At Chrinco, we have seen many insurance agencies get to a certain size then suddenly stop growing. It typically happens when the agency can no longer outpace their lapse/cancellation ratio. Some agents get to this point, are generally happy with their income, and accept the fact that their agency is not going to have tens of millions in premiums.
Other agents, however, find themselves frustrated with the fact that for every step forward, they seem to take a step back.
They’re not growing but they’re not shrinking. Nothing seems to really be working as well as intended. Employees aren’t doing what you think they should be doing. Customers still want to have 30-minute chats like they did when you were first starting out but you don’t have the time anymore. Employees tell you about an upset customer so you call the customer and the customer seems fine – you wonder why your employee couldn’t handle the situation. You’re the bookkeeper, the part-time receptionist, the part-time service person, part-time HR person, the full-time sales person and you have no time. You have a vision in your head of what the agency should be and it seems so easy in your head, but you’ve been riding that vision for a couple of years and you’re still no closer to seeing it to fruition.
If this sounds like you – we know what’s getting in the way of growth … it’s you.
That’s right – the reason you’re having all of these issues is you; and once you realize and accept that it’s you, then you can begin to do something about it. Humble yourself and realize that you have weaknesses – that you may be a great salesperson but a poor service person. Or you may be a great at keeping the customers happy but be a poor manager of employees.
So what are you supposed to do?
When insurance agency growth comes to a halt, there’s one major thing you can do. Start the hiring process. But don’t do what most agents in this position do and start at the bottom of the org chart looking for a receptionist or servicing person. By doing this you will potentially exacerbate the problem as you become the genius with a thousand helpers. By starting at the bottom of the org chart, you’ll just be adding to the number of people you have to train and manage – something you don’t have time for. Instead look to the top of the org chart and find someone to help you lead the company. Somebody who enjoys the things you don’t so you can delegate that piece of the business to them. Somebody, you can hold accountable to your standards.
List out the things you want this person to do and then take your time finding this person. If you find the right person and put them in the right seat and give them the pieces of the business to manage that are holding you back from seeing the fruits of your vision, the results will be bountiful.
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