Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin. We would encourage you to read on.
Click here to read Bob Barney's Christmas Greeting.
PLEASE NOTE: Bob's Christmas greeting involves editorial comment from a Christian perspective. In times past we have received critical comments from those who take the position that Bob should not mix his Christian viewpoints with the Compulife business. For that reason the greeting is on a separate web page. You are welcome to read it. Nothing requires that you read it.
The first version of Compulife's Palm program was released with the midmonth update on November 15th. At the same time we activated the new web pages related to the Palm software and hardware offerings of Compulife. Rather than repeat all that information, we would encourage you to go to www.compulife.com and check it out.
VERY IMPORTANT: The Palm version of Compulife is FREE to Compulife subscribers. This is NOT an introductory gimmick. We see the Palm software as an important enhancement to your Compulife subscription and it will continue to be bundled with the Compulife software.
Once again, it's FREE!
The Palm software is being given to you at NO EXTRA CHARGE. The only requirement is that you will need to purchase three pieces of hardware (if you don't already have them):
1. A Palm (handheld computer)
2. An SD memory card for the Palm
3. An SD memory card adapter for your computer.
If you don't own this equipment, Compulife can provide all three items for as little as $149 Canadian plus tax plus shipping of $9.00. That's all it costs. The software is FREE and updates to the software are FREE!
Many Compulife subscribers already have this equipment and are already running the new Palm version of Compulife. Initial response has been very enthusiastic. And why not? These agents now have the Compulife comparison software on a device that they can carry with them in their pocket, ready to go, when and wherever they are.
Read on, you can get the $158.00 equipment package for FREE.
Once you have the Palm equipment, there are NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES. The Palm software comes to you each and every month with your regular monthly update. To get the software on the Palm, you transfer the Palm version from the computer to the SD card using the SD adapter. This only takes seconds. Once the SD card is updated you take the card from the adapter, stick it into the Palm, and you are ready to quote. To update the Palm, you simply repeat the process.
Compulife is making a special offer to our Personal Use subscribers who do not have Palms but would like to get one. Here's the deal:
Purchase three years of Compulife at our normal annual subscription fee of $149 per year and Compulife will throw in the above referenced Palm equipment for FREE.
Let me repeat:
Pay Compulife $447 for three more years of software and we will throw in the Palm equipment at no additional charge.
Or you could look at it like this. If you pay $158.00 for the Palm equipment, you can buy two more years of Compulife for only $289.00; which translates into $96.33 per year.
In order to take advantage of this special year end offer, you must have your check for $447 plus taxes to Compulife by Friday, December 30th.
And don't forget, by paying for two more years of Compulife for $447, you will have a year end tax deduction of $447.
If your subscription still has time to go, we will add the two years to the end of your current subscription expiry date.
Because we want you to get your hands on this equipment and see what it is capable of doing. We are promoting the Palm as the:
We are NOT kidding! We believe we have already been proven correct by those who have used the Palm with our software. The comments have been all positive.
In addition, agents who are getting Palms are quickly becoming addicted to all the other stuff that Palms can also do.
Once you get a Palm in your hands you will realize how simple it is to operate and how quickly you can pull it out of your pocket and be doing comparisons. If you have this with you, and the subject of insurance comes up, and you show the Palm to the people you are talking to, they will be more than a little impressed. We are convinced that casual conversations can quickly move to booking appointments.
One of my neighbors is a retired Air Force Colonel who teaches business at the local college. He and his wife dropped by to give some football tickets to my son and his friend. I showed them my new office here at the house and then I mentioned we had just rolled out some new software for the Palm.
I showed him the Palm and he asked me to run a quote for him. To say he was impressed was an understatement. He turned to his wife and said, "maybe we should have Bob come over and look at our insurance." I had to explain that I don't sell insurance but I would be happy to connect him with a list of our subscribers if he wanted to talk to someone.
I want to point out that this guy is not easy to impress. He was involved in the Air Force program that first mounted howitzer cannons in C130 cargo planes, turning them into the now famous "gunships". As a college professor he has always been on the leading edge of new business ideas and following business trends. My point is this: he thinks we have a real winner with this software. He thinks it will make it easier for agents to talk to consumers about life insurance.
We don't know what more that we can do to make it easier for you to get a Palm and start using the Palm comparison software. We believe this has a huge marketing potential for our subscribers.
I have spoken to more than one subscriber who has told me they do not have a Palm PDA but they do have a Treo Phone.
Compulife's Palm software works GREAT on the Palm Treo. All you need is the SD memory card and the SD memory card adapter which Compulife can send to you for only $42 (shipping included but not taxes). Once you have that you can put Compulife on the SD memory card, put the Card in your Treo, and do instant quotes on your phone, anytime, anywhere. And the Treo phone has a faster processor which means it can do quotes even quicker than the Tungsten E which we offer (it should, it's about 3 times the cost).
Anyway, if you have a Treo phone, the new Compulife software for the Palm will actually help you pay for that phone. Call us to get the card and adapter.
We have now turned our attention to getting the comparison software up and running on Windows Mobile PDA's. While there are many more agents who own Palms, and while Palms are generally cheaper to buy (especially high quality used devices), we have little doubt that there will be more Windows Mobile devices put into play as time moves forward.
Our goal is to support both types of equipment. With the Palm up and running, Windows Mobile work is well under way. We are making it a high priority to have it released as soon as possible.
This edition of our Windows program is already able to update an SD card for the Windows Mobile version of Compulife. When you use the option to update the SD card (found in "Install Next Update") the program will place the files for BOTH the Palm and Windows Mobile software on the same SD card.
If you put the SD card into the Palm, it will automatically use the Palm software.
In Windows Mobile if you use "File Explorer", and log onto the card, you will see three items listed. The first two items are folders called "PALM" and "COMPLIFE". The third item is the Compulife Windows Mobile program file called "Compulife". Click on that and it will run. The current version will give you the message that Compulife for the Mobile is on its way. In the next few weeks that initial program will be replaced by a fully functioning Compulife comparison program.
At this point we know that the current program works in Windows Mobile 2003, but does not work on Windows Mobile 2002 (an earlier version of the mobile operating system).
Is anyone out their running Pocket PC 2002? Please let us know.
It would also be useful if those with PDA's running the brand new Windows Mobile 5 could give our program a try and tell us if it works. Our development system also lets us create Mobile 5 software, which does NOT work on Mobile 2003. The question is does the Mobile 2003 software work on Mobile 5. If you could let us know whether the current Compulife runs in Windows Mobile 5, we would be grateful.
On another note, and as is the case with the Palm, those who already have Windows Mobile devices will need an SD card and SD card adapter. If you already have that then you are set. If not, can we suggest that you order those from Compulife as soon as possilble. Remember, Compulife sells both the SD card and SD card adapter for a total of $42 (which includes shipping but not taxes). That is a very competitive price and you should get them now. That way, once the new Mobile software is released in December or January, you will be ready to go.
Once Compulife has completed work on the first edition of our Mobile software, both the Palm and Mobile systems will be enhanced further.
On a side note, we would like to point out that even with the introduction of the Windows Mobile software we will continue to offer the Palm Tungsten E as our "entry level" system. Here are the basic reasons:
1. Inexpensive - The Tungsten E is a high quality unit and VERY affordable.
2. Easy - The Tungsten E is very easy to use and the HotSync software is simple and reliable. Palm is also a more mature operating system and is less prone to glitches. On the Palm, to "reset" the device you need a special pin like tool (found "in" the stylus) to do a reboot. In our Dell X30 PDA's (windows mobile 2003) resets are easier because we end up doing them more often. The reset button is clickable with the stylus. We suspect it is easier to reboot because Mobile needs to be reset more frequently (due to lock ups and other peculiarities). Palms seem quite happy to run without glitches.
3. Screen Quality - The Palm Tungsten E backlit color screen is one of the largest and brightest available. Keep in mind that you will want to show the device to consumers. Readability is a key issue. Having purchased Dell Axim X30's and Siemens SX56 units, all costing much more than the Palm Tungsten E, those Windows Mobile devices have screens that are harder to read.
4. Availability - Palm claims to have sold over 1.5 million Tungsten E's and we don't doubt it. There are lots of good quality used units available and we have already been "under the hood" doing repairs when necessary. We are confident that we can sell and service Tungsten E products for a long time to come. We will keep a good stock of units, parts and accessories.
By contrast, it appears that the companies manufacturing Windows Mobile units are changing their models constantly. This means that any particular Windows Mobile device is not likely to have the same availability of parts and there is very little part interchangability between different models. Providing you buy one with the view it is a throw away device, there is nothing wrong with that. But if you want something that costs less, works great and is serviceable by Compulife, Tungsten E is a GREAT product.
To summarize, we wanted an inexpensive option for our subscribers which is easy for us to support, repair and maintain, and which is easy for you to use and show to consumers. The Tungsten E is that unit.
If you are a first time PDA user, the Tungsten E is a good place to begin and you can begin RIGHT NOW! We have lots in stock and your Palm Tungsten E is sitting on a shelf waiting for you to say "ship it".
During October Glenn Cooke of www.insurancesquared.com introduced a new service for agents at:
The new service is a message board that is intended to be an information and chat center for insurance agents. There is no cost to participate.
Prior to this Glenn, who is an actuarial student, ran a similar message board for insurance actuaries. The "Rebel Outpost" became extremely successful. Recently Glenn and his partner sold the actuarial message board to a firm that does head hunting for actuaries. Following that Glenn decided to use his talent and experience to start this one for insurance agents. I think it is long overdue.
I have determined that I will be actively participating in posting to the site and I would encourage you to check it out and join in.
Once again, there is NO CHARGE.
Glenn has already posted a number of useful items to the board and there are already a number of useful and timely discussions.
I recommend that you check it out.
On a side note, I have already advised you that Compulife bulletins are going to shorten up because I don't think enough subscribers read them. With that in mind, I will be redirecting more of my "editorial commentary" to Glenn's board rather than the Compulife bulletins.
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our web sites. Our main web site is:
However, we keep three other completely separate web sites, on three completely different servers, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we are also updating to compulife.ca, compulife.us and compulife.cc. If one web site goes down, for whatever reason, either of the other three are ready to serve you.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we rely on three other web sites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
We plan to post the January 2006 Internet monthly update to our six monthly update web sites on Friday, December 30, 2005.
The disk update will be processed Friday, December 30th and the disks will be shipped on that day. You should have the disk update by Tuesday, January 3rd.
If you are receiving monthly updates by disk, make sure you return your previous months updates.
Also note, for those receiving updates by disks, that you must switch over to Internet updates by the end of December 2006. Disk service will not be offered for January 2007 and following.
But we would encourage you to not wait until December 2006 to make the change because not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, it costs much less to get updates by Internet.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our web page www.compulife.com and select the second menu choice "Application/License Agreements" Under the section "Application / License Agreements" you will need to select and complete a new License Agreement for the type of license that you have. Indicate on the application form, under "payment option", that this is a "CHANGE". After you have printed the new application agreement, please read it, especially the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call us and we'll be happy to step you through the procedure. It's easy.