Guest Post By: Kitty Barrow
“It’s hard to see the picture when you are in the frame” is never more true than when it comes to time management.
(The following is an example in the insurance industry. The lesson applies in all industries.)
Several of my insurance clients reported to me that they suffer from a BIG time waster. They have clients who call or come by the office complaining about their rate increase. One client reported that it can be as small as a $5 increase yet they will consume hours of time.
What’s the BIGGEST PROBLEM? This seems SO NORMAL to them that they don’t even realize that it’s an issue!
When dealing with things that ruin the schedule, I teach my clients to ask “What would Smokey the Bear do?” What does this mean? Allow me to explain.
Smokey does not run around the forest chasing fires to put them out one at a time! NO! Smokey steps back and observes what is CAUSING the forest fires and leads a campaign to STOP that!
Let’s think like Smokey in business. Stop running around putting out single fires. Become like Smokey and handle the REAL issue.
The clients reacted to the SHOCK of having their rates increase. A proactive solution is simply letting the clients know ahead of time of the rate increase.
My first ‘Smokey’ client this year reported that he and his staff spent 10 – 20 hours every month speaking with clients about rate increases. After analysis, we decided that it would take 1 to 2 hours to call everyone who was having a rate increase BEFORE they received their notice in the mail. They found that when you let people know you are looking out for them they SAVED themselves 8 to 18 HOURS per month in LOST TIME! BONUS, they were also able to pivot this call into more products to better protect their clients!
Eight to 18 hours SAVED by merely being proactive in their approach!
What is stealing your time during the month?
What is getting you off schedule?
Step outside the box and think like ‘Smokey’. What is causing this problem? Hint, most things that get us off schedule come from lack of preparation of your staff or clients. For example:
- Rates might increase
- They might need to work longer than expected
- You might need to spend more time explaining exactly how a task should be done or the expected outcome
- You might be answering your team’s questions instead of teaching them how to think for themselves
- After a couple of months with your product, this might happen….etc.
Please comment below about the issue that is stealing your time and give us your ‘Smokey’ solution.
Kitty Barrow is a Senior Partner and Executive Sales and Leadership Coach of Southwestern Consulting. She specializes in creating successful systems that are easily duplicated. Her motto is “Keep Things Simple for Stress-less Selling.” Kitty has trained thousands of sales professionals in companies such as Wells Fargo, MassMutual, New York Life, Xerox Global and Allstate