Ten Questions You Must Ask

As mentioned last month, we’ve modified our approach regarding the Sales Coach Newsletter this year.  Quite frankly, after 19 years of monthly publications, we’re running out of topics!!

So, we’ve asked some friends of ours in the sales business if they would be contributors to our monthly offering.  But first – a couple of (we hope) useful Redmondisms that tie in nicely with this month’s article:

Q: When is the best time to contact a prospect?

A: When you’re conscious.

Q: How often should you contact a prospect?

A: Until they surrender!


Now to our contributor this month – Jim Caragher.

Jim runs CIB Group Services (www.cibgroupservices.com), a company 100% dedicated to helping agents recruit and develop the next generation of producers – from outside the insurance industry.

Agency owners and sales managers need to be ruthless when assessing new producer readiness.


10 Questions You Must Ask Before Your Agency Hires a New Producer  

  • Can we afford to invest in a successful new producer and can we afford to absorb the cost of a new producer failure?  

Your agency needs at least $2 Million revenue.

  • Is our agency an attractive place to work and does our agency’s social media reputation reflect this?

Refresh your agency’s website and LinkedIn and Facebook company pages. Check your agency’s reputation on websites like Glassdoor (www.glassdoor.com).


  • Are we growing and do we have a clear sales and marketing plan?

Ideally, your agency has industry niche expertise, great carrier partners and unique services that enable a new producer to become successful quickly.


  • Does our agency have a track record of investing in and developing new producers?

If your agency has a spotty history here, you need a real plan and commitment for supporting a new producer.


  • Are we enthusiastic about bringing on a new producer and do we view and treat a new producer as a valuable investment in the firm’s future?

A new producer should be welcomed and supported by the owners, producers, marketers and CSRs.


  • Do we have a sales manager and experienced producers available as mentors?

Active, day-to-day sales management, activity tracking, guidance and coaching on course corrections and even experienced producer mentors are must-haves.


  • Do we have demanding, but realistic first year expectations for a new producer’s prospecting and sales results?

The first year is mainly about pipeline-building.  A good thumb rule for sales:  a new producer covers their salary in total agency commissions.


  • Are we willing to commit to a reasonable starting compensation plan to attract and retain a new producer?

Budget $35K to $70K compensation, mostly guaranteed salary.

  • Do we have a realistic plan and time line to validate a new producer?

A new producer is a “long play” investment.  Build a 3 year bridge to validation.

  • Are we prepared to effectively recruit a new producer?

Your agency needs to be effective at finding and attracting top sales talent; balance hiring thoroughness with a sense of urgency.


Answering these questions honestly will help your agency determine new producer readiness and even predict producer success.


Why not check in with Jim about your producer recruiting and new hire goals?

Readers may contact Jim at (973) 300-2478 or by email at jimc@thecibgroup.com.

Best wishes,


Sales Coach Newsletter is a product of Redmond Group, Inc.  We are specialists in the systematic process of developing and retaining new business.  We design sales and retention process maps and unique measurement tools to track progress to meet business objectives.  We conduct Advanced Sales in-house workshops, webinars supported by individual and sales team coaching.
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