Category: Shawn Meaike

Shawn Meaike of Family First Life Discusses How to Improve Your Customer Service Skills

Shawn Meaike

Nearly every work environment requires its employees to utilize their social skills, whether it be interacting with coworkers, clients, or customers. As such, social skills play a major role in a person’s success at work, with individuals possessing natural people skills more likely to receive promotions or raises. However, these social skills are especially needed in customer-facing roles such as customer service representatives. Shawn Meaike, Family First Life Founder and CEO, credits his company’s success to his incredible employees and their strong customer relations. As someone who knows first-hand the importance of customer service skills, Shawn Meaike hopes to review the subject today and offer readers a variety of ways to improve these skills. 

 Practice Active Listening 

Communication is, first and foremost, a two-way street. No one likes being preached to, especially not customers. When working in a customer service role, the best thing an employee can do is learn to improve their active listening skills. Customers know better than anyone what they are looking for and will often directly or indirectly tell an employee during their interaction. Some tips for showing customers you are actively listening and engaged are: 

– Do face customers directly and offer eye contact

– Do ask questions 

– Do summarize what they said to show you understand

– DON’T judge or jump to conclusions that are incorrect

– DON’T interrupt customer 

– DON’T start planning what you are going to say next and miss valuable communication

Remain Approachable 

One of the best things a customer service rep can do to improve their people skills is to work on their approachability. But what does it mean to be approached? Being approachable simply means that others view you as friendly and easy to talk to. Individuals can improve their approachability through both body language and verbal communication.  

Body Language – Perhaps even more important than even verbal communication is body language. Body language is often what a person will use when creating the first impression of someone, even before speaking. For this reason, customer service representatives must use open body language and smile genuinely to give off a more approachable impression. 

Verbal Communication – One of the best ways to create barriers in communication is to come off as too serious. By using self-deprecating humor and speaking in an informal and friendly manner, customer service representatives can show customers that they are equals in the interaction, allowing the customer to feel more at ease.

Commit to Constant Improvement by Asking for Feedback

It can be hard to continue to improve social skills while working in a customer-facing role. Customers will often hide their true feelings regarding a sales experience to remain polite. However, when employees ask for feedback, they will significantly benefit from the information customers feel comfortable sharing. Asking for feedback shows the customer that their opinion matters deeply to the business and its employees and that they can expect a personalized business experience moving forward. 

Tips for New Agents

Shawn Meaike
Shawn Meaike and associates

New insurance agents have an exciting, rewarding career path ahead of them. They get to help people through tough times while earning great revenue in commissions. 

But if you just started, it’s normal to have doubts. What if you can’t get enough clients? What if you can’t beat out the competition and close sales? What if you don’t have the experience that firms and clients expect? 

Like you, every agent starts somewhere. Our guide is here to cover the best tips for new agents. Read on for expert advice from Shawn Meaike to learn how you can find success in this industry. 

Don’t Promise Ridiculously Low Quotes

New agents often feel like they don’t have much to offer. So, they’ll provide surprisingly low quotes to make up for their lackluster resume.

It’s easy to think that these cheap rates will attract clients. But just because you’re new doesn’t mean that you should lowball your services. 

For one, you won’t make much money. Your time and effort are valuable, even if you don’t have much experience. 

Perhaps more important is that cheap rates offer less coverage to your client. Yes, they might be saving money monthly, but they may not have enough coverage to protect their family from financial ruin in their absence. So instead, find out how much coverage they need for their family to be comfortable and work from there.

Shawn Meaike
Shawn Meaike at Workspots.

Dress the Part

This next tip might seem obvious, but it’s one that many new agents overlook. If you want to make more sales, you need to dress the part. 

Purchase Family First Life apparel or business casual attire that you feel comfortable in. It won’t only make you appear more professional to potential clients — it will boost your self-confidence. Being sure of yourself goes a long way in closing sales.

Provide Exceptional Customer Service

The Internet allows much of the sales process to happen online. As a result, many clients have to deal with automated phone messages or website portals.

While these approaches can offer convenience, they can make the process feel robotic. Set yourself apart from the competition by providing exceptional customer service. 

People of all ages will appreciate that they can talk to a real person. And they’ll trust you even more when you answer their questions, return calls quickly, etc. 

Strive for Personal Connections

While providing exceptional customer service is important, don’t treat your clients like clients. The best agents will strive to go deeper by establishing personal connections. 

Ask questions about their families, hobbies, and everything in between. More importantly, if they want something like term life insurance, understand how they benefit from the policy. These deep connections will not only build trust but also lead you to recommend the company’s best products.

Shawn Meaike
Shawn Meaike on stage at a convention.

Work Towards a Long-Term Relationships

Closing your first sale is cause for celebration. But before you get too excited and start chasing your next client, realize the value in long-term relationships. 

It’s much easier to work with clients that you’re already familiar with. They trust you, and you don’t have to focus as much on lead generation. Continue to be there for your clients by checking in on them and following up with their new queries. 

Learn From Other Salespeople

Sales is an art form that takes years to master. If you want to set yourself up for success, why not learn from others in your industry? 

Take note of how they get clients, how they talk, and even how they dress. You can mimic some of these tactics while incorporating your own sales strategy, allowing you to maximize the sales you close. 

Build a Support System

Watching and learning are some of the most effective strategies in your arsenal. But if you want more direct assistance, you should build a support system. 

Many new agents will find a mentor at their firm. You should also consider joining organizations like the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) or the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP). Membership will build your credibility and give you access to resources, training courses, and more. 

Invest in Leads

New agents tend to adopt a “do it yourself” mentality. That is, they’ll seek out clients all by themselves. 

You could try DIY social media marketing and harassing family and friends. But in many cases, it’s more efficient to invest in leads. 

Paying for leads will give you instant access to ready-to-buy clients. Of course, you’ll have to front the initial cost, but if you do it right, it will pay for itself in no time (and then some).

Starting Your Journey as a New Agent

Even though you are a new agent, we know you have plenty to bring to the table. You just have to prove it to clients. Establish reasonable rates and draw them in through your unique approach, striving to make each connection personal. 

In any case, remember that rejection is all part of the process. You won’t close every sale, but with these tips, you’ll be one step closer to earning those high commissions you dream of.

The Benefits of Not-Remote Working

Shawn Meaike of Family First Life

Many employees have positive conceptions of remote work. They think that a home office is a dream come true, as it allows more freedom and reduces the need for a longer commute. 

While working from home certainly has its benefits, we often forget the advantages of a physical office. Some employees thrive in an in-person environment, even if they only go into the office a few days a week. 

This post explores the benefits of “not-remote” working. Read on to learn why one might actually prefer cubicle life. 

In-Person Training

If you want to find success at your job, you need to have a positive onboarding experience. 

Of course, it’s possible to complete onboarding virtually if the company provides you with the necessary training and educational resources. However, online courses and Zoom sessions can make it difficult to get the clarification you need. 

Shawn Meaike notes that in-person training is much more hands-on. You can build connections with your new teammates, ask questions as they come to mind, and find your place in the company. In the end, you have a much better chance of not becoming frustrated and sticking around. 

Shawn Meaike
Shawn Meaike advocates for the business-building benefits of physical offices


Despite the negative reputation it has, commuting is healthy. For one, it gives you some “me” time. You can use that 30-minutes there and 30-minutes back for whatever you please. Some people like to catch up on their music or podcasts, while others call friends or family they haven’t seen in a while. Or, you can just be alone with your thoughts.

Commuting also helps you separate work from your personal life. During your drive, you can prepare for the day by pumping yourself up for a meeting. And when you clock out and get back in your car, you start unwinding for the night. 

Free From Distractions

If you’ve ever worked from home, you know how ever-present distractions can be. There are needy pets, knocks on the door, spouses, and children that all demand your attention. And with no supervisor around, it can be tempting to step away from your work longer than you should. 

Those who have difficulty getting privacy or practicing good self-management skills will benefit from a physical office space. Shawn says that the environment encourages productivity, translating to you getting more work done than ever before. 

At the very least, the quality of your work will improve, meaning you can have a greater sense of pride in your accomplishments. 


If you’re a fan of routine, you’ll love the office life. Employees can expect the same hours every day, which allows them to plan their schedule accordingly.

For instance, if you work 9-5, you know you have a little time in the morning that you can use to go to the gym, run errands, etc.


Collaboration is essential to the success of any team. But if your employees are scattered across the country (or world!), it can be difficult to get anything done. 

In a physical office, everyone is under one roof. Gone are the days of conflicting time zones, lengthy email chains, and spotty Zoom calls. Instead, you can work efficiently on big projects and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Shawn Meaike training new employees

Office Culture

The benefits of collaboration with coworkers go beyond productivity. When your team is close by, you can build more personal connections and even make friends. 

This sense of camaraderie is crucial for making work more enjoyable. You’ll be able to ask questions and get the immediate, personal responses you want.

The Bottom Line — Remote Work Isn’t All It’s Cracked up to Be

According to many experts, remote work isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Office employees experience benefits from a distraction-free environment to better collaboration opportunities. 

So, when your boss gives you the option to work from home, think twice before making the switch. If you’re a business owner that’s considering transferring to complete remote work, realize that you might miss out on these benefits. 

Are There Factors That May Impact Your Life Insurance Premium?

Shawn Meaike speaking on stage
Shawn Meaike speaking at Family First Life convention

Life insurance agents typically recommend looking at policies as early as possible because it can help lock you into lower rates while you are young and healthy. As we age, our life insurance premiums may increase- especially as we develop conditions that may impact our need for insurance. Shawn Meaike realizes that many people examining life insurance are not certain of what factors will affect a life insurance quote and, here, he lists a few of the factors behind life insurance premiums.


It is no surprise that your date of birth is the top factor that affects your life insurance premium. There are many reasons why age plays such an important factor in life insurance and why younger policyholders typically will pay lower premiums. For example, younger policyholders will likely pay their insurer for years before the insurer needs to worry about them needing to utilize their insurance. The likelihood of an insurer needing to pay out on your policy increases as you age and potentially develop health conditions, meaning that premiums need to increase for older policyholders to balance the risk for insurers.


Another factor that does not come as a surprise to many considering life insurance, health plays a primary role in your premium as well. Applicants that have certain health conditions are considered riskier for insurers because they are more likely to have a life insurance payout sooner than healthier policyholders. To determine your premium, insurers frequently use a life insurance medical exam that will check factors such as your medical history, height and weight, risky behaviors, and family medical history. Some life insurance providers will let you forgo a life insurance medical exam but may charge you more for coverage because they have less information regarding your health on file.

Shawn Meaike speaking at podium in front of Takeover 2020 banner
Shawn Meaike hosts an event for Family First Life


You may be surprised to find that gender plays an integral role in life insurance premiums, but you only need to look at the data to see why this is the case. Life expectancy for women is roughly five years longer than for men according to statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics. This means that men are more likely to have a life insurance death benefit payout sooner than women are, often leading to lower life insurance premiums for women than men. There is at least one exception. For example, insurers in Montana need to provide gender-neutral insurance rates for their customers.


There are many factors of your lifestyle that may affect your insurance rates. For example, life insurance applications may ask questions about your driving history, and drivers with DUIs, suspended licenses, and convictions of reckless driving are often seen as higher risk consumers. Individuals that have dangerous jobs that could lead to premature injury or death may also need to pay more for their coverage. Experts realize that there are many factors that may come up in an insurance application that can increase rates such as dangerous hobbies like diving, piloting, and skydiving as well as financial factors such as bankruptcy.

Family Health History

You may not have any medical conditions that impact your premium, but a family history of illness or hereditary disease can certainly impact what you will pay for coverage. A family history of conditions such as strokes, cancer, heart conditions, or other ailments may leave you predisposed to them and can lead to higher premium rates. Some companies may care more about your family health history than others, but it stands to reason that you will have a higher premium if insurers decide that your immediate family’s health carries enough insurance risk.

What Traits Help Build Successful Life Insurance Agents

Shawn Meaike smiles

Life insurance is a space that values a wide range of hard and soft skills from its professionals. After all, individuals of all walks of life need to address their needs for life insurance, and the best insurance agents are great at helping them evaluate everything possible as they search. Shawn Meaike realizes that many people that are planning to step into a life insurance career path are curious as to what traits will help someone build success. Here, Shawn Meaike of Family First Live reviews a few of the traits that are most helpful for a new life insurance agent that hopes to be successful in the space.


Forging a career as a life insurance agent requires a lot of empathy. This is because you will be dealing with individuals and families that are having tough conversations as they assess their health and need for life insurance to protect their loved ones. Life insurance agents need to be able to put themselves into the shoes of their clients, helping them make the right decisions for their individual needs. Shawn Meaike knows that the best life insurance agents are ones that sympathize with clients and are genuinely invested in getting them the best service possible. Simply put, insurance agents that focus on empathy and quality service are much more likely to deliver- and consumers can tell the difference.

Quality Communication Skills

As a life insurance agent, it is important to have great communication skills for a variety of reasons. Remember that many times you will be speaking with people that are new to the space and do not have a firm understanding of all of the options available to them. Agents who can explain coverage options in simple but effective ways are naturally going to be better at the job than those who cannot. The best insurance agents are intuitive in conversation, realizing when they may have lost their customer after explaining some of the more complex aspects of an insurance package. They are also great at the listening end of communication, carefully listening to prospective clients in a way that demonstrates both interest and a dedication to finding a solution.

Shawn Meaike teaches at a seminar
Shawn Meaike conducts a seminar to help prospective agents

Interest in Learning

The best life insurance agents are never stagnant on their path to success. While it may be simple to learn the ins and outs of a variety of insurance offerings over time, it is important to remember that insurance often does not have a one size fits all solution. Successful agents will, therefore, be able to offer comprehensive solutions that accommodate their customers’ wants and needs. With an interest in learning, agents will be able to stay motivated to stay on the cutting edge of the insurance space. When policies change, clients will want agents that are able to describe situations in an easily understandable fashion. Not only will great life insurance agents need to have an interest in the technical knowledge aspect of their space, but they will also have an interest in learning about potential clients. Understanding a client’s financial situation and the specifics of their needs is vital to determining the best solution.

Why are More Young Families Securing Life Insurance Early?

Shawn Meaike speaks at an event

Life insurance is commonly thought of as a resource for older individuals that are looking to secure a future for their families in the event of their death. This is not truly the case as young families see the importance of looking into life insurance early to keep their families protected should anything happen. Shawn Meaike understands that there are many different reasons why more young families are growing interested in their life insurance options- citing the pandemic as a huge influence of families decisions. Here, Shawn Meaike speaks to a few of these reasons, as well as the benefits of exploring your options as early as possible.

Younger Families Often Equal Lower Premiums

One of the benefits of securing life insurance when you are young, healthy, and not likely to need it soon is that you will likely secure lower premiums. This is because younger families have a probable lack of serious medical conditions. Life insurance experts recommend that younger families at least consider their need for life insurance rather than waiting until their rates get higher. While it may sound daunting to add another bill to the expenses pile, life insurance will only get more expensive as we age and have a higher chance of developing premium raising conditions.

Younger Families are Still Vulnerable to Accidents

Young parents often feel invincible, but it is important to remember that anyone can be involved in an accident that can lead to injury or death. The CDC reports that unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for young adults in the US. This means that, while young families may be less susceptible to life altering conditions that can be damaging to our health, they are the most susceptible to unplanned, unintentional injury. Young families are realizing the obstacles that their death could present for their families and are doing everything possible to ensure that they are protected should anything happen.

Shawn Meaike teaches a seminar
Shawn Meaike teaches a seminar on the importance of insurance

Younger Families Want to Safeguard Their New Families

When we are young, it makes sense that we are not thinking too far into the future. Of course, this starts to change as we start a family of our own and understand the importance of keeping them protected from outside factors. Younger families are more likely to be new to owning assets such as a home and are similarly new to the complexities of protecting their families. While it may be difficult to consider not being present, being realistic about uncertainties and safeguarding your family and your assets is an excellent way to keep them protected should you be involved in an accident in the future.

Shawn Meaike Discusses How to Become a Better Life Insurance Agent

Being a life insurance agent can be a rewarding career, but it’s not necessarily easy. Shawn Meaike discusses the important skills needed to become a better life insurance agent. Key attributes needed to be a successful life insurance agent are people skills and good product knowledge.

Why is product knowledge so important?

Shawn Meaike says good insurance agents know the scope of products they sell well, so that any potential client can find life insurance coverage. But a better insurance agent will understand the legal and tax aspects of the products they sell. They understand how the life insurance product will fit into a client’s financial situation.

Some life insurance products are straight forward, and others are more complicated financially. Knowing which product fits your client best, regardless of the potential commission, is important. Being knowledgeable about the impact to your client’s finances will help the client to trust your advice and purchase the right product for them.

How will strong people skills help me be a better agent?

Insurance is sales but understanding each client’s situation and needs and putting them before any potential commissions will earn your client’s trust, which is essential to being a good life insurance agent. Building rapport with a potential client is a skill that needs to be developed, so the client knows you want to understand their individual needs.   

Providing quality customer care is also important. Calling clients back when you say you will, following up on any questions they have, and making time to address client needs is also necessary to being a quality agent.

Another people skill that goes a long way is being emotionally intelligent when it comes to your client’s concerns. Listening carefully to their questions and concerns and being sensitive while explaining how products impact their finances is really a hallmark to a better insurance agent.

Sometimes a client may not agree with your assessment but discussing it with an open mind while tactfully pointing out their reality will win over clients. They will see you are concerned for their situation rather than just focused on your potential commission. 

What mindset helps me be a better life insurance agent?

Successful insurance agents know they are doing good and important work while helping clients solve financial issues and problems. Successful insurance agents are able to work unsupervised and take charge of their schedules and calls. They have an entrepreneurial spirit since it’s their business they are running. They also know that being honest and persistent are keys to being successful long term.

Shawn Meaike Discusses How to Choose the Best Life Insurance for Your Individual Needs

Shawn Meaike knows that deciding what type of life insurance to buy can be a complicated matter. He suggests looking at multiple factors to decide what works best for your individual needs.

Why should I purchase life insurance?

Life insurance brings financial security to your family in the event of your death. It will help cover a variety of potential costs including funeral expenses, medical bills, mortgages or rent and college costs for your children. 

What are the different types of life insurance?

Shawn Meaike explains that there are many different types of life insurance products on the market. You may have heard the terms universal life, whole life, term, and other indexed options. But the two most common types of life insurance policies are whole life and term life insurance.

What is term life insurance?

Term life insurance is an insurance policy you buy for a certain amount of time or a term. You can purchase term life policies in various time increments, but the most common are 10, 20, or 30 year terms. During that time, you pay a monthly or annual premium, and should you die during this term, your family receives a death benefit for the amount of coverage you selected.

The benefit to term life is policies are cheaper than whole life or universal life policies. However, they have no cash value and when the term expires, you have no coverage and the money you have paid is non-refundable. Think of term life as coverage for a specific term at a lower cost than other insurance products. If you die during the term, your family is covered.

What is whole life insurance?

Whole life insurance is good for your whole lifetime and pays a death benefit to your family when you die. Unlike term insurance, its coverage does not expire at the end of a term though its coverage does end if you stop paying your annual or monthly premiums. Whole life also accumulates a cash value over the life of the whole life insurance policy.

A whole life insurance policy is good for people who want to provide a death benefit for their family and don’t want to invest that money, but rather leave it in a fixed percentage during their lifetime where it can accrue cash value. It is considered a type of permanent life insurance.

Universal life insurance is also considered a permanent life insurance but it’s more flexible than whole life insurance. If you have universal life insurance, you can adjust your premiums and death benefits. It offers investment options since policyholders can borrow from this type of life insurance policy.

How do I choose what’s best for my needs?

When choosing what type of life insurance plan is best for your family, there are many factors to consider if you die prematurely. Shawn Meaike suggests considering the following.

  • What the death benefit would be used for? Funeral expenses, medical expenses, security for your family?
  • How many years of income would your family miss out on?
  • Does your spouse have the ability to work?
  • How many children do you have and how old are they?
  • Is it likely they will attend college?
  • How much savings and investment do you have to cover their expenses?
  • How much can you afford to spend for this coverage?

Once you have figured out the answers to those questions, you can decide how much coverage you need and how much you can afford to pay either monthly or annually.

Shawn Meaike Discusses How Life Insurance Protects a Family

Shawn Meaike is the CEO and founder of Family First Life, an American life insurance company with agents in every state across America. He understands how important life insurance is and how it protects a family. While it may not be comfortable to think of death, it’s best to be prepared and protect your family in the event something unforeseen happens to you.

Why should I purchase life insurance?

If you are a parent or are considering having children, the best gift you can give your family is protecting them with life insurance. If you were to die prematurely or even at the end of a long and fruitful life, you want to know that your family and their expenses are covered, even when you are no longer here.

How does life insurance protect a family?

If you die prematurely, with life insurance coverage, you would be able to leave some money to your family to help cover their expenses. Thinking about the stage of life you are in helps you visualize how much coverage you might need. Later in life, if you pass away at an advanced age, your life insurance can help pay for your final costs.

If you are just starting out and are married, you would likely want to help your spouse with any schooling, housing or medical debts that you might leave behind. For parents with young children, consider the years of expenses ahead of them. Will they be able to attend and afford college? Will you help finance their weddings? Do your children have any special needs to consider?

How much life insurance should I purchase?

Thinking about the events in their lives and the costs associated with those events can help you figure out how much life insurance you wish to carry. You can always purchase multiple life insurance products to cover those times in life when expenses might be heavier, such as during the college years.

For instance, you may have a whole life policy coverage for 1 million dollars, but if you had several children that would be in college at the same time, you might purchase an additional 10-year term policy for an additional million dollars to cover their schooling costs if you passed away during those years.

Also, Shawn Meaike suggests you consider how much money you may have in savings and investments to ensure that your family is well provided for if you pass away. With less money invested or in savings accounts, you might insure yourself for a

higher level so that if you passed away, your family would have their expenses covered. While you cannot plan for every eventuality, it is important for parents especially, to consider the needs of their children and what costs they might encounter.

While no-one wishes to ever think of leaving their family, it is wise to spend some time considering the amount you would need to cover for their expenses as well as any debts you might leave. Better to be prepared and insured than to leave your family in a precarious financial situation. Consider how much you can afford to pay either monthly or annually for the best life insurance coverage possible.  

Family First Life CEO Shawn Meaike Discusses How to Improve Leadership Skills

One of the most common goals within the American workforce is to one day hold a leadership position. According to the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey report, however, of the 805 respondents that rated leadership as a high priority, only 41% feel ready to meet the responsibility of a managerial position at their current company. Throughout the course of his career and time as CEO of Family First Life, Shawn Meaike has made leadership training a priority for his employees. As the CEO of Family First Life, Shawn Meaike recognizes the various benefits of leadership training, from increased productivity to nurturing the next generation of Family First Life leaders. Below, Family First Life CEO Shawn Meaike will discuss several successful methods for improving leadership skills. 

Honest and Open Communication 

The mark of a great leader is excellent communication skills. Effective leadership is reliant on an open line of communication between a manager and their team members. In order to more successfully form this line of communication, managers must lead by example and be honest and transparent in all interactions. Furthermore, exceptional leaders are often able to change their communication styles to best suit various team members and situations. 

Maintain a Positive Attitude

While many managers hope that their everyday operations will run smoothly, this is rarely the case. When problems arise within the workplace, whether they be a small miscommunication or a significant mistake, managers and leaders must be able to handle the situation with compassion and a level head. The way an employee handles problems will inevitably say a great deal about their leadership potential. For this reason, Shawn Meaike recommends those looking to obtain a leadership position within their company try to keep a positive attitude regardless of good or bad circumstances. When a problem comes up at work, employees are encouraged to look for positive aspects of the problem before reacting negatively. 

Be Open to Feedback

Honest feedback is an essential tool for all members of an organization, not just its employees. In order to improve leadership skills, current and future managers must learn to value their co-workers’ feedback. By applying co-worker and employee leadership critiques, leaders will be able to develop a successful leadership style and approach more effectively.