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(214) 446-3209 www.thewedge.net

THE WEDGE REPORT

JULY 2018

THE OLDWORLD VERSUS THE NEW

IS IT TIME TO CHANGE YOUR LINE OF THINKING?

There are two very different worlds among insurance agencies across the country. There’s a battle between the old world and the new — between two lines of thinking that can define the success of an agency. Traditionally, agencies hire people, train them, and then often leave these employees to their own devices. There is a lack of coaching from upper management, and a lack of motivation for employees to become the best versions of themselves. This old-world line of thinking shaped and supported the insurance industry. People would get jobs with the insurance carriers and be indoctrinated into this system. It’s what shaped their perception and understanding of the industry as a whole. It’s a lot like being born and raised in a walled-off part of the world. Your entire belief system is developed as a result of what is right in front of you and what you’re taught and told. There is little room for personal development. You simply aren’t aware of the greater world beyond that wall.

Over time, those folks who joined the insurance carriers will sometimes make a shift in their careers to start up their own agencies. When they do that, they often bring the traditional ideology with them, continuing the cycle. They hire new producers according to the standards they learned over the course of their career, and eventually they realize their agency isn’t what it could be. In the new world, there is a process. Agencies are run like small businesses, where every producer is an asset. Think of it like you would an investment portfolio. When you have poorly performing assets, you remove them from your portfolio and trade up to something better. When you’re willing to identify what isn’t working and make the necessary changes, you improve the health of your agency, just as you would improve the health of your portfolio. You become more profitable. On the part of the agency owner, making this kind of change — any kind of change — requires an investment of time and money. It isn’t easy. It’s hard work, but the rewards speak for themselves. Part of that

investment is hiring people with intent. When you hire someone, you should know where they will fit into your organization on day one. Then, you develop these employees’ skills. Part of the new-world line of thinking is to foster growth within your producers. You want them to work to become the best versions of themselves. You want to look at your sales team as if they were your own children. You want to be engaged in their lives, help them set goals, and be a motivating force in their lives. The Wedge Group is all about changing the old way of thinking and helping agencies realize a new, better way of thinking. It’s about breaking the cycle for something better and challenging traditional beliefs. Agencies need a concrete training process that they can implement rather than just abstract ideas they don’t know what to do with. They need support to grow and coaching that helps them become a better version of what they are today.

– Randy Schwantz

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