The Insurance Dudes

Processes for Drama Free P&C | Insurance Agency Playbook

August 16, 2023 The Insurance Dudes: Craig Pretzinger & Jason Feltman Season 3 Episode 622
The Insurance Dudes
Processes for Drama Free P&C | Insurance Agency Playbook
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to another episode of the playbook, this time Craig discusses the fourth pillar of the ever-so-important 5 Ps, the processes! And how their implementation can create a significant and solid foundation for your agency to support a high-powered offense and achieve success in the insurance industry. 

Defined as the way things are done in a business to improve organization and prevent chaos and inefficiency, processes are extremely essential for the scalable growth of your agency.

Learn how predictability and consistency through well-defined processes can lead to agency freedom and how logic-based decisions and emotional bandwidth in a process-driven agency can help create a solid foundation for growth and equity.

Tune in to become a pro at fostering a collaborative culture through open feedback loops at your agency with the Insurance Gurus.
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Both agents themselves, they both have scaled to around $10 million in premium.  After searching for years for a system to create predictability in their agencies, they developed the Telefunnel after their interviews with so many agents and business leaders.  

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Craig Pretzinger & Jason Feltman
The Insurance Dudes

Craig Pretzinger:

Hello, and welcome to a another episode of the insurance dudes, we have been talking about the five P's of, of your agency over the course the last few episodes here. And we are now on processes, which is number four, the fourth p. So welcome back. If you've been following along, then you know, we first talked about purpose, then we talked about our principles, which are our core values. And then the purpose is our why. And then the people, which we're going to do a deeper dive few episodes down the road where we get into some hiring, get some recruiting, do some other stuff along the lines of people. But these are sort of the higher level views just so you get the juices flowing, and really get an understanding of what's going on. And start to think about installing these things in your agency. But let's talk about processes because this is a really critical piece of the puzzle. And creating that. That bit that foundational piece of your agents of your agency that can then support a high powered offense because you want to be scoring touchdowns, and selling lots of policies. So let's do that. We're going to dive in now. All right, we are back. We're back. Welcome back. I'm so glad you're here. So let's let's just dive in. So let's talk real quick about processes. What are processes we hear this all the time. But it's it's a way in which things are done in a business that's specifically here in your agency, so that we can really make it a lot better for us, right, create some organization to our organization. I mean, it's called an organization for a reason, right? Not because it's disorganized. And we'll see, by the end of this how, how processes really do help tighten up, tighten up the ship and get things running more smoothly. So but but what are processes? Well, it's it's really creating the frameworks, putting the frameworks down on paper, or in some digital form, where people can access it, where we can look at these Well, clearly defined process flows that are going to tell folks how to do basically anything in the agency. That's what we want to have. We don't want to create a bureaucratic nightmare. But we want people to be able to prevent themselves from asking you, you don't want to be Google. And it doesn't take a long time for this to happen, right for us to to either become Google and that's all that it ever is. Or the other way, actually build these things out and have a much, much cleaner environment. So what a couple things let's let's look at this is a lot more proactive, right? We people in business, talk about all the time whether or in life, be proactive versus be reactive. And we want to eliminate a situation where we're being reactive, because we've become highly ineffective and inefficient when we are in reactive mode. So let's think of it this way, right? It would we're proactive, or we're proactive, it helps us stay ahead of issues have foresight, to to kind of cut things off before they get out of control. When there's no processes, one of our guests that we've had in the past Laura Harris, I just remember so, so clearly her saying that if you don't have processes, you can't scale because you can't scale chaos. If you can scale K is chaos, you are burning money. And so we want to do that, right? It's very expensive, very expensive, if it's a mess. And that's why we test. Think of anything, write a business, we test things at a small level. Like if you're going to run ads, you run ads, and you're doing a couple dollars a day, you're not going to do it a $10,000 a day budget, because that would be crazy, right? You're not going to test things out. Big money. At the same way. Why would we? Why would we be running our agency in test mode, we need to test at a very small level, what things work at then go big with up. So that's important. Think of it this way time right the most the most precious resource gets compressed. When we have processes in place. Think of all the times that that people will interrupt other people whether they're interrupted or other producers interrupted your other service people interrupted you. But the the amount of time that it takes to go from bead effective if you're if you're let's say you're writing, you're writing some marketing material, really high high value activity for you as the business owner, and it requires a lot of a lot of brain power to do that. And so be it in a quiet environment. interrupted, being able to think and add really come up with creative, creative ideas, it's monumentally important that people aren't interrupted you? Well, if this is if we have a situation where that is happening, that it could lead to a lot of lost and wasted time. And then, of course, frustrations add resentments, that things get out of control, and that you pull away don't care becomes a back to reactive mode. So we have to, we have to tip that scale. So we're be proactive. Processes break that structure. It's what to do, and when to do it. And that's what we need to do. Right? When, when are we going to do this process? The cancellation process, okay? We define it, we, we articulate why it's important, we put down all the steps so that anybody could do it, if they're handed the the piece of paper or logged into the process, library, or wherever you have it, clearly defined. So everybody doesn't need a memorize these days. But if they do these things, that they certainly need to look at the instructions on how to do it. That's what this does, right? So creating that consistency will then lead to predictability to your agency. And guess what happens when we have predictability? We get freedom. Right? If there's predictability about what will happen, and when it will happen, would we do different inputs? Or would we do different activities, we know what the results gonna be, because we've tested it by doing the processes that are clearly defined. And we do those over and over and over again, well, if we're if we have predictability, this doubt makes us a not important piece of the puzzle is the day to day operations. And this by friends, this by insurance to do to do that is the ultimate agency freedom. If you want to go to Portugal for a month, I encourage you to have processes, if you want to go to Hawaii for a month, I encourage you to go to have processes to have all of the other pieces set in place. So that would you start invested heavily at the marketing component, which has to happen if you're going to drive high powered results and create equity in your book, not just income, but equity added cub that we need to do that. So really, really, really key. Oh, really, really interesting concept. And I thought i i Be excited to share this piece. So think of it. Also. It this from this perspective, if we are increasing our, our effectiveness with processes, by putting all of these processes in place, we are then more proud and more likely to make logic based decisions. So if we make logic based decisions were fairly simple, right? There's a left brain activity, there's a clear set of rules, right, we have the processes in place. So when something comes up, we look at the process on how to handle that situation. Follow the process decision is made based on the process that we that was agreed upon, when the process was done at boom, no, no heavy amount of energy or emotional component placed into that decision. And what does that do? That frees up your emotional bandwidth to train to coach to mentor your team, which also requires a significant amount of emotional of emotional, that also that does contain right. So we want to instead of making emotional decisions, we're making it we're doing logic based decisions. Add that we're training emotionally, but that's where we connect with our people and and things get get done. When we're driven by that purpose. Usually the emotional that component. Not doing it, obviously, is the difference, right? It's the it's the flip side of it. If we don't do that were perpetuated chaos. And what's that going to do? That's going to flip it so that we're making emotional, reactive decisions, not fun. We start getting sideways, and the wheels fall off. And then when they need us, would they need us to be traded them and supporting them? That we're doing it with logic, and they're not going to connect with that, right? It's imagine arguing with your spouse as they're heated, because maybe you did something that upset them. They're heated, and you're gonna try to logically argue why you did the thing that you did. What was there already emotional, it's not gonna work. We've all been there. Right? We've all been on both sides of that. And just think of the roles there and what happens right We don't want to become reactive. So avoid that it's gonna it's gonna work out much better. So what are the key elements? What are the key elements of effective processes? Well, we need a central location, we need them to to be user friendly. We did I remember kiss, keep it simple, stupid. We want to keep these things simple. Don't overthink them. Don't make them too complicated, but at the same time, make them clear. So everything has to be clear. So it's easy to follow. It has to be clear so that there's no questions so they can't wiggle out of it. But we also don't want to make it like the freakin tax code, where it's impossible that nobody ever pulls it up. Because it's like, I don't even know. Yeah, right. We don't want to go there. So cool. I love that part. Bow, we talked about the ego, right? The ego is going to subitize come in and add, create this my way or the highway, my way or the highway, eight that effective. It's our way or the highway. And really, it's it may be your agency. But if you if you stop around like Darth Vader say that it's your Death Star, they're not going to have as much respect as if it's everybody's agency. Think of the bayad that that any organization gets with the members, or also owners or the members or also the workers or what have you, right, make them part of it. It's the culture build the culture he had. So you have to be adaptable. So it's not my way or the highway. It's everybody's, everybody's onboard. And everybody agrees with these things. And it's important to not just say that it's an open door policy, but to actually talk, walk that walk. Continuous improvement will result from having open feedback, and doing feedback loops to make sure that it's working, right, we want to optimize these processes over time, we could revisit things. And this is why it's so important to do daily meetings, because even though we're going to be most heavily focused on sales training during those those meetings, we're also going to take care of some some business, some operational stuff. And that's this is where that is right? It could be that. Let's say there's a process, I could give an example, at my agency we few years ago, we created a process called the three swings, for swing, second swing, third swing. And these are basically just easy ways to remember this, a follow up sequence that we would do. And originally it was we had set it up where the first three calls are there were three scheduled calls that would that would happen within the first few weeks, or the first month of somebody signed up with us a welcome call, a follow up call about a week later than two weeks out from that another call. And they all had, they all have specific definitions and outcomes of why we're doing it and the expected metrics that we test against, we're not going to get into that that's number five performance. So we will go down that rabbit hole. However, those three swigs, what happened was, the salespeople would close the business and the audios? Well, the service team came to one of the meetings and suggested that, you know, they didn't have the relationship with the people yet. And they thought that maybe the first call should would be better if it went with the salesperson. Everybody talked about it. We talked about the pros and cons of each side of it. And we actually ended up deciding that the salesperson would do the 24 hour call that they would they would more or less or they would tee it up for the service team. Who would who would then take odd calls over Sousa three. So if I said service of the first one, what they did was they took sales would take that first swig that service. So what was really valuable about that was we just kept it open. The service team had some feedback about it, they thought that it would be more effective if the sales team did it. We they came with it with a compelling argument reason why we did the pros and cons decided on it. So once we did it, tested it and guess what? We got more results, better results, more booked life appointments, more cross sells when we had the salesperson do the first call. So there you go. That's exactly the way so that you can walk through and keep those open feedback loops, so that we could change things. It's not just, they're complaining, oh my gosh, I gotta change something that we don't want to approach things like that approach with curiosity. And we want to assume that that folks have good intent, that they're not just lazy. That's why they don't want to do it. Again, when you create the by it by having the right foundation with the purpose, and the principles, and to the right people, now, it's easier to get that by it. Right. And that's the next part right here is, is implementing those processes, because you aren't collaborate collaboration, you want a collaborative team, you want culture. So you're gonna get the buyer you need by having processes, and letting them help you build them. So let's discuss how real quick, right, it's gonna, it's going to, it's going to connect the team members, because they're building something together. Think of, I remember I worked at, before I owed my agency. When I was at Merrill Lynch, they did a thing where the local Merrill Lynch office did. What's that called Habitat for Humanity, where we went out, we helped build a house did this whole thing and built a house for somebody's family who needed it. And so it was a great cause it was fun to go out and do. But at the same time, we were there. And we were working on some, some various ways to create sales structure. So we're developing the processes add, collaborated added to as a team, odd, this this project, this Habitat for Humanity, and it really helped by everybody. Because while we were also doing this work, we were working together on that thing, with a common goal of helping this other family. So it was it was really cool. As a way to get get that collaboration. The other thing that's important about it is ed ed liked by a previous example, with the three swigs is having. Having a collaborative environment where you're open to those feedbacks, or the feedback loops is creates really, really good connection between your departments. So some of you may not even have separate departments. But typically as we grow, well, we'll end up with a service at a sales department. And then if we grow more than that get further split up, right sales can become property at auto add life do you could move up we keep as we grow, we keep adding departments at growing. Each one makes it much, much easier. Well, that's we're gonna stop there. I do have a few more points on processes. But I didn't want to fill you up with too much stuff. And have you tuned out. So I am hopeful that you're still listening, if you are, we went over a few of the pieces of the fourth P, which was processes, we talked about why it's so important, we talked about the keys of the the key elements of the effective processes, we talked about the roles of the processes, and that how that can lead to collaboration in your agency. So I think that right now you have a really solid base of some things you could do to create that, that that foundational component, so you could build scale and create equity of your agency. So hangout. Be here for the next episode. How are you going to do that? Well, by subscribing Of course, subscribe and you'll get the second half of this episode, which is going to come out in a couple days. So appreciate you listening. We will talk soon. Don't forget, subscribe, like leave feedback. Do all those things. And we'll talk soon. Ciao.

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