How to Get Agents to Join ASAP
Imagine you’re in a recruiting appointment with an ideal prospect. She’s unhappy with her current company because her broker isn’t available to help with issues or answer questions.
You feel good about your odds of recruiting this agent. Broker support is one of your strengths.
As you approach the end of the appointment, the agent seems excited about what you’ve said. Now it’s time to close. So, you pop the question…
“Are you ready to join?”
The prospect leans back in her chair and gives you a predictable response.
“You’ve given me a lot to think about. Can I call you in a few days with my answer?”
You don’t want to appear pushy and you’re confident she’ll join, so you agree to wait for her call.
The agent is true to her word and reaches out later that week. But her words make you cringe.
She loves your company and wants to join, but the timing isn’t right. “Maybe I’ll be ready in a few months,” she tells you.
Does that response sound familiar?
One of the toughest parts of recruiting is persuading agents to join sooner rather than later.
Most recruiting appointments center on the benefits of the prospect making a change. The general message is, “you’ll be better off when you join.”
The problem with that approach is it leaves the agent with two options to consider – change or stay put.
Staying put is familiar. It’s comfortable.
Change is scary.
Even when an agent sees the benefits of joining your company, it’s tempting for her to stall and tell herself, “I’ll make the change when the timing is right.”
Yet we all know the timing is never “right” to switch companies.
That’s why, if you want agents to join sooner rather than later, you must help them understand why staying put isn’t an option.
Removing the Option
During a recruiting appointment, you must both persuade an agent to join your company and persuade her to leave her current company. It might seem like those are one and the same, but they aren’t.
If an agent agrees to meet with you, there’s a reason. And in most cases, that reason is she’s unhappy in some way with her current company.
To persuade her to leave that company, you must uncover why she’s unhappy and help her explore all the negative consequences of staying put.
Most brokers get the first part of that equation right (uncovering why), but they miss the second part (exploring the consequences).
The key to exploring the consequences is asking lots of questions:
“Tell me about a time when that happened…”
“How does that make you feel?”
“How much of your own money have you spent because your broker doesn’t offer that?”
“What do you think that’s costing you in time and energy?”
“Does it feel like that’s holding you back from having the kind of business you want?”
The more you help an agent explore the negative consequences of staying put, the less she’ll see staying put as a viable option. And once she no longer sees staying put as a viable option, the resistance to making a change disappears.
P.S. – Removing the option of staying put won’t solve all timing challenges. There will still be instances where deals in-process or other factors make an immediate join impractical.
What removing the option does, however, is remove the emotional resistance to change. With the emotional resistance out of the way, solving timing challenges becomes a mere matter of logistics.