How can a commercial insurance agent/broker determine if a person will be a successful new producer? From recruiting and developing hundreds of new producers since the early 2000s, we’ve learned that you need to find an individual with a strong probability of being a successful in the career, in your particular agency/brokerage firm, and in the industry.
We recommend evaluating an individual’s potential for becoming a successful commercial producer by using 8 Key Success Criteria. Solid process leads to solid outcomes so we use the The Adler Group’s Performance-Based Hiring process and leverage structured, evidence-based interviews and two validated assessment profiles (the SPQ*Gold Call Reluctance Profile and the Strong Vocational Interest Inventory).
Here are the 8 criteria against which we evaluate every candidate. It’s our “answer key” for new producer hiring decisions.
Has demonstrated effective sales skills with a record of successful selling in a business-to-business environment; has met or exceeded quotas; understands and applies sound principals of prospecting for new business, including cold calling; supervisors will support claims of sales success and reasons the candidate left their employ; is coachable and seeks to continually learn and improve.
Drive to Achieve:
Has demonstrated motivation to excel; sets high standards for personal performance and works hard to meet them; has strong self-discipline; perseveres and overcomes barriers in achieving goals; bounces back rapidly from discouragements.
Enjoys people; mixes well, is sociable and friendly; works well with everyone; can show concern for the needs of others.
Skilled in analytical and critical thinking, in problem solving; learns rapidly; intellectually curious.
Works hard; understands that building a book of business from scratch requires more time devoted to work than many careers, and has demonstrated a willingness to give the time required.
Is an engaging conversationalist; listens well; responses to questions are organized and succinct; grammar is correct; conveys enthusiasm.
Has demonstrated sound rationale behind previous job moves; understands that this position requires a long-term commitment to a career; the career, the firm, the location, and the rewards all meet or exceed the candidate’s desires; they are a good “fit” with what the candidate wants to do and where he or she wants to do it.
Understands and can accept the client’s compensation program; accepts that the career will be commission based after validation; big-money motivated.
We’ve only scratched the surface here with the category definitions and, like I said, solid process leads to solid outcomes. In future posts, we’ll cover these key success criteria in more detail, including how to evaluate these factors in a producer candidate. And, we’ll address the “after the hire” keys to new producer success that we’ve learned — the all-important new producer development, coaching and management that needs to be in place.