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How to Motivate Your Agents and Producers

An insurance agent’s attitude when making sales is the most important tool for a successful business. A salesperson’s attitude can be the one thing that makes or breaks a sale to any client. If your insurance agents are not happy or are not feeling motivated, that could be difficult to hide on a phone call to a potential client—and especially face to face. Attitudes are contagious, and if your insurance agent doesn’t feel particularly motivated, why should the potential client feel motivated to purchase insurance from him or her? With any sales job, keeping your employees motivated and helping them get the most out of their time at the office is one of the most important things you can do to boost sales.

Motivate Through an Office Update

Are your insurance agents still using desktop computers with Microsoft Windows 1.0?  Are they all confined in tiny cubicles in a tiny office with no windows? Are they surrounded by office furniture and décor in varying shades of gray? If so, you are probably dealing with very unhappy and unmotivated employees. Because most people spend the majority of their waking life in the workplace, it’s important to have a welcoming environment. Making it inviting could be as simple as painting the walls with warm colors, adding some natural light, brining in some fresh plants or even hanging some interesting and energetic artwork. Corporate culture doesn’t have to be drab and gloomy.

Having the proper tools and equipment to do their jobs is crucial as well. If it takes your insurance agents 20 minutes for their computers to boot up, or if their spreadsheet keeps crashing and hours of unsaved work goes down the drain, it may be hard to stay motivated. Having the proper equipment is important, but it’s also imperative to make sure your employees are consistently trained and regularly refreshed on processes and procedures. If they feel comfortable and confident in their jobs, they’ll feel like they are getting the most out of their time and will be more successful in the meantime. This will motivate them to continue their hard work.

Provide Honest Constructive Feedback

A common motto in many workplace environments is, “You know you’re doing a great job if you don’t hear anything from the bosses” – kind of a “no news is good news” attitude. That’s because when employees do get feedback from their bosses, it’s usually to point out a mistake or say something negative. Make sure this phrase isn’t consistently used to describe the environment at your insurance agency.

Give public recognition and don’t make success a private event.  Be sure to compliment successful insurance agents in front of others. It will not only make them feel great but also may cause their coworkers to want to try even harder to step up their game so they are the ones in the spotlight next time. Another way to make your insurance agents feel motivated and valued is to spread the news of their success to upper management. In an email singing your praises to the successful insurance agent, copy the CEO, CFO, COO, etc. on the email. They may even make the time to congratulate the insurance agent personally.

Recognition doesn’t have to happen only in the workplace; you can involve the insurance agent’s family by sending a thank you letter to their home that highlights specific contributions and attributes of your insurance agent. Insurance agents’ families know better than anyone else how motivated and happy they are at their job. They see them put in the long hours every day instead of being home with them. And, most of the time, they hear every detail about any annoyances they had at work that day. You can also thank their partner or even their children for their support of your insurance agent.

Good or bad, everyone needs some sort of feedback, whether it’s to feel validated that they are doing something right and can continue to strive for even better, or if there’s something they are repeatedly doing wrong, they can fix it. Be sure to give feedback immediately or at least quickly. The more time between the event and the acknowledgment, the less meaningful it will be.

Have Fun With Your Team

The workplace doesn’t have to be a place people dread going to five days a week. It is important to be efficient and deliver a good work product, as well as make sales, but it’s also important to have fun while doing so. Have team outings once a month where all the employees go out to lunch or to happy hour after work. Celebrate people’s birthdays with a cake in the break room. Weekly team-building activities are also effective and promote healthy communication and problem solving, as well as being a good ice breaker and laugh for those stressful days.

Ultimately, it’s up to upper management to ensure the work environment is a positive one. If the people at the top have bad attitudes and are unmotivated, those negative thoughts and actions trickle down to the team below. Make sure your insurance sales team has all of the proper tools and comes into an inviting work environment every day. Always give feedback immediately after a job well done or when something can be done a little better. And, most importantly, remember to have fun and get people excited about coming to work every day.

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