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MASS MUTUAL ENGINEERS ITS ESCAPE FROM LIFE INSURANCE SALES EROSIONS WITH HELP FROM HARVARD GRAPHICS(R) FOR WINDOWS

 SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Traditional efforts were becoming less and less effective, forcing insurance giant Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. to find new answers. Agents' sales techniques of past years were falling on ears deafened by a shifting economy. Revitalizing sales became a major priority, and Harvard Graphics(R) for Windows a key element in making that happen.
 Back when interest rates were high during the 1980s, agents relied on income projections as a primary life insurance sales technique. Mass Mutual (Springfield, Mass.) Associate Director of Business Applications Support Joseph T. Buckley explains, "Agents would use the high rates to project future value of the policies. It was an impressive sales technique, but the days of high rates have passed."
 Buckley says today, insurance is sold on the basis of its fundamental value to a policyholder's financial plan. But that is a more difficult concept to convey. "Agents need to demonstrate the uses of life insurance in financial management," he says. "That is best done with graphics, and we found that graphics are best done with Harvard Graphics."
 It was Mass Mutual's agents, not the home office, who brought Harvard Graphics to the task. The insurance company was using Lotus Freelance when it realized that its agents, opting for more responsive software, had adopted Harvard Graphics on their own.
 "Our agents' committee told us they wanted more user-friendly graphics software," Buckley said. "They told us the agents weren't using the company's software, anyway.
 "We surveyed the agents and found them using Harvard Graphics, four- to-one.
 "We decided we should make the switch ourselves, and we're glad we did. Harvard Graphics is much easier to use."
 Buckley reports that Mass Mutual agents use Harvard Graphics "for everything from a one-page conversation starter to a full-fledged slide presentation for group meetings." They display Harvard Graphics images on desktop or laptop computer screens, as color print-outs on paper or overhead projection transparencies, or projected by video or overhead devices.
 Graphics are the key to current insurance sales, says Jeffrey W. Monkers, marketing assistant at the Richards Agency in Seattle, one of Mass Mutual's largest agencies, with eight offices in Washington State.
 "Agents have to sell the need, not the numbers," Monkers explains. "Prospective clients can easily get overwhelmed by numbers. You have to sell them the idea of insurance."
 Monkers creates custom color presentation pages for each prospective Richards Agency client. The pages go into a brochure given to the prospect by an agent.
 "It really makes a good impression," he says. "The client gets a quality graphic depiction of how insurance rounds out his total financial plan. People are always impressed with the graphics. They look very professional; they usually help clinch the sale."
 Monkers chose Harvard Graphics for the Richards Agency because of good experience he had with it during his military service.
 "I was in Military Intelligence," he says. "We used Harvard Graphics to depict Soviet troop breakdowns and tank platoon deployments. Graphic software made it easy to convey complex data, and we found Harvard Graphics easier to use than any other program."
 Some 300 Mass Mutual agents now use Harvard Graphics, with more coming on board, said Buckley.
 "Most of them say Harvard Graphics has increased their business," he adds.
 Harvard Graphics for Windows software is available for $395 (suggested U.S. resale) at participating resellers. For additional information contact Software Publishing Corporation, 3165 Kifer Rd., Santa Clara, CA 95056; 408-986-8000, or fax 408-980-0729.
 -0- 11/15/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Harvard Graphics(R) is a registered trademark of Software Publishing Corporation/
 /CONTACT: Viki Paige of Software Publishing, 408-450-7316/


CO: Software Publishing Corp.; Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. ST: California, Massachusetts IN: CPR INS SU: PDT

AR-BM -- CL002 -- 4316 11/15/93 10:31 EST
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Date:Nov 15, 1993
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