Our topic on this episode of the Ridiculously Amazing Insurance Podcast is excuses that Kelly and Dave frequently hear in insurance agencies. When it comes to making excuses, only so much is acceptable; stopping to get coffee on the way to work does not make it alright to be late.
Here are Kelly and Dave’s favorite excuses:
• “I am not hitting my sales goals because no one is returning my calls.”
o In response to this excuse, think about the content and the tone of the voicemails you are leaving and consider following up via email or text message if possible to increase the call backs you receive.
o Be sure that you are asking for help if you need it, rather than just coming up with an excuse like this one when someone calls you on it.
• The dreaded “I’m too busy.”
o “Busy” is a relative term. You can be busy trying to tick of the dozens of tasks on your to-do list while completely missing that the point of your to-do list is to make you productive, not busy. Take a step back from your to-do list and spend some time thinking through and planning out your priorities that will help you achieve your productivity goals.
o It could be that your agency has come to accept being behind as normal, but this mindset is toxic for everyone at the agency and bad for business. Instead of continually pushing your work to the last minute, set realistic deadlines upfront and consistently gauge your progress along the way.
• “I know that he is performing poorly as an employee, but I just don’t know what to do about it.”
o It is human nature to want to make sure that your employees are taken care of, and to want to avoid putting an individual and their family in a tough position when they are let go. However, you have to consider the negative impact that that one employee could be having on all of your other employees and their families as well, just by remaining under your employ. More than likely, it is in your best interest and the poorly performing employee’s best interest for you to have the tough (but brief) conversation to let them go.
o As the owner of the agency, you have to take charge when the time comes to part ways with an employee, asking for advice and counsel along the way if necessary. They need this separation as much as you do, even if they don’t realize it.
• “We don’t have the funds to invest in …”
o You need to take a hard look at your finances to determine where you can scale back or make some necessary cuts to keep your operations lean so that you can reinvest capital into your agency. Two integral areas of business that need your investment are (1) marketing, which should be allocated 10% of your revenue and (2) employee training. If you are concerned about whether your team will buy and your investment will be worth the sacrifice, put in the effort to make sure it pays off. By creating an action plan and taking baby steps towards your investment goals, you will be making the wisest choice you can make with your finances.
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