December 4, 2019

Sales Presentations Guarantee Successful Producer Hires

by Chris Winterboer

What producer hires does your agency regret? What you thought was a sure-fire success story ended in epic failure. Regardless if you take the blame or think the person was a total dud, you know one thing is certain: you do not want to make bad sales hires in the future. You want as close to a 100% guarantee as possible. 

Three Due Diligence Options

  1. Business Plans

Historically, one function of the pre-hire process has been requiring sales candidates to create a business plan. Often, these proposals turned out to be a one page ‘fluff’ piece that did enough to get a person hired, but were never seen as worthy of execution. For that reason, I can boldly say- BUSINESS PLANS ARE DEAD.

  1. Proformas

An updated concept of a business plan that I really like are proformas. Although they directly correlate to new hire success or failure, I don’t find agencies consistently using them as a part of their hiring process. Proformas make the final stage of interviewing producers intentional and collaborative.

For more specifics on how to implement proformas into your hiring process, check out The Five P’s of a Productive Proforma.

  1. Sales Presentation

This is my #1 favorite method for insurance agencies to guarantee a successful sales hire. You get a first-hand, bird’s eye view of how a candidate will react in front of a client. It requires less planning than a detailed proforma for you and the candidate.  

A) Role Play a Cold Call

Start with a prospect call. Have another producer or senior AM act as a CFO or HR Manager at a potential client. The candidate will initiate the call, introduce themselves, and try to secure a meeting or additional information. You can do it multiple times as well. Have your team member hang up once to see how the candidate reacts. Have a tough question pop up to see if they can think on their feet. This will give a very different feel and result from the candidate in this role play.

B) Present on a Passion Project

Pick any topic for a presentation. This is more open-ended, but can still be very telling. This will be more informal and could even include personal topics. This will shed some light on what the individual is passionate about, will show if they can prepare something solid ahead of time, and can be in front of any audience, including several people from your office. Have 8-10 people attend to see how the candidate interacts with the audience.

C) Pick Apart A Case Study

Provide a specific client or prospect case study. This is usually a little later in the overall interview process and does involve some work on your end. Provide a file ahead of time that outlines what the client’s business is, some key aspects of their insurance program, including key decision makers, and see how much the candidate can in turn create a plan on their end for an initial meeting. Set aside a good 45-60 minutes for this exercise so that it is as realistic as possible.

In closing, to guarantee a successful sales hire, you need to take due diligence up a notch. This can be accomplished in old school or new methodologies. Doing more rather than less ensures success for you and the candidate.


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