It’s Not About The Splits? Then Why Do Agents Ask?
Last time you bought an airline ticket what did you look for? Sure a nonstop would be nice but today it’s about “Peanuts” and “Price”. Why is this? It’s quite simple, when there’s no value all that can be offered to the consumer is price. Wouldn’t it be great if agents were satisfied with “Coffee” and a “Great Split”? Lack of value is the primary reason an agent flies out the door, with no value all they can ask for is money, that’s all that’s left in the relationship. Of course the coffee supply was fine.
Let’s do a couple things, first we will take a look at your recruiting interview and then we will move to your value delivery in the relationship. Surprisingly, you find the recruiting interview will come back into play in the end “the exit interview”. Wrapped around this is the safety valve that you can have in place in the form of standards and agreements.
Let’s start with your interview.
Many interviews take on the face of a sales presentation, not asking enough questions, exaggerating your company features and failing to articulate the benefits. Don’t sell in the interview.
- Have an agreement that money will not be discussed until both of you recognize there is value match that will create a long term working relationship.
- Find out what’s important to the agent. What are they looking for? “Seek to understand”. Restate their responses to the questions in your language.
Ask Questions, Don’t Sell!!
- Is there a value match? They will more likely listen and comprehend when you connect the benefits of your coaching/office to their needs and wants. Remember, to get agreement on those connections. The series of agreements will create the “value match”. By asking questions and restating their answers you can now measure.
- Focus on what you can deliver, not what you think the agent wants to hear. Communicate your company features and clearly illustrate the benefits the agent will experience. Be sure that you can and will deliver.
- Finally, don’t cave in on split. If you hire someone based on money they will eventually leave because of money. Last time I checked rarely is there enough money to keep a relationship together.
Now deliver value.
- Be “The Coach” for your agents. When agents have to pay a coach the your value begins to erode.
- Don’t be a problem solver, be an inspiring growth leader.
- Expand your capacity as a leader, knowledge of the industry and ability to deliver this back to your agents. I’m sure you encourage agents to invest in themselves through continued training, how are you investing in yourself?
- Pack them in at your sales meeting and have them coming back for more. This is it, once a week to communicate your vision and deliver value to the most critical audience. How good is your sales meeting? How is your attendance? Would you feel comfortable inviting a potential recruit to your meeting? Don’t plan your meeting 15 minutes before and expect a great result, plan it a week ahead of time and pack it with value. A great sales meeting will do wonders for recruiting and retention.
- Manage your office systems and lead your agents.
Here is the solution to “I want a higher split”. Interview by asking vs. selling, hire based on value vs. money and deliver as “The Coach” for your agents. Is that the cure all? No, but fill the gaps by doing your primary job of prospecting, interviewing and hiring agents. If you put these steps into action the next time someone else asks for a higher split you will operate from a position of strength vs. vulnerability. Agents don’t leave because they get offered a better deal, they leave because they are no longer getting what they expect from you.
*If an agent asks for a higher split, stand your ground and go back to the “mutual agreement” they signed when joining your office. It’s rather interesting, agents want you to keep your agreements but we find at times theirs are negotiable. Last time I checked, agents talk to each other and if you give one a “higher split” your agents will love you for the wrong reason. Standards have been broken down and you have given life to the commission split virus. The next agent in line has been granted permission to ask for a “higher split”. Now what are you going to do?