Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sam Goldsmith - Profile Goldsmith Insurance Agency

     So, I'd like to take this blog post to talk a bit about Goldsmith Insurance Agency and it's owner Sam Goldsmith, a personal friend of mine. Sam has always had an entrepreneurial spirit about him and I found it no shock when he told me about his decision to foray into the world of life insurance. I admit, like many folks I had the instant stigma associated with decades long associations with regard to insurance salesmen however I was willing to set aside those preconceived notions and learn more about what Sam did in his business.

Sam Goldsmith
Sam Goldsmith
     One of the immediate benefits is the flexible work schedule. Sam can work from home or from the office should he choose and due to the portable nature of his work structure, he doesn't have to arrest his life to handle business. The use of a secure cloud based solution offers him the ability to access the software required to quote customers and file needed paperwork for any location. It was not a simple set-up, he spent a lot of time scoping out different providers and solutions until settling on what worked best for him but it's not any different for those of us in online retail choosing an all encompassing (at least "best encompassing") software solution to handle orders, contacts, shipments, inventory and accounting etc.
     With his foundation laid Sam eventually launched his website to further his brand and of course add credibility to being an established business allowing him to give further details about himself and his business model while engaging current and potential customers with useful blog articles about insurance, finance, retirement and related topics. 
     Sam is an insurance broker and has access to the lowest prices from a huge assortment of insurance companies, each with their own set of criteria and pricing to afford potential clients a wide selection of choices. While I won't even begin to educate you on the myriad of different types of life insurance policies, he never ceases to amaze me with all the insurance products of which he has intimate knowledge of and how each product fits a specific need based on individual needs. Of course there are the low priced term policies but there's a rather large assortment of investment related insurance options with tax benefits of which I'd never have heard of without him speaking of them. This knowledge of the products is another area of proficiency that sets Sam apart from many agents out there; he lives and breathes this stuff!
     After he explained the quotation process to me and how he really does have the lowest possible prices to offer due to the nature of his brokerage relationships, he further detailed the ease of application and paperwork made rather effortless by the software solution to which he subscribes. Most of the stuff is handled over the phone with a few questions and any other required documents (depending on the type of policy) are simply emailed back and forth taking a lot of the fear and apprehension out of the insurance process...and lets face it...people have that stigma with insurance as being a nuisance which is really simplified by Sam and his process.
Sam Goldsmith
Sam Goldsmith and Family
Above all else, Sam is a family man..father and husband, stays active physically and furthers his education regularly to be able to continue to provide top service. From personal experience, he's always accessible and his word is rock solid.
    While this is a profile about Sam Goldsmith, the insurance brokerage business might appeal to you as well in which case I suggest simply calling Sam to find out more about it. It really isn't the type of business where you have to hit up friends and family as Sam can show you many ways to find insurance leads and in fact the vast majority of Sam's business comes via inbound quotation requests via his website and other websites with which Sam has arrangements.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Behold, the purchasing power of kids

While everyone else was cursing the Chinese for another toxic toy and blatantly skirting the blame that should lie on our testing standards and international manufacturing regulations I heard something that instantly changed my focus. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled some 4.2 million units of Aqua Dots in the US.

Did you hear that? 4.2 MILLION UNITS...for some of you, you still don't know what Aqua Dots are, but if you have a child between age 4-7 the odds are they each can tell you exactly what the product is. As a parent of a 3 and soon to be 5 year old I felt I had to DVR the news footage so I could tell my oldest why she can't have the Christmas gift I promised to buy her.

Back to the 4.2 million units. I can't remember exactly when I saw the first spot for Aqua Dots air but I'd guess mid summer or so. The adds are shown regularly on the kids cartoon channels, strategically placed before their eyes in a manner to brand the product into their little heads for Christmas. And it worked...obviously the manufacturers were planning quite a bit of sales with a recall of 4.2 million units. Reports state that the products sold in various stores anywhere from $17 up to the $29 price on television. Even at $20 each times 4.2 million we get to a robust 80.4 million dollar potential in sales.

So I began to think. I remember the adds appearing and then slowly my oldest daughter began plugging the item with a series of "I want that" every time it aired over the last two months. I know I'm not alone and that children often drive their parents to buy specific items that were branded to them on their cartoon channels.

But what are the overall numbers? Without purchasing a breakdown of the specifics I've come up with the following small example to illustrate my point. Let's assume the following meager numbers in relation to kids. Lets say that you get away with $60 per year for gifts (toys) and $200 per year for clothing a child and $500 per year to feed a child. As a parent I can tell you how ridiculously low the numbers are. That total comes to $760 per child in which case the child has influence over the money being spent. Kids prefer certain foods, clothes and toys and most of the awareness of the products comes from television and friends.

Now, how many kids are we talking about? According to the 2000 US Census the breakdown is as follows:

Under 5 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19,175,798
5 to 9 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,549,505
10 to 14 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,528,072
that many kids.
that is 60,274,808
that is a lot of kids...
at $760ea that's a lot of money
to be exact it comes to $51,864,534,080
4.1 million boxes of aqua dots were pulled from the shelves.
Do you see?
the power?

Real world arbitrage. I can't imagine the cost to promote products on kids networks can touch the prices demanded by networks that target the actual spending demographic of adults 18+.

My intention isn't to write a scholarly article about marketing segments with precise demographic's to prove the rough point that at a minimum...a minimum..children drive the purchase of easily over 50 billion in sales per year.

And I say easily since my numbers were way low and don't account for all the other purchases influenced during a years time.

You want some outside the box marketing ideas? Tap the children segment. Not only do you have the ability to create brand loyalty but you have a chance to make immediate impacts. The real world works a lot like the online don't have the actual purchasing power but they do have tremendous influence on how the family money gets spent.

I'm sure with a little outside the box thinking you'll figure out some ways to get a slice of that pie...I know I've got a few ideas!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Food banned due to choking fears

In an alarming rush to brace for the worst, residents are lined up in front of grocery stores to secure the last remnants of solid food that will be "voluntarily pulled form the shelves" tomorrow.
The reason for the panic stems from research brought forth by concerned citizens who've pointed out that choking deaths outpace those from poisoning as a result of lead exposure.

"The only logical thing to do is to get those potentially deadly solid food products out of the consumers reach. I don't think we can handle any more suffering" stated director Meek Evans of the Consumers Reaching Around Problems organization.
"It's an awful time we live in" chirped Evans. "I remember as a kid we had recess, climbed trees, even got swatted on the butt for acting up in public...but's just sad."

The solid food recall comes on the heels of the recent toy scandals where Chinese manufacturers were using paints and various other toxins in their manufacturing process. Millions of toys were recalled from popular American brand names that were made in China. When interviewed the Chinese manufacturers collectively claim that they simply build what the American companies tell them to build since the American's can't build it themselves due to price pressures.

The most recently memorable recall was of a novelty toy product mass marketed on television ads airing on children targeting networks. The product was Aqua Dots and a reports of sick toddlers began to roll in as a result of a chemical in the coating of the "dots" that was part of the "magic" that allowed the dots to stick together when sprayed with water. Two children in Australia presented confusing symptoms that researchers later identified as a GHB (the date rape drug) compound in the coating of the beads. Soon after a worldwide recall of the product was initiated with over 4 million units being pulled from shelves in the United States just prior to the holiday shopping season.

"With all the dangers of ingesting items not meant for human consumption and the fact parents can't monitor their small children we felt the solid food recall would do nothing more than save lives" added Evans. "Why leave anything to chance?"

Soon other products such as cosmetics and household chemicals will also be pulled from the marketplaces do to the overwhelming data provided that shows they are among the most deadly items ingested accidentally by children every year.
Let's not forget that the Aqua Dots were made in China, whose blatant disregard for product safety is only furthered by the fact parents regularly allow small children access to toys that are intended and labeled as appropriate for older kids.
Evans mentioned that next week we will see the first round of product removals as identified by his C.R.A.P. organization. Topping the list are craft items like modeling glue and Popsicle sticks which cause numerous injuries and possible death.

Companies are lining up to file patents on liquid alternatives to the solid foods we once enjoyed in order to capture a portion of the newly demanded market segment. Some early registrations are Steak Shakes and Pizzzoda (a pizza flavored soda with creamed pepperoni).
This reporter is just glad something was done before it was too late and we were forced to blame the real culprits behind sensationalist media and further more, lax parenting.