“Thanks again for the excellent conference, the best I’ve ever attended.”
Rudy R. Garcia
President, Quandun Insurance Agency
That pretty much sums up the feedback we continue to receive after ASCEND last weekend.
There is simply too much to report on for a single blog post. Therefore, we’ll be posting a multi-part series on ASCEND, and we will include many of the highlights from the event as well – including “Snowmageddon”, answers to seven of the top questions benefit agencies have, and small powerful tactics that will make a BIG difference in your firm.
Of course, these posts will do very little justice to the actual experience of actually being there at ASCEND. Attendees collaborated with other top agency leaders, mingled with leading experts on sales, marketing & practice management, hung out with authors & speakers, and discovered (and uncovered) insights, best practices, proven growth strategies, and valuable tools all designed to help you achieve the summit of success with your firm.
In this first post-ASCEND blog, we simply want to give you an understanding of what ASCEND was like and, along the way, we’ll share some gold nuggets with you….
Imagine handpicking the progressive & ambitious leaders of high-performing benefits firms from across the country, bringing them all together to an amazing resort, and then guiding their conversations to address & answer some of the most challenging and important questions in the industry. This was the essence of ASCEND.
During the Thursday night opening reception, several attendees told us that, with their new connections & the networking they had done, they could go home now confident they had received more than enough value to justify their investment in attending ASCEND. As you know, in this industry, agency leaders are like separate islands, rarely having the opportunity to build meaningful relationships – Thursday night every attendee made valuable connections.
(The picture captures only about a third of those at the reception. And notice the healthy gathering of people on the right – I’ll give you one guess where the bar was…)
BEST PRACTICE ALERT: If you don’t currently host a reception for your clients and a number of prospects at least once a year, we would highly recommend it. There’s simply no substitute for bringing people together – especially when you can have your very happy clients talk to potential clients.
Much of those conversations revolved around The 7 Key Challenges of Benefit Firms:
- The Growth Equation – how do we grow?
- Filling the Prospecting Pipeline – how do we get in front of enough, qualified decision makers?
- Building the Right Team – how do we hire & train our staff and create superstar producers?
- Operational Efficiency – how do we better leverage our time and become more productive internally?
- Staff Education & Development – how do we maintain a high-level of proficiency & enthusiasm in our team and create a positive, growth-oriented culture?
- Transitioning to a Fee-Based Practice – how do we become less dependent upon commissions and seamlessly move to a fee-based model?
- Maximizing Existing Clients – how do we effectively & consistently cross-sell to our clients to provide more value and increase revenues?
(Those were the same key topics discussed and answered throughout ASCEND.)
Overnight and early Friday morning, Mother Nature had some exciting plans for our gathering in Nashville… And so did we!
More to come in the next installment….