What can we learn from Zorro, the masked hero who roamed villages fighting for those who could not fight for themselves in this New Year? He was fearless, determined, and disciplined—all things that we could work on. But, let's focus on a lesser known chapter of Zorro's life.
Zorro wasn't always the masked hero that we know him as. As legend has it, he was once a young and passionate man whose ambitions far exceeded his patience or skillset. His desire was to fight villains and right the injustices of the world; but attempting to take on such a task at his young age and minimal skillset was more than he could handle. His failure left him in great despair. That was until he met Don Diego, an elder sword master who took him under his wing. Don Diego drew a circle in the dirt for Zorro and told him to fight only within the circle. Zorro was told to make this circle his world and to master it. Once that circle was mastered, Don Diego slowly let Zorro take on greater and greater feats. In other words, Zorro became the legendary masked hero that we know him as today by taking small steps and accomplishing small goals.
Not only can we use this metaphor to help us accomplish personal goals, but it can also be a very powerful way to think about accomplishing business goals in 2015. Think about some of the goals you have for your agency in the new year. Are some of them overwhelming? If so, break them down into smaller goals. By accomplishing one smaller goal, you will feel more confident taking on another goal until eventually you've accomplished the large, daunting goal that you originally set.
If you haven't set any 2015 business goals yet for your agency, here are some ideas to help spark your imagination. Think about smaller goals (Zorro Circles) that you can set and divvy up amongst your team in order to accomplish each larger goal:
- Organize your book-of-business. This could be a huge task depending on the size of your book, but there's no better time than the present to get started on this one. Organized book-of-business = more referrals?
- Create a better follow-up process. Whether it's automated workflows in a CRM or manually setting up reminders in your calendar, make 2015 the year that you have a process that works for you. Clients will notice timely follow-ups.
- Set up a consistent referral process. Just like with follow-ups, asking for referrals should be a standard procedure that you consistently follow. Do you have an effective referral strategy in place? Start small and build from there.
- Be a more consistent marketer. You know you need to be consistent with your marketing (especially inbound marketing), but time is always the issue. Let 2015 be the year that you make marketing a priority—the results will be your reward. Focus on one aspect of marketing at a time, such as email marketing.
- Improve your lead management process. If you're going to improve your marketing, are you ready for the increase in leads? Again, automate where you can and build from there.
- Use technology to automate more tasks. 2015 is the year you will become the master of technology and allow it to make your life easier! Automate & streamline all of those time-wasting tasks this year. Tackle one or two, and go from there. Start here.
- Analyze and use metrics to make more decisions. High growth insurance agencies understand and utilize metrics in all of their decisions. Make 2015 the year of metrics for your agency. Master a few key metrics this year and see the power you gain from them.
- Tame your email inbox. Email is one of the biggest productivity drains today. Tame your inbox in 2015 and reap the productivity rewards!
- Focus on your best lead sources. Where are your best leads coming from? This small metric will help you decide where to best spend marketing dollars. Focus on these sources in 2015.
- Set up a strategic cross-sell campaign. It's about 50% easier to sell to existing customers than it is to new ones. Sounds like a good reason to focus on cross-selling in 2015! Learn the why and how right here.
- Get paid on missed carrier commissions. We've heard the horror stories of agencies failing to have a way to track carrier commissions and knowing that they are missing out on commissions. Take control of your commissions and get paid everything you deserve in 2015.
- Improve your bottom line. Reduce costs and get more organized in order to improve your bottom line. Again, use the Zorro Circle metaphor and start with a small goal...like tracking contacts properly.
- Improve your customer support. There's no better way to build a business and create clients for life than to offer top-notch customer support. Happy customers lead to referrals. Simple as that. Improved customer support starts with organization and communication.
- Get rid of your filing cabinets and move to the cloud. If disaster (natural or virtual) strikes your office, are you going to be prepared and backed up in the cloud? This is an easy move to make in 2015 that is beneficial for years to come.
- Start tracking your entire sales process. The power of seeing your sales process from start to finish is priceless. The insights are what should drive your sales process.
- Improve your social media presence. Social media doesn't have to be hard, but it does take some time. Set some goals for your social media presence in 2015, and follow through with them. It's not just a fad! Still not sure? Read this for some more encouragement.
- Utilize the benefits of a virtual insurance agency. One of the biggest movements that's happening in the workplace is the workplace itself. Embrace the benefits of a virtual insurance agency and you will be rewarded.
- Better utilize technology to improve your productivity. Are you properly utilizing all of the cool tools, gadgets, and gizmos that are available to you?
- Move away from outbound marketing tactics. More and more of your customers are ignoring outbound marketing (print ads, billboards, Yellow Pages, etc.). Become the master of inbound marketing this year!
- Schedule less meetings. Work doesn't happen at work because of interruptions. Specifically, meetings. "If you have a meeting coming up and you have the power to do so, just cancel it."
- Be prepared for an E&O dispute. Being organized and prepared for an E&O dispute can be the difference between a small case and a big disaster. Don't let this year be the year that an E&O disaster strikes. Here are 4 ways to get prepared.
- Be found on Google. Take time this year to focus on your online presence. Whether you're selling yourself or your agency's offerings, update your website and tidy up your social profiles.
- Respond to negative reviews online properly. Once you're found online, be prepared to respond to negative reviews that might come up. It's never fun seeing a negative review, but if you're ready to respond properly then you shouldn't stress about it.
- Create strategic relationships and maintain existing ones. Referral business is vital to your business, so spend some time this year properly tracking and maintaining strategic relationships.
- Build a better culture at your agency. The right culture breads success, so be sure that you're setting the right tone this year. Check out some tidbits from our culture.
- Streamline commissions processing. Manually calculating commissions is a task that should not be done in 2015 unless you're only dealing with a very small number of splits. We've seen individuals save themselves 80 hours of time by streamlining the process.
Image courtesy of Geek Nation.
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If you haven't set any 2015 business goals yet for your agency, here are some ideas to help spark your imagination. Think about smaller goals that you can set and divvy up amongst your team in order to accomplish each larger goal.
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