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What's In Your Agency's Sales Playbook?

producers sales Nov 01, 2018

HOW TO HOLD YOURSELF AND YOUR PRODUCERS ACCOUNTABLE

We’ve been doing a lot of research and improving our programs that address what creates great producers and what it takes to cultivate million-dollar producers. It seems that every agency and most producers want to increase their sales. At least that’s what they say. However, the recurring disconnect between what they say and what they do reminds me of one of my favorite Kenny Chesney songs: Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven. Of course, “nobody wants to go now.”

If you ask the average agency and producer how they’re going to increase their sales, their typical response is: “I’m going to sell more insurance.” Well, duh, I get that. But the question remains: How are you going to do that?

I’m sure you’ve seen the TV commercials for a certain credit card that end with: “What’s in your wallet?” My question to agency owners and producers: “What’s in...

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The Sales Iceberg

pipelines plan producers sales Sep 13, 2018

LOOK BELOW THE SURFACE TO SEE WHAT DRIVES YOUR SALES SUCCESS

We all know the tragic tale of the RMS Titanic, which sank in 1912 after it struck an iceberg south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Of course, it was the mass beneath the surface that caused the lethal damage. That’s no surprise considering that only 10% of an iceberg’s mass is above the waterline, whereas 90% is below it.

In many ways, insurance/risk management is like an iceberg. Most people are familiar with only what’s above the waterline, which are product and price. Below the waterline are all the value-added services and risk factors that not only determine the product and price but also differentiate agencies and their producers from competitors.

Similarly, I see an analogy between icebergs and success in sales. The sale itself is what people notice because it’s above the waterline. It’s visible, which is why it’s so exciting! Conversely, few people consider the behaviors and...

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No Risk, No Nothing

If you have been an insurance sales producer longer than 10 minutes, you know all about risk.

A risk is defined as “exposure to danger.”

Danger surrounds insurance producers every day. It could be in the form of a manager, company, prospect, client, product, or service. That list could go on and on, but the key point is that risk is clear everywhere you turn.

I believe you could categorize sales risks into three areas:

  • Risk of rejection
  • Risk of failure
  • Risk of financial hardship

These three risks highlight that even though the sales profession is the highest paid industry in the world, only a small percentage of the population enters this line of work. Furthermore, an even a smaller percentage of sales producers survive.

I have dealt with these three risks consistently in my own sales career. Although the context of these three risks has evolved over the years, the consequences have not.

Embrace Risk

While the fear of failure, rejection, and financial hardship are...

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What Is Holding Your Agency Back?

growth producers routines Jul 05, 2018

REVENUE AND PROFITS DEPEND ON FULL-TIME PRODUCERS

We see that the average producer is a part-timer at best. Even though most of them will still do okay, they’ll never be great, and at the end of their career they’ll have tons of regrets.

According to the Organic Growth & Profitability Survey conducted by Reagan Consulting, agencies experienced 4.5% growth in 2017. People got really excited because it was an improvement over 2016’s growth of 4.2%. This concerns me.

To me, 4.5% is not exciting, nor should it be to any true sales organization! What is exciting is growth that is two or three times the national average. That would be either 9% or 13.5%.

I fear that many agencies are blindly following the 4.5% Model. Although they’re not doing this deliberately, that’s the problem—they’re not aware that they’re doing it. But maybe this model is exactly what’s holding them back!

Now before I expand on this, I realize there...

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Crafting the Perfect Sales Pipeline

FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO IDENTIFY, TARGET, AND WRITE YOUR BEST PROSPECTS

In organizing and presenting more than 100 producer training programs with more than 3,000 participants, I’ve recognized a highly predictable “producer’s improvement cycle.” Although I’ve mentioned this topic in previous articles, I believe it merits deeper discussion.

To summarize: The cycle starts with an improvement in the conversion rate and then the closing ratio, followed by revenue per sale and finally the quantity and quality of “at-bats.” Let’s take a closer look at each of these areas of improvement.

  • Conversion Rate. This is the percentage of first appointments that lead to a second appointment. The first appointment on a mid-sized to large commercial account should occur on the six-month anniversary of the account. The goal of this meeting is to tell a story of differentiation that creates some “wows”—and some pain issues—with...
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Sell More Without Saying a Word

“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold” Turkish Proverb

Perceptive listening is the key to great insurance production.

Have you ever had a sales appointment where you felt like a rock star on the big stage or an attorney delivering a spellbound closing statement? You rattled off all the right phrases, terms, and filled all the coverage gaps.

You went back to your office and told your boss, “I nailed that one, it’s a done deal!” Only to find out later that the prospect that you just dazzled selected a different agent?

What happened?

The person who talks the most feels the best, but the one who listens has the most information.

Listening is power.

Top insurance producers have always been good listeners, but in today’s information filled world, listening is an art form.

I have taken classes on active listening. While it has helped me in the business world, my wife may tend to disagree! I often react or want to “fix...

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Make a Living or Make a Fortune

producers sales Nov 01, 2017

Several years ago, I heard a quote that challenged me. Looking back, I now realized that it also has changed me.

“Work on your job, make a living. Work on yourself, make a fortune.” - Jim Rohn

As a commercial lines producer for 15 years, I attended a variety of sales and product trainings classes from insurance carriers and associations. Most of them were very informative and did help my business, but I would often find myself falling back into bad habits.

Yes, I gained product knowledge and a new sales idea or two, but I wasn’t gaining momentum. That’s because most of my training focused solely on the technical side of the business.

- Technical sales training is important.
- Technical sales training has value.
- Technical sales training can help you sell more.

Unfortunately, technical sales training completely misses the emotional aspect of why people buy.

So why is it that most companies offer solid technical sales training, but completely miss...

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Three Communication Skills Vital to Every Insurance Producer

communication producers Oct 26, 2017

Studies have shown that effective leadership and influence, whether it’s with your team, your clients, or your company partners is 87% people knowledge and only 13% product knowledge. 

Reflect on that statistic for a minute, almost 90% of our ultimate success is not determined by what we know, but how we can relate what we know with the people we want to influence.   

What does this mean?  Well, I believe it means several things, but ultimately it begs the question, are we developing producers who can effectively communicate, and more importantly connect, with their clients and future clients?

Even in today’s world of digital disruption and insure tech, building high-level relationships will ultimately determine your success.

Let me state right up front, this doesn’t minimize understanding the technical side of the insurance business.  Every producer needs to be fully equipped to understand insurance terms, definitions, exclusions,...

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8 Habits of Highly Successful Insurance Producers

producers Oct 17, 2017

Ask most insurance producers how their day was and it’s likely that you will receive an answer that revolves around the words, “I was really busy.”

In most cases, that is true. Insurance producers are often very busy. The problem is that they are often busy with activities that do not directly correlate into results.

One of my favorite personal development books is “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by the late Steven Covey. This book outlines the 7 key habits that separate successful people from all the rest.

Over the past many years, both as an active producer and consultant, I have found that high achieving producers focus their time and energy in 8 key areas. In this post, I want to discuss these 8 key habits to help all insurance producers move from “too busy” to productive.

Activity vs. Results

I can recall many days as an insurance producer when I would leave the office feeling like I had accomplished a great deal. I would come...

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The 3 Risks Every Insurance Producer Must Face

By Brent Kelly

“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller

If you have been an insurance sales producer longer than 10 minutes, you know all about risk.

Risk is defined as “exposure to danger.”

Danger surrounds insurance producers everyday. It could be in the form of a manager, company, prospect, client, product, or service. That list could go on and on, but the key point is that risk is clear everywhere you turn.

I believe you could categorize sales risks into three areas:

  1. Risk of rejection
  2. Risk of failure
  3. Risk of financial hardship

These three risks highlight that even though the sales profession is the highest paid industry in the world, only a small percentage of the population enters this line of work. Furthermore, this is why even a smaller percentage of sales producers survive.

I have dealt with these three risks consistently in my own sales career. Although the context of these three risks...

Continue Reading...
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