The Bottom Line Maximising productivity has always been a concern to agency leaders. Richard W. Sawyer shares differences in results of two surveys carried out in the early 1990s covering concerns such as the need for improvement of the bottom line of producers; they were quantity of time, quality of activity and productive use of time; staffing issues, delegation of work, and effectiveness versus efficiency, amongst others.
Along-standing concern of MDRT members has been how to maximise productivity. Admittedly, “productivity” is a loaded term with many different elements factoring into what makes one member more productive than another. These issues are varied and not always easily explained. Is it the amount of staff a producer has, or how much a member delegates that determines his or her level of success? Is it just a general desire to work harder and longer? Or is it something else entirely? The recently completed Bottom Line Survey takes great strides toward answering these questions.
The first Bottom Line Survey was conducted in 1990 at the request of the late David H. Hilton, CLU, ChFC, the 1990 MDRT president and 42-year member from Winnetka, IL, who made it one of his priorities to improve the productivity of MDRT members. The first Bottom Line Committee identified three primary factors needed to improve the bottom line for producers: quantity of time, quality of activity and productive use of time. The following year, the next Bottom Line Committee focused on how these factors related, using the results of a member survey with findings that were provided in the 1992 “MDRT Productivity Guide.” The conclusions were as follows:
5. Members tended to stay within their comfort zones to increase potential sales contacts. Members controlled most aspects of their businesses and were unwilling to delegate non-sales activities to gain more selling time. Members were not successful in networking with other professionals. Members were under-utilised and not engaged in really focusing on their businesses. Court of the Table and Top of the Table members clearly demonstrated increased success due to improved use of staff and networking, as well as more willingness to take a chance to get out of their comfort zones.