As we travel the country and work with countless insurance professionals, we commonly hear excuses for lack of production. Three of the most common are; time, lack of competitive products (price), and the need for more tools. The ironic thing is that in many cases, there are tools and technology in the agency not being used properly, or at all. I can’t tell you how many times an Executive or Agency Owner asked me how they can get their people to embrace some of the tools they’re investing in.
When Insurance sales teams are given tools without proper training, there’s a good chance they won’t make an impact on production. However, the lack of training leads to a much greater question which is the culture of the business. The insurance industry has historically invested less in training than other industries. The typical small agency with under 20 employees will train people by sitting them with a veteran for a week to “learn our way” then send them into the “real world” to service and/or sell.
Rather than documenting processes that will help new employees be more efficient, improve retention, round out accounts, sell more new business and have a great attitude, they sit them with a disgruntled employee so the new hire is “poisoned” from day one. Training consists of helping new people get caught up in company gossip and teaches them how uninvolved ownership really is.
Many insurance technology vendors that provide tools for sales, marketing, rating or agency management have excellent training programs. This is a great way to implement new processes in your agency without having to expend internal resources. Having a neutral 3rd party evaluate workflows while training new technology can transform your business! Most importantly, the leader in the agency must show genuine interest in implementation, show enthusiasm and get the team to buy-in.
Too often agencies set out on a new project, only to have it fade after 3-4 weeks. Effective training makes a huge difference! This is also where Leadership must; step-up, get involved, be enthusiastic, track metrics and hold everyone in the agency accountable.
Tools and technology contribute to the success of every insurance agency if the people execute. Leadership must cast the vision to make it happen. Oh yeah, and don’t forget to ask for the sale!
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