Tagged: 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.

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.

Family First Life CEO Shawn Meaike Discusses When to Recalculate Your Life Insurance

Shawn Meaike Insurance

The average American will purchase multiple types of insurance throughout his or her life. Choosing a new health insurance or life insurance plan can be challenging, especially when it comes to comparing different plans and sorting through the numerous variables each plan has. For the past eight years, Shawn Meaike, CEO of Family First Life, has made it his mission to help simplify insurance processes for Americans and provide the best coverage for clients, employees, and employees’ families. In an effort to help improve public knowledge regarding insurance, today, Shawn Meaike will share different milestones that often correlate with re-evaluating life insurance. 


Oftentimes, when couples are married, they will also purchase or re-evaluate a life insurance policy. Marriage is not only a legally recognized union but an agreement to combine financial obligations. If one spouse dies, life insurance can help the surviving spouse remain financially stable and maintain their current standard of living. Furthermore, as the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy grows over time, additionally assets will be made available to the surviving spouse making mortgage payments or outstanding debts more easily payable. Finally, death benefits paid to a surviving spouse can also help also fund a child’s college education and other child expenses. 

Purchasing a House 

When purchasing a home, new homeowners must also ensure their life insurance will cover the remaining loan amount in the event of their death. If not, beneficiaries will have to pay off the remaining balance from their own funds. If, however, a couple moves into a more expensive home or extends their mortgage, the amount that is owed to a bank may increase. A life insurance policy with a 20-year limit will not cover a mortgage that has extended outside of the original mortgage length. For this reason, couples that have recently purchased a home or have extended their mortgage should recalculate their life insurance needs. 

Retirement Planning 

One of the most overlooked benefits of a life insurance policy is how it can secure retirement funds. When individuals make a withdraw, they don’t have to sell assets to collect as with stocks and can even borrow against the cash value. Additionally, life insurance policies typically have no capital gains or ordinary income tax and can be passed to beneficiaries tax-free.