In our last post, we focused on committing to upgrade your agency management system and choosing the best system for your agency. We now look at what to do once you’ve found “the one” and have pen in hand to sign. While you need to literally cross your t’s and dot your i’s, you should be doing so metaphorically , too. By the time your sign your new contract, you should have answers to questions like:
- When is the contract up for renewal? What happens if you need to terminate the agreement early?
- How is your payment plan constructed? Will you pay monthly? Quarterly? Annually?
- What capabilities are included? Can you add or remove capabilities later? If so, is there a fee associated?
These are just a few of the important questions to be reviewed before your final signature. Another important aspect is laying out new system training. Your provider should offer training for your independent insurance agency staff, and may even offer client tutorials. Find out details such as:
- Training cost: one time fee vs pay per training
- Training packaging: online, in person or both
- Training frequency: one time training vs monthly or annual trainings
- Other training resources: webinars, online tutorials, personal training rep, etc.
When your lingering questions are answered, it’s time to make the commitment to buy. It can be quite satisfying to put down the final signature! Once you do, it’s time to begin the process of getting your agency ready for a new system. As you start this transition, keep in mind these three elements to make it successful:
1. FORESIGHT – Anticipate your needs and make a plan, but be flexible, knowing you will need to change and update your plan as the transition unfolds.
2. COMMUNICATION – Keep the lines open with your provider (new and old), among your staff and with your clients so everyone knows what’s coming next. This eases anxiety and creates much needed trust.
3. PATIENCE – Malcolm Gladwell, former Washington Post journalist, famously wrote it takes 10,000 hours to learn a new skill. Know that it will take time for you, your staff and your clients to adjust to a new system, and foster an atmosphere emphasizing comprehension and comfortability over speed.
By focusing on the needs of your staff and clients, you can experience a successful transition. Personal contact with your provider is essential in supporting you during this change, and we at SIS value that connection. Reach out to us anytime at [email protected] or 800.747.9273 to talk transition, ask questions or share your concerns. We are here for you!