In order to face success, rather than turn away from it, we must dedicate blocks of time during the week to work on each of these situations. If you do that as you plan your week, you’ll be in really good shape!
You may recall “The 12% Factor”: In any given week, you have 168 hours, of which 40 hours (24%) is work. Now if you can get just 20 hours of faceto- face time with clients, prospects or centers of influence (which most producers never come close to), that’s still only 12% of the week. How much time will you invest (not spend) in each of these areas in the coming week?
While the best producers are always scheduling at least two weeks into the future, most producers start off the week with an empty calendar. I know that most producers don’t even think about their schedules until Monday morning. (If they were following our “Producer’s Perfect Schedule,” they’d have 10 appointments the first week and another 10 appointments the second week.)
Every “hole” in your two-week calendar is a lost opportunity. So if you have only 15 of 20 appointments booked during a two-week period, you’re looking at five lost opportunities. Remember, 90% of what you do out of the office is better than 90% of what you do in the office.
Another way that producers turn their back on success is when they do nothing that relates to a great client experience. The key to the great client experience is to do the unexpected. Everyone says they give great service, but so what? Do you think anyone expects terrible service at a low price? No! These days, people have high expectations of great service at a competitive price.
Therefore, if you’re a producer, do something surprising. Call your clients for no reason, drop them an email, send them a handwritten note or stop by to visit them. That’s unexpected. We have to embrace the high-tech world in order to be productive and competitive, but we still have to operate in a hightouch environment.
To me, the ultimate litmus test for how well we’re doing on the client experience comes down to retention and referrals. Are they staying with you and sending friends and associates to join you? We know that fewer than 10% refer. What does that say? We also know that the retention rate for the average agency is somewhere between 88% and 92%. While that may seem respectable on the surface, you’re actually losing. For instance, at a 90% retention in four renewal cycles, you lose one-third of your book of business.
It’s been well documented that increasing retention is more profitable than writing new accounts. That’s because it costs six to eight times more to get a new account than to keep an existing one. So if you’re not doing those things that are earning and, in fact, generating referrals and introductions, you’d better check out what’s really happening in your agency.
As you already know, the goal is to under-promise and over-deliver— which is doing the unexpected.
There are numbers of other ways that producers turn their backs on success, including lack of practice, lack of rehearsals, lack of research and hiding behind activities, to name a few. I think it’s time that we all examine what we are doing (or should be doing) to turn toward success and financial freedom, not away from it. Also, let’s do these things systematically, not sporadically.
If you’re not there already, why not? Of course, it’s your choice.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest agency tips, blogs and news from the Sitkins team.
Download the latest white paper from Roger Sitkins.