Interview with Kelvin Joseph: Kool Kel Marketing To Help Brokers Profit from Massachusetts Family Leave Act

With news of the Massachusetts Family Leave Act and PFML benefits now mandated in Massachusetts, The DBL Center is seeking ways to scale our high-touch business model and give Massachusetts brokers selling PFML even better access to our personalized service, knowledge, insight, and relationships.

Kelvin Joseph, Founder and CEO of Kool Kel Marketing, has helped companies from new startups to Fortune 500s maximize their sales by executing a marketing strategy that communicates their “Kool.” By working with Kool Kel, The DBL Center seeks to duplicate President and CEO Michael Cohen to build a legacy.

Kelvin, a marketing strategist who has specialized in sports marketing and built relationships with C-level executives across both New York and Massachusetts, recently shared his thoughts with The DBL Center on marketing Massachusetts Family Leave Act benefits successfully.

Let’s get right to it: How do you plan to help Mike duplicate himself to build a legacy?

We’re in the relationship business. Short-term disability or PFL is mandated in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts [through the Massachusetts Family Leave Act] right now. I believe other states are going to start mandating it, too.

The DBL Center is going to have to learn how to expand into different states, where we can be as high-touch as we have been, especially here on Long Island, which is our strongest community.

What steps can The DBL Center take to bring that level of service we provide to Long Island brokers into Massachusetts and then other places?

We’re in the relationship business and Mike cannot be everywhere. It’s not possible to keep the same model we have in New York and New Jersey for every state. But this has been done before, and we have the strategic partners to help.

We’re building systems and situations to create warm leads without needing Mike to be everywhere.

How did you and Mike first meet and what made you decide to start working together?

I’ve known Mike since high school. We’re just two regular guys from Huntington who are CEOs of our own companies, and we’ve stayed friends.

We’re always talking business, but it was never the right moment [to collaborate.] What I was selling at the time was really kind of one-dimensional. My core business is sports marketing. Now, because of the pandemic, I can’t really have big events. So, I’ve been helping a lot of companies with their marketing strategy.

Can you share some of the details of the upcoming marketing strategy for The DBL Center?

I always feel like it’s better to be introduced [to someone] than to introduce yourself. That’s why referrals are so powerful. And a lot of the brokers reading this blog understand the power of referrals.

Instead of going in cold into a new market like Massachusetts, where we don’t know anybody, I actually do know about 800 people there. C-level executives.

It made sense to start with people I had some kind of relationship with and see what comes of that. We’re in the relationship business. If people already know me, and I introduce Mike, that’s a win. That’s the strategy we’re starting with – referral marketing and warm introductions.

Here’s the thing about Massachusetts: On June 15, most of the companies there are going to get a bill that they don’t understand [for Massachusetts Family Leave Act premiums]. The DBL Center knows how to help those companies save money by privatizing their state-mandated paid family leave plan in Massachusetts.

On your website and your LinkedIn, you describe a company’s “Kool” as the passion and unique value proposition that fuels consistent and reliable revenue growth. How will you help DBL Center communicate its “Kool?”

Mike not only has passion; he has a great value proposition. These benefits are mandated in New York, New Jersey, and now Massachusetts. And Mike has a way to save people money. Right now, businesses are looking to increase their revenue and reduce their expenses.

If we can reduce their expenses, we’re helping them. And it’s probably something they’re not going to be able to figure out on their own. We’re going to help them avoid that pain and get help from an expert who’s been doing this pretty much his whole life. It’s something with a lot of value.

I posted two teaser posts on Linked In over the last three days, and we already have 20,000 views on the two posts I made. I built up a strong LinkedIn base of c-level executives who also have a reach, so our message is going far. In two days to get 20,000 views is amazing. Because we know how important even one client can be.

It seems pretty obvious, but how will this benefit DBL Center brokers?

Mike knows his brokers are the lifeblood of his business. He asked me to figure out how we can help his brokers in this time. We hope they’re all using the Broker Dashboard they have. That’s a key.

A lot of brokers are entrepreneurial and driven, but don’t have the kind of marketing budget they want. I’m going to be available for consulting. When we can have events again, I’ll be able to invite some of the brokers to some of the things we’re doing together.

But the reality is, Mike knows how to take care of his people. And the more that’s on the table, the more there is to share.

What single tip would you have for brokers looking to reinvent their marketing strategy or approach this new market in Massachusetts?

I would advise brokers to make friends before you need anything. That’s super-important. How do we get people to know us, like us, and trust us?

There’s still some negativity associated with the insurance industry and insurance brokers. It’s almost a necessary evil to a certain extent.

So, if we know that our clients are trying to increase their revenue and eliminate their expenses, we have to be careful that we don’t look like an expense. Business owners are trying to eliminate expenses.

Sometimes, brokers go in and start talking about how this will be good for your employees. In these times, with something like 40 million people unemployed right now, just keeping your employees employed is the best some business owners can do.

If you’re a broker, you need to be talking about how you’re either increasing revenue by passing some business along to your clients and giving them referrals, or you’re reducing expenses. You better have something in your back pocket to save them money.

The approach is: “This is the business I can bring to you.” Because insurance brokers know other companies. They should be introducing their clients to one another and helping their clients make more money.

And the other thing they should be doing is making sure they’re talking in the language a CEO can understand: Either my revenue is going up, or my expenses are going down.

Thank you for all this information, Kelvin. In closing, do you have anything you’d like to add?

I would like to say that the reason I’m working with Mike Cohen is because he thinks big, he follows through on his promises, and his humility exceeds his ability.

I think he is going places, and I think any broker reading this should understand that you need to surround yourself with the right people. I challenge you to find a DBL guy better than Mike Cohen in the whole country. That’s why I’m with him and I think brokers around the country, specifically New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, should be happy to work with him as well.