Tune Up Your Team

by Bill Gough, Insurance Hall of Fame Agent

You may want to check on your sales superstars, customer service heroes, and administrative aces…

Are they burned out?

Have they clocked too many eight-hour days without a vacation?

Are their faces permanently skewed into continuous smiles from chatting with dozens of people a day?

Did you answer yes to any one of these questions - or even laugh at a situation that hit a little too close to home?

Well then… Houston, you've got a problem.

It is extremely important that your insurance team of specialists is enthusiastic. Why?

Because enthusiasm is contagious. It’s essential in creating positive word of mouth about your products and services. When your team is fired up, working together across departments, and motivated to share with existing and potential new clients what they know about your products, they become a more effective team member.

Here are several ways to keep them enthusiastic and motivated.

Make sure to address the individual. Your team of people are your company's representatives. Hire team members who are helpful, courteous, and professional. Make sure they have first-rate product knowledge and customer service skills. AND… They must have a positive attitude while working in your agency.

Attitude is everything - and it shows on an individual level. Body language alone will show you which employees don't want to be there and ones who are putting forth an effort. Resentment plays out in tense posture, negative facial expressions, and sour attitudes - none of which help generate higher retention, referrals, and new sales. Give each team member an individual goal. This will generate several leads. Having a goal increases accountability, forces unproductive habits out of the picture, increases productivity and builds motivation.

Bring in the upper forces. Always involve your team. Having your team participate in training programs, generates an in-house enthusiasm which will carry over onto your team. Never underestimate the power of personal recognition. A compliment from you, the agency owner, carries a lot of weight and can encourage your team to even higher achievement levels.

Create a Rockstar team. Everyone should be working together as a team. Having a team that helps each other wherever and whenever necessary doesn't just happen -- they are made. Team members should get acquainted, develop trust, and learn each other's strengths. This creates a sense of collective responsibility.

Be sure that the whole team is aware of and fully understands the company' s goal in your agency. Teams should set goals in the agency. Offer incentives for those team members that meet - or surpass - those goals. When you have good team chemistry, you'll find team members coaching each other and striving to keep the collective morale up.

Always include details. Rewards and recognition should be constant - and they don't have to break the bank. A small gesture like morning coffee costs next to nothing, yet shows you care about your team.

Always remember that having an enthusiastic team will lead to a better work environment, employee performances, and much more … including … a more VALUABLE AGENCY.