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Motivating the 'Tough Case' Agent: How to Figure out What's Wrong

Aug 5, 2014

Posted by

Carla Cross

About Carla Cross, CRB, MA                           Read more

Do you know why your agent is de-motivated? We may guess, but we don't really know. So, before we can implement the 'cure, we must figure out how our agents are feeling - what’s wrong. So, our first step is

1. Identify the strengths and challenges of the seasoned agent

Are you familiar with the Career Life Cycle? It comes from the marketing world--the marketing life cycle. The truism says that people go through a career life cycle just like products go through their life cycle (think hula hoop). The Career Life Cycle is a wonderful concept for analyzing your recruiting, training, coaching, and retention.

What happens with the 'mature' agent. We’re going to focus here on motivating the mature agent. We all have them in our offices. They are fonts of knowledge, and, at times in their career, have done very well. They have pride in their years in the business and in their knowledge. But, look at what happens as the mature agent proceeds through their career. The career starts downward toward decline. (And a tough market quickens that slide to decline).  As the agent drifts downward, experiencing less and less success, the agent may be feeling that he

  • Has been there, done that
  • Has expended too much effort for too little reward
  • Is bored
  • Is useless, being left behind

Worse yet, the seasoned agent’s pride doesn’t allow her to admit these feelings. Instead, often she will hide behind a wall of pride or “I know all that”. Or “I tried that once. It didn’t work for me”.

How many 'mature' agents do you have in your office? How many are actually in decline? (In decline, you can't bring them back!).

Before the ‘Cure’: Provide a Safe Environment

None of us will admit any of the feelings above unless we are feeling safe. So, have a frank, caring conversation with your seasoned agent about how she is feeling about her business. Unless we can admit where we are, we aren’t able to open up to the possibilities of change. For questions for this conversation, see my coaching companion for the seasoned agent, The Manager's Coaching Companion to the On Track to Success System for the Experienced Agent.