Would you recognize your next producers if you saw them?
It may be one of the most talked about, stressed over and confusing topics in the world of independent insurance agencies: Hiring new producers. Progressive agencies can’t grow with out them but they seem to be elusive as a mythical creature. It is an issue we hear from all of our clients, so we decided it was time to delve deeper.
Do you know what you’re really looking for?
Of course, the easy answer is to find a producer who can sell. Maybe an “easy answer” isn’t the focal point. After all, there is nothing easy about the insurance sales process. Not to mention the time investment of searching, interviewing and hiring candidates who often fail to reach even the most basic levels of success. No wonder we hear about this all the time.
Most agency owners and sales leadership executives go around and around looking for a producer who can sell. These endless circles of searching make finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow look easy. Think about it, when was the last time a successful producer walked up to you and said, “hire me?”
Probably not often, if at all. We want to take you down a different path. One that should have a better outcome. You may be surprised to hear that it starts in your dreams.
Forming the Vision of an Ideal Producer
Taking a cue from Jack Canfield’s Success Principles may be an unlikely place to start. If you have read his book or ever heard him speak, he talks about manifesting what you are seeking by envisioning the end result. Stay with me now, I promise we’re not getting too fluffy here.
The foundation of Canfield’s work is to help people manifest their visions. It starts with developing the context of your visions, complete with all the details, and continues with becoming intent on fulfilling all that is desired. Basically, you frame what you want and need while staying focused on it until you achieve it.
Those who don’t form the vision, continue on an endless path of searching in circles. Hmmm…back to endless circles of searching again. Bingo – the connection has been formed!
Actually, we formed this connection while onsite with a client. Here’s the backstory:
As we were meeting with a client during a strategic planning session we were facilitating, part of the process was to create ideal client profiles. The discussion quickly turned, as it usually does, to hiring new producers.
Tying back to what we’ve learned from Mr. Canfield, at that moment we realized we needed to create an Ideal Producer Profile to help envision what a successful producer looks like. Leaving the client with the promise we would follow up on the topic, we’ve since developed a set of demographic questions that should be answering before you place your next ad or meet with a headhunter.
Think of it as a guide to weed through the different types of candidates. When you know what your looking for, it should become easier to find! Here it goes:
Key steps you must use to develop an Ideal Producer Profile.
What accreditation, licenses or other designations should they have or be willing to obtain?
Do you want them to be an experienced in insurance, other business sales or completely “green?”
Hint: This could go beyond typical business experience – perhaps having past jobs in trades or other fields would help them “speak” the language and build a niche.
*This is one demographic you might not have used in the past, but we highly recommend it becomes an integral part of all of your hiring.
Do their profile scores indicate they if they have the natural traits associated with success in sales?
As your agency might be looking for growth, what other geographic areas should your producers be in?
Hint: As with experience, this could go beyond typical business backgrounds. Don’t discount the ability to build relationships with shared niche knowledge.
What degrees and fields of study should your new producers have to give them a strong foundation for their career in insurance sales?
What other traits, such as their standing in the community, connections and other activities, would fill in the gaps with your current sales force?
Wow! That’s quite a list of questions.
Yet knowing them ahead of the hiring process helps focus your vision. It will certainly help your efforts, save time and should yield more successful outcomes.
Being able to recognize your new producers is a critical step in your agency’s growth strategy. Finally, there is a path to form the vision needed to find them hiding in plain sight!