You'll hear me talk about it a lot - fourth quarter prospecting is an important differentiator between average producers and excellent producers.
Keeping your pipeline full and moving through the end of the year is the key to having a good start to the next year. Letting the activity of fourth quarter become an excuse to not prospect makes your first quarter even harder to start seeing some results.
Two ways to make sure prospecting remains front of mind:
- delegate as many responsibilities as you can, and
- schedule prospecting time on your calendar.
Make prospecting appointments with yourself that can't be broken. I'm not saying it's easy, but I am saying it's necessary - regardless of how hard it may be. You'll thank yourself come first quarter!
Feel free to contact me directly:
|Advisers Must Move 'Faster & Stronger'|
As you may remember, I recently presented at the 6th Annual Employee Benefit Adviser Summit in Dallas, TX. My message was about making changes in the broker model due to current and coming industry challenges.
Brian Kalish, with Employee Benefit Adviser, attended Kevin's session and wrote up a great synopsis of the message. Follow the link below to read the full article.
DALLAS - It is time for brokers and consultants to face the much talked-about upcoming challenges head on and move forward "first, faster and stronger" than their competitors. The goal is to make clients understand that the cost of doing nothing might be the "most expensive, more detrimental thing to a business," a former adviser said Monday. Click here to read full article at Employee Benefit Adviser...
We're currently filling in our 2012 speaking calendar. If you are interested in having Kevin speak to your organization of benefits and/or insurance agencies, contact us now.
See more details here about Kevin's speaking.
|Sales Team Development|
In our September newsletter we talked about creating plans for each producer - a mini business plan of how they are going to accomplish goals for the coming year.
This is also the time of year to build on those individual plans and develop a training program for the collective sales team.
Plans should be outlined and published for all the activities and meetings, which ideally start the first or second week of January, depending on your schedule. Making this plan supports and provides accountability to both leadership and the sales team:
A good Sales Team Development plan should include a few key elements:
- Leadership makes the commitment to provide guidance, resources, and training.
- Sales team commits to performing its job of purveying new business and maintaining current client relationships.
- Individual Producer Annual Plans - from these, gather producer development needs & goals to determine what your training focus areas should be for the coming year.
- Reporting - outline what will be tracked (activities & revenues) & who is responsible for each. When you know where the strong and weak points are in the steps of process, you can help producers improve their performance.
- Regular sales meetings Hold meetings that are designed to improve the skills and performance of producers, to provide accountability, and foster a culture of teamwork and friendly competition.
- Sales Team Workshops Hold off-site 2-4 times a year. Drill down to specific parts of the sales process and spend more time than you normally get in a weekly sales meeting to work on developing skills.
- Producer reviews Regardless of your formal sales leadership structure, producers should have the opportunity to meet with leadership at least 2 - 4 times a year for review/coaching. This allows the producer to have some one-on-one guidance time and make adjustments as necessary, and it allows the agency to keep track of performance and help influence the results throughout the year.
The Net - How Do You Present Yourself?
Do prospects really learn what you want them to learn about your agency?
Google says your agency sells insurance. Facebook says you have a great softball team. LinkedIn says you went to a state university.
Is this the way you want present and prospective customers to know and understand your agency? Do these sources communicate what you really offer your clients?
Wendy Keneipp, market strategy consultant and coach at the Benefits Growth Network, says that agents and brokers may be missing valuable opportunities to take control of their image and distinctive business brand if they ignore the power of the Internet and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
"What does any consumer do before meeting with a new vendor or contractor? Google it to see what the Internet reveals! What comes up in a Google search-your presence or absence online is your first impression."
Agents and brokers who do not manage that first impression run the risk of letting random online information or misinformation control what prospective clients learn about them before they have a chance to meet directly and present their business value, she notes.