Advice on hiring an Account Manager

Jul 10, 2019

  1. Tiger7
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    Tiger7 New Member

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    Good Evening fellow agents and brokers;
    I appreciate these discussion threads! Thank you for sharing on so many topics! They have been a big help to me. I opened my own agency last year with a focus on P&C commercial accounts. I am at the point where I need an Account Manager to take over more of the renewal process (obtaining quotes, creating renewal proposals, prepping and binding quotes, etc.). Everyone I hear from in CA (where I am based) is saying "Don't hire! You'll have to pay Work Comp! It will cost a fortune!" I am wondering if that's true. If it would save me time and I could focus on more long-term new accounts, than it's worth it. Anyone out there have experience with the is decision? What does an Account Manager make in CA? Can I try to hire part-time? (I probably don't have enough to keep him/her busy 30-40 hours a week yet). Open to suggestions on handling these growing pains......
     
    Tiger7, Jul 10, 2019
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  2. William C
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    William C New Member

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    My two cents. Hire someone familiar with the risk exposure in the areas you primarily target in California. As well as testing that potential account managers knowledge of the markets. Their knowledge of the markets will allow them better efficiency at obtaining competitive quotes across various policy types. P&C Insurance is a CAREER not a JOB. Those are the attributes I'd look at with regards to Insurance knowledge.

    As far as character traits, hire someone with no more than 8 years work experience. You'll be paying a premium (no pun-intended) for hiring an account manager that has over a decade of experience. Also account managers that have been doing it a long time will be set in their ways and less likely to be eager to grow through learning. It is a luxury to able to "mold" an employee after YOUR agency. Salary or hourly with sales incentives would be the best structure to try and find somebody hungry. Hire someone composed. I hate to say it because I believe it to be an invasion of privacy but I would drug test in today's society. I wouldn't care if they have a formal education or not. As long as they can type a professional letter on a computer and articulate information well over the phone that will be enough. Look for someone that is both humble and confident. You will take a lot of L's in any sales driven business. Someone not afraid to lose but learn and grow from it. Chemistry among employees is a highly underrated attribute to any business. They got to be on the same "frequency" as the rest of the employees or nobody will work as a team. Everyone is so scared about job security nowadays. From my experience of hiring employees in property management, restaurant hospitality, claims processing; most people are just warm bodies showing up and doing the bare minimum to collect a pay check.

    You CAN keep them busy for 40 hours. Make quotas for doing other work such as marketing the company. Someone tech savy can use a multitude of digital platforms to market your service. Add live chat on your website during business hours. Have that account manager man it. Most people nowadays like to communicate via some digital platform. Ask yourself, when was the last time you actually called to purchase something instead of using a website or app when that was an option ? When it comes to face to face, people are disconnected. Even, someone willing to sit their and fold mailers between calls or walk-ins is huge. Doesn't matter how they come to your business. If they are coming to you, they are there to spend money. This is why outsourcing a credible HR person is a legitimate option in some cases. Being able to read someone in a few short interviews and have them as an employee for years is a very hard task. Managing people and their personalities is hardest part of any business. Best of luck.
     
    William C, Jul 12, 2019 at 2:15 PM
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  3. Tiger7
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    Tiger7 New Member

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    Thank you William! Very helpful insights. Will include your suggested priorities and skills in the search.

    Wendy
     
    Tiger7, Jul 12, 2019 at 3:03 PM
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