Being successful as an insurance producer requires many different skills and abilities. Each sales skill has to be developed over time and honed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the producer. These skills impact sales presentations, opening dialogues with prospects, or with making an effective close to a sale. However, there’s probably no skill that takes more discipline to develop successfully than a salesperson’s ability to tightly manage their time and their territory. This skill has enormous potential to make more money for the producer and the agency, or it can take away from your bottom line if not managed properly.
The lessons of managing time aren’t complex, but can be very difficult keep in focus with the numerous distractions constantly trying to steal our attention throughout the day. Benjamin Franklin, founding father and inventor (among many other things), long ago helped refine the time management principles many preach today, such as: know what you value most in life, prioritize your activities based upon your values, make a plan each day, and take time for yourself and reflection.
These principles can be applied to a producer’s time during each sales day. First, identify your main goal(s). It may be new sales, retention, contacting prospects, improving the customer experience, etc. Plan daily activities around the goal. If going to the agency office doesn’t advance those goals, then don’t go. If the lunch hour isn’t helping reach your sales goals, then turn that hour into something that will. For example, a Dallas area agency principal had a rule for the young producers he managed – never eat lunch alone. They had to use that hour every day to connect with people. Perhaps with a contact in your referral network, or a current customer who you hope will renew, or maybe it’s a potential prospect. It may be that the lunch hour can be turned into research or paperwork time. If it improves your productivity to use that hour to unwind and reflect, or get a workout in, so be it. The point is to have a plan each day and utilize every time slot to meet predetermined goals.
Making wise use of your territory is integrally related to time management for both the urban and rural agent. Time spent driving is typically not valuable to an insurance producer. So, consider the paths you take, the time windows of heaviest traffic, and the most efficient order of calls you set up to minimize the time behind the wheel. It will save time and money.
The main point is to keep what is most important in the center of your daily plan. Every producer, even experienced ones, need reminding that planning and execution will help them reach their goals.