The following blog post is by Billy R. Williams, Ph.D., a keynote speaker at this year’s AC2019. Don’t miss his legendary sessions at this awesome event – register today!
I was recently teaching a class at a college where I am an adjunct professor and one of the students who had just passed their P&C licensing test asked me to list the top 10 mistakes I see insurance agents make.
After sorting through all of the possible answers, I narrowed it down to these ten mistakes as some of the biggest mistakes I see.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. This list could easily contain 25 or 50 mistakes, but the 10 listed here is a great place to start.
10. Trying to run an insurance agency without having any mentorship, guidance, or being part of a mastermind group:
The easy way to achieve success is by gaining the experience and wisdom from others that have already achieved the success you are searching for.
9. Not thoroughly reading or listening to important instructions and information:
How many times have you missed out on an opportunity or created an unnecessary headache for yourself because you didn’t thoroughly read or listen to information, or, follow specific instructions?
8. Not keeping up with important passwords and log-ins:
How many times have you skipped or delayed implementing a process, or, taking advantage of an opportunity, because you couldn’t locate a password or log-in?
7. Weak hiring practices:
This starts with locating staff, interviewing, onboarding, and consistent training.
6. Not delegating important tasks and tasks that you are not good at doing to agency staff or an outside party:
How often do information and processes die on your desk, or, you become the bottleneck to the agency’s progress?
5. Not scheduling and conducting agency-wide training at least once a week:
Lack of consistent training is a major problem in many agencies. If a staff member is not trained on the proper conversations and processes, they will create their own way to get it done.
4. Not having a specific tasks schedule for agency staff members:
Just as lack of training is a major issue for agencies, not assigning a specific day and time to perform specific tasks and processes is another major issue. Any tasks that is important should be on a calendar.
3. Not having an up-to-date Agency Job-Aid Book:
This goes back to training. If the agency has an up-to-date job-aid book that explains in a step by step fashion how to complete common agency tasks, as well as tasks that are not as common, staff can get more things accomplished and the agency owner or leader doesn’t fear holding on to underperforming staff because of the fear and reluctance to bring on and train new staff.
2. Not having a pay structure that has built-in rewards for properly performing agency tasks, and built-in repercussions for not performing tasks to agency standards:
There is this saying in professional sports “Until it impacts their pay, it will not impact their play.” I believe insurance is the same way. At Inspire a Nation we teach the “Enhanced Pay Approach” to pay staff. This means we increase your regular hourly pay by a certain percentage, but that percentage can be removed per pay period when you do not perform key tasks when and how we need you to.
1. Not scheduling specific days and times to accomplish specific tasks and processes and/or at least spot-check tasks that you have assigned to staff:
Every day I hear excuse after excuse why the agency owner/leader didn’t get something working or completed in the agency. I know in their heart and mind they want to accomplish things, but they don’t. Why not? Because the never blocked off a specific time in the day to do it. Just like I said with staff, if it is important, it should be on a calendar. Don’t think to add more task to your already over filled to-do list is making something a priority, it’s not!