Bigger, Better, Brighter: Part One

One of the best questions I’ve ever heard is from Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach program. He asked, “Is your past greater than your future, or is your future greater than your past?” I certainly hope it’s the latter and that you’re more excited about what’s on the horizon than what’s in the rear view mirror.

Of course, we all know people who live in the past. Their glory days are well behind them and yet they talk about them like it was just yesterday. Maybe it’s the former captain of the high school football team whose conversation will frequently turn to “the big game” from 40-plus years ago.

Similarly, there are producers who wax poetic about “the good old hard market days.”

Let’s face it, as an independent insurance agency owner or producer, your past has been pretty darn good. After all, this is a great business, and that’s exactly why you should expect an even greater future.

Years ago during one of our producer training programs, an agency principal said to me, “I expect to have the best new business year I’ve ever had and be the worst producer in our agency!” Now think about that. He had some pretty high expectations for the future.

As you look at your future agency, are you focused on your three Bs: the Bigger, Better and Brighter?


If you want to be a bigger agency, you must commit to the following:

  • Become a true high organic growth model agency. Your agency model is either a HAWG (Hysterical Activity on the Way to the Grave) or a HOG (High Organic Growth). Which one is it?
  • Become a true sales organization. People often ask me, “Which comes first—sales or service?” To me, they’re like (1) and (1a). While (1) is a proactive sales organization, (1a) provides exceptional customer service. But it all starts with making sales.
  • Cultivate net new organic growth. To be a bigger agency, you must have net new organic growth of 15% at the very least.
  • Establish a set offense. It’s imperative to have a selling system that differentiates you from all other “me too” competitors and gets you out of the commodity business.
  • Eliminate price-only selling. Price-only selling should be yesterday’s news at your agency. Bigger agencies have a process that helps clients control their Total Cost of Risk—or Total Cost of Benefits— while becoming a better risk for insurance carriers.
  • Continually increase your revenue per relationship. You’ve often heard me preach that the size of your individual books of business and the size of your agency overall are always driven by your average revenue per relationship (aka revenue per client). This is something that requires constant work and starts with having 100% Full-Time Clients who buy all of their insurance from you. I know you’ve heard it before, but what have you done about it?
  • Establish revenue goals. At a minimum, you must require every validated producer to deliver a minimum of $150,000 of net new revenue per year.

Naturally, if you do all of the above, you’re going to be a bigger agency.

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