9 Books to Help You Become a Better Insurance Agent

 

With the growing demand for insurance products, various books have become available to help you become a better insurance agent. Ranging from general life tips, specific guides for insurance agents, and books about the economy from a different perspective, these resources can be can make you stand out among the competition.

 

image02

 

The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource

By Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer wouldn’t call it the Sales Bible for nothing. This book is quite the one-size-fits-all book that you need if you’re looking for a sales resource.

Almost anything and everything you want to know about the sales process can be found in this book. It also includes basic knowledge and advanced techniques that you may encounter in your business. From simple tips and tricks to complex sales and marketing strategies, Gitomer’s bestselling classic runs the gamut. Regardless of whether you are a novice agent or seasoned sales pro, this one is a must-read.

 

The World is Flat

By Thomas L. Friedman

 

Aside from insurance and sales guides, it is also important for you to understand the economic pressures and competition that different companies across different industries are now facing. This is why books like Thomas L. Friedman’s The World Is Flat is a definite good read for insurance agents.

 

image04

 

The World Is Flat is an essential update on globalization, its opportunities for individual empowerment, its achievements at lifting millions out of poverty and the environmental, social and political drawbacks. In a narrative punctuated by case studies, interviews and sometimes surprising statistics, Friedman tells his reader this: Be prepared, because a phenomenon waits for no one.

 

Without rhetoric or scare tactics, he paints a picture of a world moving faster than most can keep up. This book presents not only the problems that the corporate world faces, but also preventative measures and possible solutions.

 

New Sales. Simplified.

By Mike Weinberg

 

New customers are the lifeblood of any business. However, for the average salesperson, the process of acquiring new customers creates anxiety and confusion. In New Sales. Simplified, Mike Weinberg suggests that new sales success is not achieved through complicated strategies, but by executing the basics well. By drawing from his years of experience as a sales executive and coach, Weinberg provides salespeople of all experience levels with a well-structured framework to identify the best target accounts, leverage key sales tools and plan successful new sales strategies.

Especially relevant for new salespeople with small client bases, Weinberg’s volume is all about successful prospecting practices.

However, it doesn’t just stop there. You can learn how to interact with different types of clients more effectively to build stronger relationships and close more deals, which is ultimately what every good sales book should be striving to accomplish.

 

The Psychology of Selling

By Brian Tracy

 

In order to sell to someone, you need to know what they’re thinking — and why. With that said, it also helps to identify your own motivations at the most basic level. Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Selling lays it all out, leading you to a greater understanding of sales in general and, as a result, a significant boost in your numbers.

 

image01

 

There’s a reason why firms like Big Lou still sell insurance even when they are up against the giants of the industry. They perform smart targeting. They have well-defined targets, and create a striking difference from the rest of the players in insurance.

By applying the psychology of selling, Tracey writes, you can sell insurance no matter what.

 

The Secrets of Closing the Sale

By Zig Ziglar

 

There’s a good chance you have already read this all-time great, or at least heard of it. If you haven’t, there’s no time like the present. If you already have, it probably couldn’t hurt to revisit its impactful lessons.

Zig Ziglar focuses on imbuing meaning within the relationships between you and your customers using his book The Secrets of Closing the Sale. It focuses on the strong relationships that can foster trust, and in turn, sales growth. Again, almost every successful agent has read this book, because it is very useful and easy to read.

 

image00

 

Ziglar emphasizes that you have to cover “all of the bases” in order to reach the close. You have to find a prospective customer. You have to make an appointment to meet the prospect. You have to build up initial rapport and trust. You have to tell the prospect a good story. You have to answer the prospect’s objections. Then you can close the sale. His motto to summarize this philosophy is, “You can get everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”

 

The Best Damn Sales Book Ever

By Warren Greshes

 

Warren Greshes might sound a bit overconfident about his book, but he won’t give a book such a confident title without the content to back it up. The title is fitting, as The Best Damn Sales Book Ever emphasizes that confidence and positivity are integral components of sales success.

“The big secret to sales success? A simple truth: Motivated, positive, goal-oriented people are usually the ones who sell the most. Even if you don’t think you have these vital qualities, you can develop them in yourself — with the right help.”

This declaration in the book says it all. It can help you boost your confidence in selling, but it can also help you back up your confidence by making you a better agent in general.

 

You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar / The Sandler Submarine

By David Sandler

 

If you are having trouble getting people to buy what you are selling, this book could offer a different approach by teaching you the rough basics of selling something. Davin Sandler offers great insights for improving your sales presentations. His book revolves around five rules of sales success:

  1. Qualify your prospects.
  2. Extract your prospect’s “pain.”
  3. Verify that the prospect has money.
  4. Be sure the prospect is a decision maker.
  5. Match your service or product to the prospect’s “pain.”

 

To complement these rules, Sandler has created a book that defines a seven-step sales process he aptly calls The Sandler Submarine:

  1. Bonding and rapport
  2. Up-front contracts
  3. Pain
  4. Budget
  5. Decision
  6. Fulfillment
  7. Post-Sell

The name comes from this idea: As you finish each step, you close and lock a “water-tight door” so the prospect can’t return to it. Sandler presents techniques to do this and therefore put the salesperson in control of the sales process.

 

image03

 

High-Payoff Selling: Being Visible and Viable in the New Insurance Market

By Richard Coskren

 

While the other books on the list can help agents succeed via generalized sales advice, Richard Coskren’s High-Payoff Selling is directly focused on the insurance industry. It’s a full-on approach to integrating your life and work goals, customizing the services you offer and securing your status within the industry based on your merits, rather than the size of your business.

 

As its title suggests, it helps readers in being visible in the highly competitive world of insurance marketing. It can help you penetrate the market even when you’re just starting. More importantly, it makes you viable in the insurance market by helping you become an effective agent if you follow the tips it openly shares to you.

5 Steps to Getting Your Work Published

A Simple Guide to Becoming a Published Author

At one point in your life, you’ve probably had a surplus of ideas, and you dreamed of getting them published. It could be a fictional novel, a guide book, or a manuscript that you want to be published. Undoubtedly, it is every writer’s dream.

your book here!

But how can someone actually get their work published?

Jump right in, and learn from the experts! Start your very own dream book with these five simple steps that will allow you to have your work published, and set your sights on becoming the writer that you have always dreamed of being.

Brief Notes for Writers (Bonus)

Focus *first on your writing.

Write and write and write some more so that you can improve your skills in writing over time. Do NOT put most of your thoughts into the process of how to get your book published. Instead, set your mind on finishing your book, and finishing it well.

new typewriter

There are also many ways to effectively edit your work. After finishing your first draft, have a nice long break; travel to another place, or just simply do something else and clear your mind. Now that you have cleared your mind, you will have a fresher outlook on editing your work.

With this fresh perspective, you will be able to add both subtlety and complexity to your work. A good suggestion would be to get away from it all. Perhaps try taking that dream vacation to California, or perhaps rent some nice and exclusive house and land Perth with RedInk Homes, or simply seclude yourself from the busy city life. Whatever it takes for you to commit your undivided attention towards your book. Editing and revising work is of high importance in getting your first masterpiece published.

Also, keep in mind that your first work is just as critical as your second or third work. With this being kept in mind, you should focus on putting the same amount of effort and focus into each piece to ensure that none of your books are “half baked”. Make sure that before you try to have your work published, you are confident that all of your work meets your high standards across the board.

If you are looking to publish as quickly as possible, you can always try online outlets such as blog sites, websites or online reading communities (such as Wattpad). It is a very interesting option for creative writing, and it can also facilitate peer reviewing in case you want to factor in constructive criticism before actually publishing your work.

Lastly, be on the lookout for editors, agents or publishers. You can befriend a few, or you can perform extensive research on which editor, agent or publisher would best fit your choice. Knowing people or franchises is of utmost importance to guaranteeing your success – or at the very least a fair deal.

Step 1: Determine Your Work’s Genre or Category

Now, you have to identify what your genre or category is. Are you a fiction or nonfiction writer? The thing is, there are significantly different paths taken by novelists of fiction compared to non fiction authors.

library

  • For novels, memoirs, and other fiction books: After finishing your manuscript and making sure that it is done precisely the way you want it published, it is now time to approach editors or agents. Again, it’s important to be 100 percent confident with your work. You may be very excited about your story idea, or about having a partial manuscript, but it’s almost never a good idea to pitch your work to a publishing professional at such an early stage. Finish the work first. It is also advisable to look for critiques, mentors, or peer advisories who can offer you constructive feedback, so that you can improve your work. One of the biggest mistakes new writers make is rushing to get the work published.
  • For most nonfiction: Rather than completing a manuscript, you should write a book proposal  —which acts like a business plan for your book—that will convince a publisher to contract and pay you to write the book. You need to methodically research the market for your idea before you begin to write the proposal. Find other titles that are competitive or comparable to your own; make sure that your book is unique, but also doesn’t break all the rules of the category it’s meant to succeed in.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Book’s Commercial Potential

The commercial viability of books varies wildly. Some books could be big enough to be suitable for the Big Five traditional publishers – like that of Penguin Random House and HarperCollins. As for the relatively smaller scale, they are suitable only for mid-size and small scale publishing work. However, the most important thing to remember is that not every book or book idea is meant to be published by a major publisher, or represented by an agent. The problem is that most writers – especially beginner authors – have a difficult time being honest with themselves about their work’s potential.

Here are some of the primary styles of books that Jane Freidman, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Open Road Integrated Media, which is a company that specializes in traditional and eBook publishing, said are most suitable for a Big Five traditional publisher.

The genre of commercial fiction would include such categories as: romance, erotica, mystery, crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, and young adult. In addition to this list, there are nonfiction books that would get shelved in your average Barnes & Noble or indie bookstore—which requires a strong hook or concept and author platform. Usually a New York publisher won’t sign a nonfiction book unless they anticipate selling 10,000–20,000 copies at a minimum.

Step 3: Looking For The Right Publisher

Once you know what you’re selling, it’s time to research which publishers or agents accept the type of work you’ve written. Sadly, most publishers – especially major publishers – do not accept submissions which aren’t supervised by legitimate agents.

The good thing is, there are many online guides – even online agencies – that can help a lot with you finding the right agent for your book. Writersmarket.com provides thousands of book publishers available for the taking. PublishersMarketplace.com, on the other hand, is the best place to research literary agents because, not only does it have many member pages, you can also search their database by genre, category, and/or keyword to pinpoint the best agents for your work.

printing press

Step 4: Complying With Submission Requirements

While each publisher or agent will require different submission requirements, here are the three most common required materials and how they are best prepared:

  • Query letter. This is a 1-page pitch letter that gives a brief description of your work.
  • Novel synopsis. This is a brief summary (usually no more than 1-2 pages) of your story, from beginning to end. It must reveal the ending. This is very important as it could very well be the selling point for any agent.
  • Sample chapters. When choosing sample chapters that can best showcase your book in submission, start from the beginning of the manuscript. It usually has more impact and more of a draw for the reader, and it is a sure-fire way to paint a good picture of your book for the agents to consider.

Step 5: Submit Your Materials And Wait

Almost no agent, publishing house, or editor accepts full manuscripts on first contact, and this is why they keep the sign “No unsolicited materials” in submission guidelines. What they ask for is a Query Letter, which is why you should focus on making your query letter a convincing one.

After you submit your query letter, you’ll get three general kinds of responses:

a.) No response

b.) A request for sample chapters and/or synopsis

c.) A request for the whole manuscript and additional documents

In the grand scheme of things, a non-response usually means a rejection.

printing press line

However, don’t let a rejection get you down! Remember, almost every famous and successful author has experienced hundreds, if not thousands, of rejections. Do not just abandon your work if you think that it should be published. Talk to the agent or publishing house and find out where your novel went wrong and how it can be improved.

Publishing your work also entails a lot more than just submission. You also have to factor in protecting rights to your work, the publishing industry in general, and a lot more that comes with being an author. Right now, however, all you have to do is to think about these five steps thoroughly in order to focus on having your work published.

6 Fiction Books Published in the 90s That Continue To Enchant Readers

hd34888As an ardent book lover, I’m always curious about how a book has been received over a period of time. It is an indication of the power of books and how they can withstand our changing society or propel change in one’s perspective.

The 1990s is my favorite decade. Not only because it was the time of “Barbie Girl” and “Spice Up Your Life,” but there were a plethora of books published that captured the attention of bookworms around the world. From a magical wizarding world to a former combat nurse turned outlander, authors created stories and characters that sucked us in from the very first page. And, they continue to enchant readers of today. Below are six books published in the 90s that are still well loved and continually growing in popularity.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling

harry_potter_and_the_philosophers_stone_book_cover

First published in 1997 (UK) and 1998 (US).

I don’t think this book requires an explanation. If you believe it requires an explanation, then you’ve been living under a rock; and you should go to your local library or bookstore. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has changed everything.

2. The Giver – Lois Lowry

81cjcheqjsl

First published in 1993.

The Giver has been hailed as one of the most influential novels of our time. Lowry’s imaginative story challenges the status quo and introduces readers to a world that is both real and unreal. It’s so much more than a YA novel. I think the novel continues to capture our attention because it hits close to home in an enlightening manner. It effectively comments on our world and how we see it, as well as how we see ourselves.

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

perksofbeingwallflower1

First published in 1999.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age story that explores teenage angst, friendship, sexuality, and the power of education. The protagonist, Charlie, is lovable and relatable. So, it’s no surprise that Chbosky’s novel continues to enchant readers in 2016.

4. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

outlander-blue-cover-198x300

First published in 1991.

Time-travel, love, and desire. What more could you ask for? Outlander encompasses everything you want in a novel.

5. A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin

13496

First published in 1996.

Epic fantasy novels never get old. And, it’s safe to say that A Game of Thrones has taken over the 2000s for its juicy plot filled with vengeance, power, and greed.

6. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

the_notebook_cover

First published in 1996.

Nicholas Sparks is a seasoned romance writer. One of his books that touched many is The Notebook. A story about true love, social hierarchy, and fate. Our world is full of romantics and I think that is what makes this book (and many of his books) so enchanting until this day.

What book published in the 90s enchants you?


Let’s block ads! (Why?)

hd34888As an ardent book lover, I’m always curious about how a book has been received over a period of time. It is an indication of the power of books and how they can withstand our changing society or propel change in one’s perspective. The 1990s is my favorite decade. Not only because it was the time of “Barbie Girl” and “Spice Up Your Life,” but there were a plethora of books published that captured the attention of bookworms around the world. From a magical wizarding world to a former combat nurse turned outlander, authors created stories and characters that sucked us in from the very first page. And, they continue to enchant readers of today. Below are six books published in the 90s that are still well loved and continually growing in popularity.   1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling harry_potter_and_the_philosophers_stone_book_cover First published in 1997 (UK) and 1998 (US). I don’t think this book requires an explanation. If you believe it requires an explanation, then you’ve been living under a rock; and you should go to your local library or bookstore. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has changed everything. 2. The Giver – Lois Lowry 81cjcheqjsl First published in 1993. The Giver has been hailed as one of the most influential novels of our time. Lowry’s imaginative story challenges the status quo and introduces readers to a world that is both real and unreal. It’s so much more than a YA novel. I think the novel continues to capture our attention because it hits close to home in an enlightening manner. It effectively comments on our world and how we see it, as well as how we see ourselves. 3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky perksofbeingwallflower1 First published in 1999. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age story that explores teenage angst, friendship, sexuality, and the power of education. The protagonist, Charlie, is lovable and relatable. So, it’s no surprise that Chbosky’s novel continues to enchant readers in 2016. 4. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon outlander-blue-cover-198x300 First published in 1991. Time-travel, love, and desire. What more could you ask for? Outlander encompasses everything you want in a novel. 5. A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin 13496 First published in 1996. Epic fantasy novels never get old. And, it’s safe to say that A Game of Thrones has taken over the 2000s for its juicy plot filled with vengeance, power, and greed. 6. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks the_notebook_cover First published in 1996. Nicholas Sparks is a seasoned romance writer. One of his books that touched many is The Notebook. A story about true love, social hierarchy, and fate. Our world is full of romantics and I think that is what makes this book (and many of his books) so enchanting until this day.

What book published in the 90s enchants you?

The Other Widow By Susan Crawford | Book Review

hcc-first-look-the-other-widow-susan-crawfordEverybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs…

Susan Crawford, author of the psychological thriller The Pocket Wife, does it again with her new novel, The Other Widow. With a complex cast of characters—featuring the perspectives of three strong women brought together by a tragic accident—Crawford captures the very essence of grief felt by a widow and the other woman, haunting love, and obsession.

I delight in all thrillers; whether they are fast-paced or slowly built up. The Other Widow falls into the latter unlike her debut novel, The Pocket Wife, which falls into the former. That being said, it’s just as absorbing as it steadily examines the psychological impacts of deception, vulnerability, and desire.

There are so many layers of deception that compel the reader to continually question every single character and detail therein contained. Crawford’s braintwisting plot will keep readers on the edge of their seats, yearning for the next page right until the very startling end. I guarantee that you won’t put it down because I wasn’t able to do so!

This is a marvelous book for enthusiastic fans of thrillers and mysteries. Moreover, readers of chick-lit and chick-noir will revel in the perspectives of Dorrie, Karen, and Maggie.

The Other Widow hits bookstores today! So, make sure to head there right now. Seriously, what are you still doing here? Go pick up the book!


A huge thank you to HarperCollins Canada for selecting me to be one of ten keen readers to be a part of the First Look program. They provided me with an uncorrected proof of The Other Widow by Susan Crawford in exchange for an honest review.


Book details: Fiction | April 2016 | William Morrow (An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) | 978-0-06-236288-9 | $26.99 ($33.50 Can.) | 352 Pages |

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

hcc-first-look-the-other-widow-susan-crawfordEverybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs… Susan Crawford, author of the psychological thriller The Pocket Wife, does it again with her new novel, The Other Widow. With a complex cast of characters—featuring the perspectives of three strong women brought together by a tragic accident—Crawford captures the very essence of grief felt by a widow and the other woman, haunting love, and obsession.   I delight in all thrillers; whether they are fast-paced or slowly built up. The Other Widow falls into the latter unlike her debut novel, The Pocket Wife, which falls into the former. That being said, it’s just as absorbing as it steadily examines the psychological impacts of deception, vulnerability, and desire. There are so many layers of deception that compel the reader to continually question every single character and detail therein contained. Crawford’s braintwisting plot will keep readers on the edge of their seats, yearning for the next page right until the very startling end. I guarantee that you won’t put it down because I wasn’t able to do so! This is a marvelous book for enthusiastic fans of thrillers and mysteries. Moreover, readers of chick-lit and chick-noir will revel in the perspectives of Dorrie, Karen, and Maggie. The Other Widow hits bookstores today! So, make sure to head there right now. Seriously, what are you still doing here? Go pick up the book!
A huge thank you to HarperCollins Canada for selecting me to be one of ten keen readers to be a part of the First Look program. They provided me with an uncorrected proof of The Other Widow by Susan Crawford in exchange for an honest review.