How do you make the transition?

Jul 7, 2008

  1. mariemerganser
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    mariemerganser Super Genius

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    So this is more for the non-sellers/managers. My husband and I run an agency in FL. We have about 6 or 7 other agents that write for us. Our struggle over the past year has been how do we pay enough attention to these guys in terms of training, keeping on top of their daily activites etc while still trying to sell and make money ourselves? I know that we have not provided them with enough attention but the primary reason is because we don't have the money to stop selling. We are closer now but still not there yet. I had a realization when I was counting the leads I was giving my agents, some were getting over 75 month. These are qualified real time leads from our website. They are closing, but not quite at the percentage we would like. I feel like our guys get it too easy but we also can't just waste our leads. How did some of you make the transition from agent to agency manager? In other words, how long did it take until you stopped selling?
     
  2. thereaper
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    thereaper Super Genius

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    I can only suggest you go with them on most of their appts and help them with their closing skills and close the sale for them and the more they close the more money you'll make. If they're not on an appt they should be with you selling so they can see how you approach it. The more money your agents make will definitely help you.
     
  3. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    First question is, why are you giving away leads?

    If your agents don't have any skin in the game they are not as motivated to work the leads. They may not be skilled enough to work them properly which creates a problem for you.

    If you don't have the time/luxury of training them, then they will end up losing money for you and them.

    One suggestion. Maybe you need fewer agents. If you have 6 rookies then you definitely have your hands full.

    Consider cutting back on the number of leads, number of agents, and requiring more from your agents both in terms of commitment and results.
     
    somarco, Jul 7, 2008
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  4. mariemerganser
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    mariemerganser Super Genius

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    I hear you on this completely. The boys are selling, one does about 15-20K per week and one does about 15K per week and the others fluctuate between 5 and 10K per week (annual volume). We give more leads to the higher producing agents. I wouldn't say we are giving them away but they do have it easy. Basically, we get a ton of free leads from the website and then we also do some pay per click. The pay per click is for my husband and I, we turn it on when we want easy call-in sales and then the others go to the boys. I am only losing money on one agent right now but still not making enough on all of them to stop selling completely.

    What would you say is a good closing ratio?
    Where do you draw the line and say no more leads and then what do they have to reach to start getting them again?
    My agents, work from home, don't go on appointments or do so rarely.
     
  5. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    Should have asked . . .

    are these health leads, life leads, what?
     
    somarco, Jul 7, 2008
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  6. mariemerganser
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    mariemerganser Super Genius

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    Health for the most part. We get some Med Supp leads and some small group leads too.
     
  7. Mr. Bill
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    Mr. Bill Guru

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    Do you have a written business plan for each employee(IC)? What are their goals? Perhaps the lower producers are happy being lower producers, there, you have a conflict in outcomes.
     
  8. somarco
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    somarco GA Medicare Expert

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    These are not bad numbers at all . . . especially if your agents are still green.

    If you have 5 agents producing $400k - $800k AV that is good production.

    Of course now I need to know what you are paying them, and what your cut is. If they are paid 20% and you get 5% that translates into $20k+ per agent in overrides . . . $100k+ over 5 agents.

    Are you advancing commissions? If so, how much is that costing you?

    From what you have posted, you should be doing fine unless you are financing advances out of your pocket against as earned commissions.
     
    somarco, Jul 7, 2008
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  9. salpro22
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    salpro22 Guru

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    Give me 5 more years and I'll give you a definitive answer! Here are some thoughts...

    What type of conversion do you expect out of 75 leads and from your agents? Do they know what you require? If not, change that immediately! Pat yourself on the bat if you average 6 or more!

    Don't take this the wrong way, but you need to have a "come to Jesus" moment with yourself and find out how you will balance sales with training your staff. I'm looking forward towards training a sales force in the near future, but something tells me I'd have more fun competing with them and making it fun....because we all know that insurance is boring as hell :)

    Most agents are going to have a hard time working that amount of leads in a week, yet alone a month. A 5%-10% conversion ratio is realistic, then again, it depends upon a variety of factors.......

    When I 1st started my 1st year I averaged about 50 leads a week......This explains some of the ups and downs and what I had to do to fight for the those 2-3 deals a week.

    But NOOO, it's the leads right :) [email protected]#%$#%, it was a tie between the sales skills I didn't have because of piss poor training combined with the lead source I was using at the time whom generated their leads from spam e-mails....

    I'd focus more on what your guys and gals are doing when their not working leads....and with an auto dialer.....we're talking about 400-600 minutes give or take to work the leads initially.......That's one...maybe two solid days of work in a month!
     
  10. mariemerganser
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    mariemerganser Super Genius

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    To answer all of those questions:
    1) No, we don't have a written business plan for each agent. We did do goal sheets for awhile but it turned more into a joke. Since then, we have eliminated the "jokers/nonproducing misers" but now all of our good producers are not in our city so weekly meetings don't really work.
    2) We pay our agents based on what we get paid. We always take 5% and renewals are 50/50. Small groups we split 75 them, 25 us. Companies that advance us, Golden Rule, BCBS, United American (don't worry we don't really sell them, only rare occassions), we advance them the same just take our cut of 5%. Any as earned companies, we pay them as earned and just take our 5%. As far as leads, some get leads straight from our website. Others who want to do their own marketing, we reimburse them at 50%. They obviously have to clear it with us before they do it.
    3) Leads, I expect them to close 20% because that is what we close. Most are doing more like 10%, some closer to 15%. Remember, these leads are as qualified as they get. The agent gets the lead and generally the person is still looking at quotes on our website when the agent calls them.

    Lastly, I realize they have it too easy but I also realize we are in a good position. I guess I should have rephrased, I could stop selling financially speaking but probably would have to give up some things. I would be able to give them more attention but I just don't know if it makes sense. Just trying to figure out how long it took before other agency owners were able to stop selling completely and turn their complete attention over to their agents.
     
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