At MarshBerry, Vice President Art Betancourt has helped develop a regimented training approach for new independent agency hires that—when followed—has a 71% success rate. The typical agency also sees a dramatic increase in production within the first year of hiring the new employee, gaining more than $50,000 in revenue.
“You can hire the right person, but if you don’t implement the right process post-hire, you’re not going to be successful,” Betancourt says.
The first step is a competitive compensation structure. Offering a base salary plus commission “attracts the right individuals” and also incentivizes them to improve, he notes.
MarshBerry gives new producers the opportunity to earn commission immediately, though they still have to validate their compensation through activity. The company sets a minimum number of appointments for each new hire, and if that number is missed, compensation is reduced.
Betancourt also calls for a four-tiered mentorship program. In the first days of an employee’s hire, he or she will be partnered with a closing mentor that offers advice on making a deal. Then, a sales management mentor is brought in to advise on topics like pipeline management and setting goals for meetings. A marketing mentor helps the new hire understand an acceptable submission process, while an education mentor assists the employee in getting licensed within two weeks of hire.
“Most agencies don’t come up with this kind of systemic model on their own,” Betancourt says. “When it’s not followed, we only see a 34% success rate.”
While MarshBerry typically brings on professionals that have roughly five years of experience, entry-level hires can be just as successful. A case study from Reagan Consulting reveals that 91 young producers under the age of 30 managed to grow their median book of business from $520,259 in 2009 to $662,193 in 2011.
By 2017, Reagan Consulting expects these young producers to hold a median book size of $1,150,000.
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