Ahh, with 4th quarter winding down, hopefully you have a little time to relax and allow yourself to catch up on the things you’ve had to put on the back burner. Professional development is often seen as a nice-to-have and a quick-to-delete when things get hairy. 😩

Consider this our little end-of-year gift, where we’ve consolidated some of the most impactful reads from our blog this year. We predicted 2022 would be a tough year, and it seems to have been unfortunately accurate for many. As businesses become savvier in their buying and decision-making, salespeople and service organizations need to step up their game to remain ahead of the buyers, so you’re leading them rather than being led by them.

Look at the articles we have collected below and follow the “Read more” links on each to get to the full articles. We’re glad you’re here and that you’ve chosen to spend some of your year with us. We appreciate you!

Here’s to a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2023! 🥂🎊

It's Time to Prospect and Sell Your Ass Off

WARNING - You're going to lose more business than usual in 2022.

If you read our blog regularly, you know how strongly we believe in prospecting consistently, the necessity of maintaining healthy pipelines, and following a sales process to capitalize on those opportunities.

This is what creates a foundation that drives organizational growth. We all know healthy and profitable growth is a challenge, even in normal times.

My friends, these are NOT normal times.

In today's business environment, several rather unique circumstances (some industry-specific, others not) are converging at once. They are creating a perfect storm requiring insurance and benefits producers to put their prospecting and sales efforts into high gear. Read more…

You Paid How Much for That Client?!

More times than you can count, you have heard us say that selling is a difficult and scary job. That is why so few have what it takes to succeed at a career where you “eat what you kill.” As scary as the job is, most salespeople find prospecting to be the scariest and most difficult part of the difficult and scary job.

Producers come up with countless excuses to not prospect. They’ll “allow” themselves to get pulled into countless activities that have nothing to do with selling, much less prospecting. They rationalize most of these by saying, “The best ROI on my time is to spend it protecting the clients I already have.”

Sure, you must serve existing clients, but there is typically an entire team to help you do that. Besides, servicing existing clients doesn’t take ALL your time. Read more…

Sales as a Math Equation

I was one of those kids that loved math; I still do. Numbers always have spoken to me. One of the things I love about math the most is that you’re either right or wrong.

For example, (9)(10) + 26 = 116. If you don’t like the answer, the only way you can change it is to change one of the variables.

The same holds true in selling. If you don’t like your sales results, you have to change the inputs.

In sales, (X)(Y) + Z = healthy growth.

X = ideal opportunities

Y = volume

Z = velocity.

(Ideal opportunities) (Volume) + Velocity = Healthy growth

If you fall short on any variable, you’ll fall short of your growth potential. Read more…

Finding New Prospects

If you read our recent blog (It’s Time to Prospect and Sell Your Ass Off), you know there are going to be unprecedented challenges to revenue growth in 2022. Whether connecting with a new audience in a new vertical or expanding your reach within current spheres of influence, making new connections is critical to the sales success necessary to overcome those challenges.

Chances are pretty good that you’re going to have to look for opportunities in places you never have before. As you expand your target market, it’s going to be more critical than ever to remind yourself that not every client is a good one. Of course, this means you need to be selective with whom you start conversations. Read more…

Differentiated Value is the Result of Being Different

One of insurance and benefits agencies' great challenges is overcoming the perception and stereotype that "all agencies/brokers are the same."

Unfortunately, most agencies do nothing but reinforce this belief. For way too many agencies, their efforts could be summarized with the following:

  • Show up at renewal time, begging for a chance to quote.
  • Come back with the same spreadsheet and oh-so-similar capabilities presentation (list of products they offer) as their competition.
  • Claim that what differentiates them is the level of service they provide.
  • Pray they did a better job of telling the same story as everyone else.

Because these slow-growth agencies fail to have anything that truly differentiates them in the eyes of the market, their best attempt at differentiation is to claim to be a better version of their competition. The industry's promises of "We'll get a better price" and "We provide better service" are ubiquitous dronings. Read more…

You Gotta Know Your Sales Numbers

You’ve heard it before, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

The unfortunate reality is that too few of you reading this are measuring the most important numbers of your business. Because of that, you're not in a position to make the proper adjustment as you work to grow.

Admittedly, there are countless things you could measure, and I'd NEVER recommend you try and measure everything. But there are a handful of numbers that are too important not to track.

If you aren't reaching your potential, something needs to be adjusted. But you can't make the proper adjustments if you're not measuring the right factors. Read more…

Are Producers Making Up Excuses Not to Sell?

I often hear insurance and benefits producers complain about their service team:

  • "The spreadsheets are 'never' correct."
  • "They aren't sophisticated enough to support the type of business I want to write."
  • "I constantly get pulled into service issues they should handle."

If true, these are legitimate complaints, and they need to be addressed.

The thing is, most of these producers want to hold their team to a higher standard than they meet themselves. These same producers don't spend enough time prospecting, have less than adequate pipelines, and are coming nowhere close to meeting their sales potential.

Suppose a producer was prospecting consistently, maintained a healthy pipeline, and regularly brought in new business. In that case, I am pretty sure the agency's leadership team would ensure the foundation was there to support the business and the producer. If not, I'd be looking for a new home as a producer. Read more…

 

Step up your game with a dedicated peer group for learning, challenging, and motivating the right behaviors at Platinum Advisors Summit, kicking off at CapCon in February 2023. 

Learn more about the Platinum Advisors Summit (offered exclusively for NAHU members)

Photo by davizro