The Insurance Dudes

The Amalgamation of Insurance And Tech With Jeff Pedowitz PART 1

November 22, 2023 The Insurance Dudes: Craig Pretzinger & Jason Feltman Season 3 Episode 650
The Insurance Dudes
The Amalgamation of Insurance And Tech With Jeff Pedowitz PART 1
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to another insightful episode with the Insurance dudes. Today's guest is the legendary Jeff Pedowitz, Founder and CEO of the Pedowitz group, and a best selling author, who joins in to share his experiences and journey.

The episode flows from the transformative changes in technology to adaptations in today's rapidly changing digital world.

Jeff talks about the significance of AI in various industries, with a particular focus on its potential economic growth in the insurance sector. Jeff also expresses his enthusiasm for the upcoming AI tools, sharing his celebratory feelings of how these AI tools have become our ultimate helpers in this day and age!

Join the Idudes and Jeff Pedowitz for a fun conversation filled with ideas to help scale your agencies through strategy, technology, creativity, and execution.

📻 Tune in and start your journey of becoming a Pro Insurance Dude with us today!


The Insurance Dudes are on a mission to find the best insurance agentsaround the country to find out how they are creating some of the top agencies. But they do not stop there, they also bring professionals from other industries for insights that can help agents take their agencies to the next level. 

The Insurance Dudes focus on your agency’s four pillars: Hiring, Training, Marketing and Motivation! We have to keep the sword sharp if we want our agencies to thrive. 

Insurance Dudes are leaders in their home, at their office and in their community. This podcast will keep you on track with like minded high performing agents while keeping entertained!

About Jason and Craig:

Both agents themselves, they both have scaled to around $10 million in premium.  After searching for years for a system to create predictability in their agencies, they developed the Telefunnel after their interviews with so many agents and business leaders.  

Taking several years, tons of trial and error, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on lead spend, they’ve optimized their agencies and teams to write tons of premium, consistently, and nearly on autopilot!

LEARN MORE BY Registering for TUESDAY’s LIVE CALL With The Insurance Dudes!

Bio of Jeff Pedowitz:

Jeff Pedowitz is the CEO of The Pedowitz Group and author of "AI Revenue Architect: Building Your Time Machine For Exponential Sales Growth." Jeff is a trailblazing thought leader, dedicated to pushing the boundaries of revenue generation and pioneering AI-driven strategies for success.

References:
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/pedowitz-group/
Personal
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffpedowitz/
Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/jeffpedowitz/?hl=en

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Craig Pretzinger & Jason Feltman
The Insurance Dudes

Jeff Pedowitz:

So it was several years ago. And we were working with the Detroit Pistons and the palace in Auburn Hills, really great organization. Now, these NBA teams that don't really have a lot of offices, so our team was working in the basement and one of the party sweets, you know, that they use for the games. And it was on Monday or Tuesday night, my team went back and I'm there, I'm finishing up, it's about 730. And I'm gonna go get some food at the hotel, while I walk out of the room, and it's pitch black. Now, I don't really get scared that often. But there's something about being in an NBA arena, crying yourself in pitch black, and not knowing how the hell to get Oh, wow. Um, you know, feeling down the walls. This was the first year we started the company, I still had my Blackberry. So I didn't even have a fancy flashlight on my iPhone, because there was no iPhone and blackberry didn't give off that much light. So I'm stumbling and trying to find my way around, took me 30 minutes to figure out how to get out of the basement and I was worried I was gonna someone's gonna jump out and kill me. And so that was kind of crazy. And I think if I would have had something to predict the way for me light up the path or you know, in this case, of course, AI they show me how to get out of the dark and a strange building. Now would have been a good thing. Yes. So I'm Jeff Pedowitz. And I'm an insurance to their lease for today in honor insurance to insurance

Craig Pretzinger:

dudes are on a mission to escape being handcuffed by our agency.

Jason Feltman:

Now, by uncovering the secrets to creating a predictable, consistent and profitable agency Sales Machine.

Craig Pretzinger:

I am Craig Pretzinger.

Jason Feltman:

I am Jason Feldman. We are agents. We are insurances. Yes. Oh, yeah. Welcome.

Craig Pretzinger:

Jeff, why don't you tell our audience of insurance dudes and dudettes a little bit about yourself. And we'll dive in? Well,

Jeff Pedowitz:

I certainly own a lot of insurance. I buy it both for my business and for my family. So I understand how important that is. But my day job, I actually run the Pedowitz group. And we are a consulting firm that helps sales and marketing leaders drive more revenue, but in a scalable way. So we help them figure out better strategies, better processes, how to leverage technology, and then how to execute at scale. Whether you are an individual insurance agent, you run a big practice or your multibillion dollar corporation. We all can scale better. There's only so many hours in the day, and life's getting harder all the time. Hmm,

Jason Feltman:

yep. So how did you get into that? Well,

Jeff Pedowitz:

that's a it's actually a really great question. This is the third business I've owned. So for all the entrepreneurs that listen to this podcast, I can appreciate you know, just how hard it is to hang your own shingle and build that practice. My first business I owned and operated 35 Subway sandwich shops up in New Jersey, so I am a sandwich. Sorry, this so just in case. During this podcast, I can I can crank out

Craig Pretzinger:

Coco Coco.

Jason Feltman:

did you earn 3535? Wow. Yeah, that was one franchise that I was looking into years long time ago. It

Jeff Pedowitz:

was very cool. So the reason why I start there is I was a teenager and I worked a lot in restaurant business. I was a busboy, maitre d and waiter. And I learned a lot about processes from the from the Greek diner that Greek diners and owners that I worked for, and then working for a franchise like Subway and making sure all the franchisees that we were operating were being consistent and doing things the right way. Because believe it or not, owners, they thought they could do whatever they wanted. They want to make pizza and hamburgers and do all kinds of stuff. Like no, no, this is a sandwich shop. You can't do that. Yeah. So that and then I have always loved computers and software. So after this is the early 90s. So after, you know working in this for seven years and doing this with my dad and my friends razzing me endlessly, because there's software, right to where you're gonna make sandwiches for the rest of your life. You know, the.com era is getting going, internet's going nowhere. So I sold out my shares and our subway operation, and I got into computers and software. So started working computer Associates, and then I worked in marketing, and I worked in consulting. And then I got into sales training. So I did that in the early 2000s. And then we started having kids and raising the family and ended up working for a company called sales net, which was an early competitor of Salesforce. The reason why I love working for them is they had a process engine that they use at the time it was built around sales training methodologies. So there's this consistent theme in mind I process operations technologists game marketing sales. My job at sales net was to recruit sales trainers, like Miller Heiman, or value selling or integrity selling and so on Sandler and get them to build their methodologies inside the software. So in order to recruit them and generate leads, we ended up discovering a company called Eloqua, which was the first marketing automation platform that hit the market back in 2000 2001. And I fell in love with the whole platform application I had everything that I loved and had a process that was software was marketing sales. So I ended up going to work for them. And I became their first head of professional services. And we built out a lot of practices, help train either early partners on how to actually drive demand generation, and I saw them growing their businesses with IP that me and our team were coming up with and I'm like, hey, I can do this. Yeah. So yeah, so left, Alcoa started Pedowitz group and have not looked back 1617 years later.

Jason Feltman:

Wow, super cool. What crazy changes have happened in the last 1617 years. It'd be a part of it that whole time. So so cool.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So much. Um, well, I mean, as I mentioned, when we started, the smartphone has not come out yet. Yeah, we do that year. So that's a big one, right? Yeah. And I had my Crackberry I guess, like everybody see it, where there was no tick tock, there was no Instagram. YouTube had just started. Facebook was three years old, there was no Twitter yet. So there was no streaming services, right. So a lot, a lot has changed in just the past 15 years or so. And that, of course, and that was even while ai ai was around not like now, you know, not not all the stuff that we're seeing and the world. So, yeah, and that the buying cycle was already starting to change. And I think those of us that are in sales, were already starting to see the shift. It didn't matter what we sold. But people were engaging more digitally. By this point, Amazon had established itself really well. Netflix was not as dominant back in 2007. But certainly it was taking a good run. And people were starting to get used of getting what they want when they want it right now. And people started using the search engines more using the internet more. And for those of us in sales, who we were used to building relationships, meeting people at the dinner table or going to the golf course, or taking them out for a dinner, we had did more that now a trade shows versus in a more intimate way. And we got further and further removed from our customer, because they were able to make more and more decisions on their own. And so as technology enters our world, as different generations buy differently, and engage differently for those of us that are in sales and marketing or trying to build our businesses, and whereas our own comfort level with with technology, because we certainly grew up very differently, at least, you know, without me giving my age away, I grew up very differently. So, you know, the ability to reach our customers and leverage technology to do especially when we're not as familiar or comfortable with technology. That's that's a challenge.

Jason Feltman:

Yeah. How are businesses handling that now, especially in the last couple years, to your point of AI and stuff, I mean, the growth that's happening now in computers and technology is incredible. A

Jeff Pedowitz:

lot of different ways, you know, and obviously, the tools and some of the things that you do are going to be different if you're a solo printer or have a small practice versus you have 100 agents working for you the budget that you have, the decisions that you make are proportional. But it does start with data, and science and moving away from gut feel. Now relationships, of course, are always going to be important in our business. We live and die by our relationships. But in order to get the relationship we have to get in front of them first, we have to be able to build value, we have to do that. And it does start with data. That I don't mean going out and buying a bunch of lists and spamming everybody or uploading a bunch of names from a trade show. We might as well just pick up the phone and start cold calling and you know, maybe we'll get an appointment every 1000 calls or Sally, it's just not practical. I'm talking about data that comes from people searching for things on our website, third party content, engaging with our content, starting to build up audiences on social channels, maybe it's LinkedIn, maybe generating followers on on Instagram. And you know, for those of us that are older, we look at some of these channels. It feels weird. That's how we used to work. We you know, we would meet people at shows to get information from the radio or the television and newspaper, this whole concept of an influencer or social media or likes, what does that even mean? But here's the reality, all these kids that are coming into the workforce, guess what, they're going to get to buy insurance, right? They're even getting a car insurance, they're going to get their first home, they're going to start their life cycles, just like we are, and so most for various stages lifecycle, so we have to adjust. So let's start with data, first of all, second, is really looking at processes that you may or may not have in place so that you can start to scale your business. I mean, you can have processes even if you're one person, you know, how do we get everything done that we need to get done in a day if we don't have checklists, and procedures and things that we can follow. And with tools like AI can help us to start automate some of these things that are time consuming, I mean, writing bids, writing proposals, correspondents doing research, we do this every day takes time, right AI can do this, these things in segments, and frees up our time. So we can get another round at often or so we can get in front of another customer. So those are some of the important things. There is a lot of technology out there. And it can be easily to get overwhelmed by it. But start off with some basics. How about even a cheap CRM system, you know, that can manage your relationships, they're not that expensive, you can get a few seats on Salesforce, you can go with a HubSpot. There are so many other platforms. And of course, there are specific CRM platforms for insurance and financial services. And getting some kind of marketing capability even if it's email CI to mail, something like that. Or you want to go with a Marketo or parda, HubSpot and act on. Again, these tools are very reasonable overall, they allow you to start building marketing campaigns, doing email nurtures, they allow you to start scoring your activity of your leads. So Okay, today's my sales call day, instead of just making 20 calls, it'd be awesome if I can call the 20 people that I know, are really interested in there and market. So those are some of the basic building blocks, right? And then, of course, we get into this whole world of AI. What does it even mean? You know, are the machines coming? Are we talking about our situation here? We all have jobs? It goes on and on? Yeah, no. We're not going to lose our jobs. But I'll tell you this, we're gonna lose our jobs to people that can use AI better than weekend 100%. Yep. You know, that's for sure. And so it doesn't matter if you're 22. And you're just getting started. And you just got your series seven, or you've been doing this for 30 years, and you've got a built up client, and you got people doing it. You gotta learn how to use us. Right, because your competitors are already starting to use it. They're gonna outpoint you're they're gonna outmaneuver you and they're gonna beat you.

Craig Pretzinger:

Yep. The people that are using it are Netflix. The people that aren't or blockbuster. Yep. Really? At the end of the day, dude, they're blocking you if you aren't, if you do not have a chat, GBT account, you are blockbuster.

Jeff Pedowitz:

And it's free. What's your excuse? 20 hours a month? It's not that expensive. If you go with the premium version? I'm sure I'm right. Bear that.

Craig Pretzinger:

Yeah, it's pretty inexpensive. And it's pretty amazing. Just to help with ideas, you know, you come up with, even at the very smallest level, I think it could, it could be really be useful.

Jason Feltman:

Even to just get your toes wet. You don't even have to use it for business. But you have to understand these concepts that are now introduced into our landscape that will be on the forefront of what's happening a few years from now in all businesses, right. Like the last thing you want to do is enter into the conversation after the conversations been going for five years.

Craig Pretzinger:

Yeah. Well, you don't want to be grandpa trying to be cool at the kid's birthday party. Right. But no. By, right. So there's, yeah, yeah.

Jeff Pedowitz:

So So I started my career 1992 There's been two generational forces before this, the the rise of the Internet, right, and now as an outcome of that search and social media, the smartphone, and now generally of AI. Now I'm specifically saying generative AI and not AI because AI has actually been around since the 50s. Alan Turing manufacturers and big companies and you know what, even insurance actuaries have been using AI for a long time to figure out how to price and set up brokerage. But on on our side, the brokerage side, the sales side, no, this is very new to us. Right. But so, for the platform, I chat GPT this is going to be once in a generation. And whether you go to McKinsey, or you know, movies or an ESA they're all talking about this is going to be trillions, trillions of dollars of economic growth and impact related to AI in general AI in the next five to 10 years. That's going to impact every single industry including insurance.

Craig Pretzinger:

I Hopefully the growth isn't just because it printing more money.

Jeff Pedowitz:

But certainly with the all the risks, right? If I was an insurance agent, trying to sell risk mitigation, I mean that there's there's a lot. So if you're doing cyber, you know, some of those types of policies, they're gonna go up adding AI writers, privacy and compliance, security, Sarbanes Oxley, I mean, you know, there's there's going to be big money in this area. And, you know, the challenge though, with a chat GPT. It is accessible. It's a fantastic as amused, but it is public. And so anything that you put in can go into the public training data. So you really have to be careful that you're not putting in confidential client data or personal identifiable information in what you're trying to get a quote, you're trying to do some bid. He can't put in the person's name, social security number and all their stuff. Right? You have to genericized it first, before you put in it. Yeah.

Craig Pretzinger:

You hear that? Jason? You can't have it order your food and your credit card and

Jason Feltman:

keep telling him? No, no, no.

Craig Pretzinger:

So I'm curious, because you're talking to so many different businesses and business owners of all different sizes. What is something that you would see like the biggest mistake you see across the board, amongst many different sized agencies as they try to? Or I'm sorry, businesses as they try to scale, like from the solopreneur, all the way up? Like do people make the similar mistakes? Yeah.

Jeff Pedowitz:

Over and over again. First of all, the technology itself is not a strategy, right? Yes. You know, you should be experimenting and getting your team on chat CBT and starting new these AI applications, but what without a plan, what is it that you want your team to do? You know, what's your use case, to increase productivity? By trying to improve your sales motion, you can try and prove you by the market and you're trying to come up with new products. Don't try and boil the ocean, come up with a few good use cases that even without AI, this would be things that you would talk about as a business executive anyway, because they're, they're impacting your business, and then ask yourself, if I were to apply AI strategically to this problem, what would that look like? That's, that's the best place to start. Second, you got to get the data, right. At the end of the day, yes, you know, we talked about AI is incredibly powerful, and it can blow your mind away. But it's still just software, it's machine. And then the machine is going to work with the data that we put in and then spit it out at lightspeed. So if you're putting in bad data, and again, I'm taking time to clean up your data, you're gonna get a lot of crap out. And if you're gonna start making major business decisions, economic decisions based upon something AI tells you to do, and you start with bad data, and then you don't validate what it's telling you, you just blindly follow it. Well, you know, shame on you, because you're gonna be upside down in a hurry. But I'd say those are probably the two biggest areas is the lack of a plan, and not getting the data, right.

Jason Feltman:

And I love what you said about putting the technology first because it's like a theme that I've seen, just in general with businesses is a new technology will come out and it's like, we're gonna get this thing and then we're gonna figure out like, we're gonna use this thing to just do something. Right without having that plan.

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