Software Recommendations

Newby

Guru
5000 Post Club
16,834
After reading the recent posts from Frank about the free sticky-note program, I figured we could all benefit from each others experience with software programs. Which ones are well worth the money you paid for them. I have a few I couldn't do without.

Here are my recommendations of software that wither makes me money or saves me time:

ACT!: Act is a database program and works very well. If you like to work with your software for hours on end (like me) ACT is for you. If you don't want to be involved in setting up the program I would recommend using "My Insurance Office" instead which looks like a great turnkey program.

The biggest advantage to ACT is that you can automate it. Have it send e-mails, faxes and/or print letters automatically depending on which marketing track you place the prospect in. In order to use this feature you have to buy an Add-On program of which there are several to choose from. I use Activator from Mastermind Software. A much less expensive choice would be Sales Automation Mania from Northwoods.

I can promise you, I work less and make more by having all my prospects on autopilot with my database.

Fineprint: Great Program! Well worth the $49. Fineprint installs as a printer on your computer. When you print to Fineprint you see a preview before you print to your actual printer. You can delete pages you don't actually want to print (like the last few papges when you print anything from Yahoo.) You can print two or four pages on each sheet of paper. And best of all you can add your letterhead to be printed with the document with the click of a button. If you use an automation program like Activator, there are some real great things that Fineprint will help you with that are too detailed to go into here.

Paperport: Paperport is a great way to run a paperless office. You scan or print everything to Paperport and store it in files. You can link the files to ACT contacts.

GO BACK: The Go Back software is similar to the Windows Restore feature except much more powerful. If your computer is screwed up or if you accidently delete something or even open an e-mail that you suspect has a virus, you just reboot and Go Back to an earlier time. At $39 it's a GREAT program. I think it comes free with Norton utilities now too.
 
Newby thanks for starting this thread and your recommendations. Which version of Act would I need and about how much would it cost? Do you use the insurance specific Activator add-on and how much would that cost? Thanks!
 
Quote: "If you like to work with your software for hours on end (like me) ACT is for you." /twitch


I prefer to drink and go fishing. =)

I know! I'm as boring as they come. I have always just like to work. I don't fish. I don't golf. I don't like sports of any kind.

I actually enjoy the computer work goes along with sales and marketing.

But the good side is: I have always been very successful at sales. I enjoy prospecting the way some guys enjoy fishing I guess.
 
Quote: "If you like to work with your software for hours on end (like me) ACT is for you." /twitch


I prefer to drink and go fishing. =)

My two boys and I are flying down to Boca Grande on the 30th to go tarpon fishing, an annual event for us. This time I have hired our guide for three solid, sun up to sun down, days of catching giant tarpon. Are you anywhere near there? Might even have a drink or two with you. lol
 
I know! I'm as boring as they come. I have always just like to work. I don't fish. I don't golf. I don't like sports of any kind.

I actually enjoy the computer work goes along with sales and marketing.

But the good side is: I have always been very successful at sales. I enjoy prospecting the way some guys enjoy fishing I guess.

I admire people like you. I also enjoy prospecting and sales but my mind doesn't work like yours, computer work, building programs, drives me up the wall. I took one look at ACT a long time ago and that is when I hired a programmer to start building YIO, not MIO. LOL
I can write code too, c-o-d-e. :D
 
Newby thanks for starting this thread and your recommendations. Which version of Act would I need and about how much would it cost? Do you use the insurance specific Activator add-on and how much would that cost? Thanks!

If you are a stand alone ACT user on one computer, the best version of ACT has always been ACT! 6.0 (sometimes called 2004) you can probably buy it on e-bay for around $10. It is the best database program ever.

Starting in 2005 they totally rewrote ACT to make it better for companies with many users and for easier use over the web. If you don't get the 2004 version you should go all the way to ACT 2007. Expect to pay around $200 for ACT 2007.

Activator is around $1,400 and is a great program but it's not as ready to go out of the box as their ads make it sound. Be prepared to write your own marketing letters (but you probably already have some you already use.)

I do have the insurance version of Activator but it is just a starting point. Don't expect it to be ready to go right out of the box. They do have Activator consultants that will make your version ready to go all customized for you. They charge around $10,000. But they don't do anything you can't do yourself with basic skills.

If you go with the 2004 version of ACT, I recommend the program called ACTION for ACT over Activator. It is only $199 and it has some features I like better than Activator.

No matter what you do, you will have to modify your database layout the way you want it. Neither program does that for you.

The perfect program would actually be Frank's "My Own Insurance Office" with Activator added to it (A simple will thought out database designed for the insurance agent along with a robust easily modifiable automation program). I don't think it would be hard for Frank's programmers to do. He's just not convinced he needs to.
 
I admire people like you. I also enjoy prospecting and sales but my mind doesn't work like yours, computer work, building programs, drives me up the wall. I took one look at ACT a long time ago and that is when I hired a programmer to start building YIO, not MIO. LOL
I can write code too, c-o-d-e. :D

Hey Frank! Sorry I keep getting the name wrong.

I do think your program is the best solution for people who don't love working on the computer (all normal people).

You should call Carl Thompson in Brentwood Tennessee. 800-818-9788. His program (Activator) is not really ACT specific. It will probably work fine with yours if you can add some extra fields that can run in the background. You could offer your version with or without Activator but I promise you, many people would pay to upgrade (even at $1,400) and you would be able to buy the licenses from Carl at a good discount.

It's worth checking out. Could be a good opportunity for you. http://www.gomastermind.com/index.htm
 
If you are a stand alone ACT user on one computer, the best version of ACT has always been ACT! 6.0 (sometimes called 2004) you can probably buy it on e-bay for around $10. It is the best database program ever.

Starting in 2005 they totally rewrote ACT to make it better for companies with many users and for easier use over the web. If you don't get the 2004 version you should go all the way to ACT 2007. Expect to pay around $200 for ACT 2007.

Activator is around $1,400 and is a great program but it's not as ready to go out of the box as their ads make it sound. Be prepared to write your own marketing letters (but you probably already have some you already use.)

I do have the insurance version of Activator but it is just a starting point. Don't expect it to be ready to go right out of the box. They do have Activator consultants that will make your version ready to go all customized for you. They charge around $10,000. But they don't do anything you can't do yourself with basic skills.

If you go with the 2004 version of ACT, I recommend the program called ACTION for ACT over Activator. It is only $199 and it has some features I like better than Activator.

No matter what you do, you will have to modify your database layout the way you want it. Neither program does that for you.

The perfect program would actually be Frank's "My Own Insurance Office" with Activator added to it (A simple will thought out database designed for the insurance agent along with a robust easily modifiable automation program). I don't think it would be hard for Frank's programmers to do. He's just not convinced he needs to.

I am talking to the guys who program for me "as we speak" about adding something like you are talking about to "Your Insurance Office".

It's not that I don't think it is needed, I'm just not sure there are enough agents who both want it and will be willing to pay the extra money to have it included in YIO. I am trying very hard to keep YIO under $300.00, an affordable price for any agent.

With Activator costing $1,400 and the cost of a consultant to set it up of $10,000 that is a little stiff for the average agent. Even the ACTION program you mentioned for $199 is an expensive add on for most.

If they can develop something like what Activator does as a separate module that can be offered at a reasonable price for YIO I will consider having them build it.

It would be helpful if you could give me some guidance as to the types of functions that I should consider adding.

I'm confident they can build it but not sure that if they do, the agents will come.

I'm not a huge software development company with unlimited resources that I can dump into something without doing a lot of research to determine if it is going to be cost effective.

I’m trying to make "Your Insurance Office" the number one program for all life and health agents.

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
 
Hey Frank! Sorry I keep getting the name wrong.

I do think your program is the best solution for people who don't love working on the computer (all normal people).

You should call Carl Thompson in Brentwood Tennessee. 800-818-9788. His program (Activator) is not really ACT specific. It will probably work fine with yours if you can add some extra fields that can run in the background. You could offer your version with or without Activator but I promise you, many people would pay to upgrade (even at $1,400) and you would be able to buy the licenses from Carl at a good discount.

It's worth checking out. Could be a good opportunity for you. http://www.gomastermind.com/index.htm

Who was it that said, "I don't care what they call me as long as they call me for dinner?"

I really think, from what the guys who do the programming have said, that they can add something to YIO. It may not be as detailed as Activator but may provide most with what they are looking for at a more reasonable price. I will explore your suggestion as well.

Since you apparently "speak their language", I know I don't, haha, any help you could give me to convey to them kind of things to ask them about would really help.
 
Back
Top