Ready to create a sales incentive plan in your insurance agency?  A few weeks ago, we talked about common sales personality types in insurance agencies.  I gave a breakdown of the Optimist, Planner, Closer, and Problem Solver profiles.  Once you understand how they work, the next question is how to apply it to YOUR agency.  (Make sure to go back and read that post if you haven’t yet.  This will make a lot more sense with that information!)

Balance Sales Personality Types

Some agents look at these personalities and immediately think – well all I want to hire are Closers!  Done!

Not so fast…an office full of Closers could be one giant mess!  Since details and paperwork are a challenge for this profile, then you’re going to need some help to deal with everything in those areas.  A detailed Planner or an efficient Problem Solver employee can make a huge difference. 

And if you fill your staff with only Closers and Problem Solvers, your agency may lack the nurturing, caring attitudes that keep clients staying for years! The Optimist and Planners tend to create long-term connections with clients and can be a huge asset to your retention.  

See the balance that is required?  So don’t jump to judge one personality as “good” or one “bad”.  They all have strengths and challenges in sales and in everything else! 

Hiring and Firing

This information is powerful when it comes to hiring new team members or letting some go.  In fact, you’ll want to use it whenever you make any staffing change! 

When you’re ready to hire, take a look at your current staff and determine what is strong and where you’re lacking. 

Ask interview questions that tie into each personality type to judge where your potential employee might fall.  You could even show them the four personalities and ask which group they feel they relate to the most. 

You’ll also be able to judge more quickly how a new hire is performing by using the sales personality profiles.   If you are working with their strengths, adapting for their challenges, using their motivators, and avoiding their management mistakes – and it’s just not clicking, they may just not be the right fit. 

Incentive Plans

Let’s go back and talk some more about incentives.  We all know that rewards are a huge part of sales. In the past, you may have offered bonuses, gift cards, time off, and other incentives…but felt like it wasn’t really clicking with your employees. 

Here’s how you can use Sales Personalities to increase motivation and design the perfect incentive plan.

My initial thought was to design a plan based on each person’s natural motivators, but it doesn’t seem quite fair (or legal) to offer certain people cash bonuses and not others. 

So why not create a plan that touches on ALL FOUR motivators and allow your staff to fall into it as they like?

Sales Incentive Plan

Your Planners are the least interested in sales and their basic motivator is to not get fired and stay out of trouble!  Yes, it doesn’t totally make sense to some of you, but you’ll notice that it’s true.  So you need to work a basic level of sales requirements into EVERYONE’s job description.  Everyone will be expected to achieve a certain number of leads, quotes, new business, life apps, etc.  Whatever fits into your annual sales goals as needed.  The key here is to give enough motivation that the Planners are taking notice and hitting the mark.  Just don’t expect these people to hit the top tiers of the plan!  (Remember, they are achieving other important goals in the agency at the same time.)

Next, we have our Optimists.  They are the least consistent of the group.  Some months they hit it out of the park!  Others, they barely hit the minimum.  Remember, they are motivated by making you, the team as a whole, and even the clients happy.  Consider a monthly team goal that the Optimists can work on!  They love to get excited, celebrate, go out to lunch, and have a good time.  Remember to offer LOTS of praise to this personality and you’ll see better results. 

For the Problem Solvers, you’ll want to work in increased job titles and responsibilities at various tiers.  Maybe when someone hits a certain level of production, they are given a new title and new business cards.  Or a private office, etc.  Make sure it’s something you can follow through on.  Remember these could take a year (or more) to achieve!  You don’t have to be doling out new job titles every six weeks.  Keep the goals big but make sure they involve prestige and authority.

And finally, the Closer.  These are the people you’ll be targeting with your money and competitive goals.  Work in different tiers where someone could earn a smaller cash or commission goal each month, along with larger quarterly and annual incentives.  This is probably the plan you dreamed up all along!  

Now that you have an incentive for EACH personality type, include this is your entire staff incentive plan. 

What would this look like?

  • A basic monthly sales requirement. 
  • Cash incentives at various sales levels. 
  • A team goal each month with a surprise reward. 
  • And a large goal over time for increased job title and responsibilities.  
  • Feeling overwhelmed?  Don’t be!  This might take some time to create and implement.  Don’t expect it to happen tomorrow.  And don’t be afraid to refine it along the way as you see your staff’s results!

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Robyn Sharp
Robyn Sharp

Robyn Sharp is an insurance marketing expert (and former agency owner). She specializes in Facebook content creation & marketing for P&C insurance agencies. Robyn has been a featured contributor to Exclusive Focus, PropertyCasualty360, IndependentAgent, and other insurance publications.

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