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5 Ways NOT to Motivate Your Producers during Sales Meetings

Most agency principals and sales managers I’ve run into see the world upside down. To prove my point, all I have to do is hang out in their weekly Monday morning sales meeting… and listen.

Here are the five most common things I’ve observed, and why they’re detrimental to your business:

  1. Don’t bank on incentivizing. First, nearly all managers think they can directly motivate their producers. Truth is; they can’t. They dangle all sorts of carrots out there – bonuses, promotions, trips and maybe even company ownership! If this worked, there would be a whole lot of insurance-selling maniacs out there. Contests and other incentives usually serve to accrue to the already-successful and may actually disempower those who are consistently missing their monthly goals. The rich tend to get richer and the poor tend to get poorer.
  2. Don’t de-incentivize, either. In the same vein - pronouncements, threats, and guilting don’t work either. (Duh.) But people still tend to take these approaches, mostly because nothing else has worked and they’re idea-bankrupt. Negative motivation is not only ineffective, it will actually make things much worse by sapping the energy out of your agency. To sum up #1 and #2: Neither supplying a carrot nor a stick will do that much, so quit hoping beyond hope.
  3. Stop overemphasizing account wins. Holding up the highest-performing producers as “good examples” may sound like a good idea, but sure as shootin’ it will breed jealousy, embarrassment, and even shame – especially among producers who are underperforming. Instead, you may want to consider celebrating big wins as an agency victory in public and give huge kudos to the responsible producer in private. Any wins should be acknowledged briefly in meetings – and praised – but overdoing it can be counterproductive.
  4. Stop playing it safe. By that I mean, that facts – especially unpleasant ones – need to be addressed directly and in an adult fashion. Talking about quotas, percentages, prospects, sales processes and account losses is critical. Also, you must immediately and powerfully address negativity, excuses, skepticism and resignation. You may be the only adult in the room, so don’t surrender your position or your influence.
  5. Stop being soft. You’re there to lead. It’s okay to be friendly, but don’t try to be everyone’s friend. Your duty is to the bottom line and the shareholders of the company. Smiles and great camaraderie, very noble things in one context, will not pay the bills. Don’t ever forget that. You don’t have to be hard or severe, just firm.

What SHOULD you do to conduct sales meetings that really make a difference? Learn more about our CRISP sales meetings here.           

Have a great week, and go out and crush your competition!

Randy

For more information connect with me on CompleteMarkets.com for weekly updates or visit our iWin Storefront!

Randy Schwantz
Other articles by: Randy Schwantz
Categories: Insurance Sales Techniques
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