Time For A Reset
January is often a month that can feel like a reset. Many product producer contracts are reset at the beginning of the year and there are new deadlines and goals to work towards and sales for the year start at zero. It’s a fresh slate to start the year. It’s actually a great time to “reset” the mindset of the team and to ask some hard-hitting questions.
Every agency evolves over time. The team changes. We learn and grow through continuing education and experience. Our clients change. And the agency needs to keep up with these changes, but that can be difficult when you’re already busy with the day-to-day work. So, this week we’re challenging you to focus on resetting your agency by asking your team the following three questions:
- Why do we do what we do? It’s always great to check in with every team member and reconnect with the why behind the business. And in many agencies, that focus will be on clients, which is important, but is truly only a piece of the picture. When discussing “why we do what we do” the conversation needs to include:
- Why does the work we do matter to clients?
- Why does it matter to our own personal goals?
- Why does it matter to our agency as a whole?
- Why does it matter to the community?
Pro-Insight: It’s important to note that our “why” for clients can and should flow into the “personal why.” It does the team no good to fulfill the “why” for clients and not take care of themselves at the same time. This industry can take an emotional toll and it is easy to feel overwhelmed, which is why it’s important to stay connected to all the “whys” and not just the “why” for our clients.
- What is my role on the team? In this industry it’s easy for roles to get blurred. Clients reach out and ask for help and they don’t always go to the “right” person on the team. It’s easy to get busy doing work that needs to be done, but maybe not done by you. Think for a moment about a relay race. In that race, everyone on the team has their own role. There are clear rules for how and when the baton needs to be passed. And the team that is well-oiled is the one that will excel. Each team member may technically be able to handle most requests that come to them; however, that doesn’t mean that they should be the ones to do that work. Instead, there needs to be a clear definition for the following:
- Who does what?
- When should the task (baton) be passed to another team member?
- What process should we use to ensure that the passing of the task (baton) is smooth?
- How will we know if a task (baton) gets dropped?
Pro-Insight: No one on the team needs to be a hero. The team should trust everyone to do their part. But that also means it’s our responsibility to know when and how to pass the baton to our teammates.
- How do we define exceptional service? Too often we hear that because they care about their clients and want to provide great service, professionals will simply do the work themselves. In fact, this tone is often set at the beginning of the relationship with a new prospect. Stop for a moment and think…
How much of the sales process is focused on “you” taking care of the client, versus setting the client up to understand that the “team” will take care of the client? If you’re trying to do everything yourself something will have to give. Either clients won’t get the best service, because you’re too busy to give them your full attention and it’ll take longer, or you won’t be able to add new prospect/clients to your book of business. It’s really that simple. Often when someone is trying to take on too much, what we see is a combination where service suffers and so does the ability to write new business.
Pro-Insight: Sometimes the best service you can give is letting someone else on the team take over for you. And that can sometimes be a hard fact to accept, because chances are you do care for your clients. You want to help them. You’ve made promises to them. But, part of exceptional service is getting that client to the right person, which isn’t always you.
In the end, it’s important to build off the foundation that has helped your agency be successful, but to understand that your business must evolve as it grows. Which means, things change. “Whys” change as lives change. Roles change as the team learns more, gains experience and adds or loses team members. And finally, as the agency matures the definition of exceptional service also changes. It’s not about what “I” can do for clients, it’s about how the “team” can help clients. So, this week we challenge your team to take a step back and ask, “How do we need to evolve this year?”