SMART Action Plan for Insurance Agents
When you’re an independent insurance agent, you’re an entrepreneur. Working for yourself has a ton of benefits, but it can be easy to fall off the wagon if you’re not organized. Part of being organized is setting goals for yourself, and making plans for how you are going to achieve your goals. One of the best ways to achieve success in your business will be by holding yourself accountable to a SMART Action Plan for Insurance Agents.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
If you want to check out the Direct Insurance Podcast – otherwise known as DIP! where we talk about SMART Action Plans;
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How to Develop a SMART Action Plan for Insurance Agents
- What is a SMART Action Plan?
- Starting a SMART Action Plan for Insurance Agents!
- Developing a SMART Action Plan for Insurance Agents!
- Benefits of SMART Action Plans for Insurance Agents!
What is a SMART Action Plan?
A SMART Action Plan is a system used for goal-setting for personal or business purposes. They are used for providing oneself with clearly defined personal/business goals. Once the goals are defined, one can easily reverse-engineer a system of tasks that will help them achieve their goals.
What does SMART stand for?
SMART is an acronym that stands for
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time Based
No matter your goals – big or small – it’s important to have a clear roadmap to achieving them. Writing down your goals in a notebook, sticky notes on your desk, or having them on a vision board are great ways to remind yourself of your goals. SMART Action Plans for Insurance Agents are perfect for measuring success based on benchmarking which tasks worked, and which didn’t. Make SMART Action Plans part of your overall business strategy.
Starting a SMART Action Plan
Before you’re able to get where you want to be, you first have to consider where you currently are.
Step 1 – Benchmark You Current Production
In order to develop production goals you’d like to supersede, you must consider your current writing and production level. If this is your first year as an insurance agent, you’ve got nowhere to go but up. But if you’re a more seasoned agent looking to exponentially expand your book of business, it would be helpful to take at your last years’ production calendar. How many apps did you submit last year? How many did you submit each month? Each week?
Step 2 – SWOT Analysis
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a SWOT Analysis as;
A study undertaken by nan organization to identify its internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats.
S = Strengths (What sets you apart/what you’re good at)
W = Weaknesses (What keeps you from being the best)
O = Opportunities (What external factors stand in the way)
T = Threats (Potential harm to your business)
Developing a SMART Action Plan for Insurance Agents will involve benchmarking your production to give you a starting point in measuring growth. While a SWOT Analysis will outline any internal or external business limitations.
Step 3 – Develop a Long-Term Goal That’s Achievable Through Multiple Short-Term Goals
Long-term goals are typically 1+ years, typically measured in 1, 3, 5, or 10 year goals. Looking at 1 or more years’ worth of goals can be overwhelming. Make your goal planning less overwhelming by breaking down one long-term goal into multiple short-term goals. You can reverse-engineer one long=term goal of 1 year into monthly, weekly, and then daily goals. This will allow you to create a schedule for yourself that will make it easier to outline tasks necessary to achieve your goals.
Think Big. Start Small.
Long-term goal example: Increase production by 25% in 2023 compared to 2022’s production.
LY Production: 100 Apps
2023 Production Goals: 125 Apps
Quarterly Goal: ~32 Apps/Quarter
Monthly Goal: ~11 Apps/Month
Weekly Goal: ~3 Apps/Week
3 submitted applications per week is much less overwhelming than 125 applications per year. By breaking down your yearly goals into weekly goals, you can develop a business plan that will give you the tools you need to achieve them.
Developing a SMART Action Plan!
“Make more money!” is NOT a specific goal. “Increase production by 25% over last year’s production.” IS a specific goal. The more specific your goals are, the better. When developing a SMART Action Plan for insurance agents, your goal should reflect how you’re going to make more money, and how much money.
Outline exactly what this goal will look like; Who is involved? What will you do to achieve this goal? When will you achieve it? Where will the goal’s efforts take place? Why are you chasing this goal?
Making sure you’re able to measure your goals is an important part of any business strategy. If you want to measure your goals based on the yearly salary you want to achieve, that’s a great place to start. If your salary can be broken down based on the number of applications you submit each year, great. You then have a measurable timeline for your goals to ensure that you’re meeting your benchmarks on time.
Mindset is Everything!
When it comes to entrepreneurship, mindset is everything! Part of mindset is reminding yourself of your goals every day. Whether you use a vision board, sticky notes, fridge reminders, a whiteboard, or even lipstick on the mirror; use whatever gives you motivation to go out and achieve your goals. You have to remind yourself of your why every day. If you’ve ever read any book on entrepreneurship or mindset, you’ll know many authors talk about mindset and the Law of Attraction. You can make your dreams become a reality by visualizing any outcome, positive or negative.
Don’t believe us? Try this mantra every day;
“Money comes easily and frequently!”
…then let us know when those checks start rolling into your mailbox!
But more than anything, the most sure-fire way to make your goals come to fruition is to work hard, stay positive, and stay consistent.
It’s important to set big goals and raise the bar for yourself, but make sure you’re not setting yourself up for failure by setting the bar out of reach. Take into account what is feasible for you given your current arsenal of tools and resources. If you find you’re constantly reaching your goals, great! Then you can set stretch goals. But also remember that you’re human and sometimes life gets in the way.
Kids, spouses, family, friends, households and crazy schedules; the world doesn’t stop spinning just because you’re trying to run a business. Set goals that fit in with your lifestyle. Make your business work for your life, not the other way around. When you’re building your business, you ARE going to have to make sacrifices. But just remember you’re laying the groundwork today for a successful tomorrow.
Your action plan should help you develop necessary tasks that are relevant to your business goals and life. Relevance in developing a SMART Action Plan for insurance agents comes from committing the physical actions that will bring you success in your goals. You have to try new things in order to be successful, and trying new things can be uncomfortable. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and try it more than once. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Just because something worked for someone you know, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Going back to your SWOT Analysis, understanding what you’re good at and what you’re not will determine which tasks are relevant to achieving your business goals.
Every goal should have a deadline. Monthly goals are awesome because the calendar resets every month! Timed goals motivate you to work faster, harder, and stronger to accomplish your goals. It helps you develop a sense of urgency without things becoming too stressful & overwhelming.
Ask yourself these 3 Questions
“What can I do right now to help me reach my goal?”
“Where should I be at my goal in 2 weeks?”
“What can I do over the course of the next month to help me achieve my goal?”
Benefits of SMART Action Plans!
Having a clear picture of your goals and what it will take to achieve them; including the steps you’ll take to get there, will make you more motivated to achieve them. A SMART Action Plan helps you define the most important steps in your business strategy. It will help you stay more focused on your achievements by keeping you organized.
SMART Action Plans are of benefit to Insurance Agents because it gives you a framework for success. You’ll do this by learning new things, take yourself out of your comfort zone, and develop new skills while increasing your business and personal growth.
Are You an Independent Insurance Agent Looking to Generate Leads for AEP?!
Start NOW! AEP might not start until October 15th, but generating leads for AEP is a year-round process. CLICK HERE to view the vodcast of the Direct Insurance Podcast: Carrier Rep Q&A: 5 Habits of TOP Successful Agents. This episode features 3 Carrier Reps from hap, Priority Health, and McLaren Medicare. Our Carrier Rep partners have all been in your shoes, and gave our listeners some great advice on staying motivated and organized in your business – all of which are facets of the SMART Action Plan.