What Do You Do When a Producer Doesn’t Have Time to Produce?
Author: Al Diamond
You are not alone!
This happens a lot!
You hire a
producer whether a fresh and new producer or an experienced producer. They
spend several years diligently creating new clients for the agency. You use our
Acquisition and Management Program to acquire them and our Producer
Validation Program to assure yourself that they are as active as needed to
both support themselves and the agency as they grow your book of business.
Then, when they
reach a hundred or a few hundred clients, you notice that their New Business
production diminishes each year. They are still active, but they spend their
time managing their client relationships to keep the clients happy and
renewing. Something is happening that needs to be addressed if you agree that a
producer’s job in your agency is to build an ever-growing book of clients for
the agency. But there are two types of Producer personalities and each must be
treated differently if you want to continue to grow your business.
The producers with
a true Salesman’s personality are complaining that they don’t have time to get
out and sell anymore – their time is occupied by the existing clients in
service, relationship management and renewals. The second type of producers is
a Service Agent. This persona is comfortable when he has reached his
compensation level. Once his goal is reached, the agency’s production will slow
down or new business will plateau. Hence, that producer is now satisfied to
become Service Agents, tending a book of business. They simply haven’t told the
owner that they are no longer Producers.
It’s important to
identify which category of producer you are facing when the time comes that
their NB production has diminished. Both types can be motivated to regain their
posture as New Business producers, but the motivating factors are a little
different for each type.
If you have a true
Salesman Personality in your producer, the correct action is to take their
lowest 5% of clients (by revenue size) and re-assigning them to an Account
Manager or to an Account Executive. Your goal, of course, is to retain as close
to 100% of your clients every year AND, simultaneously, have your production
team both replace lost clients and grow new clients every year. The advent of
Account Managers for smaller accounts in partnership with the producers and
Account Executives who assume an entire book of business with the goal of
maximizing retention will take much of the producers’ workloads away, allowing
them time to prospect and penetrate new customer relationships. Once true
producers realize the luxury of more time, they will penetrate more (and
usually larger) accounts, paying themselves and the agency better for their
Producers who have
converted to Service Agents are motivated differently than True Producer
personalities. While the True Producer personality is always looking for more
money and will do anything you permit to grow that compensation, Service Agents
are seeking to solidify their on-going compensation according to the revenue
levels that have permitted them to achieve their current comfort level.
The motivation for
a Producer turned Service Agent is to continue to pay their residual
commissions only if the book of business grows (as defined by either revenue
growth or customer count growth) each year. Knowing that their income level
depends on growth, they will regain their motivation to sell.
is much more involved in either the Producer Incentive Program or the Service
Agent Incentive Program that is specifically tailored to the producer and
current condition of the agency in question. We invite your call to familiarize
us with your producers and allow us to create specific incentive programs to
keep them involved in customer growth within your agency as long as they work
Reprinted from The PIPELINE, the national newsletter for
agency principals. The PIPELINE is published by Agency Consulting Group,
Inc., a leading consulting firm for independent agents in the U.S. for over 30
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Last Updated: April 5, 2016