Over the past 24 years, we have helped clients achieve their goals, fast-forward success, improve workplace dynamics, and enhance their clients’ experience. Here are some examples of client projects and results:
Talent assessment and strategic planning to support reorganization and restructuring. To improve top-line growth and bottom-line profits, we worked closely with the insurance company executive team to individually assess employee performance, competencies, and potential. As a result, we took down silos, created new roles, assigned individuals to positions better matched to their skills and abilities, and implemented career path opportunities.
Sales culture reset and implementation. During a 12-month contract period, we worked with a multi-location 150 million-dollar MGA to focus on client growth and organizational efficiencies. Our partnership included executive team planning, sales and service associate workshops, teleconferences and consulting. Results achieved include: increase in underwriter confidence, sales skills, visibility, and proactive agent contact; enhanced associate engagement; disciplined performance management; increased submissions on target business; and improved hit ratios.
Revitalized a 30-year, 50-person stable family business. Through an intensive 12-month culture-change process, the MGA executive team restructured teams, created and defined new roles and accountability, implemented KPIs, and revamped outdated workflows and processes. New talent, confidence, and energy have emerged. Client relationships are strengthened. Growth opportunities have surfaced.
Corporate culture change. Designed, developed, and executed the strategy to transition the company from a government agency to a mutual insurance company. Through consulting, workshops, and coaching with the entire company, we implemented professional best practices and taught underwriters selling skills. We worked with managers to build skills that developed people, streamlined processes, grew agency relationships.
Improved underwriter and agent relationships. Helped underwriters understand the agent’s world. In a series of workshops, underwriting staff learned how keep agents happy and still adhere to guidelines to maintain profitability. Personal connections, framing language positively, and picking up the phone instead of hiding behind e-mail eliminates prickly or contentious interactions.
Increased revenue and productivity. Developed the cultural and structural foundation for an independent agency to organically grow revenue from 2.5 million dollars to 11 million dollars in 15 years. Working closely with the owners, we implemented a dynamic sales process, proactive service-selling teams, and built effective management practices.
New manager development and training. Starting with a gap analysis, we identified development needs and recommended and implemented a strategy to fast-forward leadership and management skills. Competencies that improved included facilitating staff meetings and buy-in, one-on-one staff communication, setting performance expectations and evaluation, and furthering individual accountability. These efforts resulted in dramatically improved customer relationships and service.
Agency marketing plans and sales development in Personal Lines, Commercial Lines, Life, and Health. During a strategy planning session, we created a three word marketing slogan that reflected the agency culture. Using those words as our vision, we created operational practices, performance standards, and accountability measures. Producer and account manager sales and service workshops were held that improved morale, teamwork, sales and service competencies.
Improved policyholder claim service satisfaction. Working with an insurance company’s claims staff, we developed an improved process of client communication and set best practices of claims service to minimize future losses and help agents strengthen client relationships.
Insurance company agent satisfaction assessment. Agent input and analysis resulted in identifying growth opportunities, focused allocation of resources, improved marketing and communication with agents, and realigning underwriting department responsibilities to better serve agents and write more business. Evaluation methodology included phone conversations and face-to-face visits.
Underwriter sales training. Provided the underwriting staff comprehensive sales training to understand, strengthen, and build agency partnerships, protect profitability while writing more business, and work more effectively with internal marketing and agency development staff.
Service-selling training for front-line agents. Selling Strategies resources increased client retention, new business writings, and employee engagement and performance. We accomplished this by utilizing our own service-selling learning materials (Selling from the Inside, Service Selling Supercharge, Managing People, Be a Better Boss), on-site service-selling workshops and individual coaching with continued remote coaching for managers.
Emily Huling is founder and president of Selling Strategies, Inc. in Terrell, NC. Founded in 1994, Selling Strategies is a consulting, training, and speaking firm that specializes in the insurance industry to create top-performing sales, customer service, and leadership organizations.
Emily’s background in the insurance industry includes underwriting, marketing, and consulting activities for Aetna Life and Casualty and The Hartford. She was also sales manager at a large multi-location independent agency.
Her articles are published regularly in insurance publications countrywide. She’s on the national faculty for the Society of CIC and is a member of WSIA. Her clients include companies, wholesalers, and dozens of independent agents and associations across the country.
Emily is a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and the author of more than a dozen books and audio programs including Selling in a Hard Market, Great Service Sells, Service Selling Supercharge, Kick Your “But” and Selling from the Inside.