Kelly Maxwell is the CEO and founder of Seniors Mutual, the online insurance agency designed to let seniors compare top rates from all of the top-rated companies in life insurance, Medicare insurance, and annuities.
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We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to Valiant CEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Kelly Maxwell: My name is Kelly Maxwell and I started Seniors Mutual during the pandemic to reach more people when we could no longer visit face to face. There were already some telesales insurance agencies but they had very poor customer service and I knew there was an opportunity for me to enter the space. I started Seniors Mutual just as a life insurance agency but we quickly expanded into Medicare insurance and annuities. We operate in 48 states and do everything over the phone and are growing rapidly.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and how did they impact you? How did that lead to where you are today?
Kelly Maxwell: The most influential has probably been Jay Abraham, a world-renowned business coach. He teaches many strategies for business owners to grow their business with existing resources and no additional ad spend. He has taught me to create systems and measure every part of the system and make little changes to make big results. Our referral system is a direct result of his coaching.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us, particularly for businesses. How did the pandemic impact your business? Please list some of the problems that you faced, and how you handled them.
Kelly Maxwell: 2020 and 2021 were both difficult as Seniors Mutual had just started, we were in a lot of debt, and the sales were slow. Many people do not trust online businesses, especially when it’s something as important as a large purchase like life insurance. One of the big problems we faced was getting enough trust from our potential customers.
This was not a problem before the pandemic as the meetings were face to face or in their home and that builds a lot of trust instantly when you can see someone’s face in person. We did not have a lot of reviews online and people usually went with someone they or their family knew instead. A great fix has been automating a review request after every person we talk to on the phone, whether or not they were a sale, and providing awesome service. Many people give us 5-star reviews and have helped the trust factor for people making online decisions.
The pandemic led to a myriad of cultural side effects, including one that was quite unexpected that is informally known as “The Great Resignation”. Did this widespread trend affect you in any way?
Kelly Maxwell: Seniors Mutual has both benefitted and been challenged by the pandemic. While we have had a lot of new agents come one because they wanted to work from home and life insurance was their side job, we have also had a lot of star agents quit the industry altogether to pursue something different. Keeping and maintaining star talent is a struggle for every business right now, and while we can always fill the spots, it is not always with the same e caliber agent.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. How do you feel about this trend? Explain.
Kelly Maxwell: I think this was natural and expected. Businesses need to adapt to keep their clients and their employees. It’s not a bad thing. For Seniors Mutual, working from home over the phone is a huge plus for people who want to do that and the flexibility will be a huge requirement for many employees moving forward.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. That can be quite an alarming rate. What advice would you share to increase employee retention?
Kelly Maxwell: I think maintaining star employees is different for every industry and company, but truly serving your employees like you serve your clients is a must, especially with the younger generations in the workforce. It is so easy to quit and start a new job from home nowadays, and it will only get easier. Information is more available than ever before and people can get a license for many industries quickly from home and start an online job in just a few weeks. My advice would be to truly get inside the mind of your key and best employees and see what they want and need and treat them as good as you treat someone giving you a big sale.
According to a Nature Human behavior study, In 2020, 80% of US workers reported feeling that they have too many things to do and not enough time to do them – a phenomenon known as “time poverty”. What is your take on the work-life balance? Explain.
Kelly Maxwell: I think every feeling we have can be used for us or against us. For work-life balance, it is important as a business owner to take control of your thoughts and don’t let your mind wander into despair and stress. Even if you are not a business owner, set a schedule, write down your daily goals, and be meaningful and conscious about your intentions for the day. I think focusing on what you want and writing it down goes a long way.
A more recent survey by Joblist asked about 3,000 respondents if they’re actively thinking about leaving their job. That survey found that 73% of 2,099 respondents who answered this question on their employment plans are considering quitting. How are you preparing for the future to counter this potentially persistent problem?
Kelly Maxwell: Maintaining star employees is a constant, not something you just fix one day and forget about. In business, you must always innovate and market to your potential customers, but now you must always innovate and market to your employees. This is a natural evolution of our economy and some businesses are starting to get it and others wont and they will suffer.
Thank you for all that, our readers are grateful for your insightful comments! Now, if the Great Resignation isn’t your greatest concern, what is the #1 most pressing challenge you’re trying to solve in your business right now?
Kelly Maxwell: I think we at Seniors Mutual have employee turnover down and is still a concern but the #1 concern we have right now is how to scale and grow 10x to what we are now. Growing pains are real in business and learning how to do that, whether it’s through financing, referrals, or something different is our greatest challenge. I think in the end it’s important to make it fun and always try to serve the people you are meant to serve better than the day before.
Before we finish things off, we do have one last question. If you had $10 Million Dollars to spend in one day, what would you spend it on?
Kelly Maxwell: Real estate! I love real estate and sometimes think I should’ve started a real estate company instead lol!
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kelly Maxwell for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kelly Maxwell or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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