Since moving to Branson, Mo., I have become a student of nature due to the pageantry of wildlife in our backyard. The other morning I was marveling at half a dozen squirrels that were foraging in the yard. Thinking that they were industrious by nature, I watched them scurry about, looking for the next big nut. Sometimes they would drop one nut to pick up another. Then their search for food would suddenly break into playtime, as they would chase each other about leaping from tree to tree. I also noticed that they would tend to steal one another’s nuts—or at least scare the other squirrels away from a juicy one.
The more I watched them, the more I began to compare them to insurance producers, or just about any sales person. Do we scurry about in a haphazard manner trying to find the next big account? Do we occasionally lose focus and engage in playful, non-productive activities? Do we use scare tactics to frighten the competition instead of positioning ourselves in a positive light with resources beyond price?
Over the years I’ve seen that this is all too common a practice in many independent agencies. So before going after a new niche, agency owners need to look into their hearts to determine whether they truly have a sales force that can effectively prospect, nurture and write new business on their own. And do you have the management protocols to manage the process?