I’m good at doing a lot of things, but singing is not one of them. So I’ll spare you the agony and not post an audio file of me trying to do a better job than Mariah. That said, I think there’s merit in following Santa’s lead, especially when it comes to Real Time and Download. How so?
First, make a list of the carriers your agency uses, and then check it (twice?) against the list of carriers that offer Real Time. Carriers that let us know they offer Real Time are listed on the website here.
Second, check your agency management system vendor’s website for a list of carriers that offer interface through the system you use. The vendor’s list may even provide information on what real-time functionality carriers offer by line of business and by state.
Third, make a list of all of your employees who handle inquiries, quoting, endorsements and policy service. Let them know what carriers offer Real Time functionality, and get them all using Real Time as much as possible.
Fourth, make a list of ideas you can use to support these employees as they work to use Real Time more often in their daily work. Talk to other agents, check out the 21-Day Agency Challenge (by the way, you don’t need to take the challenge; just look around for ideas), look at the Helpful Resources section of the Agency page on this site, or ask folks in your agency management system users group or your trade association.
Fifth, make a list of tools and tactics you’ll use to track employee activity and results. Your agency management system probably has some tools built in. Check with your vendor or users group to learn more. And, of course, you’re a manager, so you know how to lead. As the folks at Nike say, “Just Do It!”
Sixth, look at the list of carriers you made in the first step and see who which don’t offer offer (all of the) Real Time (you’d like.) This would be your “naughty” list! Contact them. Tell them how important streamlined interface is, and point them to resources that can help them get up to speed.
Finally, make a list of what you will do with the time your agency employees save by using Real Time. A good place to come up with ideas is the Real Time Makes Real $$$$$ guide, which shows how your agency can sell more by refocusing service staff a bit. Consider whether sales training might be important, and check with your agency management system users group, your trade association or industry education providers for possible opportunities.