Our industry is in a state of massive flux. With regulatory and economic challenges constantly bearing down, agency leaders and advisers are anxiously searching for solutions to current problems as well as those that are swiftly approaching.
While no one knows exactly what our industry will look like in the next five years - or even the next five months, for that matter - there is a proven method that, when adopted, can allow your agency to achieve significant profit and growth.
This method has been distilled from our team's work with hundreds of agencies all across the country. Whether you are a broker or an agency leader with numerous producers, this concept can be applied to your business.
The idea is simple to understand. We have identified seven "agency success factors" that, once optimized, work together like gears to transform any agency into a commission machine.
Let's look at these seven key factors.
1) Personal development - Without an empowered and forward-thinking leader, an agency will struggle in every way. Only through ongoing education and motivation will any leader or broker achieve his or her peak performance. This also relates to personnel development - that is, the training, empowerment and motivation of your staff, especially producers.
2) Strategic planning - Imagine a ship with no plotted course or target destination. It is doomed to forever sail where the constantly changing sea and wind takes it. Only through broad, strategic thinking, planning and preparation can any agency reach its desired destination of success.
3) Agency operations - As mundane as the daily details may be, efficiency and effectiveness in your agency operations are a vital component in achieving your goals. Remember, efficiency is a function of speed, while effectiveness is a function of quality. To have optimum success, you must have both. An agency's ability to operate smoothly and productively day after day dictates its capacity for growth.
4) Lead generation - Leads and prospects are the lifeblood of any agency. The ability to quickly and easily generate quality, high-ROI leads and prospects at anytime using multiple media is a key trait of a truly powerful agency capable of achieving any desired level of growth.
5) Prospect conversion - Many agencies fall into the trap of using traditional sales models that don't capitalize on opportunity. When agencies discover the ability to not only transform a prospect into a client but also to maximize the opportunity and shorten the sales cycle through consultative selling, substantial growth follows.
6) Client maximization - Turning a lead into a client is only the beginning. Top-performing agencies realize the profitability of continuing to nurture their current clients and to solve additional client problems by cross-selling them products and services. This develops client loyalty, which leads to more referrals and more revenue.
7) Agency evaluation - Even the best maintained engines can still be modified, improved and tweaked to produce higher performance. Similarly, every agency needs to carefully and consistently monitor and measure its results to consistently optimize performance.
By adopting these seven success factors as your key focus points and working to optimize them individually and together, you can transform your agency into a powerful and profitable commission machine.
Cantrell is the chief marketing strategist with Bottom Line Solutions. One of the industry's leading marketing experts, he helps agencies and carriers develop ROI-driven marketing. Reach him at (615) 656-5974 or scott@cross- sellsolutions.com.
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