Getting started as a producer at a brokerage can seem like a daunting prospect for newcomers. Learning the ins and outs of a brokerage’s internal processes, becoming acquainted with leadership and peers, and building a book of business are challenging tasks, and could dissuade some professionals from seeking a job at a new brokerage or in broking more broadly. This in turn does a disservice to brokerages since people with unique perspectives and experiences have a lot to offer as producers.
Enter Navacord’s Producer to Partner (P3) program, which is a one-year, on-the-job, three-phase training program for qualified sales-focused professionals who are in the early stages of their careers. The program combines internal sales mentorship, external sales coaching, and technical insurance training, which Navacord believes are the building blocks to creating expert advisors that effectively support its Canadian clients. With this experience, incoming talent is put on the road to becoming equity shareholders. At the end of the program, P3 participants have the opportunity to pass along their learnings by mentoring new hires, as well as taking part in goal setting sessions with top leaders.
Because recruits in the P3 program are coming from different educational backgrounds and have varying levels of insurance knowledge based on their past work experiences, Navacord takes a bespoke approach to learning and development, as well as individual compensation needs, which ultimately helps to drive the success of the P3 program in developing the next generation of expert advisors.
Andrea Phillips, associate advisor at Navacord broker partner Lloyd Sadd, has first-hand evidence of how the P3 program is setting her up for success. She’s in the midst of completing the program and told Insurance Business, “Without such a structured approach, I don’t know how an individual who hasn’t been in insurance would be able to navigate this world.”
Phillips has a background in education and sales, and heard about the P3 program from a friend at Lloyd Sadd who knew that Phillips was looking for a career path, and not just another stepping stone position. She recommended the P3 program to Phillips, who then connected with a partner at Lloyd Sadd that was one of the first graduates of the program and could provide more insight on the training. After getting the go-ahead from Chris Huebner, CEO of Lloyd Sadd, Phillips officially started her journey as a P3 participant.
So far, she says, “My favourite part – and the most useful [aspect of the program] – would be the mentorship piece. There’s a lot of support within Lloyd Sadd, and the amount of experience and knowledge there is amazing. I can go to so many different people within the company to get my
questions answered.” Alongside this widespread support, Phillips is working one-on-one with a producer and partner at Lloyd Sadd who is there for her every step of the way, from attending meetings together to providing feedback on Phillips’ work.
While high expectations and sales targets are set in the P3 program, this support and collaboration from peers, managers, and executives helps participants to meet their career aspirations and become successful account executives with a clear path to equity and partnership.
On the other side of the P3 program, graduates that have completed the training can attest to the fact that it has put them on the path to success at their respective brokerages. Connor McFall, account executive with Jones DesLauriers, a Navacord broker partner, entered the P3 program straight from school and found that it provided the essential building blocks to bridge him from the classroom to the brokerage.
“It was a really great opportunity to learn about the industry from the ground up, and understand some of the workflows and internal processes, but then also understand what it takes to be in a sales role,” McFall explained.
Traditionally, a new recruit is dropped into a sales role at a brokerage and has to learn on the job. In contrast, newcomers to insurance who take part in the P3 program can build up their knowledge and books of business over time, while professionals coming from other brokerages get access to mentorship from senior salespeople. P3 participants are also provided a salary, instead of having to immediately rely on commission, so that they have some breathing room to establish a meaningful book of business over the course of the program.
Similarly to Phillips, the mentorship aspect of the program stands out to graduates like McFall and Matthew Doty, who today is an account executive at Whitley Insurance and Financial Services, another Navacord broker partner.
The mentorship provided in the P3 program means “you have access to basically all of the senior producers, who are more than happy to help with questions or placements, or to bounce ideas off of,” said Doty. “The total buy-in is there from everyone involved, whether it’s the mentors or management, and that makes it run really well.”
For people who are completely new to the broking industry or just new to the sales side of broking, taking part in the P3 program helps to “build confidence moving forward for the rest of your career, where you can see that you have the potential to do things that are bigger than what you thought was possible going in,” he continued.
In the Canadian broking landscape, Navacord’s P3 program stands apart in its comprehensive approach to talent development and training, and it’s one of the many perks of being a Navacord broker partner.
“The P3 program speaks volumes about how the Navacord business model operates,” said McFall. “Every brokerage [that is part of the network] has access to the training and development program, and can tailor its approach to grooming their new producers.”