How to Retain Agents Part 2

Agent Retention:  How to Retain Agents Part 2

Two Constants:

  1.  It’s easy to get ’em, it’s tougher to keep ’em.
  2.  They will leave you based on how you hired them.

“The ‘how to’ lies in first determining what ‘not to do’.  Find out what’s not working then fix it.”

Also see How to Retain Agents Part 1

It never has been nor will it ever be about your splits, fees, and or revenue share model.

How To Retain Agents Part 2Every agent in your office/company can go out today and cut a “better deal” with a competing broker but they don’t.  This is the simplest articulation of money not being the reason they are with you.  If you believe they are with you because of the “great deal” you offer, you are on a very slippery slope.  Here are 3 issues you face in your role as a leader and recruiter:

  1. There is one reason agents leave you and it comes down to this, unmet expectations.  Rarely are they established in a mutual fashion at the time of the interview and hire because the focus is so tilted on just getting them to join.  That’s tough enough in itself.
  2. The rules are constantly changing and worse, independent contractors can’t stand rules.  Yes, you have a daunting task on a daily basis of being a cat herder.  Organizations have declared and written policies, procedures, and expectations.  They hold no water when a leader doesn’t stand in purpose and principle in every decision they make.  I have found leadership so concerned with agents leaving them the so called “rules” are constantly changing.  Reaction mode leadership instead of Creation mode.
  3. Agents can’t stand sales meetings and I understand completely.  95% of them are a waste of time.  Now before you stop reading and choose to be offended, stay with me.  There is a difference between “important” information and “inspiration”.  It’s your job to provide agents with the important information and updates needed to be up to speed in the business today.  It’s your responsibility to inspire your agents daily.  When was the last time you held a sales meeting that was so inspiring your agents couldn’t wait for the next one?

Clear expectations, core principles and emerging values, and an inspiring sales meeting are the path to connectivity with agents.

What would it look like if your interview process laid out clear expectations, you gained agreement and alignment on all levels, while being clear there would be bumps along the way?  What if you stood in absolute principle, lacked fear of agents leaving you and although agents didn’t always agree, they in the end held a high level of respect for what you and the company stand for?  Finally, imagine if every week the one thing your agents were fired up about was your sales meeting?

Three powerful steps to retaining your agents

  1. Expectations:  The recruiting and interview process is so weighted in the result, getting an agent to join, many leaders tip toe around clear expectations and tread lightly in areas they may get resistance from a prospect.  This will only come back to haunt you later, trust me.  Be clear on what you expect; get clear on what an agent can expect from you.  Communicate clearly what you are willing to do and not willing to do in the business relationship.  This alone will differentiate you from any competitor because they will most likely play the game of avoidance and hope it never comes up.  Well it always does.  The final and most critical part of expectations is being clear your company/office has it flaws like everyone else.  We’re looking to partner with people that recognize and embrace this reality.  People that are here to not only get the value of the affiliation but also contribute to a long term path of making the company better.
  2. Principles and Values:  The principles taught to me and shared time and time again with leaders I coach are Personal Responsibility, Accountability, Commitment, and Vision.  Emerging values of Fun, Love, Dignity and Respect are the foundation.  Now those may not work for you, but here’s what principles and values will provide you with; a foundation, your grounding point, and a constant reference.  They must be declared constantly.  They must be publicly acknowledged when you recognize them in those you lead.  Acknowledge what you expect.  In an independent contractor world more than any, you must have boundaries.  When you carry principles and values forward on a consistent basis you will now be standing in your leadership.  And ya know what?  Your job will become soooo much easier!!
  3. Sales Meeting:  The clearest picture I can paint for you is a sports analogy.  Look at baseball parks, football stadiums, and basketball arenas or maybe a concert, movie . . . some kind of entertainment environment.  Some are jam packed, sold out, standing room only and others are empty.  The equation is simple.  We attend what inspires and excites us.  What does your baseball park look like each week?  Let me be crystal clear with you.  Next to recruiting and coaching there is NOTHING more important than your sales meeting:
    1. It’s the one hour a week you get to declare your vision, demonstrate your leadership, and allow your team to experience the energy of the environment you have created.
    2. It’s a time to transfer value in relevant and applicable business strategies for a 20 minute segment your agents will carry with them for the next week.
    3. It’s a time to do the most important action of interacting with human beings, acknowledgment.

Get clear up front and go where others won’t go in the interview process, establish principles and values, and deliver an inspiring sales meeting.  You will not only further the connectivity you have with your current agents, you will inspire them to tell the story of their experience with others that will eventually join you.

More On How To Retain Agents? Start Here

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