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This is the second article in a 4 part series where I will be presenting the results of an in-depth insurance industry research project. As a part of the research, I interviewed several of the industry’s top agency sales managers to find out everything I could about what makes a great sales person and how to effectively manage sales teams. This post focuses on recruiting and hiring.

By Jessica Stevenson, Account Executive – MySalesResults

 

Conclusion:  Sales people need to be sales people, but they also need to fit into your culture.

Where – Where are you finding your best sales people?

It seems agencies are finding the most success in hiring producers coming from:

 

Characteristics – What characteristics do your best sales people possess?

Being “social and outgoing, but also somewhat detailed” was common theme among all of the sales managers that we interviewed as to what makes a good sales person:

 

Interview Process – What is your interview & hiring process?

As the saying goes, “hire slow, fire fast”:


Testing – What type of testing programs do you use to determine traits, qualifications & unique abilities?

Personality & unique ability testing you can gain valuable insight into a person prior to adding them to your team:

Recruiting | Hiring - Summary

Our research indicates that top producers are outgoing and socially active, which should come as no surprise.  A competitive nature is inherent and many top producers are former athletes.  Outgoing and competitive are two important traits of a successful producer, but a level of attention to detail is necessary for producers to succeed as well. 

When looking for new talent, don’t be afraid to look outside the insurance industry.  Producers that come from niche industries can be valuable assets for your agency, especially when tapping into new markets.  

“Hire slow, fire fast” is a common phrase we heard from principals and sales managers when it comes to interviewing and hiring.  The more time spent up front during the interview process, the more likely the candidate will succeed at your agency. 

Personality and unique ability testing can increase the likelihood of a new producer fitting within your agency, especially when done during the interview process.  Tests are important, but making sure the producer fits into your agency culture is of utmost importance.

Stay tuned for part 3 of the series that will focus on training and mentoring.  Thank you again to all of the agencies that participated in this project.

Jessica Stevenson is an Account Executive for MySalesResults, a SMART IT Services company.  She has worked in the insurance industry with sales people and sales managers for over 11 years.