Small Business Interview: Michael Myers

Read on to learn how an insurance agent uses Less Annoying CRM every day!
Written by Eunice Koo
Meet our small business owner:

What does MP Myers Insurance and Financial Services do, and how did you get to where you are today?

I'm Michael Myers, and I work in the insurance field. I sell Life Insurance, Medical Insurance, Disability Insurance, Medicare Related Products, Long Term Care and Annuities. I also do consulting and represent individuals and companies in a wide variety of business related negotiations. Whether it’s an insurance product, or a negotiation, I seek to fully understand the needs of my client and customize my approach to their needs. This requires a great deal of information gathering.

I began my working career in fast food, moved to management becoming a Store Manager for Kentucky Fried Chicken in Arkansas City KS, then, after moving back to California entered the Construction trade and moved quickly to running large and small jobs alike (at age 20). I ran all the work for a medium size Commercial General Contractor in Stockton CA, running between 5 and 18 jobs at a time. We developed an industrial park, built strip centers, apartment complexes and even did a historical landmark remodel! But when the economy went into a downward slide in 1981, I left to go into insurance (I already had the license).

I started off working for a small insurance company located in Dallas, Reserve Life, but then opened an agency with partners which became a corporation. We were at the very beginnings of when the agency system in America was undergoing a change from being primary captive to primary non-captive. We represented insurance companies to producers and also sold their products ourselves. Our two primary companies were Great American Life (when they were in Los Angeles) and Summit National Life (a Cargill Company). We also operated a General Agency for Kansas City Life. But after a while, I found I would rather work alone, so in 1985 I left to form my own agency where I have worked alone ever since. I have found this is the best way, for me, to assure that the interests of my clients are put as a priority. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

I typically start my day about 7AM and I begin my day with Less Annoying CRM. I check it to see what things must be done today. I then schedule the rest of my day around this. I will spend several hours (2 or 3 times a week) preparing information for appointments I have and appointments I would like to have.

I spend most of the rest of my time looking for business. I may talk to clients and in the process get referrals or I may simply drop in and strike up a conversation with a small business owner. In both cases, I rely heavily on Less Annoying CRM, as I either use it to peruse looking for people to talk to, or I am updating information in their file or I am adding new contacts to the file and scheduling when to follow up. 

Trying to manage your time to see when the best time reach a prospect is? Read this tutorial on how a custom pipeline field can help you with that!

How does collaboration work at MP Myers Insurance and Financial Services?

“Working individually has its benefits as mostly, this is simply a matter of my standards being always the benchmark.”  

I work alone and I do not collaborate with anyone inside my business, as I am it. However, I collaborate with my contacts at Insurance Companies, General Agents and Independent Marketing Organizations as I work on things for my clients or prospective clients.When it fits what I am doing, I am of course, making notes in Less Annoying CRM.

Working individually has its benefits as mostly, this is simply a matter of my standards being always the benchmark. I don’t have to worry about what someone else said and I know that what I tell people is correct. Even so, it can be a challenge staying focused and on top of things. The use of Less Annoying CRM aids in this greatly, but I still have to discipline myself to use it properly. And of course, since I work alone I have to do all the filing (I would change this if I could). 

Collaborating with other businesses often means that you need to share online documents with one another. Click here to see how you can stay on top of these online documents through your CRM notes!

How did you grow MP Myers Insurance and Financial Services from where it was to where it is today?

“Time spent establishing procedures will save you 10-fold later when you are busy. Set up policies, write them down, and refer to them once a week until the way you do things is ingrained in your brain.”  

Customer loyalty is very important to me. I build customer loyalty by being honest and ethical and always doing what I promise to do. Less Annoying CRM is of great help to do this, as it reminds me what I said and when I said I would get it accomplished. 

I was once told by a mentor that it is better to be small but in control of what you do than big and out of control. I believe that is true. I would tell others that time spent establishing procedures will save you 10-fold later when you are busy. Set up policies, write them down, and refer to them once a week until the way you do things is ingrained in your brain. In this industry, you have to have a way of tracking things. No one can remember everything. 

A good way to build customer loyalty is to make sure your customers feel appreciated. Some of our users make customer appreciation a routine through the CRM, and have found that it's helped maintain strong relationships!

How has using a CRM changed the way you work?

“The primary way I use it now is I enter information daily on anyone I talked to: client, prospective client, whomever. I record information I gathered and then schedule follow ups, putting in reminders if I have to gather any information to proceed.”  

I pride myself on follow through, and I was forgetting things I needed to do or key elements of the conversation I had with the client. This made me realize I needed a CRM because this was not acceptable to me. I now use LACRM to track prospective clients, and then to manage those clients after I’ve made them a client. I also use it to record details regarding companies I rely on in my trade, recording conversations as I have them. This helps me remember what we talked about last.

The way I use the CRM now has also changed majorly since I first started using the system. I initially saw it as a way of tracking names, gotten from a third-party vendor. Although I still do this, it is not by any means the primary way I use it. The primary way I use it now is I enter information daily on anyone I talked to: client, prospective client, whomever. I record information I gathered and then schedule follow ups, putting in reminders if I have to gather any information to proceed.

I am now seeing how to use a CRM. I really did not get value from it until I started treating it as a daily part of my day.

Recently I started using to to track my interaction with Companies and Vendors that I rely on in my sales process. I record what they are going to do for me and schedule a time to call them back if I have not heard from them. If I have heard from them, I also note that and attach any documents they sent me (if applicable). 

If you feel like you don’t have time to use a CRM, why not schedule CRM time on your calendar everyday?

Do you have any tips or tricks on how you use LACRM?

“You have to use it. If you don’t use it, it won’t help you.” 

I only have one thing to say about this. You have to use it. If you don’t use it, it won’t help you. As you use it, you will find ways to expand its use that is unique to you. 

Want some ideas on how to make CRM-use a habit? Click here to read some quick tips!

What made you choose LACRM over other CRM solutions on the market?

“Although LACRM did not have everything I would have liked, it had enough to make it workable for me. Balancing all the features resulted in me choosing LACRM over others.” 

I compared LACRM to many other CRMs. I used several for a time. Some I did not like their looks. Some I did not like their features. Some I did not like their price. One that I liked very much before discovering LACRM I was using but they changed their pricing structure. I don’t think a company should ever do that, especially when they have made such a big point of their price and also the fact that there are so many other choices. So, in any case, I began looking and comparing (perhaps six or so) other CRMs. I settled on LACRM. Although it did not have everything I would have liked, it had enough to make it workable for me. Balancing all the features resulted in me choosing LACRM over others. I have not regretted the decision. My only regret is that I have been slow to implement the procedures I am trying to follow now. It really does pay off. 

Comparing LACRM with another CRM? Click here to see how LACRM stacks up against other popular CRMs out there!

Thanks for checking out Michael's interview! Want to hear more tips from real small business owners? Sign up for our newsletter below!

Posted on Jan 15, 2018
Filed under Customer Spotlights
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