As we zigzag across the country and work with numerous insurance professionals, we often hear excuses for the lack of agency production. The most common reasons being: time, price and the need for up-to-date tools. Many agencies have the tools and technology, but they’re not being used effectively, if at all. Culture and training are the 2 main reasons for these tools to sit on the proverbial shelf.

It’s not uncommon for an insurance agency with 20 employees or less to train their new agents by having them work with an experienced agent for a week (or less) to learn the business “our way”. One week later they’re doing it their way and the tools you invested in are being used less and less.

Rather than this ad hoc method of training, what if we documented agency sales processes that allow new hires to sell new business and improve customer retention? What if the training included a component that included personal development and you culturally shifted your agency to being more of a sales organization than it is today? 

It’s a mistake to sit a new hire with an employee that has no training experience and a full workload. When you do this, you’re stuck hiring experienced agents and you miss out on the bright-eyed rookie that can bring energy to your business.

There are many great training programs offered by insurance technology vendors that provide more than adequate tools for agency management, sales, marketing and rating services.  Proper formal training is an amazing way to integrate these new processes into your agency without having to use precious internal resources. Inviting in a neutral 3rd-party to evaluate workflows while training cutting-edge technology can propel your business! Most importantly, the Leadership in the agency need to show sincere interest in implementing this program while demonstrating enthusiasm so everyone benefits.

It’s all too common for agencies to embark on a new project only to have it cease within four weeks. Don’t forget how crucial it is to track key performance indicators (KPI’s) to verify your efforts are being effective.

Photo credits (top image): Scott McLeod, P Maillet, bnilsen, Steve Snodgrass