14 Apr How to Get Stronger Buy-In from Resisting Agency Partners
Sometimes agency partners are your biggest advocates for growth, and sometimes they are the biggest resistors.
I had a call with a majority owner the other day who told me, “Man, it’s time to get on with this thing. We’ve got to change the way we hire new producers and do a better job of developing our existing people. They deserve it.
But, I’m going to talk to my two partners, one is a huge fan of yours, I’m sure we’ll get this done. I’ll be back to you in less than a week.”
Not surprisingly, he emailed me back a few days later.
“One of my partners doesn’t understand what’s wrong. He said, ‘why do we need to do this? Can’t we figure it out ourselves?’ (Even though they haven’t figured it out in the past 15 years that they’ve been partners.)”
It’s a tragic story. And, perhaps one you have to live with unless you want to sell out, get a “partner divorce,” or live with mediocrity.
There is one critical question to answer on how to get more authentic buy-in from resisting agency partners:
Is getting buy-in from the resisting partner possible?
If you believe the answer is “yes,”– Here’s a 3-Step approach that can help get the buy-in you need.
#1 – MONEY
Get out your big fat spreadsheet, crunch the numbers, and count the costs.
Compare the value of a 2% growth agency versus a 5-7% growth agency. It’s important you put it in real numbers.
Calculate how much money has been wasted, if any, on new producer hires that didn’t make it. Put it in relation to every partner’s retirement date. Remember, no one stays forever.
If you can’t make a clear financial case, you shouldn’t try to grow (right now.)
#2 – PSYCHOLOGY
Our mindset is who we are — and who we’ll become.
Fear is the biggest driver.
Fear of failure. Fear of looking stupid amongst our peers. And for many agency partners, fear of letting the family down.
The flip side of fear is aspiration or desire.
You might need to bring in a consultant or friend and do a little dreaming session together. Go through a quick review of “potential” wasted regrets. But also get a clear vision on who you want to become.
If your partner is anything other than a robot without feelings — you should start to get some engagement here.
#3 – PROCESS
The process is how the work will get done. And when done right, it gives your people “something to believe in” within the agency.
There is no guarantee that your partner will want to engage, think, feel and advance to the next level.
But after you do these 3 things, you will have given it your best shot.
And, when it’s over, if there is no movement, you get to decide.
Sell it, divorce it, or tolerate it?
Grow Big or Stay Home™
Randy Schwantz, CEO/Founder
The Wedge Group
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