In most independent agencies, producers typically operate in one of two zones. They’re either in a Red Zone or a Green Zone.
As the name suggests, the Green Zone is all about earning more green (a.k.a. money!). Those in this zone participate in activities and execute strategies that create and retain revenue. It all comes down to Selling More, Retaining More, and Earning More. It’s pretty simple and straightforward.
The Red Zone is about constantly reacting to what we call the inbound arrows—everything that comes at you that distracts you from what’s important. You start most days with good intentions, but at the end of the day you wonder what happened and what you have to show for it. This tells me you spent too much time in the Red Zone.
Assuming you’d like to spend your days productively, you must first understand the difference between Green Zone and Red Zone activities. It’s significant. The Red Zone is focused on No-Growth activities, and the Green Zone is all about Growth activities.
Red Zone activities
Let’s start with the negative side, the no-growth Red Zone. If you find yourself routinely engaged in the following activities, you’re probably operating in the Red Zone way too often.
Green Zone activities
If you’re operating in the Green Zone, you probably are engaging in the following growth activities.
The goal of our Professional Fitness Experience® is to have the strategies, processes and structures in place that allow producers to be in the Green Zone 80% of the time. How are you and your producers doing with this? Is your time truly spent selling? Are your producers actually spending 80% of their time in the Green Zone? Based on the average work week of 40 hours, that would be 32 hours per week that producers are spending/investing in the Green Zone. If not, you have a bunch of part-time producers. (Gee, I wonder why the average organic growth rate is only 5%!)
Now, assuming that 80% of your time is spent in the Green Zone, that leaves the remaining 20% for the Red Zone. It’s not a perfect world, stuff happens, and sometimes things are simply out of our control. Don’t panic! That’s life. You’ll always have meetings, client emergencies and other situations that pull you away from your Green Zone. The key is to schedule your Red Zone activities, rather than sit around waiting for them to happen. Just be very specific and intentional about identifying those activities and differentiating them from distractions.
The bottom line
As an individual producer, challenge yourself to maximize Green Zone time every week. Make sure your high-performance team members understand and buy into the two zones. Get their commitment to keep you in the Green Zone and out of service (which they’ll gladly do because you mess up service items the majority of the time you get involved anyway). And when they do, remember to make deposits with them. It’s extremely important to show them how much you appreciate their support, which keeps you in the Green Zone. You’d be surprised how far a gift card or some other thoughtful token of gratitude will go.
If you’re a sales leader, constantly remind your producers about Red Zone vs. Green Zone. Make it a topic at every sales meeting. Challenge them, remind them, and then celebrate with them.
Do you plan to commit your time and energy to the Red Zone or the Green Zone? Where do you think million-dollar producers invest their time?
As always, it’s your choice.
Roger Sitkins is chief executive officer of Sitkins Group, Inc., and developer of The Sitkins Network and The Better Way Agency program. Roger began his career by working in his parents’ insurance agency in Wyandotte, Michigan, and after nearly 40 years has truly become an icon in the industry. He has trained and mentored thousands of insurance professionals. Producers, CEOs, and sales managers with diverse levels of experience have benefited tremendously from his training and leadership.
Roger was inducted into the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame in 2017 and in that same year also received the Dr. Henry C. Martin Award from Rough Notes magazine. Roger is among only six people to have the honor of receiving this prestigious award.
Recognized as the nation’s top insurance agency results coach and renowned leader for improvement, he believes that if you improve the life of one person, you improve the world. To learn more, visit www.sitkins.com.
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