Top producers have an entrepreneurial attitude and a vision forthe future. They have a career plan and know how to achieve theirgoals. Here are some tips for improving producer performance.

  1. It's about what you can do for the company.Producers are just that—producers! Their focus should be on newrevenues, expanding the revenue stream of current clients andcreating new revenue sources. They should have targeted monthlyprofit goals and long-term benchmarks that extend five to sevenyears.

  2. Tenure is out the window. It doesn't matter howlong you've been there. You are your own profit center and need toposition your thinking from that regard. Selling and growing isyour primary responsibility within the agency—period.

  3. Be on the lookout for the next opportunity. Youwill change careers several times. Have a vision and a plan forwhat you want to accomplish. Think of your production role for thelong term—it's not just a job, it's a career.

  4. Companies have fewer available funds to hire managers tolook backward. Agencies don't want managers who can onlysay what was done wrong in the past; they want managers with ideasand visions for the future. Most agencies will make room fortalented leadership with a vision.

  5. If you truly want to be successful, forget life/workbalance. Being a producer is not a 40-hour per week job.It calls for study, on-the-job training, mirroring the hours ofprospects and being available at their convenience. This could meana 7:00 a.m. meeting or an after-hours call. Give 100%.

  6. Your personal brand includes everything about yourelative to appearance, reputation and performance. Withsocial media, there are no secrets, so make good decisions. It maynot matter to you what you look like, how you're dressed and theway you present your personal brand, but it sure does matter tothose who sign your check and pay you hard-earned commissiondollars.

  7. Build networks of friends and business associates thatreciprocate value. Spend your “down time” in a smartway—do more than hang out with buddies or play sports. Spend timewith people you can learn from. Expand your professional network,gain deeper relationships and open more doors to opportunity.

  8. Stay in “permanent beta mode.” Make a list ofwhat you learned, then make a list of what you need to improve.Personal growth and professional development never stop. Yourability to continue to improve keeps you ahead of the competitionvying for your position. Beat the other agents by being theexpert.

  9. Success is usually the last few steps of a long tripwith many surprises. Your future will be more predictablethe more prepared you are regarding your learning and development,spending time with the right people, and giving long hours to studyand preparation.

  10. Understand your value-added services. Googlepresents yet another efficient and convenient option for insurancebuyers. Buyers have strongly voiced their desire to move to achannel convenient to them. Until independent agents make theiroperations 24/7/365, they will continue to lose market share. Theinsurance buyer has financial risk and responsibility and,therefore, the need for advice will continue.

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