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...
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...
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.
“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold” Turkish Proverb
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?
The person who talks the most feels the best, but the one who listens has the most information.
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...
By Brent Kelly
What is the number one job of the offensive coordinator for any football team?
To score points.
Yes, an offensive coordinator has other responsibilities, which I will discuss, but at the end of the day, the success of the offensive coordinator is based on putting points on the board.
Every successful football team has a named and effective offensive coordinator.
What about your insurance agency?
Who is the person responsible for putting “points on the scoreboard?” In other words, who is driving your agency’s revenue?
I am often astonished that agency leaders are surprised that their producers are struggling when they receive no mentorship, coaching, and accountability.
Can you imagine a football team going out on the field with no preparation, no game plan, and no consequences for their performance?
It sounds insane and the reality is that a team with no offensive coordinator is likely to lose the majority, if not all, of their games.
Several years ago, I heard a quote that challenged me. Looking back, I now realized that it also has changed me.
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...
By Brent M Kelly
Do you remember the game Scattergories? It has always been one of my favorite games.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, let me briefly explain how the game works.
Every player has a list of items on a sheet. They could be items like cities, dog breeds, actors, automobiles, etc. One player would roll a funky looking die with letters on it. Players would then have to name every item on their list starting with the letter rolled in a short period of time. For example, if the letter “B” came up, every item on you list would have to start with “B.”
What I love about this game is that you have to be extremely creative because the only way you can score points was if no other players have the same answer as you. The more players, the more difficult the challenge was to create answers that are unique.
If the list item was...
By Brent Kelly
Networking and business cards. They go together like peanut butter and jelly.
If I have learned anything from my 15 years of business networking, it’s that you can collect a ridiculous amount of business cards in an hour.
I have a drawer full of hundreds of business cards from people whom I have connected with in the past. Many of these cards have not been touched or looked at in many years. In fact, many were not even addressed the days following the networking event.
Besides the fact that I did a terrible job of following up, there was no real connection made, no engagement, and no valuable reason to follow-up.
Great networking has never been about a business card, it’s always been about a connection.
I used to keep track of how many business cards I collected and how many business cards I gave out. The more cards obtained and given, the greater level of success I felt I...
They have a very specific plan for the client experience—a map for the journey they’ll take their clients on. Their standards ensure that every client receives the VIP treatment. This is reflected in the quality of service provided and in the overall agency attitude: how the phone is answered, how quickly calls are returned, agent follow-up and follow-through, product quality and much more. A well-planned journey makes VIP clients feel valued and appreciated. In turn, they tend to be extremely loyal.
In keeping with their high standards, the best producers work only on prospects that are referrals or introductions. Of course, that doesn’t just happen overnight by proclamation, but that’s their mindset. While they may use social media for positioning, they believe their next great new client wants to meet them through a referral or introduction. After all, when you’re looking for services, isn’t that really...
At a recent sales training session, I was asked what separates the great producers from the pack. My response was “PS: Producer Standards.” We find that the best of the best hold themselves to higher standards, which they consistently meet and exceed.
Here are the basic standards that are part of our ProducerFit sales training strategies and ones that you’ll recognize in most $1 million-plus producers.
They have a very specific business model that becomes their laser focus. They’re always looking forward three years to five years, with a defined goal in mind. For example:
“Within three years, I will have no more than 50 clients paying me $20,000 each.”
This is not an overnight, get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a focus. They have their eye on the prize and a very specific plan for making it happen.
Remember, you can’t be a million-dollar producer writing $1,000 accounts. So if you’re going to put the time in anyway, you...
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