By now, I’m guessing the dust is settling a bit for you around the issue of the SCOTUS decision. Sure, we have all known of the changes being brought about by HCR and the respective deadlines. Yet, I think for most of us, it has never felt completely real, that maybe it would go away. For many, that feeling may linger and may now hang on the November election. However, I would guess that for most, the SCOTUS decision has made the reality of HCR seem just that, much more real.
I have heard a whole range of responses to the decision. Responses ranging all the way from optimistically believing that it creates untold new opportunities for agencies/producers (a belief I happen to share) to a concession of an apocalyptic outcome. I have even heard agency owners proclaim that now is the time to just protect what they have, that they need to back off of their producers for fear that asking for aggressive new production is just too much pressure. To that position, I say, “It’s time to wake up and have a cup of reality!”
Sure, I get the challenges, but now is not the time to back down.
Now, above all others, is the time to get producers focused on new business, and focused on the right new business (i.e. business we believe will stick long term). If you feel the current situation threatens a portion of your revenue, then charge out there more aggressively than ever before and replace it before it’s gone – with the right kind of new revenue.
And, sure it is a scary time for producers, but also remember, its not just the producers who likely feel threatened; it is a whole agency of employees, most of whom are not in position to control their destination in the same ways as a producer.
As a leader of your agency, your responsibility is to protect the agency first and the individuals within it second. Businesses have to be growing regardless of circumstances, and our current circumstances as an industry demand growth more than ever.
Is there pressure that comes with being a producer and having the responsibility of creating revenue for your agency? Absolutely! But that is why the rewards are so great.
I understand the desire to remove pressure from your team, but any producer who isn’t growing his/her book of business is only going to feel the pressure build. You won’t be doing them any favors by backing off of the need for them to do their job. We need to be honest with ourselves and with our team about the challenges we face, but we also have to communicate a plan to survive and, yes, even take advantage of less capable competitors.
If you really want to remove the pressure from your team, then know that they will be more comforted by seeing their leaders stand up and choose “fight” over “flight”.
Photo by Ben Salter.