Sweet 16, Elite 8 or Final 4 – What Makes the Difference?

by Kitty Ambers, CPIA, CIC, CISR, CPIW, Chief Growth Officer at AVYSTBasketball being shot

It’s the time of year when I watch lots of basketball, as I’m sure many of you do as well! As I watch and learn more about what makes a good team great, I can’t help but translate the teamwork used in basketball into our world of insurance.

Teams that win and advance seem to have a few key things in common. Can we then use some of these strategies to advance agency sales success?

  • Spreading the Floor – Truly good offenses seem to have a 6th sense about them in that each team member knows where the others will be. Passes are made into what appears to be thin air, but then a player shows up to receive it. In our agencies, do we foster that confident, 6th sense teamwork when it comes to passing a marketing lead to the sales staff for follow-up?
  • Finding the Open Shot – Opportunity can be found everywhere – IF you’re looking for it. We see this in basketball all the time. Whether it’s an aggressive steal resulting in a fast break finished with a slam dunk, or more deliberate passing that catches a defense off-guard, the opportunity to take the shot eventually appears. Is our agency marketing, sales and service staff trained to watch for scoring opportunities?
  • Rebounding – Following the shot, and never giving up, is a huge lesson in basketball. The same should hold true for our business. Do we follow up on every proposal, quote, and referral? Do we continue this “rebounding effort” until we either “score” or the ball is taken away?
  • Use of the Shot Clock – Timing is critical in basketball and in sales. Do we always have one eye on the clock to be sure we’re making the best use of the time we have? Taking our shot before the shot clock expires? This means developing a consistent and timely approach to prospecting, proposal development, renewals, and referrals. Don’t miss the shot opportunity because you lost track of the shot clock.
  • Overall Conditioning – Great teams that win consistently are in great shape, physically and mentally. They support one another and help each other work on their weaknesses. Does the management philosophy in your organization help producers and agency support stay motivated to play hard, as a team, every game?
  • Learning from a Loss – Championship teams face defeat from time-to-time. What keeps them champions is that they use the loss as a learning lesson. They analyze what didn’t go right and ask questions. What should we have done better? Where did the teamwork breakdown? They answer these questions to regain confidence for their next outing.

“An amateur competes with everyone. A professional only competes with themselves.” This is a saying I once heard, and I encourage you to think of this as you start each day. Stay prepared and compete like the professional you are!

AVYST provides solutions that simplify insurance sales. Visit www.avyst.com/go for information about eForms Wizard – your solution for getting complete and accurate submissions to market efficiently.


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Wave Insurance Technologies, Inc. dba AVYST

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