President's Message

Helping NASBP Members Build Market "Capital" and More
The NASBP Annual Meeting was, as usual, a fantastic event. The Phoenician provided plenty of sun and fun, which is very important when you spend the winter in the Northeast. I am looking forward to the next 12 months as your President. I announced in Phoenix that we will be undertaking the NASBP Road Show: Bonding with Bob. To allow more people to be a part of the NASBP experience, we will have six half-day meetings scheduled in the following cities:

  • July 17, 2018 - Villanova University Conference Center, Villanova, PA
  • July 19, 2018 - The Lyceum, Hartford, CT
  • November 2018 - Des Moines, IA & Kansas City, MO (locations and dates TBD)
  • February 2019 - Southern California & Denver, CO (locations and dates TBD)

Registration is only $67.50 per person. Starting with a boxed lunch at 12 noon, we will have an industry update, followed by three to four “BOB talks”--Briefs on Bonding. After the break, there will be a panel or speaker on industry issues, and we will end the day with a networking/social hour, wrapping up by 4 p.m. The idea is for this to be a one-day event, so Members, Affiliates, Associates, and guests within a three-to-four-hour drive may attend. Bring as many people from your office as possible, the information and networking will be worth it. 

As the year progresses, I encourage you and your staff to participate in our social media posts announcing our pride in being part of this great organization. Join those who have already shared their photo on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and remember to use the hashtag #wearenasbp and include @nasbp. We’ve had a great response so far to this social media initiative. It’s fun to see the faces of our membership, keep up the good work! See some of these photos in the article in this issue of Pipeline.

My theme for my term is: "Sell More Bonds." Being a part of NASBP has provided me and my agency with so many more resources than I would have had as a stand-alone surety agency. Our undertaking of the NASBP public relations campaign is intended to assist our membership with information, detail, and materials to use in their interactions with contractors, owners, lenders, architects, etc. The goal is to Sell More Bonds. A favorite TV show of mine is “Gold Rush,” which follows some hard-working miners in the Klondike region of the Yukon in north-western Canada. Selling is like prospecting for gold. You can spend a lot of time looking into new areas and doing a test pan to see if there is any gold there and come up with nothing. So you go on to the next area, and the next, and repeat this until you see that small fleck of shining brilliance, a possibility that this is the right place, and you go to work to develop that area and make something of it . . . just like finding a new account and working and developing that account until it becomes your customer. In each of my Pipeline columns, I will have a NASBP member provide some comments. This section of my column will be called the "Sales Nugget” and will contain an idea, tactic, or thought relative to selling that this person uses in his or her business. You just might find a fleck of brilliance to use to help you Sell More Bonds! I can think of no one better to kick this off than Larry McMahon of Alliant. All of you who know Larry are aware that he can talk a dog off a meat wagon. Please read his insightful comments below.

The Sales Nugget Provided by NASBP Past President Larry McMahon of Alliant
smllr-stamp-Larry-McMahon-2.jpg“I am honored that Bob selected me as the first to submit a Sales Nugget for his column. Both Bob and I were hired from the company side to become agents and be mentored by the same amazing man, Jack Warnock of the Robert F. Driver agency, which is now known as Alliant. When we first started, we only did “cold calling,” which involved literally getting in the car and driving around knocking on contractors' doors, which, in most cases, resulted in not even making it beyond the “gatekeeper” i.e. the receptionist. It was very frustrating and not very productive, but Bob does have a great story of how Jack handled this stress (I leave that story for Bob to tell). Several years ago, NASBP started a Sales Workshop where we teach ONLY doing “warm” or “hot” calls. By doing your research on who you want to call and developing market “intelligence,” you now have built market “capital,” which you can now spend to make the first call “warmer.” One example is to find mutual connections just by doing research on LinkedIn or by reviewing his or her company's website and using that information to “connect the dots.”

By the way, the next NASBP Sales Workshop is October 2 and 3 in New Orleans, LA, immediately before the NASBP Regions 4, 5, 6 & 7 Meeting. Sign-up and learn how to Sell More Bonds!!! 

Robert E. Shaw is President of Skillings Shaw & Associates, Inc. in Lewiston, ME . He can be reached at and 207.753.7300.