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Agent to Agent: Essentials of Producer Hiring and Management

Is hiring a producer an art or a science...?
December 3, 2014

Is hiring a producer an art or a science? As we visit agencies across the country, we encounter some phenomenal producers. We also come across some producers who are certainly not cut from the same cloth. Chances are, when we hire a producer, we are looking at the upside potential, identifying their best traits while overlooking even the most evident problems. After all, it is easy to justify the hiring decision with simple logic: If the producer cannot perform to the sales expectations we agreed to, we will let them go.

Good managers monitor activity and performance of producers, and great managers mentor and coach producers into a position of success. But a distasteful part of a manager's job is to discipline and terminate poor producers, and so it is often simply not addressed in a timely manner. Instead of addressing the issues head-on, emotion takes over, leading to a tense and uncomfortable atmosphere in the agency and between employees.

Generally, owners know whether a producer will succeed or fail within three to six months. Conversely, owners and managers know within just two months if the producer is performing as billed in his interviews. Most owners are compassionate and want to see the producer succeed, giving them many more chances, even after they have a track record that indicates a change in their performance is not likely. Once financial desperation or emotions become a factor that exceeds the patience of the manager and the owner, then the separation occurs.

When we analyze agencies with these issues, we find some common practices that set the agency up for failure...

Read the rest of this article by Al Diamond here:Essentials of Producer Hiring and Management

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This article originally appeared in the 2014 PIA Agency Marketing Guide. PIA members can read all of the marketing tips in this year's Agency Marketing Guide on PIA National's website:

PIA National wishes to thank the sponsors of the 2014 PIA Agency Marketing Guide: Allied Insurance/Harleysville Insurance, EZLynx, ITC and Rough Notes.

PIA's Agency Marketing Guide is published as part of the PIA Branding Program, PIA's agency marketing program ( Funding for the PIA Branding Program is provided in part by PIA's Pinnacle Partners: Encompass Insurance, Erie Insurance, Harleysville Insurance, Progressive Insurance, State Auto Group, The Hartford, The Motorists Insurance Group, and Wright Flood.

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