Super Agent

Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Why “Showing Up” Isn’t Enough

Seth Godin recently asked his blog readers, “What’s your job?” and ended the post by saying, “If your only job is “showing up”, time to raise the stakes.”

Is it time for you to raise the stakes?

We often talk about the importance of finding your “Why” and gaining a real understanding of your purpose in order to remain motivated, to be successful, and mostly, to stay fulfilled in your professional life. The good news about our industry is that we are doing really important work. We’re facilitating better care for workers who are injured on the job. We’re creating big opportunities for our clients to improve their outcomes and their business.  We’re helping employers drive innovation, mitigate risks and enhance efficiency. So, if you’ve been simply “showing up” recently, we encourage you to think back on a time in your career when you felt most engaged, connected and excited about your work.

If you get back to that place, we’ll bet that you’ll be more successful moving forward.

Invest in Yourself

Henry Ford said, “The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.” We’ve always been advocates of continually staying ahead of the curve, gaining new experience and knowledge, and frequently assessing where to become better in order to really differentiate. And to do this, it’s necessary that each of us takes the time to invest in ourselves.

When was the last time you asked, what do I need to get better at today in order to improve outcomes tomorrow? What are the leaps you want to take personally, professionally and as a part of your agency? Here are a few areas you might consider:

  • Marketing & networking to attract right-fit prospects
  • Improving your business acumen, specifically in the niche industries that you’ve decided you want to target
  • Enhancing technical knowledge by reading materials or attending webinars and training events
  • Developing and leveraging Centers of Influence
  • Becoming a better speaker and presenter
  • Better using innovative technology in your sales process

It’s also important to surround yourself with people that will help you to broaden your scope of knowledge and your capabilities, and engaging with people you admire will often motivate you to take the steps necessary to become better.

What have you done recently to invest in yourself and your success? Share your stories with us.

Motivating Your Team

To be successful in our industry, it’s critical to build a team who are motivated beyond simple monetary incentives. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, “non-financial motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement in most sectors, job functions and business contexts.” Humans are complex, and we crave things like autonomy, mastery of skill, and contributing to a greater purpose.

So, how can you motivate your team?

Communicate your “Why”; whether it’s creating greater opportunities for clients, facilitating better care for injured workers, or something else, make sure producers know why they are valuable to clients. Also, be open to input from team members, promote a productive and action-oriented environment and give feedback frequently. In his book, Drive, Daniel Pink says this about employee motivation: “The biggest motivator by far was making progress in their work. They felt most connected, engaged, alive and loyal on days where they were making progress and getting better at something”

While monetary rewards have an important role to play, if you haven’t considered other factors it may be time to take a step back and reassess.

We want to hear your stories? Owners and managers, what successful steps have you taken to motivate your team beyond offering financial incentives? Producers, what makes you feel motivated?

Your Agency At Its Best

“Enterprise at its best:

An emotional, vital, innovative, joyful, creative, entrepreneurial endeavor that maximizes individuals’ growth and elicits maximum concerted human potential in the wholehearted service of others”.

When you first read this definition from management and business writer Tom Peters, it’s easy to dismiss it as idealistic or impractical. But, in his book The Little Big Things, Tom asks his readers to examine it one word at a time. He says that if your organization “is not aimed at mind-blowing development for each staff member and window rattling service for each customer…” then what’s the point?

We often encourage the agencies we work with to think big when it comes to their purpose. How would you define your agency at its best? If you believe in your definition and everyone in your organization lives it every day, it will drive you and your team when thing are going well, and keep you motivated when you hit a rough patch (as we all do). So, don’t limit yourself.

What Motivates You?

To be successful in insurance, or in any other business, it’s important that you stay motivated when you hit a rough patch. Often, especially when you’re behind on your goals, carrot and stick motivators aren’t enough to keep you going without a struggle. Your purpose has to go beyond just making your numbers in order for you to stay driven throughout the year. As we hit the mid –year mark, it’s easy to get caught up in “how” to be more successful moving forward, but we often forget to keep our “Why” in mind.

We’ve talked about the importance of your agency’s “Why”—if you know it, and you believe it, you’ll be able to convey it to prospects. But, your own “Why” is just as important to keep in mind.

So, what motivates you? Do you strive to:

- Protect your clients’ businesses beyond the placement of policies;
- Facilitate better care for injured workers;
- Create opportunities for your clients to see better outcomes;
- Create greater opportunities for your family;
- Contribute at a higher level to a cause that is meaningful to you?

If you find your purpose, you’ll actively seek learning and growth opportunities, and you’ll inspire those around you to find their own intrinsic motivation. And, don’t be afraid to think big.

“Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Don’t Hide Your Passion

Have you ever felt like you’ve shared the same insights, story, or experience too many times? I recently spoke with someone who was hesitant to re-share something for fear that his conviction or passion about the subject wouldn’t translate to the audience.

But, think back to a moment in your career when you heard a speaker, a colleague or a client say something that inspired you and ignited your sense of purpose. Did you feel driven and more motivated to succeed? What if they hadn’t said what they did?

If you have something to offer that may inspire other people to find their passion, don’t let your own thoughts or doubts prevent you from sharing it. Never underestimate the impact you can have on others.

3 Tips to Stop Being Commoditized

How can producers facilitate dialog to help prospects uncover risks and reduce the possibility of being commoditized? Here are three tips:

Tip #1: Follow a Process 

Developing and following a repeatable process will allow you to build conversations utilizing the kind of disruptive dialog necessary to facilitate change behavior in the buyer and help them self-discover risks to their business. It also helps to sharpen and strengthen your brand, and it ensures that each prospect who engages with the agency has a similar experience.
An article on Inc.com examines the importance of subscribing to a process:  “For successful businesses, the sales process has become a communications process that evolves through a series of decisions both you and your customer will be making. At each decision point, you will be achieving mutual understanding and establishing clarity about what you are saying to each other and how you will proceed.”

Tip #2: Understand Your Why

Ask yourself and your colleagues this question: “Why should a prospect engage with us instead of our greatest competitor?” Knowing why your agency engages in the way in which it does is essential. Simon Sinek explains: “Those who know their Why are the ones who lead. They are the ones who inspire.” Is it because you are certain your process is more effective and will yield the best outcomes? Is it to help employers select the right-fit carriers, or help them more effectively navigate the complex buying experience? Whatever the reason, producers must know the answer to this question and be able to convey it to prospects.

Tip #3: Believe

Do you believe that most employers follow a flawed process to manage risk and buy insurance that is potentially harmful to their organization? Do you believe most prospects are underserved in the marketplace? Developing a belief system in what you do and why you do it will help you stay motivated throughout the year to help your clients achieve better outcomes.

Take the Initiative to Be Successful

Most of us can relate to this scenario: you walk into the office, poor a cup of coffee, boot up your computer and immediately begin responding to the list of emails in your inbox. But, according to Seth Godin, you should start out your day engaging and initiating your best work in order to keep focused and be successful. In his book, “Poke the Box”, Godin challenges his readers to make something happen every day. In a Forbes article, Dan Schawbel calls “Poke the Box” both a manifesto and a permission slip: It’s “a manifesto in that it argues that the only real way for us to succeed today is to take initiative. It’s not given, it’s something we do. We provoke, create a ruckus, experiment, fail, repeat, learn, succeed… it’s a permission slip because people are waiting for one.”

So, what can you do to be an initiator and take control of your own success?

(1) Don’t let perfection be the enemy you constantly run up against. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a process, and a plan, it simply means that you shouldn’t let the fear of imperfection prevent you from having a conversation with a prospect.

(2) Stop waiting for permission. Initiators are hard to come by, and if you choose to initiate it will differentiate you from your competitors. You should ask yourself: What idea or opportunity can I seize in the marketplace? What new market forces or pressures are my clients currently facing? Am I reading what my clients and prospects are reading? Am I asking what matters to them, and to their customers?

(3) Initiate more client-centric dialog, and create time for business opportunities or meetings.

(4) Don’t be afraid to experiment—if something didn’t work last year, find out why and what you can you do to change it.

(5) Initiate more opportunities for your clients to learn and be trained by you, and for you to learn and be trained.