This week we’re sharing a blog that first ran in the AgencyBloc blog on 11/28. Erica Kiefer, the Vice President of Marketing and Sales at AgencyBloc interviewed me about why technology is so important to our sales process. Enjoy!
AgencyBloc: Why are you so passionate about advancing the use of technology in agencies??
Mari Rose Tautimes: I feel that technology is directly responsible for leveling the playing field for small businesses. In the past, only big business could have access to technology that helped them better organize and take advantage of their data, to act on what they learned from that data and then use it to get ahead in the marketplace. Now it’s affordable and accessible for EVERYONE to be able to do the same thing.
AB: Do you believe that technology can only be implemented by younger agencies? What advice do you have for agency owners who feel like new technologies are overwhelming?
MRT: Technology can be implemented by ANYONE who makes the decision that they are still healthy enough to learn, regardless of their age. I’ve seen it first hand over and over again. It’s not easy to keep up with all of the changes in tech. I can appreciate that and get overwhelmed by it myself at times. But if we just focus on the couple of things that will make our lives better and really make an effort to embrace and learn, we (and I mean ANY OF US) can do ANYTHING we set our mind to.
AB: With the continued uncertainty of healthcare regulations in this country, how do you foresee technology playing a role for agencies?
MRT: I think that having records of everything by way of technology instead of paper will continue to be the most efficient way to keep up with evolving regulations. Producing evidence of something should it be requested (and it is requested all the time in our field) is much easier to do when referencing a database than paper files. For example, if a carrier needs a copy of an enrollment, if it’s stored in your database, it’s much easier to locate and attach it to send off to the requesting party. Or if a client remembers something happening one way, but it really happened a different way and you have detailed notes (easier to do in a database than on the application copy or paperwork), and those notes are dated and time stamped, what better credible evidence is there than that?
AB: What are some ways seasoned agencies can attract and retain young people?
MRT: Giving your staff the most up to date technology to make their job easier is one way to attract top talent. Younger people like to know that they’re working for a company that is innovating and progressing, not staying in the past and resisting change. I would also invite them to innovate and problem solve things and show you ways they think it could be done. Embrace their ideas. These kids were learning PowerPoint in the 5th grade where many agency principals still struggle with the basics…just as an example.
AB: What do you love the most about your career?
MRT: I love the fact that I get to innovate and find better ways of doing business and then sharing it with the agents that we work with in hopes that they can benefit too. I love being in the business of business and people development. Seeing something the way it could be done, showing it to others and then leading them in that direction.
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