Posted 209 days ago ago by Michelle Wilson 0 Comments
Concern over the lack of talent is a major issue for the insurance agency industry. Lloyd’s Risk Index (Lloyd’s Risk Index 2011) indicated that a shortage of talent and skills was the second largest risk facing businesses in 2011 — up from 22nd place in 2009. It will become increasingly critical as the majority of agency owners, who are boomers, prepare to retire and exit the business.
By implementing a simple mentoring strategy, agencies can fill this void. Mentoring an up-and-comer is as easy as allowing them to shadow an established producer for the majority of their workdays. The key is to remember that preparing to sell insurance coverage is a long learning process.
Sometimes agencies make the mistake of thinking good mentoring is having new producers shadow an established producer for a few weeks with periodic follow-up meetings. But an effective and thorough mentoring process takes much longer and is more involved. In addition to gaining the knowledge required to obtain sales licenses, newbies have to develop the techniques and skills needed to manage the sales cycle and pipeline, deal with a diverse range of customers and prospects, handle administrative details, maintain carrier relations and more. Allowing several months to a year is a more realistic timeframe for development.
Agencies should financially prepare to cover the cost of a new head-count without seeing a return for a while and this may require tapping into savings or obtaining a loan. Mentoring is an investment, but can result in tremendous business growth.