, right? If you want some best practices you want to how to do better proposals. Insurance wise, is something insurance specific. They’re great.We recently went out and hired sales training. There’s tons of different types of businesses out there not just one industry and their sales coaches for many industries. And they’ve just been a great like sales coach, like how to actually get your foot in the door with a professional sales process looks like it’s different than people who are just an insurance industry. And so it’s been interesting, very beneficial, apparently, apparently sickens, was built off of a lot of the Sandler sales training principles. And if you go and you listen to both, you’re like, wait a minute. Roger Sitkins sounds a lot like this. It sounds a lot the same.
Jason Cass 46:38
Right? Yeah. You get a lot of that stuff. You know, you really do but it’s just changed. Rogers really good as well renders really good, but thank you very much, man. If anybody wants to reach out to you, they can find you on Facebook, I assume right?
Miles Merwin 46:50
Facebook, advisorsinsuranceagency.com, MilesMerwin.com, LinkedIn, you know.
Jason Cass 46:52
you think it’s easy that if they know you well enough that if they put in gingerinsurance It just pulls you right up?
Miles Merwin 46:59
I need to buy that and I’ll buy that domain today.
Jason Cass 47:08
He’s got red hair, folks, and he’s 6’6″ All right, man. Hey, I appreciate you very much Miles and until next time, till next time, buddy.
Miles Merwin 47:15
Jason Cass 47:16
Everybody. This has been Agency Intelligence podcast where I give you real agents Miles Merwin inside real agencies Advisors Insurance Agency, giving you the real agency intelligence and not the artificial that the industry tries to make you believe. This has been Jason Cass. He’s Miles Merwin and we are out