Although the outside air was a little cool - hard frost and fog every morning, warming to the mid 50's - the conference sessions were warmly received by all. Great speakers were heard - everything from an economic outlook to the Affordable Health Care Act to business planning to increasing profits and sustaining a competitive edge. The LOT (Leaders of Tomorrow) group had their own sessions which included various aspects of succession planning.
The highlight of the conference for me were the sessions led by AIM/R reps:
Kelly Michel presented "Best Practices in Website Development" which was a very humorous approach to developing a website. He emphasized how helpful the images of jobs completed by his agency were in getting new business and demonstrating to his manufacturers his agency's value.
Colin and Hunter Fein discussed "Best Practices in Technology" offering what technology had been successful for them and providing the names of some applications that the audience might find useful.
Charlie Parham presented "Best Practices in Operations" which was a comprehensive program on how their company operates and what makes them successful. He included all aspects of their business - customer service, sales, marketing, warehousing, and training objectives, measurements, reviews and results.
Steve Elis presented "Compensation Plans that Work" sharing the compensation plan his agency has used for the last several years which has been extremely successful in increasing his business and retaining his sales people. The plan contains two elements - goals for the team and goals for the individual. A pot of money is built up and depending on the number of goals achieved the employees share the pot at the end of the year.
One of the major benefits of attending your industry's rep conference is to network and learn from each other. The AIM/R reps who participated in this year's program were truly unselfish in sharing private agency operations in order to help other reps (including competitors) enhance their business and improve the overall professionalism in their industry. Congratulations to AIM/R!