Carrier-Sponsored Coaching Helps Rejuvenate Agents Practices
Four years ago, Todd Bramsons practice had stagnated–he was working long hours, had a difficult time just taking an afternoon off, and still felt he was not making any headway.
After 15 years in the business, the planner from Madison, Wis., was facing something almost every veteran financial advisor has faced: the desire to grow his business, but also wanting to spend more time with his family. With two children, ages 7 and 9, and his practice at a plateau, the two goals appeared to be mutually exclusive.
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Fast forward to today and Bramsons practice is flourishinghes having his best year ever and is expecting to reach the Million Dollar Round Tables Court of the Table. In addition to surpassing his production goals, he took the entire month of July off, is working fewer hours, and having more fun in his career. He attributes his success to working with a professional business coach.
Bramson, an agent with North Star Resource Group, is one of about 130 agents in the Securian Financial Network who has participated in a formalized coaching program sponsored by the carrier.
“I was a little skeptical at first because it was sponsored by Securian,” he admits.
Bramson says his initial thoughts were: “If this is all about finding a way to sell more products, or to place more business with Securian, I dont want any part of it.”
But as he soon discovered, this was not the case. Rather, he says his increased production came about as a result of working with Securians coaching team to help him reach his personal goals.
“Im sure they were hoping Id increase my production, but it wasnt all about that,” he says.
In fact, the program was initially developed for the purpose of attracting experienced producers to Securian, according to Leslie Millikan, manager of the Breakthrough Program at Securian, St. Paul, Minn. “We quickly realized that it would have great appeal to our own sales force.”
Now after running the program for six years, Millikan is hearing a number of success stories from program participants.
For Bramson, working with a professional business coach helped him set personal goals and then identify the barriers that were keeping him from accomplishing them. One area he needed some assistance with was his ability to delegate tasks to members of his staff.
“In order for me to grow, I had to start delegating more tasks to staff to free up my time. I couldnt keep doing the $10 and $20 an hour activities,” Bramson explains.
It took a while for Bramson to get his staff people in place, but now he feels much more comfortable delegating tasks.
“I knew it was a problem, but I didnt know the extent of it. The coaching helped me clarify how much of an issue it was and then how to go about solving it. It also helped keep me on task to do it, and not fall back into the ways Id been doing things for years,” he continues. “Now I cant wait to give stuff away.”
Jeff Simpson, an agent with Wechsler Marsico Associates in Media, Pa., entered the program in January of this year, and he has already seen differences in how he runs his business.
“Its really taught me to work a little better and a little smarter,” he says.
Simpson started in this business seven years ago as a 23-year-old right out of college. His natural market was other young professionals starting out in their careers. “The problem was there wasnt a lot of premium dollars or investment dollars there,” he says.