As the insurance industry continues to navigate economic headwinds in what are clearly challenging times, are you (or your agency) in motion or standing still? Recently, members of FirstChoice, a MarshBerry company, met at In Motion, the FirstChoice Annual Member Conference to learn about ways to accelerate growth and keep moving their agencies forward more effectively, even in this challenging market.
For three days in Atlanta, Georgia – over 280 insurance industry leaders and experts shared valuable insights through educational sessions, panel discussions, and workshops. The event included sneak peeks at the latest products, services, and technology, and featured impactful breakout sessions, an all-day trade show, as well as focused networking time and idea sharing.
Transformative discussions helped members uncover efficiencies and new methodologies for driving success in a changing environment. Here are just some of the highlights and key takeaways from this successful event.
Focus on what’s in your control
The biggest takeaway from In Motion was to recognize those things that are still within your control that you can do to help improve your business, despite a challenging insurance environment. Here are some of the key topics members learned more about:
- Continuous education: Attending a future FirstChoice meeting, networking with peers at a professional event, or investing in a dedicated training program helps you feel more in control. One option is the FirstChoice Agency Accelerator program. This two-year program helps agencies to significantly accelerate agency growth through education, strategic planning, and peer advisory work.
- Perpetuation planning: FirstChoice President, Keith Captain, spoke about preparing for the future leadership of your agency. Even if you’re not close to retirement, perpetuation planning takes time, sometimes years, and should be a priority. Start by determining the goals for your agency, assessing your willingness to make tough decisions, and participating in strategic planning with your FirstChoice team.
- Producer compensation modeling: Evaluating and updating your current producer compensation model can give your agency a competitive edge. FirstChoice members have access to MarshBerry tools such as Producer Stack Ranking and annual compensation studies, to help them better understand where their compensation models stand compared to industry averages.
- Talent attraction strategies: During “Beat Your Competition to the Best Talent” session, Diane Wagner, FirstChoice Vice President, Education & Strategic Planning, and Brooke Lugonjic Liu, Senior Vice President of Growth Advisory, spoke about taking your talent search to the next level and effectively measuring results. Attendees learned about tools, technology and motivational differences among generations and how to best leverage those tools to find top talent outside the insurance world.
- Incorporate data: Panel experts discussed how using data for financial benchmarking can lead to more informed strategic decisions. Tools like MarshBerry’s Financial Snapshot can help you gather, organize, and consolidate your agency’s data, leading to better decisions.
Condition yourself for change
Not only is the current environment challenging, but it is also changing – and some things may never return to “the way it was.” How can agencies embrace these changes to not only survive, but thrive?
It starts with a commitment to growth, even in the face of a hard market. You have the ability, as well as the support of an agency network, to develop strategies that fit your business and your market.
Emerging technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) will continue to impact our industry. Staying on top of these evolving programs will be critical. It’s important for agencies to start developing strategies NOW to take advantage of the uplift these new resources can bring to your agency now and in the future.
Lean on your network
Another important takeaway from this event was that it takes a village to be successful. Leaning on an agency network like FirstChoice can help insurance agency owners embrace challenging decision-making, develop a strategic plan, and most importantly, remain agile and prepared. This annual event offers solutions tailored to agencies of all sizes.
The variety of topics presented at In Motion demonstrates that insurance professionals have a lot to tackle. Events like these are built to help agency owners feel more knowledgeable and are just one of the reasons FirstChoice was named the Top Agency Partner by Insurance Journal. FirstChoice members left the meeting with a multitude of actionable items to streamline internal processes and grow their agencies. Why not join them?
If you are a FirstChoice member and missed this year’s In Motion conference, save the date for In Motion 2024 on October 15-17, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia.
If you are not a FirstChoice member and are interested in learning more about the nation’s number one agency partner, visit www.MarshBerry.com/FirstChoice.