The Trinity Strand Trail has Arrived!

We have some exciting news to share…. the Trinity Strand Trail has finally made its way to Laser Image’s backyard! The slab of concrete behind our headquarters that will be a trail for bikers, runners or walkers to enjoy has officially been poured and we are so excited for the entire trail’s completion. Check out the picture below to see the trail’s progress.

We recently had local graffiti artists create a mural on the back of our building for all trail-goers to enjoy. So if you’re walking, biking or jogging by, don’t forget to stop, smile, take a picture and hashtag “#LaserImage!” We look forward to seeing pictures of Dallasites out and about taking advantage of this great addition to our city.

We also plan to have a bike repair area for anyone to use, as well as a great patio for our employees to enjoy throughout the day!

This 7.8-mile non-motorized hike and bike trail along the original Trinity River watercourse, adjacent to Downtown Dallas should be nearing completion soon! Stay updated on its progress by following us on Facebook and Twitter or the Trinity Strand Trail on Facebook.

How to be a Follow-Up Pro

The Follow-Up. It’s like an art form, and yet it’s incredibly crucial to your success as an insurance agent. If you don’t know how to effectively follow up, you can expect to lose potential leads. But, if you do, it opens a whole new door that will allow you to acquire more leads than you ever imagined.

Your leads are most likely on lead lists of other insurance agents. Learn how to make an impression and snag your potential customer from the competition by being the best at following up. We’ve put together a guide to help you through the follow-up process:

Identify the most appropriate message for your prospect. You should learn which is the most relatable platform for delivering that message. For example, if you have a lead that is from an older generation they might not use anemail account on a regular basis. These generations prefer personal touches and would instead want you to pick up the phone and call them, or write a letter. Vice versa, younger generations don’t really like to be called. They would prefer you to email them, send a text message or possibly even use social media to reach out to them. It’s essential you meet your potential client’s needs where they are comfortable communicating.

Communicate what they need. Your message should resonate with what your lead is interested in and is able to understand. Each of your prospects has different needs and concerns so it’s important you tackle their particular issue. It’s critical to address these needs in your follow-up email, call or letter. Whether it’s a younger generation needing to sign-up for life insurance for the first time or older generations needing to increase their health insurance. You need to make it personal.

Find the fine line between enough and too much. You don’t want to follow-up so much that your prospects become angry or annoyed with you. You need to be consistent but not too aggressive with your lead, and yes, it’s a very fine line to distinguish.. Start with following up monthly, and make adjustments as needed based on the generation you’re trying to reach. Ensure you’re consistent by setting calendar invites or creating a spreadsheet of all your leads to help you stay organized.

Another great method to stay on top of your leads is by taking advantage of our unique software, LeadForce. This lead generation and distribution software powerhouse will ensure that you not only find all possible leads, but that you never lose any. You’re also able to order direct mailings for those follow-ups that might not be interested in email or phone calls. Learn more about this innovative software:

What other tried and true methods have you found work for following up with potential leads? Share with us!

Wellness at Work: Healthy Habits

Creating healthy habits in your personal and professional life will help you invest in your number one asset: your health and overall wellness. It’s not always the big changes holding you back from your ideal health; many times it’s the little things that need adjusting in order to make a noticeable change. When you adjust small habits in a positive way, you are more likely to successfully tackle the big changes that need to be made in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. We’ve put together the most common “minor changes” people need to make habits in order to lead a healthier life:

More water, less soda or juice. Fruit juice is actually full of sugar – and we all know the dangers of soda. Two thirds of our bodies are made of water, so it’s important to continue to replenish the water we lose throughout the day.womandrinkingwater Headaches, stress, inability to focus and lack of strength can all be attributed to dehydration. So, how much water should you be drinking per day? A general rule is to divide your body weight in half and drink that many ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces of water per day – even more if you’re participating in strenuous activity.

Get some rest. The importance of sleep goes behind boosting your mood or banishing tired eyes. Getting the recommend amount of sleep can have positive benefits to your heart health, weight, mind and more. Researchers have found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived. Not only did those that were sleep deprived lose less weight, they actually lost muscle mass. It is recommend that adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to actually benefit from sleep. So go ahead and feel free to take that nap or head to bed early, you need it!

Exercise. walking2We’re still talking small habits here. This doesn’t mean to need to jump into a full-blown exercise regimen tomorrow; it just means you need to move around each day to get your blood flowing and muscles moving. The best part about working out? You get immediate results such as elevated mood and mental acuity. Try to take 30 minutes each day and take a walk, hike, jog or dance – anything that gets you moving and active. Did you know that pushing a vacuum for an hour can burn up to 239 calories? Talk about two birds with one stone.

Eat a good breakfast. It’s true; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to better work performance. It can also help
you maintain a healthy weight since eating a nutritious breakfast makes you less likely to pick up a bad snack between breakfast and lunch. Go for something high in fiber and rich in vitamins and nutrients!

It takes 21 days to form a new habit – so if you start today you only have 20 more days! These small changes will help improve how you feel and look in a drastic way. Are there any small habits that have changed your life in a big way? We’d love to hear!

Laser Image CEO Barbara Morris Named ’20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management’ in 2014

Laser Image is so proud to congratulate CEO Barbara Morris for her recognition as one of the ’20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management’ for 2014. This award is given by the Sales Lead Management Association.

The 20 women were picked by a panel of judges based on a combination of sales lead management, marketing and sales activities. Board positions, authorships and relevant presentations were also taken into account.  You can find Barbara Morris’ nomination here:

Morris is honored to be named alongside these smart, strong women that are major influencers in the sales lead management industry. Last December, both Morris and co-founder and President Chele Butler were recognized by SLMA as two of the ‘Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management’ for 2013. Everyone at Laser Image is so proud of both Butler and Morris’ hark work and dedication to sales lead management and being at the forefront of industry trends.

Throughout the past 25 years at Laser Image, Barbara Morris and her loyal employees have strengthened and cultivated the company into the success that it is today. Morris wants to thank everyone at Laser Image for their continued hard work and dedication that truly makes the company so successful.

“The 20 women to watch in sales lead management create wealth for their employers and the companies they lead, and we are pleased to spotlight their accomplishments,” said SLMA’s CEO James W. Obermayer. SLMA is an organization with a membership of 8,000 sales and marketing professionals worldwide that aims to help companies become successful in the critical business process of managing sales leads.

Congratulations, Barb! We are so proud of all of your hard work! Also, keep on the lookout; Morris will be featured in an interview on SLMA radio in upcoming months!

Beginners Guide to the Cloud

You’ve probably heard of “the cloud” at least a few times if you have a phone, or if your company uses one. If you’re not sure what it is, it can sound like a place to hide important documents in the sky or a black hole where data seems to be stored for “just in case” scenarios. Well, you’re not exactly wrong if that’s what you think. If you use any kind of social media, online data drive or are taking advantage of iCloud on your iPhone you’re already using this trendy technology—even if you don’t realize it.

To give you a good handle on the cloud, we’re going to break down exactly what it is and how you can take advantage of this awesome new technology.

What is the cloud?

Similar to your guesses that it’s just “something out there in the sky,” it’s not actually a physical thing. The cloud is a network of servers, and each server has a different function. Some servers use cloud services to run applications or to deliver services and others are responsible for storing data. If you want to break it down to the simplest form, saying that something is stored in the cloud means that it is stored on the Internet. Back in the day, we stored everything on a hard drive or a floppy disk, but today we can watch movies, see pictures or view documents that are not located on our computer – they’re on the cloud.

How is the cloud used?

An example of delivering a service is Adobe moving its creative services to the cloud. It’s no longer an option to buy Photoshop or Illustrator in a box set, you must now pay a monthly subscription to use the services and you can download the programs from Adobe Creative Cloud.

When you store items to a cloud service, it’s typically used as a storage place. For example, if you take pictures on your phone you have the photo on your phone’s internal memory. Then, when you upload it to iCloud, Instagram or Dropbox you are uploading your photo to the cloud.

The cloud has become part of our daily lives. Just remember – if you’re not storing the data on your phone or computer directly, it’s probably being harbored somewhere in a cloud service.  This allows your phone and computer to run faster and more efficiently. It also allows you to have multiple copies of important documents and data in the event that your phone or computer should unfortunately crash or be stolen.

Don’t fear the cloud, it’s not as abstract as you might think—and it has many benefits that can help you in your personal and professional life. If you’re already familiar with the cloud and using it, what is your favorite benefit?

Top Five Mobile Apps for Insurance Agents

If there’s one thing we know for sure about insurance agents it’s that they’re always on the go. This means that it’s important for agents to have everything they need to find leads, close the sale and stay organized in the palms of their hands. There are quite a few mobile applications available to insurance agents, but how will they know which ones are worth their limited time? We put together a list of essential apps that agents can use to become more efficient, ranging from workload management to weather forecast.

CamScannerCamScanner. This free application turns smartphones into portable document scanners and filing cabinets. This means that instead of lugging paperwork everywhere you go, information is at the tips of your fingers. Agents can scan articles, agreements, business cards and coupons. CamScanner also allows users to back up, sync, edit and share documents on the go via email or across smartphones, tables, PCs and the Cloud.

CardMunchCardMunch. When you receive a business card, you have the best intentions of inserting that person’s contact into your phone—but sometimes the card gets lost in the hustle and bustle of busy schedules. CardMunch allows you to quickly snap a picture of someone’s business card and the app will automatically transcribe the contact info and save that person into your smartphone’s contacts. The app says that every business card submitted is edited and reviewed by the company’s human workforce to ensure complete accuracy.

FastApp Digital Business SolutionFastApp. All in one has never been simpler.  Everything you need to sell and close an insurance deal is incorporated into FastApp, which allows agents to simplify and accelerate their deals.  Created by Laser Image, this application auto-fills information wherever possible and ensures the application is in good order at the time of submission. E-signatures, credit card acceptance and check scanning help to complete sales on the spot via the safe signature platform from DocuSign. It also includes a rate calculator to provide instant insurance quotes and a marketing collateral hub for training and marketing purposes.

HailSpotHailSpot. Launched by Weather Decision Technologies, this mobile product is designed to track and report hail sizes. Users are able to obtain accurate, immediate data regarding size and date of hail fall for an exact address from the weather database. This product utilizes built-in smartphone location services to automatically geo-locate the device and indicate with a pin, an exact location or address.

WazeWaze. Insurance agents will never be late to an appointment again with the help of traffic and navigation app, Waze. Users are able to see driving conditions as well as what other friends are saying about local roads. This app also helps drivers navigate to the cheapest gas station on their route because of the help of other ‘Wazers’ who share their road trip information.

Insurance agents: take our word for it when we say these apps will help you become more organized and efficient! We’d love to hear what other mobile applications help you with your day-to-day work.

Wellness at Work: Healthy Eating

Now that you know how to workout while at the office with our desk exercise blog post, it’s time to learn how to eat healthy when you’re at work. The quote, “you cannot ‘out-exercise’ a bad diet,” is definitely true. If you want to get to your optimal health level it’s important to improve what you’re putting in your body first.

While many people report it’s easy for them to workout at least three times per week, it’s not as easy for people to make the right choices when it comes to food. Whether it’s due to lack of knowledge, a busy schedule or your colleagues consistently asking you to eat out, people are just not eating how they should. Because of this realization in our own office, we’ve put together a guide to eating right while you’re at work.

Always start your day with a healthy, hearty breakfast. You’ve heard it over and over because it’s true: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast provides energy that is required for your body to function efficiently at the start of the day, and it also makes it easier for you to control your diet throughout the day.  Wake up a bit earlier and prepare breakfast at home. Most of the breakfast options on the go are unhealthy or full of sugar. Some great breakfast options include oatmeal with fruits and nuts, slices of whole-wheat toast, a cup of yogurt or granola cereal.

 Reduce coffee, increase water. We know; coffee is addicting. However, in excess quantities it can be detrimental to your health because it contains caffeine. On top of that, coffee can be high in calories when you add sugar and cream. Try exchanging your coffee with more water. Many times, if you feel hungry your body is actually dehydrated and asking for water. A healthy intake of water throughout the day will increase your health and reduce food cravings—especially those that are unhealthy.

Eat a healthy lunch. The best option would be to bring your lunch with you. This allows you to really know what you’re putting into your body. The ideal lunch would include low-sodium meats, vegetables and whole grain foods. If you’re not able to bring a lunch, most restaurants have a great salad option. Try to make the majority of your plate green!

Snack right. If you have a fear of snacking, it’s time to change your perspective. Snacking in a healthy way will increase your metabolism and suppress your hunger pangs between meals. Some healthy snacks you can easily bring to work include unsalted mixed nuts, fruits, raisins, prunes, granola bars, low-sodium beef jerky and low-fat string cheese.

Now, combine your desk exercises with these healthy eating tips and you’re on your way to reaching your optimal health level – all while at work. Share with us other healthy eating tips that have helped you!