The following blog post was written by IIANC member Travis Collier, CBIA, Agency Advisor for SIA of North Carolina. Travis is a member of the iLEAD (Young Agents) Committee.
I was extremely excited when I was asked by the iLEAD (Young Agents) Committee to put together a quick blog to highlight why I got involved with the iLEAD program, as well as provide a quick “day in the life of” overview to accompany it.
I joined the iLEAD Committee last year because part of the focus of my role with my company, SIA of North Carolina, is geared toward growing and perpetuating the Independent Agency distribution system. Simply put, I work with and help create Independent Agencies. I have been in my role for close to four years, and I have gravitated to helping young aspiring agents get up and running. iLEAD provided a great opportunity for me to network with and learn from other Young Agents throughout the State of North Carolina so that I can better assist my partners and prospects in the future. I don’t have all of the answers, but by being involved with iLEAD and IIANC, I am able to improve myself and offer solutions when others might not.
When it comes to any production role, it can’t be broken down into to individual days. Each day builds off of the other to form our “sales process”. Everyone’s process is unique, and if you’re like me you’re always seeking ways to improve and refine that process to be better at your job.
My week can be broken down as follows:
Monday: This is a dedicated office day for me. I start my week out with a Monday morning Sales Meeting with our Sales Team and leadership. This meeting covers a range of topics from current proposals/prospects we are working with, pipeline management, marketing plans, and objectives. From that meeting, I move into prospecting. I dedicate four hours every Monday (broken up to two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon) to prospect. I prospect in multiple forms. This generally consists of phone, email, and social media prospecting. I dedicate the last part of my day to preparation for the upcoming meetings (materials) that I will have while on the road and managing relationships with my current partners or carrier reps that I work with.
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday: These are days that I am traditionally on the road running meetings. My goal is to conduct a minimum of four meetings per day while on the road so that I am making the most of my windshield time. I traditionally run these types of meetings. The first is an introduction, the second is an assessment, and the third is a presentation meeting. Even while on the road, I dedicate time to prospecting and relationship management. I utilize my windshield time in between appointments to communicate with partners and my team, as well as working on follow-up calls with prospects when necessary (I prefer to have initial calls with prospects in a controlled office environment). I also try to spend time using email or digital marketing touch points over a coffee at some point in my day. I will also use my time in certain areas to drop in on prospects that I am struggling to reach or that I believe could be good fit for our organization to introduce myself face-to-face.
Friday: Friday is another dedicated office day for me. This day starts with a team (HPT) call to recap the week’s events, and formulating a plan for the upcoming week, with a focus on existing relationships that might need help or assistance. We also schedule time for team members to assist one another in situations that might call for extra help with existing and prospective partners alike. I again dedicate four hours to prospecting, similar to how I work my Mondays, and spend the remainder of the time documenting my notes from my meetings, following up with prospects to provide supporting materials or answer questions from our meetings that week, while working to finalize our future scheduled meetings.
As I am sure many of you have seen over the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a curveball at all of us. Fortunately, I don’t feel as if COVID-19 has slowed me down as much as others. Instead of stalling, I have pivoted to utilize more digital technology to still accomplish the same goals. I still spend my time prospecting, and instead of running face to face meetings, I am utilizing digital technology like Zoom to meet, educate, and work with my partners.
I have also invested more time in social media and video to continue prospecting and create more touches over the last few months. I also have spent more time reverting to the old school method of dialing for dollars and cold calling. I have been able to reach prospects that I haven’t prior to COVID-19 and begin to engage and open dialogue.
I view my process as my offensive game-plan. The more that I can repeat my process, the more success I ultimately will have. Consistency is key. My biggest priority is to make sure that I maintain time to prospect and keep my calendar full. Having a set schedule and dedicating time allows me to know my numbers to achieve my weekly, monthly and annual goals that I have set for myself. I hope that as others read this, you find it helpful in better preparing for success. I am also happy to have conversations with anyone that might want to talk in greater detail of creating their own game-plan.