No train, no gain: Make sure you give your producers the tools to win

No train, no gain: Make sure you give your producers the tools to win

No train, no gain: Make sure you give your producers the tools to win Do we as agency owners give our new producers the tools to let them do their jobs? Do we truly hire the right person the right way, yet train them to fail? And if they fail, is it the agency’s fault or the producers?
We’ve all lived through the scenario. Your new producer tested great and interviewed intelligently with team members. But this is not about the hiring process. This is about the “now what?”. What’s your agency’s plan for this new producer’s success?

Let’s take a look at what too often happens during the first 90 days of your new producer.
  • Licensing
  • An excellent designation course
  • Insurance company school
  • Sales school
  • In-agency training on process
  • Getting to know your insurance company’s strengths
  • Shadowing producers
  • …and certainly more
If this is your process, do you end up with a potentially successful producer whose mind is now filled with confusion, insecurity, and pressure to produce?

Let’s look at what you want and what this new producer wants. Could it be instant gratification, because we live in this kind of “instant” world” and now it’s in our DNA?

If you cannot afford to financially support your new producer for six months, don’t hire him/her. You’re putting too much pressure on both you and your new producer. So how do you make this first six months productive for the agency and your new producer?
  • No pressure to sell.
  • Train in the one product every employer needs and buys: Workers’ Compensation. Full disclosure: Our company, the Institute of WorkComp Professionals, teaches, certifies, and mentors in Workers’ Comp. But that doesn’t make it any less important.
  • Workers’ Comp is the important new producer’s starting point because it is consistent coverage from insurance company to insurance company. It’s easier to complete applications, and easier to learn for a new producer entering into the insurance industry.
Because the telephone is still a sales power tool, new producers should telemarket two hours daily for Workers’ Comp appointments for other agency producers; build a 200 -300 employer prospect list; develop strategic alliances with others, such as medical clinics, HR professionals, attorneys, CPAs, etc.; designs a Client Acquisition Plan touching potential clients between 12-18 times the first year. This obviously adjusts depending on what happens at producer phone or drop by contact.
  • These above steps should be ready to go starting month 6 ready to launch month 7. Don’t forget to determine which agency resources fit into your plans and determine which new resources you must add. (Remember Steve Jobs quote?)
  • One of these important resources is the Client Relationship Management (CRM), a critical success factor for any agency. Is a new producer doomed without it? Very likely. That is why this very valuable tool and its proper usage should be a magnet to attract new producers.
  • No insurance company or other insurance technical training during this first 12 months. Focus solely on sales training (i.e., client acquisition). In a study published by the American Society for Training and Development, communications giant Motorola indicated they receive $29 in profit for each $1 invested in sales training..
  • Shadow your new producer on Workers’ Comp appointments and various agency producers should also invite the newbie to go with them.
  • New producer reports strengths/weaknesses and progress at very first sales meeting attended plus each subsequent sales meeting. 
Let the words of Steve Jobs be your guide when hiring new producers. Too many hire good…yet train to fail.

Preston Diamond is the founding member and current Managing Director of The Institute of WorkComp Professionals, which educates, certifies, and mentors insurance agents in Workers’ Compensation insurance. During his long career, Preston has taught insurance at a California Community College, chaired a week long insurance agency management school for six years, presented more than 300 times at seminars and workshops and has consulted with more than 400 insurance agencies. For more information visit