Coming off the amazing Insurance Nerds Day at the Gamma Iota Sigma conference last month, I thought I’d write a recap of one of the presentations that I put on for that group. It was interesting to present this to a group that only had a few agents in the audience, but I was glad to be able to share the agent’s perspective to a group of people whose careers are going to take them in a number of directions within the industry.
Here are the top 10 objectives practiced by successful agencies:
Objective #1: Routine Work and Development of Agency Culture
Make insurance fun! Celebrate when things go well within the agency, whether it is hitting a specific goal or a milestone for an individual or an agency. Share your passion with your staff. If you have passion, they will too!
Objective #2: Forever Recruiting
Most small businesses make the mistake of waiting until they have an open position to start the recruiting process. Not only does this cause a delay in the hiring process but reduces the odds of finding the right person. This approach reduces the odds by needing to find the right person for the right job at the right time. A Forever Recruiting approach keeps the door open for discussions with numerous people that may be fits in the future. When the need arises, you have a whole group of people to choose for the right fit.
Objective #3: Consistent Meetings
Most agencies that we work with have the intent to meet on a weekly or monthly basis but many of them tell me it doesn’t happen for one reason or another. Being consistent is committing to running this meeting 52 times a year. It doesn’t matter that it is summertime, the holidays, people are on vacation or even that the principal/manager is out. Whoever is in on that day attends the meeting. If the manager is out, someone else runs it. If the regular meeting day falls on a holiday, move it to another day of the week!
Objective #4: Strong Centralized Leadership
A strong leader sets the mission and vision of the agency. They are working on identifying customer experience and investigating technology. Their Immutable Laws (for those of you that asked me about business books that are worth reading (not just blogs stretched into books), do yourself a favor and pick that one up!) are Accountability, Execution, and Innovation.
Objective #5: Feedback Loop
Creating a culture of performance can only be done when there is positive and constructive feedback that goes both ways. Team members want structure; they will perform their best when they are given feedback and structure and are held accountable.
Objective #6: Goal Setting with Incentive Plans
Furthering the culture of performance is done through clear goals with incentives driving them. This does not have to be complex (although it is okay if they are). Simple goals around new business and retention go a long way. It is always great to have goals and incentives around projects that need to get done as well. If we don’t, projects have a tendency to be pushed down the priority list to the point where they don’t get done!
Objective #7: Agency Technology
Don’t be left in the past! Embrace new agency technology. It is much better to improve a process or system than simply add staffing. Get involved and create a plan to make it happen.
Objective #8: Consistent Training
Most agencies have a plan for CEU and even designation training. These are much needed and help us with our insurance knowledge. However, we provide a service as much as a product. Training for insurance agents on service issues (handling upset clients or rate increases) as well as sales, marketing, team building, etc. are much needed to run a successful agency.
Objective #9: Marketing & Branding
Your agency needs a brand to compete. Why is your agency special? Why should a prospect chose to do business with you? Why should a client stay with you? Branding is much more than colors and a logo. It is also more than a mission statement that no one in the office can recite (nevermind one that is actually followed).
Objective #10: Target Markets
Build your offering around who you want to write. Who are they? Where are you going to find them? What can you do to make their lives easier? What is important to them? Remember the Platinum Rule (while a life changing concept, no need to read the book, the concept is simple (which is part of its genius!) is to make it about them (not you)!
If you’d like to learn more about these objectives, or our program, please Contact Us today to set up a call.