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IF YOUR AGENCY COULD TALK, WHAT WOULD IT SAY?

leadership owners Nov 14, 2019

One of the best questions I ever heard came from Andy Stanley, the founder and pastor of North Point Ministries in Atlanta: “What will your story be when it’s time for your story to be told?”

Whenever I’ve asked this question at our senior leadership programs or producer programs, it tends to spur considerable thought. I can see that people are asking themselves, “When the time comes, what is my story going to be?” I think this question applies to you regardless of your role in the agency, whether you’re a leader, a producer, or any other team member.

Although we may not be aware of it, we all are creating stories that someday will be told. Perhaps a better word is “legacy.” What legacy are you going to leave? As I’ve said before, eventually everybody leaves their business.

Granted, most of my readers will be in this business for another 10, 15, or 20 years, if not longer. Why? Because it’s a great business...

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Ten Ways to Build a Strong Agency

leadership Sep 05, 2019

The Agency's Best Version Pyramid

“Close your eyes and imagine the best possible version of your agency. That’s what you really want to become. You’ve got to let go of any part of your agency that is an obstacle, anything that’s holding it back from becoming the best agency possible.”

The concept of the Best Version Pyramid made its public debut during our recent ProFitNet meeting in April, and it is something I’m going to continue to develop for all the major areas of agencies.

The ideal way for me to explain the behaviors and strategies around becoming the Best Version Possible (BVP), is to use a pyramid, which I refer to as the Best Version Pyramid. As with any pyramid, it starts with core, foundational stones and ends with a capstone. 

The first is the Agency’s Best Version Pyramid (ABVP) consisting of 10 “stones.” As I define the various stones, I’ll share each one’s purpose and desired results. You’ll...

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Building Blocks of Agency Leadership

leadership Jun 13, 2019

KNOW WHERE YOU WANT TO GO AND HOW YOU’RE GOING TO GET THERE

For the last 30 years, international leadership guru John Maxwell, who was my mentor and with whom I’ve had the privilege of sharing a stage, has said that everything rises and falls on leadership. Although I used to question that idea, my experience has convinced me that it’s true! Leadership affects every area of our personal and professional lives.

To me, leadership is not a destination, a title, an expensive car or a corner office. Although all of those things may be the result of great leadership, they are not one and the same. Leadership is an action, and the way you measure that action is influence. Are people listening to you? Are they buying in to what you’re trying to accomplish? Are you building relationships?

Ultimately I believe three main building blocks form the foundation of great agency leadership:

  • Clarity of vision and direction
  • Confidence in your entire team
  • Culture...
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Leading the Right Way - Interview With Jon Miles

leadership May 23, 2019

Special episode of The Agent Leader Podcast featuring an interview with Sitkins Network member, Jon Miles, President of EHD Insurance.

Jon is a stellar example of effective leadership and how to lead the right way. Listen to the lessons he shares from his high-achieving agency and get your pen and paper ready, you'll want to be taking notes.

Click here to listen/subscribe on Apple iTunes

Click here to listen/subscribe on Stitcher

Click here to listen/subscribe on GooglePlay

 

 

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Discover the Business Hiding Inside Your Business

leadership sales Apr 18, 2019

FIND THE GOLDMINE IN YOUR EXISTING RESOURCES

The best agency owners and producers are always looking for new opportunities to grow their business. Those that aren’t certainly should be.

But when asked why they haven’t become their best version possible, they usually start with “if only” statements: If only we had that market; if only we had that technology; if only we had that tool; if only we had more service people; if only we had a new office; if only we expanded to another location.

Here’s my challenge: Stop “if only-ing” yourself! Those are just excuses.

I believe that every agency has a great opportunity that’s been hidden inside its shop for years, if not decades. That hidden opportunity—which is really hidden business—is to maximize all of its existing assets and resources. We refer to that as “redeployment management.” That’s when an agency takes its existing assets/resources and allocate them...

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How To Become An Average Agency

growth leadership plan Mar 27, 2019

THE ROAD TO THE MIDDLE IS PAVED WITH NO INTENTIONS

Did the title of this article grab your attention? I hope it made you think, “Average? Why would anyone want to be average?”

Before I answer that, let’s define average: It’s the best of the worst and the worst of the best; as close to the top as you are to the bottom. In other words, average isn’t exactly terrible.

One of the good news/bad news scenarios in our business is that the average agency and the average producer do pretty darn well. When compared to what 95% of working people earn, this is truly a great business.

Of course, not everyone has what it takes to be average. To know whether you make the grade, it’s important to (1) recognize the characteristics of the average agency and (2) be prepared to replicate the specific behaviors of the average producer. Here are some pointers for those who aspire to be truly average.

Don’t be proactive. The average agency has primarily...

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What Kind of Agency Are You?

ON THE PODIUM OF AGENCIES, ARE YOU PLATINUM, GOLD OR SILVER?

Many names or labels have been attached to independent agencies throughout the years: Mom-and-Pop (a literal description of my parents’ business); Lifestyle (corporate and personal finances are commingled to support a comfortable lifestyle); Plateaued (working hard and doing okay, but clients are coming in the front door and going out the back, and every year looks about the same); Growth-Oriented (understanding how to retain customers at a high level while also maintaining an organic growth rate at two to three times the national average); Aggressive (it’s all about selling new accounts to the exclusion of taking care of the old ones); and many more than space permits.

In categorizing agencies, I basically believe there are three kinds: Platinum, Gold and Silver. I’d like to challenge you, as one of our readers, to think of your agency as described below and determine if you’re a Platinum, Gold or...

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The Agent Leader Podcast is Back!

leadership podcast Jan 31, 2019

 

You've been asking for it, and now Brent Kelly's podcast, The Agent Leader, is back!

What can you expect from these new episodes? Brent will be discussing from the heart things he's learning, dealing with, and situations and stories from agencies that he's currently working with. 

In this episode, Brent shares a bit about:

  • How to become your Best Version Possible and avoid regrets, not just in your business, but also your personal life.
  • Adding value to others
  • The greatest challenge of leadership

 

About the Author

Brent Kelly is an executive coach, speaker, and trainer for The Sitkins Group where he helps independent insurance agencies Sell More, Retain More and Earn More. Learn more about the Sitkins Network here.

Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter, or you can also sign up for our Podcasts and Blogs so you don't miss any updates on how to become your Best Version Possible.

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Is Your Agency Its Best Version Possible?

growth leadership Jan 17, 2019

At one of our CEO programs earlier last year, Brent Kelly, our vice president, asked me what it takes for an agency to be the best it can be. But it was what he asked me next that changed how we approach everything we do and has become the catalyst for massive, rapid improvements for everyone who attends our life-changing events, including our CEO, Sales Leadership, Producer, and Account Manager programs.

His question: “If you were having a conversation from your heart, using your almost 40 years of coaching the highest performing agencies and producers, what would your message be about becoming the best version possible (BVP) of yourself and your agency?”

This is important for agency owners, of course. But I also believe it’s something all of us as individuals should be asking ourselves. I can tell you it’s had a major impact on me personally, as well as everyone we’ve shared it with.

After Brent first asked me that question, I literally could not...

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Don’t Let Your Agency Settle for Good Enough

“Good is the enemy of great. And one of the key reasons we have so little that becomes great.” Jim Collins

Why do some independent insurance agencies hunger for never-ending improvement and growth while others simple settle for good enough? 

It’s a question that we ask ourselves all the time at the Sitkins Group.  Our mission is to help independent insurance agencies become the best possible version of themselves and live a life with no regrets.

In our recent live and online trainings to our Sitkins Network members, we have consistently asked the participants to stop postponing their greatness to ensure that they maximize their full potential. 

I think too many agencies sell themselves short of their true potential.  In large part, because this is truly a great business model.  If you give a solid effort, do a decent job in sales, and give your clients average service, you can still make a nice living.  In fact, a much nicer living...

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