The Insurance Dudes

P&C People: Insurance Recruiting, Hiring, Training and Firing | Insurance Agency Playbook

August 14, 2023 The Insurance Dudes: Craig Pretzinger & Jason Feltman Season 3 Episode 621
The Insurance Dudes
P&C People: Insurance Recruiting, Hiring, Training and Firing | Insurance Agency Playbook
Show Notes Transcript

Join in for the latest episode of the playbook, today Craig Pretzinger talks about the crucial aspect of running a successful agency, The People!

Learn the strategies that can lead to heightened employee retention and a positively cultivated company culture.

Uncover the significance of employing structured interviewing techniques that accurately assess candidates' alignment with the agency's values and principles, and the vital role that aligning the agency's purpose and core values with the hiring process plays in attracting individuals who share the agency's vision.

The most important pillar- People, learn it all with the maestro Craig Pretzinger.
Tune in now!

The Insurance Dudes are on a mission to find the best insurance agentsaround the country to find out how they are creating some of the top agencies. But they do not stop there, they also bring professionals from other industries for insights that can help agents take their agencies to the next level. 

The Insurance Dudes focus on your agency’s four pillars: Hiring, Training, Marketing and Motivation! We have to keep the sword sharp if we want our agencies to thrive. 

Insurance Dudes are leaders in their home, at their office and in their community. This podcast will keep you on track with like minded high performing agents while keeping entertained!

About Jason and Craig:

Both agents themselves, they both have scaled to around $10 million in premium.  After searching for years for a system to create predictability in their agencies, they developed the Telefunnel after their interviews with so many agents and business leaders.  

Taking several years, tons of trial and error, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on lead spend, they’ve optimized their agencies and teams to write tons of premium, consistently, and nearly on autopilot!

LEARN MORE BY Registering for TUESDAY’s LIVE CALL With The Insurance Dudes!


For more information and access to valuable resources, visit the Insurance Dudes!

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Craig Pretzinger:

Hello, and welcome to another edition of the insurance dudes podcast. This is Craig Pretzinger. And this is another insurance playbook. Now we've gone in and talked about the five P's, right for running an effective agency, and why it was important and the findings that I had, in reflecting back to all the years of creating the foundational components to support the high functioning offense that we have, and to create not only income, right, monthly income, monthly cash flow, but also to increase increase equity, right, your actual business value, because ultimately, we want to do that, too. It's not just income, right? Because we don't want to have it's not a job. Right. That's the difference between a job and owning an agency. So important, distinct, distinguish, distinguish uation distinct with distinct, I don't know, distinction. That's what we're looking for distinction. So what is the third P? And why is it important? You know, what that therapy is? It's the people, the people. So let's dive in. All right, we are back. Let's talk about people, this is going to be your most important component, right? After the first tip. No, really the probably the most challenging thing and as a, as an agency owner, yourself, and then anyone else that you talk to, that's an agency owner, probably going to hear that the most challenging thing that they have is the people, right, and a lot of times it can be challenging, because sometimes maybe we're too nice or too nice of an insurance dude. We we get too. Maybe we get too emotionally attached to people where we feel bad. And that's totally fine, right? It's totally fine to feel bad about having to let somebody go totally feel fine, totally fine to feel bad about. Not saying yes to somebody that you've interviewed, even though you may have liked them, but we want to do is get away from a lot of the feelings around hiring. Now, it's important to feel it's important to at times make heart based decisions. But we're talking about hiring, we really want to try to make it more objective, right. So we need to have criteria. And this is why if we back up and look at the first two peas that we covered, which was the principles supported the purpose, so we had the purpose was the first P, the second P was principles. And now we're in people, if we don't have the purpose laid out, and then we don't know those those core values that support the purpose, it's going to be difficult in the interview to articulate what what you're doing, what your agency is doing, to differentiate itself and provide help. And that extra value to the world right or to to the space that you're in to the people that you're talking to. So I think that it's something that we've found over over the years, was once we had determined the why behind our agency, we created the core values. Now this gave us the framework from which to to develop the lens that we then are using in the interview. So now we're not just looking for somebody who has a license or somebody who has experienced selling insurance. And I would argue that sometimes both of those things are detrimental to somebody's success. You don't have a lot of folks that come in and really go for it. And are are moldable and coachable and trainable when they already have that experience. Now, you know, there's an exception to every rule. Sure, there's plenty of people that may be a great hire that have worked somewhere else and have that experience. But I found that when we bring people in from outside, yes, may require a little bit extra work to get them up and running, however, that they are fully moldable. If they don't come with a preconceived set of, of ideas about how this works, they don't have a way that they've been doing it that isn't similar to yours. So it can be really effective to find people out from outside and you're also not limited your candidate pool, right remember? And as we get into this now, we're going to talk a lot and we'll probably do a Another episode, after the five P's are done, where we really dive deep into the hiring aspect, because we're going to talk a little bit briefly on the different components that when you clicked on this, you saw the hiring the the recruiting, hiring, training and firing of people. So remember where we're going to be looking for people who can align with the purpose that we talked about. So when you think about the questions that you ask in an interview, you want to, you want to frame them in such a way that it's going to give you an answer as to whether or not they're in alignment with your purpose. Now, that doesn't mean, you ask, Hey, we really like to serve single mothers who have four kids and have their hands full, and, you know, live on the north side of town, whatever, right? So let's say you hold down that avatar and have a real clear. And the purpose is to help people, because they typically are underserved when it comes to insurance, and you want to help make them really, really comfortable with their coverage, and able to set it and forget it, whatever that is, right. So you may ask questions that are going to tease out whether this person can allied with that. So I think that's important, right? Don't you don't ask the specific thing around the question. And certainly don't ask yes, no questions, we want to ask those open ended questions and have them really help to identify whether or not they're light. And then we're going to ask questions, I would put them put them into situational questions around the core values. So when I went through my core values here, like honesty and ethics, you could you could try to trick them, put them in a situation where it may be kind of gray gray area, for something that they may want to push the limits, you want to you want to really identify where they sit, when it comes to ethics, when it comes to honesty, and there's no room for any gray area, it honesty and ethics, we have to we have to draw a line and we have to stay very, very clean when it comes to these things. And then do this same exercise for all of the different core values that you have. Now, what you're doing is setting up an environment so that when we recruit, we're recruiting towards our message, not just hey, Craig, the principal agency is hiring excited new skilled individuals, blah, blah, blah, no, we want to write that ad that were posted to attract new people into our hiring funnel, we want that ad to align with our purpose. Because if somebody is attracted to our agency, because of our purpose, now, we are looking good when they come on right now we're, we have somebody that actually is aligned with us. And then as we interview them, and we put them up against all the core values, if they if they aligned with the core values, now we have somebody that we're going to be able to really work with, right, because we can't, well, we can we, it's much more challenging to try to change somebody's value system, right? And arguably, almost impossible. So what we want to do is, is hire for not, not their knowledge about insurance, not their knowledge about sales, not all these things that we can train them on. We want to hire them on whether or not they're going to make the right decision when the time comes, we want to hire them on whether or not their driving force aligns with our driving force, we want to hire them on all of these things that are then going to make it much easier to, to bring them in and convince them of the ways that we do the things the way that we do within the agency, because they're already pre aligned. We want that pre alignment. So important right? Now we have the right people when we bring the bed, well guess what, when when they are when they're when they have the proper skill set in it those core values, I guess seal sets the wrong word if they if they have the the right criteria that match with those core values. If we, if we can identify that they're motivated, and they really want to bring positivity, they're gonna help by elevating everybody else that you have here too, because as you keep adding people who have the same fundamentals, it's going to strengthen The culture of your organization is going to increase the life the employee lifetime value. I'm just going to leave that there, I'm not going to get into that, we're going to talk about that when we get deep on hiring, and deep on employees, which we'll do in a few episodes. So you want to make sure that you do subscribe so that you get notified on that employee lifetime value for thinking of our of our, of the people and the way that we attract it, and then retain those people. If we're looking at them in the same way that we look at our, at our, our sales, right, where we're looking at a cost per sale, we're looking at the lifetime value of a new client, if we start applying the same fundamentals, to our hiring, to our hiring funnel, we're gonna start seeing similar results, we're gonna start seeing better hires, we're gonna start seeing better retention, we're gonna start seeing all of these things that we start to see on the sales side of the of the coin. So another thing that we're gonna do, we want to attract people that we can empower, we want to attract people that aren't afraid to make a mistake. And it's really important, this is another thing that that, that I've learned over the years as I've gotten older, and not only require glasses, but but also have gained some insights. Wisdom is a patient's it's become real valuable in empowering people, and not being afraid to let them make some mistakes. I say it all the time, that we're not doing brain surgery, we're not building airplanes here, nobody's gonna die, if something gets screwed up. And we're not going to give somebody the reins to an activity, that has the potential to be catastrophic. Like, we're not going to just just trust that they're gonna get it done, we need to also trust, we need to trust but verify, we're going to trust that they're gonna get it done. And then we're going to verify and if they didn't get it done in the way that or if they didn't get it done, so that it got the results that we need, then we need to revisit and look at at where the mistake was made. That just because somebody may want to do something in a way that's, that's slightly different from the way that we like to do it. That's okay, we want to focus on the result, right, we want to focus on on obtaining those results in every aspect of it. So so let's talk about the people that we've had in agencies. And if I, if I start to think back to my agency, what I've noticed is over the years, as I, as I did hiring, I used to just have a conversation, and I've talked to lots of agents that we've either coached in the elite group or, or in the past, or who come to us with with questions on this. But in the past, we used to just have this conversation, a lot of agents do this, where it's like, Hey, I just want to have this conversation fill out? Well, the thing is, is I know for me, I am not a good. This is not a free flow is not a good way for me to determine whether or not somebody is a good candidate, because I end up liking everybody, unless they're just rude, or, you know, something just completely off, or they attack me, that likely I'm gonna like them. So I know that about myself, I know that, that I'm gonna have I'm gonna struggle with that. So I needed to really get laser beam focused and an institute substructure to the interview. So all those all those questioning techniques and the questions, the types of questions that we that I brought up earlier, are important to that structure. But what it does is and what we found was, when I compared my turnover, for the years that I just kind of did it from my gut, didn't use any sort of assessment and just had a conversation, the turnover was much higher, the results were much were far, far less, as we added the structure, as we added the processes, which we're going to talk about in the next P and as we as we built as we attracted people using these these frameworks and structures in the interviewing process, and then all the processes that go behind when it comes to the training when it comes to whether or not we fire which is measuring and tracking and measuring holding people accountable. What we found was not only did people stay longer, but we had a we had a better fit once they came On, and they were far quicker to get to results or expose themselves that they weren't capable of doing it, we've had far, far more, or far fewer bad hires, once we had the structure. So really important, our employee lifetime value has gone up significantly. Most folks, on average, we retain people for longer than a year now. And before it used to be, our average was well below three months, on staffers because it was just a ton of turnover. So as we think about that, that's a that's a critical piece, right? So on the hiring, we talked about the recruiting on creating those ads that will attract people to your purpose and your core values. And then finally, as we train, we'll, we'll get into this a little bit more when we're talking about processes. But if we have the right structure, once somebody comes on another significant difference, right, looking at people who, in fact, there's been studies done on all of this over the years, but people who come into an environment where there's a there's good structure, and clear and clear, clearly defined and articulated path to the desired outcomes. When all of that is there, the person is much more successful, they're they're much happier with their experience, they're far faster to get to the results, and to want to get up to speed and start delivering results. And they stay for much longer. So it's, it's really, really, really important to, to take consideration of these things. We're gonna continue to do this, here at the agency, one of the things that that we've started to do to that's been awesome is with our lead callers, so everybody that's listening, likely knows that we we buy internet leads that we have, by agency buys, gets tellem gets the lead collars from tele dudes. And they will then transfer the leads to my sales producers well, as they become more in tune with that, and as we hire people who are going to understand that we're able to we're able to invest more money towards the new client acquisition component towards the sales right towards bringing in more business instead of keeping all this money over to make up for that turnover, right? So another huge epiphany that came out of it just by putting some structure. So I'm going to stop it at that. And I'm going to ask that You. You. Subscribe you like you do all those things. And I invite you to come back on the next one because we're going to dive into processes, which is the fourth p and then of course, the episode after that, we will be talking about performance. So that is people. And oh, and of course, after the performance one we'll be diving a little bit deeper into the hiring stuff. So I appreciate you guys listening. Hope this is helpful. If it is throw something in the comments. If you know somebody who has never heard of us, please share it. Why not? Come on social media be social. We appreciate you. Take care. Bye

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