Many agents new to the business find themselves spending a great deal of time doing administrative tasks, as opposed to actually selling. In fact, some admit that the time they spend selling amounted to only a fraction of their time. This was the case for Richard Brunsman, president of RT Brunsman Insurance and Investments, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio.
“I found I was only spending about 15% of my time actually selling and more than 50% of my time doing routine tasks,” he says.
For new agents who are feeling this same frustration, Brunsman recommends they take a close look at all their activities to determine what they should be doing and what can be delegated to a staff person.
“The secret is to write down everything you do everyday. Write a job description for what you currently do,” he says.
Once agents go through this exercise, Brunsman says they should develop a priority system. If an agent comes up with about 20 different tasks done throughout a typical day, he or she needs to then assign a priority level to each one.
For example, when Brunsman went through this process, he assigned selling a priority level of 1; level 2 was preparing for a presentation; level 3 was building illustrations; and level 4 was for routine tasks such as sorting the mail, answering the phone, or making coffee. Looking at his level 4 priorities, Brunsman realized that any untrained person would be able to handle those tasks, so he hired an assistant.
“If youre not willing to invest in a staff person, youre not going to be very successful in this business,” he explains. “Its cheaper then wasting your time. Understand that you can put those hours to work doing more level 1 priority tasks, as opposed to doing level 4 tasks,” he says.
Allan Oxman agrees. “Theoretically, you ought to be able to increase your revenue to defray the cost of that person and make it worth your while,” says Oxman, a principal of First Financial Resources, Charlotte, N.C.
Knowing which tasks to delegate comes from having a good idea of how much youre worth on an hourly basis, adds Charles Gleason of The Gleason Corporation, Sanibel, Fla. “Lets say youre worth $60/hour and you pay your staff person about $10/hour. 15 minutes of her time is $2.50, 15 minutes of your time is $15so whos going to open and sort the mail?”
Hiring new staff and effectively delegating to them is one of the secrets to successfully running your practice like a business, Gleason says. But he warns that agents who go out and hire an assistant today will not see an immediate impact on their productivity.