“What makes so many independent insurance agencies slow down?” Based on my years of experience and observation, I’ve come up with the primary factors that cause agency growth to slow to a crawl.

Aging Producers

When you look at the average age of your producers, you’ll find that the vast majority are closer to retirement than not. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As long as they’re profitable, their age is irrelevant. The ones I’m talking about are your RIP (Resting in Place) producers. Typically, they’ve been in the business for quite a few years, they’re making more money than they ever thought they would and they live quite comfortably. They aren’t terribly motivated to grow their book of business because they don’t have to. They’ve plateaued.

Aging Staff

As with producers, I’m not targeting productive staff members of a certain age. After all, in our industry, a 40-year-old might have been with an agency for 20 years. What really matters is not so much the number of candles on your birthday cake or years of agency employment, but the amount of energy you bring to the table.

When I used to consult one-on-one with agencies, I could tell so much about the business based on the energy of the internal staff. If everyone was slump-shouldered and less than enthusiastic, that usually signaled a problem.

Employees that lack energy are a drain on an agency. If they’re not excited about what they do, they’ll have no desire to provide an unbelievable client experience. It gets down to the culture of the agency. Are customers considered an annoyance or are they valued by the entire staff? Is the staff enthusiastic about coming to work or are they simply “making the donuts” and biding their time until they get to go home? If the staff seems lethargic and disinterested in learning new ways to be more productive, the agency is not going to thrive.

Next Week: Stuck in Place