Our Round-Up series is based on collecting and collating insight from industry experts on how to solve industry problems.
Although specifically discussing insurance and Agents here, the strategies below can also apply to helping new brokers and other types of hunting* salespeople survive.
Part 1 included the following tried and tested strategies:
- Recruit the Right type of Person
- Measuring Activity
Although hunting salespeople usually have to find most of their own prospects, to help them get established it is advisable to give them leads. It also helps if these leads are warm or even real clients, and another guru added that there must be enough leads available for the several months it will take them to find your feet and their own prospects.
Teaching How to Prospect
Prospecting is essential if the recruit is going to transition from company provided leads to surviving on their own. Practice cold calling on a regular basis and also use mentoring sessions to help them to identify ways to ask for referrals, as well as ways to network to find more opportunities.
The recruits need to understand that clients and prospects will only refer you to their friends and family if you are doing a good job, determine a client’s real need, inspire confidence, meet deadlines etc., and it pays to also realise that each lead is a potential customer and/or referrer.
Agents earn “commission only” in the classic agency model. But as it takes several months to get up and running, understandably lack of income makes it hard for new recruits to survive.
To help survive in the beginning, payments can be structured as income support for the time it has been decided it takes to get established. Arrangements where salary paid upfront is deducted against commission when earned can also be made.
In addition, a guru recommends that it is also good to advise agents to structure payment for deals as ‘as and when’ client pays and not “upfront” so that they build a monthly income instead of having to smooth out earnings themselves. For example, having base income targets instead of sales targets, will measure what is earned every month instead of “feast or famine” upfront earnings that can also be affected by lapses. In this guru’s example the income support is taken away once they are within 80% of the monthly target.
Restricting Markets and Products
Concentrate new agents on a specific target market or lead segment, advises Tony V Niekerk, editor of Cover. This can work in conjunction with a limited product range to start with. In this way the new recruit can be more effective as they quickly become an expert in a limited number of lead types and products, instead of knowing too little about a lot.
A Winning Environment
Tan Chuan How, Chief Agency Officer at Income says the office should be conducive to peer sharing and learning engagement. Other gurus added that you should create and maintain a positive and learning environment so that agents feel inspired to succeed, see the benefit of coming into the office and attending training sessions.
They need to feel part of a team.
We hope this Round-Up helps new salespeople survive in a tough job selling essential products.
In summary the 9 strategies discussed to help new recruits survive are:
- Right Training
- Measuring Activity
- Providing Leads
- Teaching How to Prospect
- Income Support
- Restricting Markets and Products
- A Winning Environment