If you had the chance to start over with your agency, what would you do differently?
Here’s what I would do…
There is no doubt in my mind that I would start off by build a winning team of specialists instead of generalists that are trained throughout their career.
For team training and education … every day there would be 5 minutes of practice and role-playing for each member of your team. Once a week 45 minutes of training/education, and at the beginning of each year, an offsite 1-2 day conference with action plans to accomplish our agency annual goal.
For example, if you’re a golfer, you always hit some balls to warm-up before going to the first tee box. The same is true for your agency team. Practice something that is likely to occur during the day. This is easy to do … AND … it is easy not to do because it is so foreign to most business owners and they do not realize the powerful impact it can have the longer we do it.
Imagine how good your team would be at handling common situations that occur in your agency on a regular basis, if you made it mandatory for 5 minutes of simple role-playing and practice for a month, then a quarter and every day for a year … you’d be unstoppable.
I know that a lot of big corporate insurance companies teach their agents to train employees how to do everything in an agency, and that everyone must be licensed. That is okay, and you can do well, but it will not get you to the highest possible growth and profits. Only specialization leads to highest potential.
Employee specialization was something I learned … AND … implemented into my agency in the late nineties from the “Tiger Woods of Allstate Agents”, Carlos Lagomarsino.
At that time, Carlos led the country in auto, home, and life new business sales, plus he wrote a ton of commercial business. His team was composed of specialists … the best sales people selling all day and his best nurturing people servicing all day.
This was a breakthrough idea for me after 15 years in the business and we were doing really well. Our performance skyrocketed after we reassigned people to their natural strengths … AND … they were much happier.
Also, it depends on the kinds of contracts being offered in today’s insurance world. If starting from scratch, I would only hire Sales Superstars to get highest profits from the huge front-end bonuses. Administrative and Customer Service team members can be added later as needed.
In the beginning, a scratch agent today does NOT need service personalities. They need great sales closers trained the correct way to close new sales.
If buying an existing book of business, profile existing team members and make sure you have the right people in the right seats.
Also, today, I would know that I needed to act like a real business owner, not just another insurance agent. I would have documented systems and processes for daily operations, sales, marketing, and hiring the best team.