Insurance/Banking Industry

IMPAX Corporation is proud to launch the IMPAX Insurance & Banking Practice, its first industry-specific practice group. The practice will be operated by long-time partner firm, Performance Builders, Inc. and headed by president, Ira Kasdan who will act as Practice Leader.

Although the creation of the practice is new it formalizes a relationship and a focus that have been adding value for sales people and relationship managers in Insurance and Banking for the past eight years.

Performance Builders began working with and representing IMPAX in 2000. After several years teaching and coaching the IMPAX Process in a range of industries, Ira became intrigued with the state of sales performance and the special selling challenges in the Banking and Insurance industries which include:

  • Intense competition
  • Products that are difficult to differentiate, often complex, and easily commoditized
  • The importance of relationships and the especially strong role they play in the buying process
  • An incumbent you must displace in order to win in virtually every account
  • The need to also sell the customer to underwriters in your own organization or the insurance or financial markets

He became convinced the IMPAX Process could play a critical role in helping leading agents, brokers, and financial institutions and their sales people to clearly separate themselves from their numerous competitors and drive strong organic growth. He worked with IMPAX to create specialized versions of IMPAX workshops and implementation tools specifically for:

  • Producers and account/client executives in the Insurance industry
  • Lenders and relationship managers in the Banking industry

Since 2005, Ira has developed an extensive client base including:

  • Over 35 agencies and brokers across the country ranging from small local agencies to large regionals and nationals
  • Community, regional, and national banks nationwide

In January 2013, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers announced Ira as a Council Select Consultant (CSC), one of only nine consultants The Council as carefully screened, vetted and recommend to their members.

Craig Nelson recently joined the IMPAX Insurance & Banking Practice. He is a former client whose background includes over 25 years in producer, sales manager and agency principal roles. He has firsthand experience applying the IMPAX Process in risk management and P&C sales as well as managing the implementation of the IMPAX Process in an agency environment.

Biography

Ira Kasdan PhotoIra Kasdan

Practice Leader, IMPAX Insurance & Banking Practice
President, Performance Builders, Inc.

Ira Kasdan combines 25+ years as a successful sales executive with extensive instructional design and training experience to help leading businesses increase prospecting activity and effectiveness, differentiate themselves by how they sell, and reduce time to full productivity for new hires. He has directly coached hundreds of sales professionals, frontline sales managers, and senior sales executives in applying selling and sales coaching best practices to live opportunities in their key accounts. Ira has also designed and facilitated over 60 calling events including one-day “Prospecting Days” and week-long “Cold Calling Boot Camps” generating thousands of appointments with prospects for his clients.

Through Performance Builders, Inc. (PBI), a sales performance improvement consulting firm Ira established in 2000, he serves regional, national, and global organizations including U.S. Bank, American Express, Microsoft, 3M, DuPont, Motorola, GE, Valspar, and IBM to name a few.

Since 2004 PBI has built a track record of success and rapidly expanding presence in the insurance industry with clients that include:

National brokers Aon, Arthur J. Gallagher, Wells Fargo Insurance Services, Marsh
Regional brokers Marsh & McLennan Agency, RJF, Rutherfoord, Barney & Barney, Bostonian Group, Seitlin, Insurance Alliance, Roach Howard Smith & Barton, Senn Dunn, Brower Insurance Agency, Cobbs, Allen & Hall, Insurance Partners, The Crichton Group, M3, KeenanSuggs, NIA Group, Fee Insurance Group, Prescott Pailet Benefits, Progressive Benefit Solutions, Security Insurance Services, Haake Companies, Van Gilder
Bank-owned brokers BancorpSouth Insurance Services, The Harry A. Koch Co., First Insurance Group
Networks Assurex Global, MarketSource Agency Network, IBA West
Consultants Reagan Consulting
Carriers Chubb
Banks Crawford County Bank, Farmers & Mechanics State Bank, First National Bank of Omaha, First National Bank of North Platte, First National Bank of South Dakota, First National Bank of Fremont, First National Bank of Columbus, First State Bank, Fremont National Bank, Houghton State Bank, Landmands Bank, Shelby County State Bank, Sibley State Bank, Platte Valley State Bank, US Bank, Washington County Bank and York State Bank


Other notable activities and accomplishments in the insurance industry include:

  • Council Select Consultant for The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers
  • Featured speaker, “Leading the Relationship Selling Process: Best Practices of the Best Leaders” for US Bank at its National Leadership Conference, September 2012
  • Keynote speaker “Market Leader or Bottom Feeder?” for Insurance Brokers & Agents of the West (IBA West) at InsurFest in San Diego, October 2012
  • Helping five regional brokers to implement Learning Paths to cut “time to proficiency” for their young producers

Prior to starting PBI, Ira:

  • Founded and ran Business Writers & Trainers, Inc. (BWTI), which provided custom training solutions for over 60 major corporations from 1981 to 1994
  • Sold BWTI to Carlson Companies in 1994, where he spent nearly seven years as a Vice President responsible for all training for 1,500 Carlson Wagonlit Travel operations across North America, headed a multi-million dollar Business Process Re-engineering project, and later ran the Custom Learning business within Carlson Marketing Group, a billion dollar marketing services company

Ira resides with his family in Minnetonka, Minnesota and in his spare time is an amateur weightlifter (and former Minnesota State Bench Press Champion), a professional boxing enthusiast, and an avid fan of the TV show Hell’s Kitchen.

 

Craig J. Nelson, ARM, CPCU, CIC, ERMP

Craig is an accomplished, versatile sales leader with proven ability to lead and oversee all aspects of business development. He is recognized by other senior leaders and clients alike for his ability to envision and achieve strategic directives, empower sales efforts to increase top-line revenue, expand brand identity, and build client and employee satisfaction to optimize profit. He has proven effectiveness as a broker and as a risk management advisor to both C-Suite executives and risk managers. His background encompasses 10 years as an entrepreneur coupled with the demonstrated ability to lead a large office for one of the world’s top three brokers. Craig is a relationship-oriented leader, particularly skilled in resolving complex problems, from business start-ups to turn-around situations.

A recognized expert in providing risk management advisory services, including but not limited to insurance-related solutions, Craig’s personal client assignments have included a number of Fortune 1000 and equivalent companies, ranging from media companies, to large retailers, cable television companies, restaurant chains, financial institutions, hospitality companies, manufacturers, public storage, and ski area operators, among others. He has taught classes on a variety of industry subjects, ranging from Certificates of Insurance to Understanding How to Use Lloyd’s of London. Craig’s results-oriented, direct, yet approachable and collaborative work style has helped individuals and teams accomplish more than they thought possible prior to his involvement.

Highlights of some key accomplishments include:

  • While leading the office for a top 3 broker, he led the sales efforts which resulted in over $10 Million in new business in one year, while personally contributing wins with two brand-name retail chains to the team’s success.
  • At this same firm, he achieved 8% growth in revenue (to $54 Million) despite a late start in the year and a short supply of talented sales people. Improved NOI from 5% to 24% in one year.
  • As the COO of the insurance brokerage practice for a multi-billion dollar consulting firm, he rebuilt the floundering service platform, significantly bolstering employee performance and morale, and branding the competitive advantage of the insurance brokerage practice internally and externally.
  • Produced over $1,000,000 in new business revenue in his first 12 months at one insurance brokerage firm, exceeding his personal goal by over 40%.
  • Created the dominant provider of insurance and risk management services to cable television and related companies, running profitably and with zero debt for 10 successive years, prior to sale.

Education

Craig has an M.B.A. in finance from St. Mary’s College of California and a B.A. in English literature from Brigham Young University. He has earned the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Risk Management


Events
IMPAX Process Workshop
A Proven Method to Increase Selling Efficiency & Effectiveness


Reasons to Attend

The IMPAX Process is a proven strategic selling and account management approach which leading agencies and brokers are using to:

  • Drive organic growth
  • Create competitive differentiation and advantage
  • Promote a more proactive sales culture
  • Sell value rather than just product and price
  • Win more larger accounts/Increase sizes of average account and average book
  • Defend existing accounts with less discounting
  • Help newer producers to validate sooner

What You Will Learn

Tailored specifically for our industry, the IMPAX Process Workshop will provide you with practical strategies, tactics and tools to:

  • Gather and analyze data and information to understand the account’s business needs
  • Convert contacts into coaches who want you to win
  • Gain access to senior level decision makers who can buy your value
  • Develop and deliver compelling business/ relationship presentations to senior executives that differentiate you from competition
  • Get agreement on action plans to advance your sales cycle

Dates

  • July 15-17 – Cleveland, OH
  • October 15-17 – Dallas, TX

Webinars

 

Why Attend the Webinars

You’ve invested a lot to build your agency. You have to grow to protect it.

This series can show you how to:

  • Win more business by quoting less
  • Create the more proactive sales culture you’ve always wanted
  • Provide a track for new producers to be more productive faster

Webinar #1 – Creating Differentiation & Growth Without Breaking the Bank

Thursday, April 25th, 10:00 AM PDT

  • It’s hard to stand out in our industry where most agencies sound alike & new capabilities are quickly copied
  • It’s also hard to grow without a visible and sustainable point of difference
  • How you sell (the way you sell) can be a more visible & powerful differentiator than what you sell
  • What’s more, it’s affordable, sustainable & difficult for others to copy

You may now watch the RECORDED version of Webinar #1.


 

Webinar #2 – Filling Sales Pipelines & Keeping Them Full

Tuesday, May 20th, 10:00 AM PDT

  • A full sales pipeline solves a lot of problems
  • Everyone has good intentions, but too few proactive calls to prospects actually get made
  • There’s a proven approach to solve this for good
  • It runs counter to what most in our industry have been taught & it can actually make prospecting fun

 

Webinar #3 – Being More Persuasive; A Guide to Agency Owners & Producers

Thursday, August 6th, 10:00 AM PDT

  • Agency owners and producers are both selling all the time
  • Yet few have ever been formally been taught how to make an effective sales presentation
  • You can learn and quickly apply the same approach top performing sales people use
  • Think of what you can achieve


Prospecting Days

 

Overview

  • 6- to 8-hour virtual event 
  • Learn by doing approach – master cold calling skills by scheduling meetings with real prospects
  • Event structure that consistently produces desired results
  • Call scripts, responses to objections, & other customizable tools
  • Individual & group coaching
  • Tracking & reporting format
  • Team & competitive elements
  • Facilitation by experienced cold calling coach
  • Repeatable & sustainable approach to promote proactive prospecting

Audience

  • Sales people responsible for generating new business 
  • Up to 20 participants per event

Example: 16 sales people in Ohio secured 101 meetings with prospects during their recent Prospecting Day

Dates

  • May 23, 2013
  • August 9, 2013
  • November 7, 2013

 


Articles


Assurex Global Partners Differentiate Their Firms by How They Sell

Expertise to Help You

Grow Your Business

The Council Announces Council Select Consultants

Look Who’s Talking


Client Comments


"Like many in our industry, RJF Agencies had struggled to create a consistent sales process.   Prior to the IMPAX Sales Process, we could not determine exactly where an account was in the sales process, how we could create differentiation, or convey our value proposition. We were challenged to move our sales team from an insurance product sale to a business solution sale. We struggled to create a value sale in an industry that has largely been price and product driven.

The IMPAX sales process not only makes sense—it uses common sense. By clearly understanding the client’s business objectives, strategies and issues, we can align meaningful solutions to help serve their business and align our value to their need. By clearly understanding their risk or benefit challenges and their broker selection criteria, we know what issues are most relevant to the client. We are able to determine meaningful solutions, as well as show and get credit for our value beyond an insurance product or price. We are viewed and retained as a true trusted advisor."

– Bill Jeatran, CEO, RJF

"Barney & Barney engaged Ira Kasdan and the IMPAX process earlier this year. This was the first formalized sales training our producers have ever received and several were skeptical of its ability to drive revenue growth for the firm. After putting 90 producers through the training just a few months ago we have experienced many benefits. We now have a definitive sales process, a common language around our prospecting and sales efforts and a consistent look and feel to our presentations. Most importantly we have seen an immediate and significant return on our investment. IMPAX has now become part of our culture and is helping us to continue our growth during this challenging economic time. We grew at over 10% in 1Q which is directly attributable to our increase in new business since our retention line is shrinking due to the economic conditions."

– Trindl Reeves, Principal, Director of Business Development, Barney & Barney LLC

“Having recently completed the IMPAX Process Workshop, I can honestly say it’s the first truly innovative sales training idea I’ve seen in 40 years.  Instructor Ira Kasdan is intense, focused and fun.  The rapid paced presentation illustrates not only why the system works but more importantly, exactly how to do it.  Thoroughly experienced in the techniques, Ira shows you everything from the identification of your “coach” to overcoming objections and winning over (or dispatching) the all-important gatekeeper.  While the presentation itself is compelling, the best part is that when put in practice in the real world, it works!”

–  Dave Kotary, Principal, Brower Insurance Agency

“I have worked with Ira Kasdan and IMPAX and have been very impressed on how logical and how easy it has been to implement into the IMPAX sales process. Many of our most successful Partners are using Ira’s sales system with great success. I have heard 50 to 70% success ratio on getting an appointment with a prospect and 50 to 60 % success on closing the sale. Many of our firms are seeing organic growth because of IMPAX’s proven methodology and they have reduced the validation period for new producers.”

– Ric Mazon, VP of Partner Services, Assurex Global