7 ideas if you're up for the all-you-can-eat buffet

The following is an excerpt from my May 19th weekly email. I cautioned readers up front that it was a true miscellaneous thought download. Enjoy! Subscribe here

Navigating shelter-in-place and information (& emotion) overload feels hard because it's hard. May I present you a participation trophy? 🏆

In many ways, with no place to go, life's never been so simple.

On the other hand, I'm having a tough time turning my brain off.

So. Much. Thinking.

It's a different kind of tired than I used to feel 2 years ago when I was doing risky things like flying around the country meeting with people. 

This week's email is an all-you-can-eat buffet. I have a lot of thoughts that I need to download and test with you.

The positive? Something for everyone.

Downside? It might feel too long, chaotic and unfocused...like the feeling I get at brunch when looking at sushi, french toast and potato salad. 🤢

Scroll for a glimpse of what's on my mind. And like a buffet, if something isn't your jam, just keep strolling until you spot something appetizing.

Is it easy to be your customer or prospect? Be ruthless in your review of emails, proposals and slide decks. Would you read what you're sending?  Don't make people work hard to figure out what you're saying. Use contractions. Don't hit send until you read it aloud to yourself. If you sound like a benefits autobot, try again.

Virtual meeting tip: Be super clear when introduced virtually. Who are you? What are you specifically responsible for doing?

"I'm Joan and I wake up every day focused on what's changing with federal and state legislation and how I can make sure the right clients know it at the right time."

Practice your introductions by recording them and playing it back while paying attention to the time stamps. A little painful, but better than accidentally burning through extra minutes of your firm's airtime in a finalist meeting when 1 minute would have done the trick.

Make sure that "shelter-in-place" isn't your mindset. Staying put is helpful for avoiding the virus. It's a trap if it's how you're working. What's one thing you can try next week to shift momentum in a positive way?

This is a repeat tip but it's a concern, so you may see it again. 

Anecdata is neither good nor bad. An alert reader spotted me and the family on a recent nightly happy hour walk and yelled across the street. "I've got an anecdata question. I used it in a meeting today, but is it a good thing or a bad thing?"

It's neither.

Anecdata is only a problem when you base a decision on it without being aware you're going with more of a hunch than evidenced based decision making.

Prior anecdata post here

 Example? I've got many.

"We must build a covid-contrabulator because we're not winning deals."

Wheels up to research, invest and put in motion the "thing" and we still don't win. Upon further inspection we discover that there wasn't data showing a pattern of losing due to that factor...A few of our largest P&C producers had lost a few deals, though, and thought it was because the competitor touts better tools. Raise your hand if that one hurts!


"We can't be sure because we don't track this stuff in CRM. Over the last month, though, Joe and Sue have each lost deals and we think it's because of x or y. We'd like to build a new tool and see what happens."

Stakeholders have different thresholds for investment and appropriate expectations if they know we're using anecdata. 

Another? Sure.

A client to me: "Gary says people are tired of meeting on Zoom and we should pull back with prospects."

Me: "What people? What kind of meetings? Which prospects? What else are we doing? Is it really just Gary that is sick of Zoom?" 

Business is getting done. It's a myth that nothing is happening. Companies are picking new brokers. Carriers are winning new business. I'm hearing this directly from the winners - and losers.

Account Executive Academy - The next cohort begins in June.  Get more information and schedule time to chat about who's a good fit here. Or reply and ask to talk. See? Easy to work with. 

Baffled by Brokers - The 2021 plan year is coming whether or not we're sheltering-in-place. Many carriers and brokers are frustrated with each other and haven't found a new groove collaborating to serve mutual customers. I'm hosting a 30-minute express Q&A webinar format session for carrier reps this Friday. Register in the link below.

That's all for now. Did you get your money's worth at the buffet? I appreciate hearing what's on your mind. What did I get right? What did I miss?