Start with "Why"
"Why do we need to grow our agency?"
Nailing down the two or three most important answers to this question is incredibly powerful and an essential ingredient for sustained organic growth. With well crafted answers an agency leader can make decisions that drive growth, engage coworkers, and create an overall energy that will push the agency forward.
Chances are you already know the answers but could potentially do a better job at using the answers to drive agency growth. Either write the answers down or have someone else write them down and get buy-in from agency leaders. Getting them written down creates clarity - use this new found clarity to get everyone engaged.
To get the juices of growth flowing, here are some major reasons that come to mind:
- Carriers. Both existing and potentially new carriers want to put their time and resources into agencies who are committed to growth. Carriers will give us more attention and treat us and our clients better if we are committed to growing.
- Colleagues. As we grow we'll attract and keep the best talent. The best talent isn't interested in staying at an agency that isn't growing. Growth means more pay, better benefits, and more opportunities for education and expanding responsibilities.
- Owners. Growth maximizes the long term value of ownership. A dollar paid as a dividend is just a dollar - a dollar invested in growth will compound itself at a rate that no other investment can achieve in the long run. The adage, "invest in yourself" isn't just words, it translates to long term wealth.
- Clients. High growth agencies can invest in client education, services and technology that will improve the client experience. Additionally, a growing agency is able to smoothly perpetuate clients from one generation to the next which increases retention.
- Fun. Yes, growing is a lot more fun. Growing at the rate of inflation is not fun, it's depressing. Winning clients and driving growth creates palpable energy in an agency and a virtuous upward cycle.
With the reasons for growth absolutely clear it is amazing, almost startling, what happens. Account Managers start cross-selling more, CSR's become more aware of issues that could cause a client to leave, sales people both old and young feel compelled by both the reasons and by their Account Managers who help hold them accountable for their sales efforts. The receptionist or the IT manager will suddenly let you know that their brother owns a large manufacturing company. The list goes on and on - when employees really understand the "why" they become far more motivated to improve the "what" of their respective roles.
The bad news is that this type of engagement can never happen unless people really understand the "why." The good news is, it is so simple to begin. What will you do to make sure your team understand the "why?"
Atlante Partners is committed to helping independent agencies grow by finding and developing the best new talent. We would love to talk with your agency about beginning or expanding the agency's talent attraction and development efforts.
Atlante Partners LLC