When you change your client value offering and your sales model, you have to change the way the company supports these new efforts. Taking the time to evaluate your current structure and making changes to support the new model is critical to successfully executing on and delivering on your new value proposition.

When you make the commitment to what the new structure is going to be, you’ll have to take on the possibly daunting task of implementing on it. And it might not be fun because many people don’t like change – it’s unknown and that can be scary.

Anticipate the reactions

When you make the commitment to undertake a major change, or any change for that matter, you need to recognize that people will react differently. Be prepared for this and have a plan in advance.

  • You’ll have your enthusiastic change agents who can’t wait to get started and are planning the details before you’ve finished explaining the end goal.
  • You’ll have your naysayers who sincerely believe that this is doomed before you’ve finished explaining the end goal. They will work to remain as status quo as possible.
  • The balance of your folks will be in the middle. They’re the fence-sitters.  They have very little opinion and are susceptible to going either direction.

Now, you’re faced with a couple of choices:

Spend your time with the naysayers, trying to convince them why this change is a good idea.

Or, spend your time with your excited change agents who are already planning the next 90-day implementation plan.

Whichever you choose will yield results. It just depends what results you want to see.

Getting the swing vote

When you focus your attention on the naysayers it’s giving credence to their lack of support and belief in the new model. You will get frustrated trying to explain and convince someone who doesn’t want to change that change is a good idea. All the while you’re trying to convince them that this “will be okay” is time that you are not moving ahead with your new plans.

If, however, you focus your attention on the supporters, you’ll be helping them help you. They can take an active role in developing and implementing plans. You’ll begin moving ahead immediately with their support and efforts.

You’re eventually going to get the swing vote from your fence-sitters. They’ll sit by and watch, waiting to see how things play out. Whichever group appears to get management attention and resources is going to win.

  • If it swings it toward the naysayers, you’ll have a resistance revolt on your hands with nearly your entire staff, and making any changes is going to become near impossible.
  • If it swings toward the supporters, you’ll have nearly everyone ready and willing to help drive the company forward toward a new reality. The whole group can then actively participate in initiating and implementing the necessary changes.

It’s not all roses

Chances are pretty high that there will be some employee fallout from the changes, regardless of how well you manage it. There are some people who just don’t like making changes and they’d rather leave than tough out the process. That’s okay. Let them go. You need to make the best decision for your company, and having people onboard who don’t support the company goals and the company vision shouldn’t be allowed to bring down the team and thwart their efforts.

The choice for change is yours. You just have to decide which path better suits your desired end game.

Keneipp, of St. Louis-based Benefits Growth Network, coaches, trains, and develops strategies and curriculum for agency growth. She can be reached at wendy@benefitsgrowthnetwork.com.


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