Name: Michael Anza

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Location: Philadelphia

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Company: Anza & Anza Associates

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No strings or surprises. During my first yearin the business, I landed a nice sized account for the company Iwas representing at the time. To celebrate, my sales manager tookme downtown to an A+ restaurant for lunch. After that, we went to acustom tailor and I was measured for a bespoke suit and shoes.

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After, my manager and I began to head off in differentdirections. He asked where I was going, and I replied, “Home, ofcourse!”

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He replied, “Like hell you are, you owe me $2,500! Get back inthe office and make some calls!”

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His point was simple: Don't rest on your laurels after a bigwin. I got the message, along with another: No one likes unpleasantsurprises. I try to operate with total transparency across allareas of the client relationship, and it's expected all our reps dothe same.

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Invest in people. A structured training anddevelopment program ensures our agents have a consistent experienceand background knowledge. A consistent agent experience tricklesdown to a consistent client experience. We believe agents who feelappreciated and challenged through training opportunities feel morejob satisfaction.

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Develop a winning culture. Educating,empowering and equipping our people is the key to creating awinning culture. Our “new agent” pathway is simple: Our managementteam models certain winning behaviors, and our new agents areexpected to mirror them to the best of their ability. Together, thenew agent and manager troubleshoot challenges and concerns as theyarise. Our management team continuously monitors our new agent'sprogress through traditional metrics and Monday morning meetings.We believe in oversight, not micromanaging.

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Develop a winning strategy. Challenge thestatus quo. We believe a strategy should be as powerful as acannon, and our agents should feel comfortable with the knowledgethat they are coming to the table with something unique that ourfirm can execute flawlessly.

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As an example, we have had some success in the micro and smallgroup marketplace dismantling group plans and driving employees tothe exchanges. The difference is that we will go onsite and enrolleach employee in the traditional worksite sense, which leads to atremendous client experience.

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The employer recognizes the business needs a benefits package toattract and retain top talent—so they often commit toemployer-sponsored voluntary benefits, which we enroll on the sameplatform. The icing on the cake is that we route the premiumsthrough a third-party payment system, meaning there is zeroadministrative burden on the employer.

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Be an early adopter. It's imperative to be ontop of emerging market trends. Much has been written about thedeath of payroll deduction, and I think the industry could trendthat way in the future. I would rather be slightly early in termsof embracing an emerging trend.

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Do it right. Having everyone go above andbeyond is most important. I love people who are unwilling to stopdoing their job until their job is done absolutely right.

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