As I write this the NBA is in the midst of the first round of playoffs so you’ll have to excuse me if I write about a critical component of your insurance agency’s operation and use basketball metaphors!

Where I live we are Oklahoma City Thunder fans.  And the Thunders is blessed with two of the best offensive players in the league.  In basketball, as in the insurance agency business, offense is critically important to success.  Without a great offense – marketing, sales, referral sources, etc. – how can an agency prosper?  It can’t.

That’s why sales people, often called “producers”, are critical to the success of any agency.  No wonder agency owners spend much of their time looking for, recruiting, training and mentoring producers.  We have to have a great offense!

However, a recent article about the Thunder reminded me how important defense is. The article was about Serge Ibaka, a great defensive player, and about how critical he was to the team’s success.  He is critically important because he guards the rim.  He prevents the other team from scoring.   Without his defense the Thunder would not be a championship contender.

This is also true in your insurance agency.  Yes, you must have a great selling (scoring) team.  But you must also play great defense to succeed.  You have to keep the customers you already have!  You have to keep the other teams from picking them off or you can’t grow.  You need someone who guards the rim.

Usually, these defenders are Customer Service People.  Of course your producers help with defense but you need defensive specialists like Serge Ibaka.  The article I read noted that he is paid $12.25 million a year.  “He comes cheap” the article said.  But no one would think he is not well paid.   He “comes cheap” because he delivers far more value than he costs.  And he is critically important just like your defensive players.  They produce tremendous value.  But are they well paid?

Who’s guarding your rim?  Do you recognize their value?  Do you reward them appropriately?

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