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Three Steps to Take for Your Agency's Best Version Possible

 

Welcome to the Agent Leader Podcast. If you are an insurance agency leader looking to truly transform your agency, transform your agency's results, congratulations, you are 100% in the right room. My name is Brent Kelly. I'm the host of the Agent Leader Podcast. It's my pleasure to be with you on this episode. And today we're going to be talking about specific steps to becoming a Best Version Possible agency. If you're watching this podcast, you may notice that I'm in a different location than normal. Hopefully the audio sounds great. I did some testing on this, but I am in a hotel room getting prepared to speak to a group of agency principals later today. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of being in Pensacola, Florida, speaking to the Big I of Arkansas, and that was a great event. And today I'm speaking with the Florida Association of Independent Insurance Agents in Orlando.

And in the meantime, I get the pleasure of delivering this important message to you, which is about Best Version Possible steps. Now, a reminder, Roger Sitkins myself, we co-authored the book Best Version Possible a couple of years ago. Appreciate all the continued feedback on that book. If you want to learn more, get a copy of the book, go to sitkins.com/bvp. It is the blueprint. It is the guide for your agency to have greater results, greater profit, all with less effort. So take a look at the book there. You also can go to this place called Amazon. It is on Amazon as well. But today what I want to do is break this down Best Version Possible, although the book is short, and we wrote that for a reason because we know that insurance agency leaders, you got a lot of things going on. You don't need a 400 page novel.

What you need is practical advice. And what I want to do on this podcast is get even more practical if that's possible, and talk about three steps, three specific steps for you to become a Best Version Possible agency. And as I talk about these steps, before I get into it, I want to talk about the elephant in the room. The elephant in the room is that the majority of you, if not almost all of you that are listening, watching this podcast right now, are probably getting good results. You're getting good results. So the question is, if you're getting good results, why do you need to take it to the next level? Well, that's totally up to you. You may not want to or think you need to because you're getting good results, but here's what I want to share with you before I get into the steps today.

Good results are a trap. They're a trap. And I can say that with conviction because we work with so many insurance agencies across the country and have worked with so many agencies, have so many conversations with agencies. And let me tell you what, we understand you. We get you. There are some huge challenges that you all face. We are right there with you having these conversations and making sure we're doing our best to help guide you through the way. But we also know this, that because we work with so many agencies, there's some fundamental truths and that good results, although they're good results, are a trap often hindering you from becoming your true Best Version Possible, which provides ultimate freedom. It provides a place that you finally get to an end of your career whenever that is. And by the way, we're all going to come to the end of our career, that you have little to no regrets.

And that's our mission. That's our purpose of Best Version Possible. It's the purpose of this podcast to provide education, to help empower you, to help equip you with tools and resources and thoughts to help you truly become that Best Version Possible. And what I want to do today is break this down into three specific steps that you avoid these traps. And by the way, good results traps. You might know about them, you might already be getting good results, decent results. And you go, yeah, I know there's some traps, which listen, no agency's perfect. We know that there's no organization that's perfect. But you may go, yeah, I've got a pretty good idea, I've got a few traps. Or what typically happens is that we do an assessment, and I'm going to talk more about that today for an agency, and we'll do this before there's any commitment as far as financial commitment with an agency.

We'll do an assessment with your agency and we go, my gosh, I didn't realize some of these things that were preventing me or hindering me from really getting the results, the outcome, the transformation that I ultimately seek and desire to get that freedom that I really want for myself, for my team and the relationships that I have. So let's talk about three steps, and I'm going to keep this very basic, but you know what? Basic is good. John Maxwell, a great leadership trainer. I've been a part of many of his workshops and part of the John Maxwell team, he says, I like to keep the cookies on the bottom shelf. It's simple. And none of us needs, we don't need complexity. We don't need more ideas, more things to do. So my mission, my purpose here is to keep this super simple, but also ask you questions that are simple, that engage your thinking, that up level, maybe some areas of your awareness.

So step one is this. Step one of the Best Version Possible plan is clarity. That's step one, ultimate clarity. Now, that word is used quite a bit. I get that. I appreciate that for good reason. It's important clarity to me when I think about clarity. Clarity comes down to you and your agency, being able to ask and then answer confidently. Three questions, three questions for you as an agency leader to answer with confidence. Question one, where are we today? Where are we? Now, you may think that seems like a silly question, where are we? But many agencies haven't really taken the time to answer that question, whether it's one leader, two leaders. You have a team of leaders at your agency to say, where are we? Good, bad, ugly, amazing, terrible. Where are we? Are we where we expected to be? Are we where we want to be?

And let's make sure we're very clear on the specific numbers that we have. So one of the first part is being very clear. In fact, you may take this for granted, and we talked to a lot of the agencies on initial conversations. I may ask very simple questions like, tell me your current agency's revenue or the revenue per employee or organic growth or your current profit. And there's a lot of answers like, well, I think it's about we're around, it's somewhere between, and I get that. Some of that, maybe we're not as prepared on this call. But the other part is that we're oftentimes guessing. So the first question may seem innocent, where are we? But be very, very clear and unified, because by the way, I've also done this, I've talked to agency leaders and I talk to one leader and I get an answer of where they are, and I talk to another leader and I get an answer of where they are, not only in the actual demographics or the KPIs, but from an emotional standpoint, I think we're doing great.

And the other leader says, I don't think we're doing so hot. So it's very interesting as a leadership team that we're all on the same page of answering the question, where are we? Question two, where do we want to go? Where do we want to go? I think this is a planning question. Where is it that we envision question, where do we ultimately want to go? What do we want to attain to? What do we want our agency to look like in three years? I like a three years question. It's not so far away that we can't grasp it, but it's not so soon that we're not sure we can get there in time, three years, which is they able to paint the vision, the picture of what we want for an agency? Where do we ultimately want to go? And then the last question is, how are we going to get there?

How are we as an agency going to get to the place that we want to go? And this really is the ultimate plan. Building your Best Version Possible plan, what does it look like? What are the strategies we're going to need to employ? What are some of the behaviors that need to become normal? What does it look like? How are we going to actually get there? How do we get our team involved? Which really leads me to the second plan, second part of the BVP plan. So part one is clarity. Those three questions, that's step one of the plan. Can you answer those three questions confidently? Where are we? Where do we want to go and how are we going to get there? Second step of the plan is around getting alignment or buy-in or consistency with your entire team. I know one of the frustrations in talking to independent insurance agency leaders, agency leaders, is that you may get really excited and really focused on a particular thing that you want to accomplish, a place you want to go, a goal you want to attain.

The hard part is getting people to come with you. Now, some of that is being really clear with those first three questions. If you have the greater clarity you have in those first three questions, the more people are going to want to follow you. They want you to lead them somewhere. But the other part is getting people to have the same goal with an appreciation, respect, and trust of the different roles. So step two is how do we get our people to buy in to align, to be consistent around this plan, this vision that's created? And a big part of this is getting common language and culture. Now we work with agencies. We realize it doesn't have to be the Sitkins culture, it's your agency. It needs to be your culture. But we often find that people start speaking the same language when we can align around one clear area, one clear set of circumstances, one clear area of strategies, behaviors, where we're very clear around those, and it really is about getting greater buy-in where people go, this sounds like something we want to do.

And it really is about having appreciation, respect, and trust between leadership, between sales, between service. So step two is getting people on the same page. Step one is clarity. Step two is alignment to get people together. That's step two, the Best Version Possible plan. Step three is focus. Step three is focus. When we work with agencies, step one is get leaders to understand the clarity path, the plan. Step two is to get people on your team to actually buy into that. Step three is to take one key area and get laser focused around it. I've said this on other podcasts, agency leaders, you don't need more things to do, by the way, your team doesn't need more things to do. What you need and your team needs is a hundred percent clarity and alignment around one thing with laser focus. That's what you really need.

By the way. That should be what you really want as well. So what does that look like? Well, number one, focus does a few things. We want to eliminate distractions, eliminate the noise, eliminate the gimmick of the month. Here's the new thing. Here's the next thing. It's here's the one thing. Now, when we work with agencies, we talk about 90 day sprints or 90 days of focus because I think that's a reasonable amount of time to get momentum in one particular thing. Because oftentimes, let's accomplish this thing in 30 days. No, you won't, right? Unless it's super easy. No, you won't. We're talking about installing and executing and getting momentum in a key strategy that also requires certain behaviors. It's going to take a period of time, and it's not perfect. It's not a linear path, right? 90 days of perfection, there's going to be a few ups and downs.

But what we do want do is take one area, one strategy, align the progress that we want to attain. So we do attribute some KPIs or performance indicators to this so that we know we're making visible progress and we get ultimate laser focus in that. That's the BVP plan. And I said, I was going to keep the super succinct. Well, I want to do that. I want you to think about that. I could go much deeper in any or all of areas, but at a basic level to your agency to become its Best Version Possible. Do we have ultimate clarity? Do we have true alignment with our entire team to buy in around the strategies and behaviors based on that clarity, that path that we've talked about? And third, are we able to take one specific area that has the greatest impact, the greatest impact, and march forward in that one direction?

Now, are there more than one thing to work on? Of course there's going to be, there's always more than one thing. But as a team, as a collective effort to have, one focus gives you momentum. It's momentum making versus the distractions which are momentum taking. And ultimately, it leads you to freedom. It leads you to freedom. Now, now that I've described that, I want to be very clear, how do agencies that are the hero of the story, that are going to be the transformational agencies, how do they use a guide to help them execute this? The highest level? What we do, that's who we are. Agencies, you, agency leaders, you are the hero. You're out there writing the story. What we want to do is help you execute that at the highest level to help you avoid roadblocks or some of the traps that I mentioned earlier in this podcast.

So here's how this would work, and I'll make this super simple. If you want to understand better where you may have some traps, get a better idea of awareness in your agency, step one is book a call with my team. We're going to have a quick conversation with you, understand what you're looking for, understand where you want to go, and if it makes sense to continue the conversation, you'll book with one of our coaches. We're going to do a deeper assessment for you and your agency. We'll go a bit deeper to really understand the traps. That's the step. And then at that point, we are going to submit your agency a plan, a plan of action based on the conversations that we had. And we will do all of that without any formal obligation. Why? Because we want to serve independent insurance agencies at the highest level to help them become their Best Version Possible.

Now, at the end of that, you book a call, you get an assessment with their coach, you receive a plan. At that point, you can determine, Hey, what do I want to do next? Do I want to continue on this journey with the Sitkins Group? Do I want to do some of these things on my own? Or maybe none of us make sense and I don't want to do any of it all. That's your choice. But we want to give you a clear path to become that Best Version Possible. So go to sitkins.com/bookacall . And again, there's no obligation to this. We want to help you. We want to get to know you better. And that's a starting point. By the way, if you want to take a look at one of our scorecards, an online assessment doesn't require a phone call. You can go to sitkins.com/scorecard, and there's a way you can get a scorecard that way as well. So Sitkins.com/bookacall or Sitkins.com/scorecard our mission, educate, empower, equip for you to become your Best Version Possible.

It's a pleasure to be with you. Thanks for listening to this podcast. If these ideas that I'm sharing, whether it's on this podcast, previous podcast, hopefully a future podcast that you plug into providing value to you and your agency, please leave a rating and review wherever you listen to the Agent Leader podcast. Appreciate you, wish you all the best in your success. Thanks.

 

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