One of the most difficult hires for any agency to make is to hire a new producer that will produce on par with your most successful producers. While I’m not suggesting giving up on that effort, I would encourage to make sure you are reviewing your current production team and constantly rehiring the successful producers you already have.
Huh?! - Well, not necessarily in the literal sense.
Time to prospect
Think of your most successful producer. When she first came on board all she had was time. Time to prospect, time to make sales presentations, time to close deals. Wasn’t that an exciting time for everyone?! Well, with that success has come other demands on her time. Now she is spending more and more time taking care of that book of business she has built and less and less time on prospecting, presentations, and closings. It is quite likely that she is now spending no more than 10% to 20% of her time on sales activities.
Obviously the agency needs to keep growing, so you go looking for someone else just like her. Someone who can prospect, present, and close on par with what she was doing a few years ago. The problem is, those people are hard to find. Success at that level is hard to replicate. So instead of hiring her “sales replacement”, hire her “service replacement”.
After all, it is the service issues that are taking time away from her ability to keep prospecting, presenting, and closing.
Time to rehire
Take inventory of all of the demands on her time. Wherever you find demands that don’t have to do with prospecting, presenting, and closing (okay, throw in some renewal responsibilities, but only at a strategic, relationship level) package them together to create a job description for the person you want to hire.
This will still be a very high level hire, probably even a relatively expensive one. However, it is one that is much easier to do with predictable success and will free up a proven talent to go out and (you got it) prospect, present, and close deals. What she can do if you re-hire the 80% - 90% of her time that has been taken up with non-sales issues (even if you can only recapture 50% of that time) will be a huge return on the investment of “rehiring”!
Photo by Ben Tesch.