Michael McCormick isn't one to mince words. If you've been around the Soup brands for any amount of time, this probably isn't a surprise to you. So when it comes to his advice for a long-lasting, mentally, and emotionally healthy career in the insurance industry, he has a lot of great insights and he calls it like he sees it.
"Culture impacts production.
If you are in an Agency that is consistently toxic and negative you will not perform nearly as well as if you were in an Agency that is upbeat and positive. When you're weighed down by a bad environment your sales suffer. You are not as upbeat on the phone.
You are programmed to think you don't have a fair shot at the business because "our rates suck". You are less likely to try and cross sell because everyone is saying that no one buys anything.
You rarely smile and it can be heard in your voice.
You are shorter with your patience and temper.
We are lucky to happen to all be in an industry where a change of scenery is very easy to achieve as a producer. We are also lucky to own businesses where we can swap out a negative Nellie fairly quickly.
One of the biggest mistakes I made early on was hiring someone who had carrier experience because I was super nervous about my lack of understanding of technology, systems, etc., that was SUPER toxic. She at one point had the entire office against me and early on was telling people that she should be the Agent because she knew more than I did.
Honestly, at that point she did.
But she created an environment that I allowed where basically the other team members were at her beck and call and served almost like assistants to her despite being commissioned producers themselves. All because I was nervous to lose my "closer" who understood the systems.
One day one of my other producers shared with me how much shit this woman was talking on me whenever I wasn't around. Funny enough, she talked shit on all the producers to me privately all the time and had me fooled into believing she "had my back".
As soon as I canned her, within 60 days my two other producers absorbed her production and we were doing more policies and premium with less people and payroll and everyone was happier.
Your culture impacts your production.
Don't let it go south and never let a crazy run the asylum.
Leave if you are in an agency that is suffocating you."
There you have it. Simply stated, don't let someone come into your house, get into your head, and disrupt the delicate balance of people you've got working toward a common goal. Your business is too important for you to risk it by being afraid to speak up. And if you feel you're in an agency where your voice isn't heard. Where you won't be able to thrive, make your exit. There's an agency for every producer, you just have to make sure all of the pieces are the best fit for you or your agency.