Higginbotham Insurance Group

Grew Revenues From $4 Million To $30 Million

Higginbotham is a $140 million regional insurance brokerage and financial services firm headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, since 1948.


The firm provides a single source solution for commercial and personal insurance, employee benefits and risk management through more than 20 offices across the state.


Higginbotham primarily serves mid-market companies, spanning all industries. Yet, it has practice groups that specialize in a number of sectors, including energy, construction, transportation, non-profit and public entity, among others.


The firm is led by President/CEO Rusty Reid, who is chairman of a seven-person board of directors, with 60 additional managing directors. It is a private company with employee ownership accounting for more than half.

Higginbotham consistently outpaces the growth of its insurance industry peers, but its leaders wanted to bolster and accelerate the firm’s growth to perpetuate its single source solution. Like many insurance firms, an area they sought guidance with was locating, hiring, training and retaining top-notch producers.

Higginbotham engaged Randy in 1994 to help find, hire, train and retain talented producers, who would help the firm grow over the long-haul.

From 1995 to 2005, the firm hired 34 producers and retained 29 of them. Higginbotham located the candidates using Randy’s unconventional, but proven methods, and Randy vetted and hired them.

 

Higginbotham’s revenue grew from $4 million to $30 million during that decade, and those 29 producers grew their personal books of business to a combined $17.5 million.

 

Today in 2015, Higginbotham’s annual revenue exceeds $140 million. It has 155 producers, serving more than 10,000 commercial clients, in addition to thousands more individual clients.

 

The firm’s organic growth averaged in the double digits over a 20-year period.

 

“In 1994 when we first started working with Randy, Higginbotham stood at $4 million revenue. It was a milestone year the first time that we reached $1 million in new business. But then it climbed to $6 million annually in only five years.

Now in 2015, we’re at $13 million in new business and $140 million total, and we’re not slowing down. Our organic growth averages in the double digits over a 20-year period. It’s a remarkable journey, and it’s got Randy’s footprints all over it.

Anyone who leads an agency and who’s determined to grow should seriously consider Randy’s iWin Agency Growth System. The proof is in the numbers.”

Rusty Reid, President/CEO, Higginbotham, Fort Worth, TX

Gencorp Insurance Group

Grew Agency Value From $8 Million To $20 Million In Less Than Four Years

Gencorp is a regional insurance brokerage firm, located in East Greenwich, RI. They provide property and casualty, construction surety credit and employee benefit solutions.

 

Gencorp serves clients in the real estate, construction, human services and professional service industries. Their roots date back to 1946, and they are well-respected for their honesty, technical expertise, creativity and community support.

Historically, the agency struggled to develop new producers and organic growth, even though they showed a lot of potential.

 

The agency delivered excellent services – even those that would be seen as ‘elite.’ And, while they quoted often, their hit ratio and new business growth was minimal.

 

Essentially, they were unable to differentiate themselves from their competitors and knew they needed a system to beat the incumbent, but had hit a brick wall.

 

They had trained with the Sandler sales training system for three years, but were looking for something focused on the insurance agency business that would hold producers and the agency accountable for the expected results.

When Gencorp weighed their options, they determined they had to write more new business for the types of accounts that were profitable for the agency. Waiting for the right accounts to come to them wasn’t working, so a cultural change at the agency was necessary.

Gencorp contacted Randy in November of 2011 and, after a few conversations, they decided to join the iWin Team and take advantage of the iWin Agency Growth System.

 

One of Randy’s colleagues, Cynthia Moench, did on-site initial training. After that, the two principals, Rick and Joe Padula, traveled to Dallas to train on sales coaching and how to run CRISP sales meetings.

By 2015, their agency value had increased 2.5 times. They grew from $8 million agency value to over $20 million in less than 4 years.

 

Because of the agency owners’ 100% commitment to sales training and discipline, they had to reorganize their service department to handle all of their new clients. Their producers are now serving much larger accounts, with much higher closing ratios and many more BORs.

 

The company estimates their ROI has probably been over 1000%.

“The stuff works. Nothing good comes easy, but having a system, a plan and a process has helped us set and reach our goals in record time.

A commitment to sales training and discipline has created real value for us as agency owners. We’ve grown the value of our agency from $8,000,000 to over $20,000,000 in less than four year. That’s not BS.

I have the agency valuations right here in my desk drawer. The sales training and accountability systems have been a HUGE part of it. I don’t know what the ROI is, but it’s probably way over 1000%.

Since our call this morning, our producer Brian (was way behind YTD goal as of this morning) brought in another BOR on the surety for a large General Contractor out of Boston, well over $100,000 in annual commission. Once he plugs that into iWin, we’ll jump way ahead of our YTD goals.

It’s all about differentiation and delivering value. And the iWin Agency Growth System is definitely helping us add to our agency value here at Gencorp in a way we never dreamed possible before.”

 

Joseph Padula – Gencorp

Hardenbergh Insurance Group

Agency Doubled Its Top Line Revenue Since Working With iWin

Hardenbergh Insurance Group is a family owned insurance brokerage firm that provides multiple lines of insurance in the commercial, employee benefits, personal, and public entity insurance industries. Serving families and businesses in the Delaware Valley Region since 1954, Hardenbergh Insurance Group has become well respected for their premium insurance solutions and excellent customer service.

The company did not have any systems in place to guide them. They were not running effective sales training that helped their producers reach their goals. They also were not doing a good job of attracting/hiring producers, with great potential. Consequently, their growth had stagnated.

The agency determined they had to develop a true sales culture, in order to attract and hire the right kind of producers or their growth would remain stagnant.

One of the agency owners read Randy’s book in 2011 and was very impressed with Randy’s thought process on selling insurance. After meeting him and discussing the iWin Agency Growth System, they decided to join the iWin Team.

With a comprehensive iWin growth path to follow, the agency ran foundation training and started running CRISP sales meetings immediately. They sent their producers to the Million Dollar Producer training, where they learned how to double their book of business in 3 years – all, while focusing on a proactive service model. In the past 3 years, the agency has been able to write larger accounts and attract new markets. Their organic growth has exceeded double- digit growth over each of those years. They have been able to use the iWin Growth System as a sales tool for buying other firms and hiring new producers. The iWin training has also helped them eliminate costly producer hiring mistakes. To date, every one of their producers is on track to reaching their income goals. And the agency has doubled its top line revenue, since working with Randy.

 

“I bought Randy’s book, The Wedge, and immediately knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. 

We had no systems in place, no real sales/service philosophy, no sales training and running ‘liars’ club meetings; not effective sales meetings. We were still in the stone age … using Excel spreadsheets and hiring people we knew and liked and failing miserably.

 

And when I learned about the iWin System, it changed our whole mindset from a price-based, ‘reactive’ agency to a ‘Proactive’ services agency. Now we let the prospect decide to fire the incumbent – and we don’t ever say one bad word about them.

 

We now run CRISP sales meetings and, with the iWin system, I can keep track of what my producers are doing with a few mouse clicks. Our hiring skills have improved dramatically, using the expert hiring methods Randy teaches.

We’ve gone from an agency that failed to hit our new business numbers, quoting on ‘price alone,’ to an agency that chooses the accounts we want. Consequently, our closing ratio has massively improved.

All of our producers are on track to reach their stated goals. Thanks to iWin, we have a ‘total sales culture.’ We’re able to WIN over our competitors like never before and use a system that gives us a playbook for everything we do.

 

We’ve doubled our revenue, with the iWin Agency Growth System!”

 

Jon Sharp, Hardenbergh Insurance

MRB Insurance & Bonding, Inc.

20% Growth In P&C Renewals

Marchetti, Robertson & Brickell Insurance is a multi-line, independent insurance agency, located in Ridgeland, MS.

 

They have been in business over 60 years and are well-respected for their expertise and service.

In mid 2011, the agency’s growth was flat, and they did not have a plan for growth. Their producers were not motivated and their hiring success rate was far less than acceptable.

The partners at MRB realized it was up to them to create the kind of culture that would motivate their producers and hold them accountable for their stated goals.

John Marchetti, one of the partners, met Randy at an event in Chicago in August of 2011. He was impressed with what he saw and decided to join the iWin Team and go ‘all in,’ with the iWin Agency Growth System.

The first year was tough, as change often is. But even in the early days, the partners could see a shift happening in their culture.

 

After about a year, they experienced a breakthrough. And today their culture is dramatically different. They WIN business, instead of sell. And retain it, by over-serving the top 20% of their customers.

 

The agency has seen a 20% growth in P&C renewals in 3 years and has opened a benefits division that has grown from zero to $250,000 revenues in 3 years.

 

The agency is fast becoming the #1 insurance agency to work for in the area.

InterWest Insurance Services

Producer Success Rate Went From 20% to 80%

Founded in 1992, as a result of a merger with 3 large, successful insurance brokerage firms. Interwest is the 43rd largest privately held brokerage firm in the US.

 

They offer innovative, value-added services for clients in claims & risk control, human resources and labor law.

 

The company is located in Chico, CA, with 7 offices throughout the state and licensed to operate in all 50 states. Since inception in 1992, they have grown from $10 Million to over $50 million.

In 2003, they had 24 producers, with an aggregate book of business of $9,776,000.

 

The top 20% produced revenue of $8.7M. The middle 40% produced $970,000 in revenues. And the bottom 40% only produced $115,000.

 

Their hiring success was only 2 for 10, so they were losing a lot of money.

When they weighed their options, they determined they had to do more to help their middle and bottom producers’ revenues, or their growth would remain flat.

They met Randy a little over a decade ago, through Ed Coker at Higginbotham, a long-time client of Randy’s. They decided to hire Randy to help them grow, by implementing a sales system throughout the corporation.

By 2015, their sales system has totally shifted their culture and surpassed industry standards for retaining new hires.

 

They have 30 producers and are growing and training them on a quarterly basis and building a youthful, vibrant future agency.

 

New producer success has gone from 2 out of 10 in 2003 — to 8 of 10 in 2015. Validation has decreased from 36 months to 22 months.

The company has grown from $10 Million to over $50 Million in revenues.

 

“A little more than a decade ago, InterWest made the commitment to true organic growth through the hiring and training of new commercial and benefits producers. We understood that without the proper structure and support, the success rate would be low, along the line of the rest of the industry.

 

Randy Schwantz and the “Wedge” was one of the foundations used in building the InterWest producer development and training programs. We believed that using a solid sales platform, training our new producers on the distinct values InterWest delivers, would at least double the industry standard for new hire retention.

 

It did double … and remains at nearly 80% retention rate today.

What we didn’t realize, until our third and fourth year using the Wedge, was that it had become the brick and mortar of our entire sales culture. All of our producers, both new and old, spoke the same language. A commonality among producers had developed, making team-selling much more effective.

InterWest’s results speak for themselves, with consistent double-digit, true organic growth, with our continued reinvestment in producers year over year.

Every new hire goes through Wedge training within their first 90 days, and Randy remains a vital part of our agency’s long-term strategy.”

 

Keith Schuler, President/CEO InterWest Insurance Services

TURBO-CHARGE YOUR AGENCY

(AND GET SOME SLEEP AT NIGHT)