A Fresh Take on the Insurance Agency Meeting
The weekly insurance agency meeting is an area where most agencies should shine, revving up the sales team with infectious energy and offering helpful tips and strategies to improve the bottom line. However, more often than not, team meetings are perceived as a necessary evil, a waste of time, or even dare I say it? BORING.
You’ve probably participated in these meetings where the managers speak rather than listen, and waste company time, waste the staff’s time and don’t even strive for team engagement, thus leaving the team with less motivation and enthusiasm than when they walked into the meeting.
Most of the meetings I’ve been a part of in the past, or maybe even ones I’ve led, were too long, and when they’re over, people are flat out exhausted and/or overwhelmed.
Agency meetings should last 60 to 90 minutes and leave people upbeat and ready to tackle the week.
Before we dig into effective meetings to bring some fun and excitement to agency meetings, here’s a weekly APP Update.
Kelly: Viroqua, WI
Heath: Orlando, FL & Youngstown, OH
Lesson of the Month: Saying “yes” to something (or someone) means you’re saying “NO” to something (or someone) else.
Professional Goal Update: Educating myself on specific agency management systems to keep up-to-date on the latest.
Personal Goal Update: Learning to eat healthier and become more active on the road.
Current Obsession: I’m obsessed with learning TikTok.
Staying Consistent with Scheduling Insurance Agency Meetings
First and foremost, let’s determine the date and time for these meetings. I believe that there should be a regular date and time for these meetings.
Each agency is different, some prefer to schedule an early morning meeting before the office opens for business. It’s a lot easier to focus and get things done when you’re not constantly interrupted by the phone ringing. Other agencies prefer to meet during lunch each week, or the time that is the most quiet each week at the agency.
Whichever time you decide to hold your meetings, the goal is consistency. This way, everyone knows the expectation and has their calendars blocked off ahead of time. If you have multiple locations, get your other offices together and have them join you via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, or whatever form of internal communication that you choose in your agency.
Note: Allow for options to join the meeting remotely for those who either work remotely or are unable to attend in person.
Create an Engaging Agenda
Now that we have a weekly date on the calendar, let’s set a clear agenda for this meeting. An agenda for your agency meeting is a list that outlines the main topics that need to be discussed during the meeting and who will handle each portion of the meeting.
The agenda should also include how much time is spent on each topic. This encourages employees to remain focused. For those leading the meeting, an accurate agenda helps them plan how they’ll share information and ask for feedback. Meetings are always better with engagement. If you want to have more engagement, distributing your agenda ahead of time will help folks prepare with how they contribute.
It also serves as a reminder for your team to come prepared for the meeting. This is one of the strategies we help agencies with as part of our Agency Assessment Program.
Insurance Agency Meeting Agenda Example
Here at APP, we follow a simple outline that you can use. This removes hours of preparation and enhances communication. Often, too many meetings will turn negative quickly. Here is our Agency Performance Partners/Agency Appeal weekly meeting agenda:
10:30-10:35 Share One Success… Wins and Lessons
10:35-10:45 Numbers: Go over your reports in this meeting, with open transparency
10:45-11:00 Review of stumbling blocks
11:00-11:10 Goals Updates
11:10-11:20 Process to Review or New Workflows
11:20-11:25 One-Word Close
When everyone understands the general flow of the meeting, they’ll be more likely to stay on track and you can get back on topic faster if the discussion strays from the main goal.
Insurance Agency Meeting Goals
In order to have an effective meeting at your agency, I think the most important goal transparency. Yes, we know it’s a bit of an overused buzzword. Transparency is much more than that. It’s a catalyst for communication and accountability throughout an organization. Transparency is the key to a great meeting, with collaboration between all departments, and a real understanding of what’s going on throughout the agency.
Set & Track Goals
At first, your team may feel micromanaged, so it’s beneficial to explain your reasoning. Sharing the progress of these reports and metrics can boost the motivation and self-esteem of staff who would otherwise not be recognized until their annual review. Most importantly, it can inspire friendly competition among coworkers.
It’s also a tactic that works especially well with the results-driven personalities. This transparency should be in every aspect of the organization, not just sales. There should be metrics that can be tracked in the management system or CRM for:
- The Sales Team
- The Service Team
- AND Management
Good transparent reports and goals can enhance agency meetings in the same way. Transparency can be the superpower to motivate your team to a greater outcome, add accountability, foster healthy competition, and add excitement to your agency meetings. If your agency needs help creating goals, take a look at our agency assessment program.
Crystal clear goals is a win for EVERYONE in your business. Goals should also be discussed and celebrated if achieved and discussed with intent when not achieved. We at APP, like to share and discuss our wins and losses for the week, giving opportunities for everyone to have their time to discuss during the meeting. This is not a time for griping and complaining, but simply a time to celebrate victories and learn from losses. Remember to start on a positive note.
Kick your meetings off on a high note to set the tone for the rest of the session. Take a look at the metrics ahead and be prepared to celebrate and promote your team. Insights, progress on sales targets, and new strategic accounts are all calls for celebration! Think of positive things to discuss such as:
- Highlighting team members
- Weekly shout-outs
- Team Wins
- Goals Accomplished
Team wins should be celebrated!
Communicate to Improve
An effective meeting should also uncover obstacles and discuss them openly. Are there any bottlenecks holding your team up from making progress? These can often come in the form of roadblocks from other departments or a lack of process or procedure. Discuss and learn; this is a time to gain perspective and gather more information to help the team grow. This is not a time for bashing or finger pointing, it is simply a time to connect and share information. A good staff meeting agenda template should have the team’s wins and losses front and center.
Get Excited About Learning
An effective insurance agency meeting is one I leave excited about. One of the things I get excited about is leaving a meeting where I learned something or gained clarity on something I didn’t have before the meeting began. Your team is only as strong as its weakest link, right?
The weekly agency meeting is the ideal place to educate teams about new products and solutions, sales techniques, tools of the trade, and improving themselves. Use various proven learning and development techniques, tools, and technologies such as:
- Peer coaching
- Access to real customers
Think beyond the talking head or product breakout session.
Think outside the box and the same old boring solutions you’ve tried before. Look for ways to educate your team and for moments of engagement along the way. Education doesn’t always need to be in the form of new product knowledge or a carrier appetite guide. To have an effective meeting, your team also needs to know your processes and procedures through and through.
They need to be up-to-speed with the latest sales strategies and initiatives and know what marketing messages are in the pipeline. With the amount of communication that occurs in the workplace, it’s easy for agencies to miss some of this crucial information, which is why educating your team at your weekly staff meetings is a vital part of an effective team meeting.
Most often, people don’t like meetings because they don’t leave inspired.
However effective or ineffective your insurance agency meeting may have been, it’s time to wrap it up. We feel the best way to do this is with either a one-word close or by ranking the meeting. By allowing your team to give a one-word close, it gives the opportunity not only for you to get a better understanding of how the information was received and how the team is feeling, but also an opportunity for the rest of the team to share their feelings about the meeting.
This is similar to a herd mentality. The rank system works in the same fashion; this is where you give your team a scale on which to rank the meeting. For example, a scale of 1-10, 1-5, as an example.
Again, this gives the opportunity for your team to feel heard, and to gauge the meeting.
Invest in Your Team
An effective insurance agency meeting, whether virtual or in-person, is an opportunity to bring your team together consistently, build culture, and educate them on tools and processes they need to compete in today’s cut-throat environment. It’s a unique opportunity and one that shouldn’t be overlooked because you think you don’t have the time or the resources.
Great agencies invest in their team as much as in their tools. A sales kickoff is a great way to show your team you’ve got their backs.
Want to watch “The Mayor” & KDP Chat about effective meetings?