23
Jun

Hiring to Explode Your Revenues – Part 2

Welcome to part II of Hiring to Explode Your Revenues by Mike Stromsoe.  We hope this helps take your company to the next level.  Enjoy!

How much do you want to be involved in the hiring process?  Are you really interested in interviewing 32 people to get the right one, whether it is you or someone on your staff?  If you answered no, I agree with you.  Here’s what our process looks like in a nutshell:

  • The ad is placed.
  • Prospect calls our hot-line telephone number and listens to a 3-4 minute recorded message describing the position we are hiring for.  I personally record this message once.  For this, we use AutomaticResponse.com, but there are many options on the market today.  At the end of the recorded message, prospect is given an email address to send an email to.
  • When they send this email (if they can follow directions, here’s where the autopilot testing begins), an auto responder automatically sends them a detailed email with more specifics about the job along with more directions on how they can get to the first interview.  Yes I said first.  The auto responder email is very candid about their responsibilities, the team organization, compensation, benefits, and more.
  • At the end of the email is the email address where they are to send their resume.  Those directions contain a specific request.  Here is where most fall short:  I ask them to email me their resume and put two things in the SUBJECT LINE – 1) their full name 2) the word "winner".  I am continually amazed that people cannot follow these simple directions, what will they do when they actually work on your team for your clients?  Also, I am looking for certain mindset, hence "winner".  This step really weeds people out.  The best part? I have invested less than 15 minutes at this point.
  • Once the resumes start coming in, time must be invested in reviewing them and beginning to set intitial interviews.
  • For those we want to pursue, we conduct a 10 minute initial face-to-face interview at our office.  The initial interview is six questions.  I am looking for a few things: make sure they are punctual; I want to check their appearance to make sure they fit; I want to look them in the eye.  At the end of the interview, I always know if they are destined for more scrutiny.
  • If the candidate is ready for the next step, we have them perform two different aptitude tests.  We use Kolbe and Selecting Winners.  There are many similar companies on the market, such as Omnia.  Make sure the company you use matches your industry and has a proven track record.  A very important, critical part of the process – have the person take the test AT your office.  I once hired someone and realized in the first two weeks that the person I hired did not appear to have the characteristics of the person in the aptitude test results… from that day, all tests are performed at the office.
  • When the candidate matches your need via all of the above steps, it’s time for the last interview.  This interview is about one hour, involves some 30 questions on all subjects and is conducted by two qualified people, one male and one female owner or manager.  Why?  The different genders just pick up different information the other might not.  All I can tell you it helps and it works.
  • Only after the second interview is an offer of employment and potential compensation made.

I know it seems like a lot of work, but the only time success comes before work is in the dictionary. 

Next time you are out in society, pay close attention to the people working at various employers.  Contemplate what you see and compare it to the kind of people representing your company on a daily basis.

I hope this helps you.  Make a difference and be unstoppable!  If you want to know more about our complete process, please shoot me an email at 411mike.org or comment to this article.  Thanks Mike! – villageChief

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15
Jun

Hire to Explode Your Revenues – Part 1

If you want to remodel your master bath, I’m sure there is a go-to person you have in mind.  That person has experience, loads of ideas, and can help you navigate the pitfalls of a particular project.  Within your agency, Marketing is an ongoing project.  And when the subject of marketing crosses my mind, Mike Stromsoe is at the top of the list.  I had the unique pleasure of meeting Mike in San Antonio at the annual IIAT show.  We pitched ideas back and forth about how to appeal to new clients while at the same time taking care of those clients that keep the lights on.  I’ve invited Mike to chat with us about the subject of Hiring.  Enjoy!

Hire slow and fire fast because if you hire the wrong person, your entire organization can quickly become infected and it will cost you truckloads of money.

When it comes to hiring, how many steps are in your hiring process?  Within these steps, how much involvement of your personal time does it take to exectue each of tese steps?  Who is involved in the process?  Let’s dig in.

Most winning entrepreneurs know that the people on their gifted team are the absolute key and the core to the success of any organization.  That’s why it’s critically important that each team member is pre-evaluated before they are allowed to work within any thriving organizational team.  Over the years and through much painful experience, we’ve created a hiring process that weeds out any prospects that do not bring forward the absolute best for our exceptional team.  It starts with a story, a quick, one-page story about the kind of person we’re looking for and it details the characteristics of that person that will fit the need of our team.  Below is an example of one of those stories, this is an ad I actually used when I had to replace my assistant:

WANTED!

The Very Best Executive Assistant

The President of Mega Insurance Agency, Mike Stromsoe is seeking a replacement for his executive assistant Susie Smith.  Susie has decided to become an entrepreneur with her husband Jim.  She will be greatly missed and difficult to replace but the show must go on.  Here are some of the characteristics these people possess:  Highly motivated, enthusiastic, very high energy, well-organized, solid administrative skills, technology oriented and computer literate with a do-it-now type attitude.  By the way, all of these are a must.  If you would like to hear a three to four minute overview of this position and what all it entails please dial our 24/7 Toll free information hotline at 1.888.xxx.xxxx ext. xxx.  Only those seriously committed to being a dedicated member of a fast-paced, team oriented, forward thinking culture need apply.

Solid Pay and Possible Benefits 

To Apply confidentially, call 1.888.xxx.xxxx ext. xxx right now.  If you qualify, this will be the best job you have ever had – our team guarantees it!

* All applications WILL remain strictly confidential

So where do you place the ad?  Currently, I immediately distribute the ad to two sources: 1) my own email list, every person.  You never know who knows who.  2)  Craigslist.  I have simply had good luck with Craigslist over the years, but you can place this ad virtually anywhere.

In the past versions of the above ad, I provided my name, address, phone, email address.  Today, I will normally only provide our toll-free hotline number and that’s it.  The amount of contact information provided by you dictates the response but reduces the quality of the candidates.  Stay tuned, I’ll explain why.

Return next Monday for Part2 – Article compliments of Mike Stromsoe, The Unstoppable Profit Producer, Creator of the Stromsoe Profit Producer System.

Here’s what other Agents say about UPP and the effect on their lives:

"You completely changed the direction of my business.  You are an inspiration with timely, real information.  You provide the tools and actually show us how to implement, execute and take action so money instantly fell to the bottom line, just like you promised.  No airy fairy, totally results driven."   – Kathleen McConnell, Roseville, CA

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12
May

2009 – A Market Change for Property Insurance

The days of expected low property and casualty rates for insureds is likely to come to an end.  As an agent, you’re on the front lines and this daily reminder is vivid yet the reasons are many.

Pick any news outlet and just hit the headlines to list your culprits for likely rising premiums this year.  The crashing housing market dove-tailed with the sub-prime lending which ushered over-rated collateralized-backed securities into almost every bank’s balance sheet is a big one.  How about Hurricane Ike?  We do know that re-insurers were hit hard by this storm.  Or just plain old disappointing ROI for insurance companies.  By the end of the third quarter last year, the best data available, investment gains totaled less than 50% than in 2007 according to the New York based Insurance Information Institute (III).  The only asset class to weather this last market free-fall is cash.  Yes, even money market accounts saw record redemptions.

But these headlines don’t tell the entire story.  Even with premiums possibly climbing this year, premium revenue is just not there.  Contributing factors to this are falling gross receipts, lay-offs, and businesses just closing their doors.  So what does this mean? It means we are entering a new cycle of premium adjustments.  Insurance Information Institute states, when premiums fall below average as they’ve been for the past few years, insurer’s profits decrease precipitously or disappear altogether, thus they can’t underwrite new business.  When the supply of insurance drops, underwriting appetites narrow and premiums accelerate.

Insureds know there are numerous factors affecting their premiums.  So educate your them on all of the dynamics that are affecting their yearly premiums.  Layout the possible landscape for the coming year and let them know you’ll offer them the best package you can put together.  Premiums may rise but from this is the opportunity of a lifetime to make clients for life!

I want to thank the Dallas Business Journal for information relating to this article.  Peace.  -villageChief

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05
May

Business Continuation – Planning for Success, Part II


01
May

Business Continuation – Planning for Success, Part I


13
Apr

3 Commercial Insurance Must Do’s


17
Mar

Your Agency’s Website – Part 2


11
Mar

Your Agency’s Website- Part 1


24
Feb

3 Quick Ways to Reach Critical Mass


10
Feb

Four Ways to Win at Trade Shows