I’ve gotten lazy.
I guess it was inevitable. I’ve been in the insurance business for nearly 19 years. Like many, I started with stars in my eyes and a fire in my belly.
I started at my agency, Alan Galvez Insurance, doing marketing, and studying the industry. The following year, I got my life & health license. My property & casualty license followed shortly after.
I then focused on sales and production (like all good insurance agents do 😉
I plugged along for many years, but as time passed, I slowed down.
I let myself get comfortable.
I let myself get complacent.
I let renewals sustain me. I’m not knocking renewal business by any means, but when you’ve built up quite a nice book of business that renews without you having to do much, there isn’t much incentive to be aggressive at new sales.
I lost my fire.
Does this sound familiar? Truth be told, this description could easily apply to ANYONE who’s in a sales position.
And with all sincerity, I was just existing. Not moving forward, not making progress, not going to work with a kick-ass attitude and deep desire to accomplish goals. Satisfying? Hardly. And that’s no way to live.
But I’ve got the fire back.
Here’s how I re-invented myself and the good it’s done for me
1) I hired a producer and had to help train him. The fact is, if you want people in your organization to do certain jobs and tasks, you have to set the example. You have to be the example. How could I ask him to sell everything but his shoes, if I wasn’t willing to do the same? How could I get him fired up and motivated if I wasn’t? Bringing him into the agency has been the spark I desperately needed to “walk the walk.”
His youth and energy are contagious. He loves people and helping people. His positivity has helped temper some of my cynicism (and yes, if you’ve been in this business more than 10 minutes, you too will suffer the occasional bout of cynicism 😉
We’ve also developed friendly competition. It’s been fun reporting to each other the successes we’ve had. High fives and pats on the back are great motivators.
2) Peer pressure……in a good way. I belong to many online insurance networking groups. I see lots of agents KILLING it in sales. Truthfully, I should be doing the same. Again, motivation.
3) Commitment to selling. Until I develop another business that becomes my primary source of income, insurance sales are what puts food on my table and a roof over my head. PERIOD.
There’s a saying that has never been more true than now- “Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing.”
4) I’ve re-connected with people in my community. Insurance is a people-based business. My dad (who’s been in insurance 40+ years) has a saying and I finally understand it- “I’ve written more business by just walking up and down the streets, then I ever did sitting in my office.”
Not that he went door to door, but what he meant is that he got out of the office. He talked to people. Made connections. The current term is “networking”, but it means the same thing.
So I set a goal of having lunch with one new person a week. I’ve started with people who are in complementary industries, real estate, mortgage lending, finance, you get the idea. How did I do it? I just sent an email asking to meet. I introduced myself and told them I wanted to meet with them, learn more about their business and find out how I might be of service to them. All true. (hint- you should never go into these meetings thinking you’re going to “pitch” anything. People don’t want to be sold to anymore and you’ll just succeed in ticking them off. You can read an earlier post of mine to avoid being the worst salesperson ever).
And what’s the worst that can happen when you ask? They can say no. Pretty sure the sun will continue to rise every morning 😉
So, I re-invented myself. In the eternal words of George Constanza, “I”m back baby!” And it feels pretty damn good.