I'm back for another episode of Agency Growth Machine. We're going to talk about how to grow your agency and look, the big quote I'm going after right now because I'm setting up this three-part series on leadership with Bill Belichick. We just did Nick Saban coming up today and coach K coming up in the future and here's why. My core belief is that the difference between where your agency is today and where it's going to be tomorrow and deep into the future is in direct proportion to your ability, yes, Mr and Mrs. Leader, your ability to lead, coach, train and develop your sales team.
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Welcome to the Agency Growth Machine podcast where it's all about transforming potential into profit. And now your host, Randy Schwantz.Speaker 2:
Hey, this is Randy Schwantz, I'm back for another episode of Agency Growth Machine. We're going to talk about how to grow your agency and look, the big quote I'm going after right now because I'm setting up this three-part series on leadership: Bill Belichick we just did. Nick Saban coming up today and coach K coming up in the future and here's why. My core belief is that the difference between where your agency is today and where it's going to be tomorrow and deep into the future is in direct proportion to your ability, yes, Mr and Mrs. Leader, your ability to lead, coach, train and develop your sales team. And you think about it: When you improve your ability, you'll improve their ability. If you don't improve your ability, then you're hoping that they will improve their ability and they probably won't. And Nick is going to talk about that some today and some of the quotes and some of the things we're going to be going after on him. So why is that so important? Well, I don't know, maybe it's not for you, but when you think about it, for many of us as business owners, one of our biggest assets is our agency, our business and its growth, and by growing that gross or net worth. Secondarily, this job that you provide to your producers is in many cases their biggest asset, their occupation, and when you can help their occupation be really, really financially rewarding, it's good for them, it's good for you. And so I'm going to read that quote again, the difference. Think about that, the difference. So here we are today, you're at someplace, the difference where your agency is today, however many hundreds of thousands or millions or tens of millions of revenue you have, and where it's going to be deep into the future is in direct proportion to your ability to lead and develop your sales team. And when we look at sales teams like football players or basketball players, anything else... I mean, there's a developmental process. Every sports franchise has a developmental process. My daughter is a volleyball player at Duke and they have a developmental process. They've got their off season right now and so, they're lifting weights, they're getting stronger, they're stretching and then they're working on specific things that are relative to their position out on the court. And so, it's developmental. You know, when I look at football players off season, developmental. In season they continue to make you better. So we talked about Bill Belichick, now we're going to get into Nick. So Nick, Nick's a pretty amazing dude. I mean he keeps getting the Alabama Crimson Tide to the top. And how does he do it? Is it because of Alabama or is it because of Nick's leadership? Is Bill Belichick great because of New England Patriots and they made them great or did he make them great? Coach K has been at Duke for 37 years. His first couple of years he said: If it was in today's environment, he might've gotten fired because his first couple of years were building years. He didn't start off winning like crazy. You had to develop into it. So let's get into Nick: I got four quotes from him: Four things on leadership and so the first thing he says is this: Engage, he says you have to make it about them because they don't see it like we do - get over it, the youths have changed. And so what does he mean by this? You have to make it about them because they don't see it like we do. So I guess he's saying, you know, as an old dude, you know, we make it about the team and the franchise, all that sort of stuff. But he's going, no, you've got to make it about them, because they don't see it like we do - get over it, get over it, he says, just make it about them. Quit worrying about it. And so when I think about you as a leader making it about your producers, I think it's about making it about them and them being/becoming multi millionaires. Why? Well, when you think about this, I was reading some stuff on financial planning the other day and they use this kind of acronym or we'll call it F.O.R.M: F for family. It's like why do people want to be productive? Well, because they want to take care of their family and they want to be with their family and they want to provide for their family and they want to make their family better than they made it for themselves. So family is a big motivator for a lot of people. Number two is Occupation. If you're going to work all these many days, weeks, years, and turn it into a career, I mean, you want to make it the best career that you can. So occupation, even to the point that someday it becomes occupational optional. I don't have to work anymore. Number three is then Recreation. I mean, we only go around one time in this gig, unless you believe in some other sort of religion where you're going to pop back up as a frog or a giraffe or a camel or a bug or something like that. So my belief is that this is our one big show. So then Recreation becomes a big deal in that bucket list. So Family, Occupation, Relationship, Recreation, and then all of that takes this one thing we call Money. Money funds it. Now, money doesn't make you happy, but money gives you freedom. So when you make it about them, you're making it about their F.O.R.M, you're making it about their Family, about their Occupation, their Recreation and the Money it takes to do that. And my feeling is, and that's why I created what I call the Private Producer Portal within the iWin Agency Growth System is that when producers, too many times when they're in a sleepy environment, what do we mean by that? It's not aggressive, it's not assertive, is not driving them to be the best they can be. It's more focused on the agency getting what it wants out of them. So that's what I call the sleep environment. When it's about them, then it changes things, so when it's not about them then a lot of times agency owners will assign them a $50,000 new business commission goal or $100,000 new business goal and they assign it to them. It's like, oh, are you kidding me? You're expecting to get these guys engaged and motivated? No. Make it about them. That's what Nick Saban says. Make it about them. Help them get what they want, so that means that you need to take them through exercises to get them clear on what they want. Now you can't imagine that they already know, that they're already clear on it. Then so when you take them through the Private Producer Portal in the iWin Agency Growth System, we're helping people build out this 30-year career timeline. You know, we're putting in their family members and they're putting in all the cars they're going to have to buy for the children and all the universities they're going to have to fund for the children. The weddings they're going to have to pay for and their retirement they're going to have to fund for themselves. So when they get clear on that, what most producers really figure out is that to have the kind of future that they really want and being a multimillionaire is not an ego thing. Being multimillionaires is kind of a necessity that when you reach out to the future and you say, I'm going to hang it up at 65 years' old, there's a pretty reasonable chance a 65-year old is going to live to be 85, maybe even 90, maybe even 95. And it's just gonna take a lot of money to fund that period of time from 65 to 85 or 65 to 95. Being a multimillionaire is not a luxury. It's a necessity if you get your head on right. So when you make it about them, you did the 30 year timeline, you helped them build a plan of action, to see how they're going to grow their book of business. And like I said, most most producers need to be saving in the range of 45 to $65,000 a year. Most producers are grossly underfunding that future as well as just the average employee. So let's make it about them, getting them clear on that, helping them become multimillionaires and get over it. If you help them become multimillionaires, if you help them double their personal income, that means they're doubling their book. And when they double their book, that means that your agency's going up in value in a very powerful way. So you get what you want when you make it about them. So number one, engage with them. Engage. Make it about them. Find out what they want, help them get it, build those exercises. Number two, he says: Inspire. Now this is interesting, and maybe you don't relate with this, but Nick says, as he's talking to other coaches, he goes, why does every coach think that everybody wants to be great? He says, the human condition is to survive, to be average. It is special to want to be great. Wow! What an indictment on the human race, human condition is to survive, to be average. It is special to want to be great and maybe not only is he talking about producers, but he's talking about leaders too; it's special to want to be great. That human condition for even agency leaders is to survive, to be average. Wow! What an indictment on all of us and he goes on to say, you cannot expect your kids to want to be great. You cannot expect your producers to want to be great, and he goes on to say we've had success here at Alabama because we don't assume people want to be great and we've put a system in place that makes it uncomfortable, unless you're choosing the path that will make them great. Think about that. Here at Alabama, we have had success because we do not assume people want to be great. They get five star athletes. They get people that want to go on and play in the NFL. That's why they go to Alabama. So they get seen, but even there, he doesn't make the assumption that these guys and Gals, guys in his case, want to be great. So what has he done? He's put in a system that makes it uncomfortable unless they are choosing the path that will make them great. So then you got to go back and ask the question, Mr. Mrs agency owner. What system have you put in that makes it uncomfortable, unless they're choosing the path that will make them great. What does the system look like? I mean right now if I challenge you to get out a piece of paper and map it all out and its components, the processes that make up your system. Would you have it? And if so, congratulations. If you don't have a system, then you probably want to think about our system, the iWin Agency Growth System. Why do we call it iWin? Because we want every producer. I mean think about it, if you're playing one on one basketball, if you're doing anything, do you want it? When it's all done, iWin. That's what you want to be able to say, I Win, not you Win I Win. I mean maybe it's a selfish thing, but that's all right. Competitive people are kind of selfish, aren't they? See what we want them to be able to say. iWin. And so then we built a system that's a combination of training, technology and coaching. Training so they can build skills. I mean, when you look at confidence; confidence is a feeling driven by the knowledge of the environment. We'll go back to being in commercial insurance: I know coverage, I know my competition, I know me, I know the process that gets a prospect from where they are to turn into a client of mine and I've got the skill to pull it off. So when you've got the knowledge and the skill, you feel confident. Confident people always outperform people who lack confidence. So in the iWin Agency Growth System we built the whole training platform so that we can build those skills and develop and grow confident people as part of the system. And then we built technology that then there's a one to one to one relationship between the training, the technology and the coaching. So if we're going to train them to do something like get Red Hot Introductions then we're going to build technology that helps them build up that database, helps them follow through, helps make it easy for them to manage that. So that then you can measure it and you can coach them. If you don't have a system, you can go cobble up a system, you can cobble up a bunch of spreadsheets, you can read a couple books on these different things and then you can try to coach them up. But it just becomes too hard. And you know as an agency owner, that time is your number one thing that you can't go borrow. You can go to the bank and borrow money, you can go to the insurance carrier and get more coverage, more products. But there's no bank for getting more time. There's no bank, it doesn't exist. We're all blessed or cursed with the same 24 hours. So you got to find the way to get the maximum leverage off of your time and that's by having a system. So Nick Saban says "we've had success here at Alabama because we don't assume people want to be great. We've put a system in place that makes it uncomfortable unless you're choosing the path that will make them great." He goes on to say "we don't assume they will do it on their own. Man, you'd be amazed and maybe you wouldn't be amazed. But I'm amazed. I'm amazed at how many agency owners have finally broken down and invested $2,000 in their producers, sent them off to the wedge workshop along with travel and hotel and stuff like that. And then they bring them back. And in the old days, I don't do this now much, but in the old days I'd call up and follow up and say, man, how's your producer doing? And they go, oh Randy. I mean like for the first 90 to a 120 days they're on fire. They came back and they got a couple of BORs, but now they're back to the same old thing they were doing, so I don't know. It just doesn't seem to work and I'm going, man, if I could choke you, I would. Look, dude, you're assuming that they're going to do it on their own. You're not reinforcing. You're not supporting. You're not running sales meetings, you're not doing coaching. You're not doing ongoing training. You're not role playing. You're doing spreadsheet Liars' club meetings. You send them off to little boot camp and hope that it's going to change your life. Look, they will not do it on their own. That's what Nick -the fabulous Saban says. He says, it's up to us to inspire, to put a system in place to make people want it. Wow, that's heavy. That's heavy. So go back to Nick. Nick, number one, engage. You have to make it about them because they don't see it like we do - get over it. The youth has changed. So let's make it about them becoming multimillionaires. Let's take them to the stuff. Number two, we've got to inspire them because they won't do it on their own. Number three, Influence. He says, here's what we have to do. We have to influence their thoughts, their habits, and their priorities, and he says in that order, and here's how. Here's how this works. If you want to change somebody's behavior, you've got to change their belief. If you want to change your belief, you have to change how they think about things. So we're doing this all day long. I mean it's like, the traditional way to sell in the commercial insurance industry comes from a course that was 40-50 years ago and the course is supported in a powerful way by insurance carriers and, it's really teaching a producer to go out and build a relationship, get the policies, find a coverage gap, market it to the carriers; carriers like that . Carriers like it when you market accounts to them. Come back, now build a proposal where you found the coverage gap. You save some price, you save some money, and then you talk about how, you know, you're characteristically, how we care about you. You present it and you hope you win it. Well, I'm trying to get people to think about how that's not a very good system. Maybe it's good for the carriers because carriers get to see more flow and more opportunities, but it's not good for a producer. It's not good for producers at all. Think about it. There's an incumbent, the incumbent controls your money. The incumbent has got to get fired for you to get hired. Think about it. Think about it from a buyer's perspective. You know, if they can't see a difference, if you can't create enough contrast between you and the incumbent, why would they ever make a change? Think about this. As a producer you don't control price or coverage. The carrier does. The only thing you can control is your service, and now you got to take service and break it down into two categories: Reactive and proactive. The reactive service everybody does well. Everybody's good as a general rule at returning phone calls, getting out certificates. If you have a claim they help coach you through it, you buy a building, you'll get insured etc. So reactive service is not where it's at. So the only place I see sustainable differentiation is when you can build a proactive services platform. Think about that, and when you get people thinking and you change their thoughts, that's what Nick Saban says, do it in this water, change their thoughts, boom, change how they think, because when you change how they think, now you're molding and forming their beliefs and with that now you're changing their behaviors. So then the second thing that Nick says: his thoughts, number one, and then habits. So one of the biggest habits that is you could say missing in the commercial insurance industry, whether it's employee benefits for property casualty, either one, just the biggest habit that's missing is the habit of prospecting. The habit of intentionally setting time to call, follow through, follow up and set appointments, setting time to habitually ask clients for introductions so that they both lead toward setting new business appointments, that's the biggest missing habit. And if it doesn't become habitual then it becomes incidental. It happens when you kind of want to or it happens when you start to suffer and you go, I've got nothing I'm working on. I guess I need to prospect. It's not habitual. It is incidental. So number one, change their thoughts, number two change their habits. And then number three, now you help them set priorities. What's most important to least important? And Nick says that when you do that, you influence that, how they think, their habits and their priorities. Now you're going to change their lives in a positive way. And then here's number four. He says, influence, and start to think about this... How do we impact them? How do we influence them? How do they impact each other? And what he's really talking about is peer intervention and peer pressure in that regard, how do they impact each other? So when I listened to Bill Belichick, Nick Saban, coach K and many many others, and he's talking about how do we impact them? You'll see coach K just did this thing, this seven part series on earn everything and it's with his new team this year at Duke and he's talking about how he gets to know them individually and you kind of see, he sat down with them on the bench having a chat, hey man, how's it going? How are you liking it here at Duke? Are you making some friends, how are things going with your family? Hey, tell me about your siblings, you know, find out about people so that he opens a door to be able to show that he cares about them so that they can care more about him. It's called building relationships so that now he opens up the door for him to impact them, to influence them. Right? And then how do they impact each other? And K is always talking about he's got three strategies so we'll get more into that in the future, but he's got an offensive strategy, a defensive strategy and a communications strategy. And when out on the court, man, he's like coaching communications, because he knows that they impact each other during the game in an important time. And then it's that peer intervention, Hey, let that guy know here's what you ought to be doing. You got to be there, you got to take that charge. You've got a get that rebound. You've got to go after that loose ball, peer intervention and peer pressure. So this thing is true in a sports environment, football, basketball, whatever. It's also true in a sales environment, man, when you start looking at your sales meeting, it's like, why are you going after that guy? You know, he's beat you 18 times in a row. You've never won against those guys. Let's go after somebody else or why aren't you leveraging our differentiation? Man, you got this, you got that. You got the other. Why don't you leverage that? That's peer intervention. That's peer pressure. What we have found and the reason we call it CRISP: CRISP just means Continuous and Rapid Improvement Sales Process. We call our sales meetings CRISP instead of spreadsheet Liars' club meetings, because when you run your meetings this way in a formal environment, it starts to become informal that you'll see guys and gals walking down the hall and say: Hey Charlie, come here. I'm working on this deal. Tell me if as you, what would you do? And now that peer intervention, so it becomes continuous in that it's not just when you do the sales meeting every other week for 90 minutes. It becomes people helping people. So you've got to think about how do we impact them, how do they impact each other? And then peer intervention plus peer pressure, where does that all fit into your whole deal? So just to kind of summarize big Nick: Engage, inspire influence. Man, I got influence here twice so I messed something up, but I'm just going to stay with it. So here's a couple of things: A couple of quotes from Nick. He says there are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you'll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment. So think about this. It takes discipline to drive a sales culture, to do the goal setting, to run the sales meetings, to build out your differentiation platform and to do ongoing training. It just takes discipline. So as I'm talking to you, the leader, the difference between where your agency is today and where it's going to be tomorrow and deep into the future is in direct proportion to your ability to lead and develop your sales team. So within your agency, if your primary goal is to develop your book rather than develop the books of producers, then you'll have no discipline toward developing them. You'll selfishly focus on you the whole time and what you want and your book and your income will always trump what they need. And that's fine. That's just a decision you make, right? But if you make that decision then the chance that your producers will ever develop on their own and become great is just slim. It probably won't happen. Flip side of it, he says the pain: there are two pains in life, the pain of discipline, and the pain of disappointment. So if you can discipline yourself to help them become more disciplined then that pain of disappointment will go away. I just think that's a very powerful quote. Here's another one. What happened yesterday is history. What happens tomorrow is a mystery. What we do today makes a difference. So you look at Bill Belichick, you look at Nick Saban, look at coach K, they're all living in the moment. They're all in the process of making right now better. They are not patting themselves on the back about the championships they've won, they're not looking into the future about the championships they want to win. They're all focused on what is going on now and they're all what I consider is, I looked up and studied, what is a stoic. They're all stoics. A stoic could sit there and go, here's what I can control. Here's what I cannot control. Here's what I want you to think about. You know, you did not pick your parents. You did not pick the color of your skin, you did not pick where you were born. You didn't pick any of that. You had no control over any of that, right? Now, so those are things you can't control. That's a good example. What you can control though is, you can control your study habits. You can control when you go to bed, you can control what you're going to eat or drink. You can control your exercise. You control your mindset, you control all that stuff, and so now when it comes back to building a sales culture, you can't control whether or not a producer is going to respond. What you can control is continuing to run your sales meetings, doing your training, do all that sort of stuff and make it as good as you can and continue to evolve yourself. So Nick goes, what happened yesterday is history. What happens tomorrow is mystery. What we do today is what makes a difference. So you got to focus on now, making today the best it can be. And then here's another powerful one that I think is so relevant to us in the insurance business, plus every other thing in life. Eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside. All right, so what's the clutter? Hard market. Soft market. Insurance carriers are raising their expectations. Underwriters are making weird dumb decisions. One underwriter has given everything away while the underwriters are going up on price. Those are all things that are going on outside, and you can't do anything about it. So he says, eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you go about and take care of your business. Take the other team out of the game and make it all about you and what you do. Make your team great. So if you're interested in making your team great, and like all of us, you have a limitation of time, then you need a system. Now you can go build a system. You can go build your own training curriculum. You can go build your own technology or buy some off-the-shelf piece of technology that was built for construction companies or pharmaceutical companies or promises to be the biggest thing on the planet. You know, you can go do the technology that the agency management systems promise you "oh, this is the best. It's a single-source integrated deal". You can do all that stuff. Those are your choices. And then you can start to try to become the best coach you can be. So you can go, you can go cobble all that stuff together if you want to grow your agency or if you're into efficiency and effectiveness and you want a proven system, then you might want to look at the iWin Agency Growth System. It's called iWin because you want producers to be able to say i Win. You know, shooting pennies, shooting marbles, playing one-on-one basketball, playing pickle ball, playing golf, you know, iWin, right? That's what I Win, I mean we're all kind of selfish that we want to say I Win, so iWin Agency Growth System where there's this one to one to one relationship between the training, the technology and the coaching so it becomes easy. It was developed to grow an insurance agency. It was developed to win New Business, is developed to get producers more motivated, is developed to get producers more confident is developed to get producers organized and give them a great plan. Because my philosophy is this: that motivated, confident, organized producers with a plan will always outperform people who lack motivation are unconfident or poorly organized and have a bad plan. And you think about it, when you can get their motive, why they want to grow a book of business, why they want to make more income, get it clear in their head. Now they become motivated, build their confidence. Confidence is a feeling driven by skills and knowledge. You know, when you can help them build the knowledge of what's going on in the marketplace and help them build knowledge of what they're good at, what the competition's bad at, you're building that whole knowledge, you build the knowledge about coverage. Anything else you want to do, but you're building knowledge and now you've got the skills to be able to. pull it off to communicate it. You'll win. So now if you want confident producers, which is a feeling, then you get feelings driven by skills and knowledge then you've got to be in the development business. We've got to be in the knowledge development business and the skills development business and see, here's the deal. If you don't have a very well defined sales process, you can't develop the skills to do that. It's kind of like you wouldn't know. You would never tell a wide receiver, hey, just go long. No, man, it's much, much, much more critical than that. All you've got to do is watch a few documentaries on Jerry Rice and you'll know it's much more black and white, difficult, running patterns, shake, plant, go. I mean it's a skill. So motivated, confident, organized producers with a plan. So now we're going to motivated. They know what they want. Confident. Building skills and knowledge. Organized . Man, I mean, I should build, if I'm a producer, I should have all my prospects, all my clients in the palm of my hand, I should know all their email addresses, phone numbers, all my follow-ups and to dos, who the competition is. If it's a client, the written service timeline, everything that we've promised is right there at my fingertips, I'd be able to just do it, man. Just do it as well as all my coaching tools are right there at my fingertips. Ongoing training. Audios, all that sort of stuff. I mean, you can make it harder than that if you want to, but that's what I want. And that's what's, you know, when I got that now I'm organized, I said the last piece is a plan. You think about, I'm working off of the computer here as you can imagine. And, the computer is only as good as the software that runs it. So when I look at us as human beings, we have this brain, the brain's pretty powerful thing, but it's only as good as the software that runs it. And that software is the plan. When you got a great plan it's telling that brain what to do. When you have a weak plan, the brain is confused and it doesn't know what to do; so motivated, confident, organized producers with a plan will always outperform people who lack motivation, lack confidence, poorly organized, and have a bad plan. So if you want a system to help you get producers motivated, confident, organized with the plan that you can drive, that's easy for you to drive so you can grow your agency, then you need to come check us out. The iWin Agency Growth System and you check it out at www.thewedge.net. So what's coming up next? Man, I'm going to get into coach K. just another hero. I mean he's a fabulous man and the way he recruits, trains, coaches and develops basketball players. I think he has won five national championships. That's coming up. Talk to you soon. This is Randy Schwantz, signing off.