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4 Keys to Survival for the Insurance Producer of Tomorrow

Posted on May 18, 2016 by Todd McCredie

Producer of the future

Our industry is going through significant changes. We know this.

But the transformation we’re undergoing didn’t appear out of thin air. Instead, we’ve been experiencing real change that has propelled our industry forward, even among major disruptions. While we’ve come a long way, our transformation, adoption of new tools, and evolution is far from over. 

To understand where we’re headed and just how much progress we’ve made, it helps to step back in time and look at the evolution of insurance and the agency.

In the Beginning…

Close your eyes and think back to the moment your office first installed a computer. It performed simple, basic functions. (Remember that boxy green screen?)

While the computer revolutionized our industry there were pain points that accompanied its arrival. It wasn’t easy to get used to such a dramatic change in the way we were running our businesses.  

That first computer didn’t solve all of our problems. In fact, it may have made things even more difficult at first. You may have watched colleagues struggle. Some of them probably even dug their heels in as you added additional machines and utilize emerging technology to run your agency more efficiently.

The Paperless Agency

Fast forward to 2016. 

Now, my agency is almost exclusively paperless. My producers are in the field, tablet in hand. They’re able to serve our clients in a more efficient, organized, and somewhat instant way. Instead of stopping into the office for paperwork and records, they can step out with a client and offer them real-time data and solutions.

Our producers are now mobile in a way that was hard to fathom even five years ago. My producers spend less time with busy work (that is now automated by technology) and more time serving our clients and prospecting.

This makes perfect sense when you think about it: the goal isn't to be known for being "great at filling out paperwork," that's not adding value to the customer experience, you want to be known for delivering amazing support. 

New technology, applications, tablets, and tools have helped eliminate some of the tasks that used to waste their time. Instead of having to hire additional producers, my current team can maximize their time and perform more throughout the day. We don’t always have to wait to get back to clients with quotes, we can provide the information they need when they need it.

The Future of the Insurance Agency

Step into the world of the future insurance professional. The adoption of flexible technology has helped you overcome the increasing number of challenges you face including emerging competition. You have a website. You have a management system. You're utilizing a sales/CRM solution and reaching your prospects and customers with the right messages at the right time through marketing automation. You may have a portal where clients can take action and download documents whenever they’re needed. You’re mobile.

Doesn't the future look promising? 

4 steps to stop reacting and start anticipating 

As my agency has continued to grow and experience success in the face of industry disruptions, I have shifted my focus from reacting to emerging technology and disruptors to anticipating what will come.

Take a look at some of the steps we have taken to make anticipating new technology easier for our employees and producers:

1. Focus on becoming experts at specific tools rather than being mediocre at everything. 
2. Lead your team. Practice, train, and find what works, then share what you’ve learned with the rest of the team and how it’s helped you find success. 
3. Become a student of emerging influencers and companies (how are they different, what are some of the interesting tools and offerings they have?). You don’t need to follow what everyone else is doing, but staying aware of how the industry is changing is important.
4. Embrace change early. The earlier your team begins dealing with some of the pain points of new methods and tools, the sooner they’ll start to get comfortable and build new habits. 

As you reflect on how far your agency and your team of producers have come, utilize the lessons you've learned in years past. How did you deal with paint points endured by your team? How can you lessen the blows associated with change? As you anticipate future transformations, tap into your experience and the expertise of your peers as you take advantage of all that technology has to offer your team of producers.

Good Luck. If you have any questions, feel free to post in the comments below and I'll get back to you.

- Todd

Todd McCredie

Mr. McCredie is President of McCredie Insurance in Flint, Michigan. His strength in sales is working with business owners to get the right coverages in today’s heavily regulated business environment. Todd was placed on the 100 most powerful insurance executive list two years in a row.

 

 
 

 

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