Agency Performance Partners


The 6 Letter Word That Will Send Your Entire Insurance Agency Into a Tizzy

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Kelly Donahue Piro

Hmm, what has 6 letters and literally can take a perfectly good day and throw it off course? CHANGE!After going to hundreds of agencies I can tell you nothing terrifies team members more than change. I always get a good chuckle from it, we change our clothes, carriers change by the moment and the seasons change every year. Yet when an agency owner announces a change, it’s like the grim reaper has entered the room. Change is a healthy part of growing your agency and the team should champion change rather than reject it.

So this is what I have seen happen time and time again. An agency owner has a great idea, they tell their team about the change (it could be as small as asking for email addresses) (another aside, I have been in agencies where the entire team told an owner it was not possible to get email from their clientele… it’s 2014, not 1995!) and then the entire team’s faces go to the bitter beer face. The owner feels defeated and literally begins to fear change himself, just because of his team’s reactions.

Agency leadership needs to embrace change for the following reasons:

  • The world will change with you or without you.  Jump on change early. (Imagine if you were still using typewriters? I have been in agencies with those too!)
  • Insurance is freaking competitive.  You need a competitive advantage to compete
  • Trying new things means you’re learning and growing
  • There are always better ways to do things
  • Remember, you own the agency.  It’s on you to keep the doors open.  If a team member doesn’t like change, maybe they aren’t right for your team.

So here is a little plan to help you roll out change effectively, because just as much as I have seen team members be terrified of change I have seen just as many agency owners botch up the rollout of change.

  • You need to clearly identify why you are changing something and make sure everyone understands
  • Meet with people individually and as a group to obtain their buy-in
  • Clear up any minor roadblocks that the staff have been wanting you to get some wins (adding a scanner, phone answering, dual monitors, etc.)
  • Roll out the change
  • Ownership and management cannot speak about difficulties with the change to the staff. They sense you don’t like it, it spreads.
  • Put it in practice for 30 days and then solicit feedback from the team.  But the rule is you can’t log a complaint without a potential solutions

Change can be challenging but we need to remember you, as the agency owner, have made many positive changes in the agency over time.

The only thing the team will remember are the changes that were challenging and those are the ones that are really worth it.

Just imagine if we were all still advertising in the Yellow Pages… we would be missing a lot!