If you want to take your agency to the next level, there is a reliable approach that works regardless of the size of your firm, your location, or what range of insurance products you sell. This approach is so simple and straightforward that many agents may overlook it.
When you put together your business plan and operating budget each year, decide on your financial and growth objectives, then dissect those objectives into smaller manageable goals. If one of your agency’s objectives is to grow by 15 or 20 percent, for example, and you are a small shop, you may need to reach higher. If you are a medium-to-large agency, however, a 15 percent growth rate is a reachable goal.
Break overall objectives down into weekly and monthly goals
First, communicate the new 20 percent growth objective to everyone on your staff, then set aside time for a staff meeting. Solicit everyone’s input to break down this objective into smaller, more manageable chunks. To use a sports analogy, your agency is a team and the goals should be “our goals,” not “my goals.” You absolutely must have the buy-in and the input of your people to accomplish any new overall objective.
With your team’s help, smaller goals should be discussed, agreed upon, and written down as weekly or monthly goals for each individual. Your objective is to win the game, so decide how many goals each individual must accomplish. Keep a company “score card” on these goals and celebrate when they are accomplished.
David Chappell, vice president of an agency specializing in selling and servicing employee benefits, says that his team breaks down their goals this way: For the first 10 days of every month, they work with renewals, and each sales agent methodically contacts every client on their checklist. The last 20 days of the month are then spent on obtaining new clients.
“I don’t set new client quotas for my sales agents,” Chappell says, “because each agent is different. Instead, I rely on their individual need to grow. They set their own goals, and I function as an advisor and a coach to help them meet those goals.”
There is no one right way to set objectives and goals, and Chappell’s method is just one example. You would be surprised, however, to learn how many agencies fail to write down and communicate overall objectives, set monthly goals for individuals, and keep an agency score card.
Develop an operating budget
Before you implement goals that are designed to reach a single objective, you must develop a solid, realistic operating budget. Determine the actual dollar figures you will need to put a marketing plan into effect and take the necessary steps to achieve the weekly and monthly goals your team has set for themselves.