The Wedge Group - September 2018

(214) 446-3209




The big insurance agencies aren’t known for the training they give their salespeople. For them, training may consist of a few sales classes or seminars. There isn’t any consistency. Instead, they simply hope their salespeople are successful. And some of these salespeople will be successful. They’ll become real producers. But most of them won’t. The majority will flounder until they eventually quit or get fired. Then the agency will hire a new salesperson to take their place, give them the same inconsistent training, and start the cycle all over again. This is the old-world way of training. It’s not going to get you the results you want. If you, as an agency leader, want your salespeople to be successful, you can’t just send them to a few sales classes or training seminars and hope for the best. If you have kids who are getting into sports, as parents, you want to see them succeed and enjoy what they’re doing. But when your kids want to learn how to play well, you can’t just send them to a day camp and hope for the best. That’s not going to get them anywhere. They need consistent training and coaching to develop their skills and understanding of the game, regardless of which game it is. Through training, coaching, and a lot of practice, they may become confident players. It may even earn them a college scholarship.

But training and coaching requires major effort on the part of the agency

owner, along with their sales leader. Your salespeople need support and guidance in order to become more confident players.

A lot of it comes down to motivation. They need to know what’s at stake for themselves and their future. Your very successful producers, for the most part, are self-motivated, but most salespeople are not. The producers who are self-motivated tend to also be the most confident, and it shows. They have the numbers to prove it. When they’re selling, they know what to do and how to do it. How did they become confident producers? Practice. Practice. Practice. Confidence is a feeling. It’s the feeling you have when you bring together knowledge (the “what”) with skill (the “how”). High- producing salespeople have these two attributes, and they’re attributes the rest of your sales staff also need in order to succeed. You build this confidence through training and practice. You work through the sales process and you roleplay on a consistent basis. This repetition helps build confidence. Confidence leads to success, which leads to growth.

Again, your salespeople need your support. If an agency owner doesn’t take responsibility and control over their less-confident producers, the results will speak for themselves. You’ll have a mediocre agency. A lot of agency owners don’t have a system in place. They don’t have a plan to train their salespeople and give them the practice they need to build confidence. They certainly don’t know what to train on. They may send their salespeople to a few classes, but they won’t get the results they want. And that’s what the iWin Agency Growth System helps agency owners overcome. It gives them that system. It gives them a plan to train their salespeople and helps them motivate their producers to ultimately achieve the results they’re looking for. Your first step in putting this plan in place is to give us a call.

– Randy Schwantz

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The trailblazer of futuristic American TV shows, “The Jetsons” first aired in September 1962. Set a whole century in the future in 2062, this show offered viewers a compelling and desirable image of everyday life in the 21st century. The characters interacted with robots that cleaned their house, selected their clothes, and even styled their hair, but the automation that viewers tend to remember most is George Jetson’s flying car. While we may still be another century away from flying to work, companies are making a lot of headway when it comes to automotive automation. In 2016, Uber partnered with Otto to build the first autonomous delivery truck. The truck, outfitted with $30,000 of additional hardware and software, transported 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer for 120 miles from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, Colorado. The trip’s success sparked an innovation wildfire, inspiring companies like Starship

several weeks, chapters will be discussed. You might consider this more of a training session than a sales meeting. The book review should happen monthly for about 60 minutes. THE SWAT TEAM MEETING This is designed to eliminate the incumbent on the upcoming sales call that a producer has scheduled. This is the most impactful meeting. We have our own term for this kind of meeting: the CRISP (Continuous and Rapid Improvement Sales Process) sales meeting. This needs to happen weekly, particularly if you have a lot of new producers. If you have a lot of mature producers, you may only need to have it every other week. To really know exactly how often and for how long your meetings need to take place, you have to go back to the philosophy of your agency. Is your agency already a high- growth agency? Technology, Nuro, Robomart, Alibaba, and Boxbot to spend millions and even billions of dollars to build their own autonomous delivery trucks. The Otto technology used within these trucks is unique in that it offers true Level 4 autonomy, meaning that as long as the vehicle pedestrians, four-way stops, or kids on bikes, for example — it has no trouble navigating. The driver just engages the software and lets the computer do the rest. While these delivery trucks have a lot of benefits, many people are worried that this invention could put a lot of drivers out of work. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. According to the American Trucking Association, the U.S. has a staggering shortage of drivers. In 2015, the deficit reached 48,000 drivers and may grow to 175,000 in the next six years. Should stays on well-marked highways with no variables — jaywalking

autonomous technology continue to advance, that deficit may exponentially decrease. And as with other AI inventions — such as Pizza Hut’s and Walmart’s replacement of human employees with robots — the utilization of autonomous delivery trucks will not only increase the efficiency of getting customers their products, but it will also cut down businesses’ spending costs, which in turn lowers prices for customers. So while we may not be able to ride as stylishly as George Jetson for a few more decades, when it comes to building a flying car, these new trucks are definitely a driving force.


There are different kinds of insurance sales meetings. They break down like this:

THE TOWN HALL MEETING The agency owner calls in all the troops and gives a town hall speech and gets some questions from the crowd. It’s not really a sales meeting; it’s more of a communications meeting, but since salespeople are there you can consider it relevant to sales. You should have this kind of meeting about once a quarter. THE SPREADSHEET LIARS’ CLUB MEETING This is where you pull out the spreadsheets and ask producers about the accounts in their pipeline and potential to close. These are great for accountability, but remember, they’re called Liars’ Club meetings for a reason. Have as needed. THE FLAVOR OF THE MONTH SALES MEETING A new book is handed out to all producers to read and study. Over the next

If not, do you have the desire to grow your agency, write a lot of new business and aim to expand your producers' ability to write bigger accounts? If the answer is yes, then CRISP sales meetings are that much more crucial. They are essential to helping producers improve their ability to win business. You should consistently conduct these meetings in small groups of about five to seven producers at least twice a month for 90 minutes each.

2 | • Beat Your Competition - Grow Your Revenue



Hiring isn't easy. And when you're trying to hire the perfect candidate, it can seem downright impossible for a lot of agency owners. You want to hire someone who will SELL, someone who will PRODUCE. But how do you do that? This is the question Randy Schwantz answered in his book, “GRIT Find Hire Develop REAL Producers.” He wrote the definitive guidebook to hiring your next Million Dollar Producer. Chapter by chapter, Randy serves as your coach to help you identify, hire, and train your next Million Dollar Producer, much of which comes down to the hiring process itself. Think about how you hire. A lot of agency owners rely on conventional rules and methods and get conventional results. But when conventional results are not enough, you need to do something different. It's what “GRIT” is all about.

In “GRIT” Randy breaks down his complete tried-and-true hiring process, which always starts with assessing your producer candidates. You need to know how to thoroughly assess candidates to make

the best hiring decision. The last thing you want to do is hire a poor producer because you didn't do your due diligence.

A lot of people do a great job selling themselves during the hiring process, only for you to discover they can't sell

anything else. Randy gives you the tools you need to avoid this huge waste of time and money. These tools help you define your perfect candidate (there are a lot of things you need to consider), give insight into re-evaluating your hiring process, and offer a breakdown of the interview process itself. All these components are vital in making great decisions about your next candidate.

“GRIT” is a "playbook" for hiring success. It gives you a process that you can implement immediately. From hiring to firing to training and more, “GRIT” covers a lot of ground. To learn more about how to avoid costly hiring mistakes, get your own copy at thewedge. net/books and start changing the way you hire for the better.

Enter promo code SAVE10 to receive $10 off the cover price of GRIT.



CRISP Sales Meeting Training Sept. 18–19, 2018 Raleigh, NC

Subscribe to "Agency Growth Machine" podcasts on iTunes or Stitcher today!

• Jon's Journey from 3.3% Growth to 15% Annual Growth • Hiring New Producers

3-in-1 Workshop Oct. 23–25, 2018 San Francisco, CA

• When 1+1+1 = 6 • Differentiation


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92 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 340, Cary, NC 27519 (214) 446-3209 |

INSIDE Build Confidence in Your Salespeople

Autonomous Trucks Help Curb Driver Deficit How Often Do You Need to Run a Sales Meeting? A Guide to Hiring Million Dollar Producers Upcoming Events 3 Tips to Help Organize Your Crazy Life


TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAMWORK While you’re busy trying

School has started. Youth sports are in full swing. Work is crazy. Food has become more about necessity than enjoyment. All of this can only mean one thing: Fall has begun. The crazy schedules this time of year can make it tough for parents to keep their heads on straight; making it through the insanity sometimes feels more like survival than life. But there are tactics you can employ to turn the tide and find more time for yourself. TAG TEAM There’s no reason to try to do everything on your own. The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” exists because managing the stressors of life requires help. A great place to start is by establishing car pools with a parent group you trust. You can alternate drivers weekly, which provides the opportunity for you to focus your attention on other priorities — or if you’re lucky, have some freedom. THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB Technology makes organization easier and more accessible than ever. By using a tool like a shared calendar, you can coordinate the entire family’s schedule so you never miss a beat. And apps like Mealime and MealBoard give you the ability to whip up food that is cost-effective and delicious.

to rally the troops at soccer practice, the scene at home resembles a horror movie. Laundry is piling up, food is

spoiling in the fridge, and the

dust bunnies around the house now have names. Housecleaning is a part-time job in its own right. The only way to stay on top of duties around the house is to work together. A chore chart with clear responsibilities is a great place to start. Whether you have one child or eight, everyone is capable of pitching in. You can have all the organizational abilities in the world, but the best way to manage life’s madness isn’t by directing day-to-day tasks; it’s by managing stress. Instead of using these tools to control life, look at them as a way to free up time so you can decompress and enjoy the things you love.

4 | • Beat Your Competition - Grow Your Revenue

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