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Outside Looking In
To understand the problems in your agency, sometimes it takes someone on the outside looking in. This article addresses four of the most common positions held by agency owners that create immovable and serious roadblocks to their agencies’ success.
Why Agency Producers Will Become Obsolete in 2017
The internet and online insurance buying are incredible. Early in 2017, agency producers will become obsolete. Shortly thereafter, agencies themselves will become obsolete. This will happen because three progressions will occur simultaneously.
"River Rock" Sales Management
Many agency owners/managers are like river rocks...solid with rounded edges, they don't like to cut people the wrong way. Unfortunately, while this approach may work with customers, it may not with staff. Many agencies have producers who are like anchors dragging the agency in the current or, worse, to the bottom of the river. Here's how to solve the problem....
$200K Commissioner Per Producer...Dream or Reality?
I have received many incredulous looks and many e-mails asking what planet I was from in response to my speeches and articles suggesting producers must produce $200,000 gross commissions for an agency to break even on their producers. In particular, many small town agents think this is impossible. Think again....
Creating a Sales Environment
Did you know that at least half of all young, good producers leave their jobs after a short time due to their agencies' poor sales environments? A new producer costs a minimum of $150,000 the first three years with minimal production, so these are very costly losses. How can agencies turn this around?
When contemplating a cross-sell strategy, it is important to fully analyze the strategy and set realistic expectations to ensure it is successful. With better analysis, agents can improve their strategy and tactics or maybe choose a totally different strategy, but to assume cross-selling is going to be universally successful is pure folly.
Increase Profits by Getting Rid of Prospects
The time has long passed when every breathing human should be considered a prospect. Most agencies only segment their markets by size and account type, such as personal lines, small commercial, middle market, truckers, high-end personal lines, contractors, and so forth. These delineations still apply, but more important divisions exist.
Losses Loom Large
Not all customers will opt for higher quality services and products, but we can educate our prospects and clients about the genuine risks involved with a lower quality solution and provide true motivation for choosing a higher quality services and products. Here's how....
Only an Insurance Agent
When advertising, ALWAYS make sure that the consumer understands the significance and value of an independent insurance agent by stressing this, regardless of the form of advertising.
Producers, Lawn Chairs, and Brothers-In-Law
Start your agency on its way to making money on its sales, rather than losing money. Take a detailed look at ALL of the costs of making a sale. Do not let your brother-in-law or your producers leave you holding the bill for your operating expenses! To learn what producers, brothers-in-law and lawn chairs have to do with your agency, read on....
Production and Profits
Some agency owners believe they need a producer regardless of whether the producer generates a profit for the agency. They believe they need the business to keep their companies happy and to stay competitive. This is like skinning your knee and asking the doctor for an amputation to stop the pain. Better solutions do exist!
As agencies grow, eventually they require a producer and bringing in a nonowner producer seems to be the Achilles heal of so many very successful agency owners. But, there are two important things you can do: (1) hire a good sales person, and (2) provide sales training. In this article, I'll give you some tips on how and why to do this.
Torpedo & LU Producers
I spend a lot of time with insurance agency owners and producers. So I see and observe a lot about sales. Based on these observations, I believe producers generally fall into four categories: (1) Lazy and Undisciplined (LU's), (2) Stalwarts, (3) Charisma Maniacs, and (4) Torpedoes. Do you know in which category your producers fall?
What Business Are You Really In?
What business are you in? The answer is not always obvious. If your answer is selling insurance then prepare your agency for a slow demise. No future exists in selling insurance. Going forward, traditional P&C insurance will become less and less important. Insurance is only one means for protecting assets....
Why Do Producers Fail?
I'm going to give you 25 reasons why producers fail. Some of you will laugh. Some will cry. Some will curse. Some will think I am unfairly picking on producers. Some will think I’ve hit the mark. Regardless of your reaction, the point of this list is the same: Every one of these reasons for failure has a solution and it is management’s, not the producer's, responsibility to identify and implement the solution.
You're Selling the Wrong Thing!
Many companies exploring alternative distribution channels believe that some people don't want the advice and counsel of an agent. Know what? They're right! Know something else? You're better off letting them have those customers! In fact, the best way to 'compete' with direct sales (e.g., via company internet sites) is to stop selling 'insurance.'
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