Stephen Covey calls it a ”Circle of Influence” found under Habit Number One (Be Proactive) in his book titled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The more you influence what you control, the bigger your Circle gets.
It begs the question, what do you control as an entrepreneur and insurance agent and what don’t you control? Focus on what you do control and stop banging your head against what you don’t!
What do you directly influence?
- Your income level- I imagine a world where agents know all commission splits perfectly for each carrier. Agents who know where overrides and profit share agreements are being offered and where you stand to those benchmarks. I imagine an agency channel that knows what incentive money is on the table and a channel that takes advantage of that. Reality is that most don’t. I know, I can’t believe it either. If I were commission based I would track every single commission split, override, profit share agreement, comm drop, comm increase and incentive offering. I would be asking over and over, “WHERE ARE WE ON THIS?” because AGENTS INFLUENCE THIER INCOME LEVEL DIRECTLY!
- Your quote volume and binding ratio- I imagine a world where independent agents (who close way more often than captive agents) say, “I can’t keep up, I will be at 5 million in less than 2 years!” Reality is most say, “Are others saying it is slow too?” You control the number of quotes you do a week. If you are unhappy with that number, I am sorry to say that is solely in your Influence.
- Where your agency is in its life cycle- Growing, maintaining, or shrinking. Tell me if this has happened to you or someone you know. Agency reaches one million fast, one man shop, and then stalls and never grows again. Who had control over the ability to take that to five million? The agent did. He could have: hired, invested in tech, golfed less, invested in quotes, gotten other contracts, other products…….. You directly control your agency’s life cycle!
- How you spend your time
- How you sell- On price or on coverages, consultation and advice or rate. On service or bottom line.
What is out of your control?
- Rate- That’s one reason why you became an independent, so you could attempt to control rate better and you can, but you still don’t.
- Client’s shopping habits- You can’t control what billions of advertising dictates. But you can adapt.
- Carrier decisions- If a carrier is losing billions, are they going to stop and ask the guy with $500K in WP what he thinks before the decision is made? (Are they and should they are two different questions.)
- Competitor movements- I can’t control it, neither can you. If StateRanch drops rates 100% it will affect everyone. But you don’t control that. Focus on what you do control.
What else do/don’t you have control over? Am I right or am I wrong? Tell me.
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