With all that’s happened in our country over the past year, running an insurance brokerage has become more difficult than ever. Increased competition, direct writers all over the TV and Internet, soft market, housing, and the list goes on and on. How can you get back to your 04, 05, 06 sales numbers? How about good old fashioned Salesmanship?
Many insurance brokerages don’t invest the time and energy needed to implement a sales culture in their offices. Most Agencies focus on the day to day problems in customer service, personnel and everything but selling. Here are a few tips to help you create a sales culture in your office.
- Sit with every employee in the next few weeks to discuss their goals for 2009. Have them write down 5 goals they want to accomplish professionally next year and give them positive advice on how to get there. Review them monthly with each employee. When you see them doing something that deters them from hitting a target, point it out and redirect them to something productive. Do this positively!
- Publish stats daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. Number of sales, quotes, accounts serviced, calls taken, closed cross sells, leads generated and any other statistic you can think of.
- If you have people in your office that are constantly negative and won’t conform to your environment, replace them. People with negative attitudes are like cancer. They’ll spread their attitude throughout your office quicker than you realize and before you know it, you’ll have cliques, low production and miserable employees. When productive employees see a negative person get away with a half hearted effort for any extended period, Owners and Managers of the office lose credibility.
- Invest in books such as ‘See you at the Top‘ by Zig Ziglar; ‘How to Master the Art of Selling‘ by Tom Hopkins; and ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People‘ by Dale Carnegie. Discuss them in your staff meetings and apply their principles.
- Have creative Sales Contests. Most improved over last week or month, most over goal, best attendance, most calls taken and other similar contests. Prizes can be as simple as lunch, a ½ day off or a Starbucks card.
- Discuss Sales daily. Don’t let a day go by without discussing closing, prospecting and retention.
- If a sales person is struggling to sell, sit with them daily and review their quotes from the day before. You’ll be amazed at how many agents don’t know the underwriting rules of the carriers they write. They depend so heavily on FSC that they’ve never pulled out a rate guide and learned their programs. Teach them!
- If a sales person is hot and seems to be closing every prospect they talk to – let them run a sales meeting to share their techniques.
- Recognition is the best form of motivation, recognize employee accomplishments immediately.
These are just a few ideas on how to improve your office environment and increase sales. You’re daily attitude and the way you handle obstacles in your office will ultimately determine the success of your agency. When your office is breaking sales records most Owners and Managers are the first ones to take credit. What this means is that when production and morale are suffering, that same Manager or Owner should be accountable for downfall. “When the going gets tough, the tough go back to basics”.