During the holiday season, the insurance business can slow down. Sometimes a LOT. So how do you keep yourself productive even when clients aren’t blowing up the phone?
You always want your staff to be busy. Remember, you’re writing those payroll checks even if they are just sitting around chatting. So stuff HAS to get done.
Here are a few suggestions for when there is extra time to kill…
Clean. I remember walking into an agency once that was a disaster. There was dust and clutter everywhere. Old magazines and outdated brochures stacked in the reception area. Piles of paper just SITTING around. It looked bad and the agency wasn’t doing so well financially either.
Pretend like you’re a client walking in for the first time. How can you improve the appearance of your agency immediately?
For most, a quick cleaning is a good place to start. Vacuum the floors, dust all the furniture, and clean up anything out of place. Don’t forget to clean the windows, computer monitors, and phones too.
Look at your staff’s offices. What is sitting on their desks? Are there stacks of un-filed/unscanned paper? Client files sitting around where no one will ever find them? And my own pet peeve – dozens of sticky note reminders haphazardly stuck all over the monitor?
Think about how this looks to a client. Do you want your important personal business to be dependent on someone’s sticky note? I doubt it!
Clean up and clean out the files. This applies to paper or digital files. Make a goal to have all of the filing and scanning caught up before January 1st. Are there old dead files that need to be pulled out of the cabinets? Many companies require that you keep documentation for a certain period of time. Have any of your files exceeded that time and ready for the shredder?
What about computer clutter? Look at everyone’s computer desktop. Are there files all over it that need to be deleted or sorted? What about email inboxes? (Have you created a process for archiving important client emails?)
Computers require a certain amount of maintenance if you want them to last a long time. Run those software updates, clean out the downloads folder, update browsers, and update new virus software. These are a pricey investment that you want to protect! Keep them up to date and running fast.
Have you changed staff over the past year? Do any passwords need to be changed on computers or social media/email accounts?
Check out your supply room. Do you need to order supplies for the next quarter or year? (Do you want that cost to apply to this year’s taxes…do it before December 31st!)
Are there old brochures or postcards taking up space that you’ll never use? Chunk them! Boxes of printer ink that need to be recycled? Take them today.
What about your break room? Is it clean? Can you throw anything away or streamline the space to make it more useable? Are there any nasty science experiments growing in the fridge? 🙂
You’re done cleaning up and organizing. What about your marketing systems for the new year? These need to be cleaned up and prepared too!
Create a place to track your sales each month visually. I always liked to hang a big white board in the back of the office. We’d track monthly premium sales for then entire agency as well as each team member’s individual sales. Do you have a place like this?
Do you have a New Business Log spreadsheet ready for 2014? (More info on this in my book Mega Insurance Agency Marketing.)
Throughout the year you’ll be marketing to win back old clients and cross sell current ones. Do you have the systems in place to track this information?
You can use an agency management system or the reports provided by your company. The important thing is to make it easy to read and accessible. You could make a spreadsheet with the information and update it each month. Paper files would even work if you prepare them right!
Have you created your Referral Rewards program for 2014? Are the flyers made and printed? Have you promoted the program to clients and strategic partners? (This is the marketing campaign this month in my Insurance Marketing System.)
Do you want to attract more leads online next year? If so you’ll need to have a website that you write articles/blogs on. Do you have that set up yet? Do you know how to use it? Now is the time to get the right people in place to make it happen, even if it’s just googling and learning how to use what you’ve already got!
What about social media? Have you created your agency Facebook page, Twitter account, and your personal Linked In pages? Get them done this month! All social media sites now have helpful instructions to walk you through the process. Having all of the tools in place is half the battle in implementing new marketing.
The key here is that there is ALWAYS something to do! While a lot of people talk about organizing in January, I feel that December is a great time for insurance agencies. Business is a little slower and you’re not busy trying to kick off your new year sales goals.
I also feel that there is a certain amount of energy that is created with a fresh start. Seeing your office looking great and your systems running smoothly will help you and your team get energized for the new year! It might seem like busy work some days (and some days it will be) but it’s all important to creating an efficient and profitable business.
Make a checklist of the items that are most important to you immediately and start there. You could also write a list and split it up by staff members so that everyone is working on various projects. Pick the items that will make the biggest difference and implement as quickly as possible. Then you’ll be ready to kick off the New Year long before your competition even begins!
Think of things I’m forgetting? Share in the comments below!
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