It’s time for insurance leaders to choose their destiny.

The choice is simple, continue as usual or optimize for the future.

If you could pick just three activities or tasks that add the most value to your business what would they be?

Now imagine you could have someone do everything else.

I recently asked Twitter the same question and got a ton of amazing responses. I captured these little nuggets of wisdom and compiled them accordingly.

For the record, most of these responses we from producers or agency principles and leaders of their respective organizations. These are people focused on production.

Here were the three most popular responses.

  1. Sales
  2. Prospecting/Networking
  3. Marketing/Branding

After the top three a couple other popular tasks were storytelling, strategy and culture.

Note: It’s interesting that marketing and branding were considered to be the same thing.

I’m not sure what that means, if it’s right or wrong, but it’s definitely interesting.

However, those top three tasks aren’t surprising, they’ve always been the core of an insurance business.

The more important question is, if these tasks are so vital to our business (and always have been), why are we doing anything else?

Why (as leaders) are we still processing car changes and responding to customer service calls?

Why are we wasting insane amounts of time filling out of policy form documents and spending half our day inside of agency management systems?

The answer is, it makes us feel busy.

We do the easy, mindless, busy work because it feels productive when in truth these tasks add little to no value to our organization.

Insurance Leaders Must Choose the Hard Stuff

Selling, prospecting, networking, marketing and branding… this is the hard stuff.

All these tasks take creativity, patience, persistence, and all the other unmeasurable soft skills built over a 1,000 “No” responses and failed campaigns.

It takes true leadership to stay busy doing the hard stuff. Because you want to give up.

This work that takes tremendous brain power, thought, energy and focus.

insurance leaders hard workThe second you feel like you’re not doing enough of anyone of those things, is when you start to feel like you’re losing.

If your pipeline isn’t full, you feel a void opening up.

Your natural reaction to fill it is to reach for the easiest and closest task you can find.

Because if you don’t, you actually have to experience failure.

We avoid failure at all costs.

So we start doing busy work, work we either do or should be paying someone else to do.

When all we’re really doing is wasting time (and losing money).

Optimizing Your Time

Now as Chief Marketing Officer, my workload is piling up. At times, I’m absolutely overwhelmed.

It feels like I don’t have room in head for all the things that need to get done, all the decisions that need to get made, all the people who want a response.

Time for me to take a little of my own advice.

One of the ways I tried to answer this question, is not just asking myself, but talking to my staff.

Just because you think you might be delivering value, doesn’t mean the people you are working with feel the same way.

Because the people inside your agency and the clients you serve are ultimately the ones who need to get the most value from you.

In this episode of The Show I outline the only 3 tasks insurance leaders MUST perform:

My Top 3 Ways Insurance Leaders Deliver Value

1) Culture & Strategy

I can’t separate these two.

Culture might eat strategy for breakfast, but without strategy culture is just a cool idea.

On the flip side, your culture allows the entire organization to execute on strategy at scale.

[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none” inject=”#cx #customerexperience”]Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.[/tweet_box]

2) Selling

I do as much selling as I’ve ever done in my entire career.

READ THIS: 7 Insurance Sales Best Practices I Learned From Professional Speaking

You always have to make time to bring in the business because it’s the one thing that will always keep the lights on.

3) Content Marketing

Content is the lifeblood of your sales and marketing operation.

That’s what I love to do more than anything.

Like this video taking a deep dive into Lemonade and the impact, it has on our industry.

That video took a week to create.

But the impact has been incredible, just in the first week over 2,000 people watched it.

The amount of feedback I received was overwhelming along with all the inquiries and connections it sparked.

I got two speaking opportunities alone that can help expand our company brand.

That’s important work all made possible by producing high-quality content.

The Rub

Add value with intention.

The impetus of this post was my own wasting too much time in meetings, replying to non-value add emails and busy work.

I was making bad decisions.

I was spending to much time on stuff that didn’t push the business forward in a meaningful way.

Don’t get me wrong, that stuff serves a purpose and is work that needs to get done, but is it the best use of MY time?

No.

We’re never going to be able to completely cut out administrative stuff.

Email and meetings and admin stuff will always have a place in any job.

Increasing your value as an insurance leader comes from setting boundaries.

You must be intentional.

This will allow you to optimize the value you deliver to not just your customers, but also everyone inside your agency.

How do you make that happen?

  • Heavy-handed delegation.
  • Scheduling (time-blocking creative work time).
  • Self-discipline. <– easily the hardest of the bunch.

Here’s the one catch.

You have to give up some control.

For me, this was the easy part, but for many of you fiefdom builders out there, this is going to be the hardest part.

You have to trust your people. You have to let them failure. You have to let them learn and grow and adapt.

Otherwise all of this falls apart.

At least that’s what I believe and what has worked so far for my team at Agency Nation.

LISTEN TO THIS: Ryan Walter on Why Great Leaders Follow Leaders

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley

P.S. Jump on the Agency Nation newsletter because what goes together better than email and insurance? You’re right, nothing.

image credit: Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

gif credit: Tenor

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