How to Easily Monitor Distracted Time

Where did the day go?

rescuetime

How often have you asked this question at the end of the day? For me, it was way too often. Then I discovered RescueTime.

RescueTime is a monitoring tool that helps you keep track of what you do all day on your computer — the applications you use and the websites you visit, and for how long.

This tool works on Peter Drucker’s management principle that “what gets measured, gets managed.” Once you install the RescueTime client on your computer, it runs in the background and collects Internet usage data while you work. A dashboard shows useful charts that can help manage your time. There is a version for multiple employees if you desire to monitor everyone.

Use Copernic Search to Find the File in the Haystack

We are creating more digital information today than ever. Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PDF proposals, pictures, and video are piling up on our hard drives. The trick is finding that document that you need when you need it. “I wonder what folder I would have stored that document?”

copernic search

This question is all too common. The more information we have, the harder it is to find that one piece of information we need right now.

Searching for an email in Outlook is better than it used to be, but still not great. The Windows 10 operating system also has a much better search, but still not great.

That’s why Copernic Search can be a great tool.

NSA Mobile Device Security Best Practices

Agency owners and staff know how important it is to protect private client information contained in your office systems.

However, I don’t remember hearing much about steps you should take to protect that same information on your staff’s mobile devices. Typically, agencies don’t require producers or other agency staff to use an agency-purchased mobile phone. Instead, they might offer a monthly allowance to help offset the cost of their phone.

Not being able to control this hacking exposure creates the risk of a hacker getting access to the mobile device and extracting private client information that might be contained on the phone. Or finding passwords that would allow them access to internal agency systems.

Grammarly – Your Automatic Editor

Being able to express yourself by writing continues to be an essential business skill.

grammarly

One of the best ways to demonstrate your insurance expertise is by writing articles describing a particular insurance question or issue and providing helpful information. There are more opportunities today to publish online than ever. A new article should be added to your agency website at least once a week.

The LinkedIn publishing platform is another great place for you to add articles that demonstrate your expertise. People want to do business with those they know, like, trust, and who understand what they are doing.

However, if you are like me, high school English might not have been your favorite subject.

Independent Agents Thrive with Technology

There is an interesting trend I have been watching in some of the InsurTech startup companies that when they started – announced with great fanfare – they said how they were going to disintermediate the independent agent. Over the years, many have said independent agents are irrelevant.

insurance hype

Here are a few indicators that these companies are starting to change their tune. Reality will do that sometimes.

From Metromile Q2 2021 Shareholder letter

“We launched the initial phase of our new independent agent program in the second quarter of 2021, with more than 600 agents appointed to date. We are incredibly excited about how this channel diversification complements our existing model.”

From Root Q2 2021 Shareholder letter

“We are scaling our internal sales agent program and piloting a program to provide our product through independent licensed agents. Offering the human touch widens the funnel to more good drivers that can benefit from Root’s technology and enables another connection point with potential customers.”

From Lemonade Q2 2021 Shareholder letter

“While we have continued to see strong performance in our direct channels, we have been positively surprised by other means of acquisition. In Q2 21, these other distribution channels (primarily agent partners and Lemonade graduates) more than doubled their share of homeowner sales relative to Q2 20.”

Next Insurance

Next Insurance has opened their technology platform for small commercial insurance to agents. You can apply and be licensed to sell the Next line of products. They have a “Low minimum production of 1 policy per month.”

My Thoughts

Independent insurance agents and brokers have remained remarkably resilient through all the hype of the last few years that they are irrelevant and will be disintermediated. It seems consumers have voted with their wallets that many (most?) prefer the Agent to Consumer (A2C) connection. I am proud of the work we are doing at Catalyit to help insurance agents continue to thrive using technology. We are getting close to launching the platform to agents in multiple states. Be sure to get on the list to know when we are ready.

As an agent, what should be your response? Some options I can think of include:

  • Why would I want to support a competitor who is trying to take my clients?
  • Would they (pick any above or others) give me better access to a larger number of prospects I am not currently targeting?
  • Do I have the systems in place to take advantage of their marketing and technology platforms?

I’m sure there are many other considerations.

If consumers behaviors have changed, then our response could be:

  1. Keep doing what we have always done (it has worked so far).
  2. Or experiment with new distribution models and tools to reach consumers where they are.

I hope we can have a robust conversation about taking advantage of any technology tool that will help your agency better serve customers regardless of where it comes from.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

PS: I posted a version of this article on LinkedIn yesterday afternoon.