If left to their own devices, people tend towards the lazy. It’s sad but true. But sometimes it’s not even laziness. It’s easy for our jobs to become routine, and when that happens we often become less enthusiastic about what we do day in and day out. It’s especially frustrating when you know your employees have the potential to be superstars but aren’t as driven as you’d like them to be. You may have tried different contests to motivate your insurance agents and producers, but nothing ever really took off. Don’t lose hope! You just have to dig a little deeper to find the right way to light that proverbial match under their bottoms. We’ve got some innovative ways to get your team to put their heads in the game for some major wins in 2020.
1. Tap into Each Person’s Motivation
It’s okay if your agents and producers are nothing like you and are motivated by different things. You just have to learn what their motivations are. With some, it’s the obvious things, like money and advancement opportunities. For others, it’s independence and recognition. Some folks just want to know that they have job security. You have to treat each employee differently and reward them all differently.
You’ll know what your workers value by spending some time with them and listening. The best situations are group ones, where you can watch your producers interact. It’s in these types of settings that we often get a glimpse into each other’s private lives. Get out of the office so everyone’s more relaxed and find out what makes each team member tick.
Another option for learning what motivates your workers is to have frequent one-on-one meetings. If you feel that some of your folks are not as hungry for success as you’d like them to be, just ask: “What can I do to motivate you more?” Really listen to what they have to say. An honest conversation about less-than-impressive performance certainly shows that you see the lack of motivation. Maybe together you can come up with a plan to shift this person into gear! You might be surprised by some of the answers you receive. Also, don’t reserve this question for the slackers in the bunch. Even your top producer may have room for improvement!
Regardless of how you do it, once you find out what motivates each employee, begin offering different sales incentives. One person may prefer time off, another a gift card to a fancy restaurant. Some people want cash and cash alone. Others would rather have a plaque that sets them apart from their teammates. Giving each of your salespeople the sense that you are taking notice of what matters to them will go a long way in terms of how much of an effort they are willing to put into their jobs. Basically, find out what they value and let them choose their own reward.
2. Buy Insurance Leads as a Reward
Don’t just buy leads for everyone. Give them to people who surpass their talk-time on the phone. This is a numbers game in the end, and the hardest part of the job is getting your producers and agents to keep dialing after countless rejections. It’s not easy on the soul. However, sprinkling in good, solid leads in will sweeten the deal, and so will the increase in earned premiums.
If one of your team members surpasses sales goals, buy live-transfer calls. Calls are the pricier type of lead so you’ll really want to spend the money on a closer. The more they sell, the more leads they get and more chances to close more deals. It’s a beautiful plan that’s sure to make everyone happy.
When choosing a company to buy leads from, you’ll need to consider the company’s history. There are lots of scrappy people out there selling leads, but the quality of these leads will be questionable and their refund/return policy nonexistent. These are fly-by-night lead companies, and you should be wary of them.
One way to find a legitimate insurance lead provider is by reading company reviews. Of course, you should always take reviews with a grain of salt, because nothing motivates people to write them more than complaining. Some positive experiences may not appear on review sites, like BBB, Capterra, Google, and Yelp, but you’ll be able to get a sense of whether or not the lead provider values their relationships with agents overall.
Also, check the lead provider’s history. If the company’s been around for at least four or five years, agents are continuing to do business with them so they are probably legitimate.
Also, avoid lead companies that do not specialize in insurance leads.
3. Set Team Goals and Celebrate Wins
While it’s important to reward and recognize individual producers and salespeople, it’s also a good thing to create a sense of unity and comradery amongst your performers to prevent a cut-throat environment where each agent is pegged against the others. Set team goals and make sure that even your least motivated employee feels like they are a part of the success. It will hopefully rub off.
Not only will publicly recognizing team goals motivate more successes, but it will also create opportunities for lots of fun. You set a certain tone for an office based on how much joy and laughter you allow in, and that positive energy will come through when your sales team is dealing with clients too. You should never be too busy to really make a big deal about meeting goals: catered food, drinks, dessert, a couple of hours of loafing off. Make your celebrations epic. Why not? Aren’t times like this what makes work worth the struggle?