“Unicorn” is the term used in the tech world for start-up companies valued in excess of a billion dollars. While still rare, they seem to be multiplying like rabbits rather than, well, unicorns. Forbes reported that 80 such companies existed in April 2015, compared to 144 supposed unicorns reported by Fast Company in December.

Until this past week, I thought the only alleged unicorn in our industry was Zenefits, and you may have read my opinion of their valuation. However, I have been presented with evidence that there is another type of unicorn that hunts among our ranks. Make no mistake, the name “unicorn” may bring to mind images of rainbows and pastel colors, but our unicorn is a pure hunter. So, who is this insurance industry unicorn?

Individual insurance producers who produce $1 million a year in NEW commission production

Oh yes, Virginia, unicorns do exist.

One such unicorn shared the following email with me this past week. Read through it and tell me, how many of you agency owners out there would KILL to be getting such an email from one of your producers? How many of you producers would KILL to have yourself in position to pen such a message?

“All (leadership team),

I have shared my goals with each of you individually but to recap, I am committing to a minimum of $1mm in new business for 2016 and a book value of $6mm by the close of 2017.  To reach a bit further, I am shooting for a $10mm book by the close of 2020.  Maintaining the growth I have had the last 2 years, much less increasing that growth, will be a difficult task but one I am committed to achieving.  I look at my current and future book as a small agency and starting in 2016, I am going to treat it that way.

My request is this.  For 2016, I would like to request a marketing budget of $28,000.  I want to use the bulk of that money on the attached (proposal to join Q4intelligence).  I have known Kevin Trokey for about 3 years and he has a proven track record of helping agencies and producers in my situation achieve tremendous growth and success. I want this and I feel like I need this service.  I will in fact make a guarantee.  If I don’t achieve $1mm in new business in 2016, I will reimburse the fees for this service personally.  If for some reason you guys can’t approve this, I will still be signing up and will just pay out of my pocket.  That is how much I believe in this service.

Thank you!!!”

I don’t know about you, but I was blown away so many aspects of his request. And recognize that these are numbers for him as an individual producer.

  • Not mentioned in the email was the fact that he already wrote $1,000,000+ in new business in 2014 and 2015
  • He is committing to writing another $1,000,000 in 2016
  • He is shooting to be at $6 million by year-end 2017 and $10 million by 2020 (most entire agencies don’t hit those numbers)
  • Despite his obvious success, he wants to invest in a program that will help him be even more successful
  • He wants greater success so badly that, if he has to, he is willing to make the investment himself

Sure, unicorn producers are rare; VERY few individual insurance producers can even conceive of that kind of new production. However, the fact there are any out there sends, what should be, a wake up call to the rest.

Now, I have to ask, what are you committing to in 2016?

Photo by Lemon~art.


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