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Followup on Your Network with MALM Insurance’s Lorena Tomasini

May 23, 2020

Your Trusted Insurance Agency.

Lorena Tomasini is the Co-Founder and Owner of MALM Life & Health Insurance Agency.

MALM Life & Health Insurance Agency is a mother-daughter team who have been working together the last 12 years to provide insurance to individuals, families, and small businesses in days, not weeks.

Learn more about how MALM Life & Health Insurance Agency can meet your insurance needs by listening to this episode of The Thoughtful Entrepreneur above and don’t forget to subscribe on   Apple Podcasts – Stitcher – Spotify –Google Play –Castbox – TuneIn – RSS.

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Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, we're all reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.

And with us right now, we've got Lorena Tomasini. Lorena, thank you so much for joining us here, the owner of MALM Life and Health Insurance, and you're the host of 12 Minute Talks podcast. Of course, MALM Insurance is found on the web at M A L M I N S.com. Lorena, thank you for joining us.

Thank you so much for having me on Josh

Lorena, when did you get in into the insurance business? If I understand correctly, you're was your mom in the space first?

Yeah, so my mom actually started in insurance before I was even born. So my mom, since like, 1980, has been doing insurance. And I started doing insurance about 13 years ago, when I was in college at the time, it was more of a part time thing, you know that so I could have flexibility in my schedule and go to school full time. But I really fell in love with the industry and, you know, the benefits that it provides to Families and business owners. So it's just what I've been doing. Yeah.

So you've been in the industry for quite some time. And I'm quite, I'm curious. Number one, kind of what do you see as a, as an occupation for somebody, right. And so someone saying, well, I want to get into insurance. I wonder what the attrition rate is. And then also, I wonder what The average insurance professional makes like in their first year, kind of their first five years, can you give me give me like, what is a career outlook for someone who's looking to get into the industry.

So as an industry, it's very known for a lot of high turnover, because it's not an easy job, right? It's a lot of rejection. But I feel like that comes with any job whether you do insurance or something else. rejection is part of it, but I feel an insurance it's even more so because you have to overcome a lot of misconceptions that people have and it's a lot of education on on our end as well. Not just Oh, hey, you don't have any life insurance, you should get some right. So it's really explaining to people so they can understand more so than just because of you possibly why it's important. But I would say somebody starting out statistically the first few years, an average insurance agent He makes about 36 $40,000 a year, you know. And there's two routes in insurance, you can do the traditional face to face type of sales. And that also means a lot of miles and a lot of time away from home. Right. And then more modern approaches would be doing things over the phone or the computer. So it's just really deciding how you're comfortable working. And then if you you know, if you want to work for one company, as an employee, or if you want to work for yourself. So there's a lot of opportunity in the insurance industry, but you have to have the right mindset. I think that's really important.

So Lorena, you and your mother have created an agency that I mean, again, you know, we kind of talked about your off before this conversation. You've written a few policies over the year. So do you mind sharing kind of, we kind of start from there, and then we'll figure out how have you done all that activity?

Yeah, so we focus a lot on health insurance. But that's really only part of the year because open enrollment is usually from November to December 15 for individuals are here in the United States. So during that time period in about six weeks, we're able to help over family families. And overall for the past seven years, which is how long, like the Affordable Care Act has been going on, We've helped over 1000 families for sure. In a very short time period, so that takes a lot of organization and so forth that I'm sure we'll talk about further. And then on the life insurance side, we've helped quite a few families as well, and business owners get that production going.

So Lorena, what is it that that you do to get the kind of volume that you've been able to get? I think a lot of people are, you know, they're going to these little networking meetings. They're going to these, you know, meetings where you're, I forget what they're called very supposed to refer people to each other. I see, I see a lot of insurance professionals doing that sort of thing. And it's you you go, I'm sure you've done some plenty of networking in your time. But where would you say you get the majority of your business?

That's a great question. So I would say Duffy, try out different things until you find what works for you. Personally, I don't like networking events. I don't really drink so like getting a free drink to go talk to people is not my thing. And that atmosphere and networking events is very like hustle mentality. And, you know, hey, what do you do, but people don't really care what you do. Um, and then the referral groups. Those are interesting, but they're very, like, for me, they're too business oriented, like so I like that's already for me. But if I hadn't gone and tried it, I wouldn't know if that was for me or not. So I say try it out. until you find what works for you. But for me, I really like most of my clients come from word of mouth. A lot of it is from my existing clients, because they like, how I work with them and so forth. So they just refer me to their friends or family. But also you need to think outside of the box. And one thing that has helped me a lot is getting referrals from other professionals, whether in the insurance industry or other fields, that we share similar clients and people that I would like to be introduced that I could help them

know, most, most insurance professionals are likely not getting a lot of referrals because they're relying on the same old you know, the greatest things you can ever give me as a referral and like what are you doing? You know, so that because I just don't know that a lot of people want to give up their their friends and family just to just have somebody can write some business for them.

Yeah, exactly. I always I phrased it in a way that's different. It's like, hey, if you know anybody I can help, like, however do you write Please give them my name number and like that, and that does work. But you also need to do things differently, especially if you're talking with other professionals. They're always you have to come at it from what's in it for them. Because they're not just going to give you their book of business, or refer your client. It's if it's not something that can really help that client of theirs was something that maybe they don't do, right. I call it a an added value service. So what's an added value service so you can provide to that profession? Yeah. Especially, especially with insurance. We can't give kickbacks or things like that kickback is you know, hey, you refer me a client and if they buy, I'm going to give you part of the commission or whatever we here in Florida, Lisa, it's a big No. So if somebody refers me as somebody that eventually becomes a client, thank you. I appreciate your referral. And let's see how we can work together. But, you know, we can't split commission. All

right, so um, so my my speculation then is that you're just doing a lot of activity in order to get build up that book of business. It's not just or, you know, so if you're networking and exchanging business with lots of other professionals, my suspicion is that you have a pretty big network of people that now know what you do if you have that many people referring business to you. How did you do that?

Yeah, through through the years, like I said, I've been doing this for 13 years. So you try this and you try that until you find what works for you. But how I've been able to do that is just follow up because just like I'm busy that other professionals also busy and they're not going to keep me Top of Mind unless I make that weekly phone call or every two weeks whatever the case might be, so it's definitely not a funnel and just being like, Hey, remember, this is how I can help your client with XYZ. Right? So and, and not just thinking because this person told you Oh, yeah, start referring clients that they're going to do that. So if you have like, a real term for a new business, for example, if that works, find another 10 realtors, and maybe out of those 10 you bet to realtors. And like that, you know, it's really a numbers game, just like anything else, right? If you need to make one sale a week, well, I don't know, maybe talk to 100 people to make that happen. Right? And the only way you're going to learn is to experience at the end of the day.

Now. Okay, so what is the So a couple things here again, I'm trying to dig to figure out what is your secret here. So So it sounds like you do a lot of professional like a lot of professional networking. And now you also have, and then you also have a very, very great follow up that that you do with them if I if I heard you correctly. So what so you're reaching out to a lot of other professionals. This is interesting, because I think a lot of people are doing their own like they're doing ads are doing bus ads, and they're buying, you know, they're buying, like all this advertisement on bus benches and all this other stuff. But it sounds like you are spending most of your time thinking, who are all the professionals that I can get to know what I do. And so you've come up with an outreach where it makes sense for them to to talk with you for a little bit. What is your message that you share and you so you spend your time on professional networking, as opposed to just advertising directly to consumers is that would that be fair to say?

That that would be fair to say during surgery In terms of the of the year, yes, I do advertising but it's more online advertising. But besides that, yeah, the professional network is really important. Ever me again, I avoid networking events because I feel like that's the least that you do. You just

you're not alone.

When I have gone to networking events, I go with a purpose. Like, okay, I want to talk to five people, and actually reach out to them afterwards. But I feel like networking events here in Miami are nice to drive to the place I'm working. It's just as my way of doing it, so I just reach out to people over the phone, you know, and, and that's just how I been able to do it. Some people like the face to face interaction, and that's perfectly fine. You know, it's, it's everything about how you want to do it. But for me, I like to think about what type of people would be my perfect client, right and then who else works With those perfect quote unquote clients, right, to make it easier, because if not, I'm just throwing things into the air and hoping that hoping that something will stick, you know, and it doesn't mean that I don't work with people that are not my perfect client. Because to me if I can help somebody, that's my goal at the end of the day, right? Even if they don't fit into my little check boxes, right, let's say, um, but I definitely try that, you know, at least 80% of my business is a perfect client that leads to bigger revenue and all the numbers of people like, you know,

what is your message that you use when you reach out to other professionals hoping to network together? Because everyone's busy, so why would someone say Oh, okay, all you know, give up 15 minutes of my time, or 30 minutes of my time to chat with Lorena Tomasini. What are you asking to in order to get that meeting?

Yeah, I tell them you know, have you thought about offering clients, additional services that you don't really need to do the work, but you will look as more of a professional in their eyes because you're referring them to another perfection, right? So you know, it's like that statistic that says that if you buy two or three things from the same person, you're more likely to stick with them. Right? So if you're a realtor, for example, the most you can do sell somebody's house. But if you're now seeing as more of a resource to that client, they're gonna think about you as Hey, that's that realtor that hooked me up with Loretta, that provided me peace of mind with my life insurance, you know, and hear that realtor also referred me to somebody else. So when that person is ready to sell their house or buy another house, or whatever the case may be, they're going to go back to that realtor because not only did you help them with that one transaction, will you help them out with the carpenter or with the electrician or whatever The case might be, right. So it's how can you add value to that client? Right? Well, it might be something you're not necessarily going to see a monetary value from. But it's like how they talk about the what's the lifetime value of that client? Right?

Yeah, absolutely. I want other eight. If there's an agency owner that's listening to this, the same thing happens in agency. So if you're an SEO agency owner, and someone says, Hey, you know, we really need social media help. Do you know anybody? And if you're just kind of, if your response to all of that is always like, Nope, I don't know. I just kind of do my thing. You don't really come across as very resourceful. You don't come across as very connected. And I just don't think that you, I think it damages your your perceived authority. You know, if you're just kind of quietly in your own corner, doing your own little SEO work, that's great to be really good at what you do. But I think if we're truly advocates, For our clients, our customers, we want to be that resource. And so Lorraine, it sounds like that's been your approach. And I would imagine loreena, I could probably ask you about any about any professional service, particularly regionally and you're in South Florida, and you could probably give me a name of someone, I got the perfect person for you to talk with, is that correct?

That's correct. And I'm also the type of person that if I don't, I will find one for you, that I like, you know, be lucky. Reach out to this person, you know. So,

it really is. So as professionals, it's so important that we that we network together that we get to know who truly provides great value, you know, go ahead and vet those service providers in your industry because your customers are going to trust you and they're going to trust that you kind of know what you're talking about. And Lorena, I'm sure that there's people that you've come across that you've also said, who hadn't asked Sure, I'd feel comfortable in referring people to them, because I don't agree with the way that they do business, or I don't particularly care for, you know, that line of, you know, those service lines, for example, you don't think that they're very ethical or good fit for most consumers. And so, you in a sense, you truly are vetting those professionals for your clients. Exactly. So they don't

have to do the heavy lifting, right? I know that I'm going to refer them to so and so this is how they're going to treat them. They want to return their call in a timely manner, and, and so forth, because I see how people treat me. So I think, well, if I were to refer this claim, would I like that type of service for them? Not necessarily, right? Or Yes, oh, this person is great, you know, and that's only something you're going to know enough from an initial phone call, but also, as the months and the weeks pass by, you know that you do your follow up and you do all that type of stuff.

You think about the power of influencer marketing and why people why it works so well. And that is just because, you know, people like recommendations. And so, you know, not too long ago, I saw the movie 1917. And I absolutely loved it. And I raved about it on Facebook. And I had a lot of people respond to that post and say, Oh, good, I'm gonna go see it, or Oh, yeah, it looked really good. Thanks. You know, people love recommendations. And if you can do so, you know, without, you know, like you said, you know, you don't get kickbacks. It's just you're if you're if the audience you're serving is your consumer, and you're willing to make those recommendations, regardless of your benefit, knowing that the better you can serve your clients, the more I mean, it's going to be good for everybody. It's a win win win, as they say. Exactly. Yeah.

And that's how I like to look at my business, right, whether I'm offering something to a business owner, right. How And what I'm offering them be a win win for their business for their employee, right for whatever the case may be that we're whatever solution we're trying to provide. And that's just how I like to work. If I'm referring somebody, it's a win win because this person can help them solve something else, right? And for me, it's a win win, because they're going to be like, hey, this person, learner really helped me out with XYZ, right? So yeah, a lot of times my clients asked me for like, Doctor recommendations, or like, hey, what hospital things like that? So I'm also abreast of like, things locally here in Miami. Yeah.

Yeah. So, I mean, again, you know, if this is a professional who's writing lines of business, if they're a financial planner, which I'm sure you know, some financial planners, if it's a real estate professional mortgage broker, I'm sure you know, some of them as well. You know, most times you can say, Listen, you know, even if you're fairly new, you could say Listen, you know, I'm talking with, I'm talking with a lot of clients. And occasionally, you know, it comes across that, you know, someone is looking to refinance. And I'd really like to learn your approach to that. And if you don't mind, of course, I'd love to share what I do as well. I think you'll find that most professionals will take that meeting and think about this as a business plan as a marketing plan. If you said, you know what my goal is to network with 10 people a week. Now that might sound scary, because you think, oh, that's going to take a lot of time. Yeah, it is going to take a lot of time to talk with 10 new professionals you could network with, but think of what happens now. 40 weeks from now, 52 weeks from now we'll do a full year, right. You have now exchanged information with 520 other professionals who you now and if you do a good job of organizing your network, right? And you've got, you've got a CRM, or you've got a database that you keep, or maybe you even put it on your website, and you say, here are all the real estate professionals I trust. And you act as a curator. And you say, Here's why I recommend this particular person. And that's all you did for a year, your first year, yeah, you're probably not going to be writing as many policies, as the person who's just beaten the street and just retail sales over and over and over again, your first year, is probably not going to be very successful financially. However, Lorina what would you imagine if you had 520 people, professionals that you're able to keep in touch with, and that you're able to network with and trade and exchange services with and that sort of thing? What do you imagine is going to happen in year 234 and beyond?

Yeah, I think if you continue doing that, right. Look of compounding effects, you divide 20, the first year, the next year would be 1040. Right? And so forth. Have you keep that up? Your business would definitely explore, you know, because you're just reaching out to more people. And it's not to say that those people that you're not working with you don't know, that could also be applying. Because they Oh, yeah. You know, so hey, maybe they might not refer you to anybody, but maybe you'll get a sale from just networking with them, you know?

Yeah. You know, what I like about that approach, too, is you're not reaching out to them, saying, hey, I'd like to sell you a policy. You're basically Hey, let's figure out what, what each other does. I do that all the time when I book guests on this podcast, for example, I have bought so many books as a result of interviewing my guests, because I want to learn more or I need their services. I purchased a lot of SaaS platforms. I've got I've, I've hired a lot of people as a result of this. And really, I think that that is one of the smartest things we could do in business today is you need to quadruple your rate or 10 extra rate of networking. Truly,

and I think it's actual networking not like a lot of people say, Oh, I have, you know, 5000 connections on LinkedIn. And I'm like, oh, now we have those 5000 Have you actually just had a phone call with you know, numbers to me don't mean anything. You could have a million followers great. Be owning up to likes to me. That doesn't mean anything. Like some care about that.

I love this. Lorena Tomasini. Oh, I'm so sorry. I know we're in a hard stop right now. Lorena Tomasini. You are on the web at M A L M I N S.com. You write what policies do you write?

Yeah, so I do a lot of health insurance. Individuals and group plans for on the lives I'm a broker as well, which means that I represent different companies. I specialize really on life insurance with living benefits. And those could be permanent plans or term plans depending on the needs. Design in case of a critical illness or chronic illness, you can use part of the death benefit now to help you pay for stuff, write bills, or whatever the case may be. And also do a lot of cash value life insurance, which is an interesting way of supplementing your retirement for the future. Or some people like to do it for investment purposes to them have cash flow that they can use tax free. So yeah, so I work a lot with business owners as well.

I love it.

Well, Lorena Tomasini, you're the Owner of MALM Life and Health Insurance. And you're the Host of 12 Minute Talks, though podcast. Lorena, thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you so much for having me on, Josh.

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