ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN A PRODUCER DOESN'T HAVE TIME TO PRODUCE

You are not alone! This happens a lot!

You hire a producer whether a fresh and new producer or an experienced producer. They spend several years diligently creating new clients for the agency. You use our Producer Acquisition and Management Program to acquire them and our Producer Validation Program to assure yourself that they are as active as needed to both support themselves and the agency as they grow your book of business.

Then, when they reach a hundred or a few hundred clients, you notice that their New Business production diminishes each year. They are still active, but they spend their time managing their client relationships to keep the clients happy and renewing. Something is happening that needs to be addressed if you agree that a producer’s job in your agency is to build an ever-growing book of clients for the agency. But there are two types of Producer personalities and each must be treated differently if you want to continue to grow your business.

The producers with a true Salesman’s personality are complaining that they don’t have time to get out and sell anymore – their time is occupied by the existing clients in service, relationship management and renewals. The second type of producers is a Service Agent. This persona is comfortable when he has reached his compensation level. Once his goal is reached, the agency’s production will slow down or new business will plateau. Hence, that producer is now satisfied to become Service Agents, tending a book of business. They simply haven’t told the owner that they are no longer Producers.

It’s important to identify which category of producer you are facing when the time comes that their NB production has diminished. Both types can be motivated to regain their posture as New Business producers, but the motivating factors are a little different for each type.

If you have a true Salesman Personality in your producer, the correct action is to take their lowest 5% of clients (by revenue size) and re-assigning them to an Account Manager or to an Account Executive. Your goal, of course, is to retain as close to 100% of your clients every year AND, simultaneously, have your production team both replace lost clients and grow new clients every year. The advent of Account Managers for smaller accounts in partnership with the producers and Account Executives who assume an entire book of business with the goal of maximizing retention will take much of the producers’ workloads away, allowing them time to prospect and penetrate new customer relationships. Once true producers realize the luxury of more time, they will penetrate more (and usually larger) accounts, paying themselves and the agency better for their efforts.

Producers who have converted to Service Agents are motivated differently than True Producer personalities. While the True Producer personality is always looking for more money and will do anything you permit to grow that compensation, Service Agents are seeking to solidify their on-going compensation according to the revenue levels that have permitted them to achieve their current comfort level.

The motivation for a Producer turned Service Agent is to continue to pay their residual commissions only if the book of business grows (as defined by either revenue growth or customer count growth) each year. Knowing that their income level depends on growth, they will regain their motivation to sell.

There is much more involved in either the Producer Incentive Program or the Service Agent Incentive Program that is specifically tailored to the producer and current condition of the agency in question. We invite your call to familiarize us with your producers and allow us to create specific incentive programs to keep them involved in customer growth within your agency as long as they work for you.