Imagine your insurance producers as Knights of the Round Table—all united and working together towards a common quest. Really, it’s not that wild a stretch.

If you were a knight in King Arthur’s court, you could get a dukedom for your part in the quest, for your loyal service to the king. Similarly, in today’s insurance business, great perks, recognition, rewards, and points from the carrier inspire loyalty in a producer who takes part in the quest.

Keep in Mind

Loyalty isn’t to be taken for granted. As the carrier, you have to earn it and you have to know your producers well enough to know how to reward them for their loyal business.

Here’s expert advice on generating your producers’ loyalty and best practices for rewarding it.

Two Sides of the Coin

Loyalty happens when both producer and carrier uphold certain key values.

“From the producer’s viewpoint, they want to know that a carrier constantly meets commitments and keeps promises while adding value to their business. From the carrier’s viewpoint, they recognize a producer who submits quality business on a consistent basis,” says Jeff Levin, CBLife president.

When a producer recognizes that the carrier has the same values and consistently meets or exceeds those values, that, in turn, builds loyalty, says Brandon Bullock, strategic leader for CBLife.

Code of Honor

Two crucial values that producers are looking for in carriers, Bullock advises, are (1) integrity and (2) the ability to go the extra mile.

“A lot of agreements are made and sometimes those agreements aren’t fulfilled on the back end,” Bullock says.

Being honest and keeping your promises will inspire loyalty. Taking extra steps to deliver something a producer sees as key to his or her business is another critical component in building loyalty, he adds. It shows you’re willing to put in the extra work to gain that relationship and build upon it.

Litmus Test

If a producer sees your products as helping his or her business grow, you’re going to have a loyal partner, says Levin. You need to think of your producers as entrepreneurs, he adds, because they can work with any carrier they want to and your goal is to create a value proposition that aligns their business with your organization.

The other critical requirement is personal: Producers want to be known. Do you as a carrier recognize your producers as individuals—and not just numbers? asks Levin.

And along with that, the producer expects you to recognize that part of his or her professional reputation “is predicated on the service that the carrier delivers,” says Levin.

In other words, you have a responsibility to make things as smooth as possible for your producers, because if you mess up, the producer looks bad—and that’s really not good for loyalty or for your bottom line. The carrier’s mistake could cost the producer their client—and all of the business the client brings.

Ahead of the Curve

The new way to compete and to attract and retain loyal producers is through efficient, fast processes.

Paying more commission used to be the big differentiator and that’s good, but it’s a standard method. What we want to show producers is that it’s easier for you to do business with us than any other carrier and that we can issue you a policy within hours of sending in an application, so you get paid faster, your consumer gets their coverage faster, and there’s less buyer’s remorse, says Levin.

Entrepreneurial Mindset

Keeping the question “How do I help my producers grow their business?” as your focus will help you develop concrete ways to make growth happen and generate loyal partners who won’t jump ship as soon as a more alluring carrier comes along.

Your approach needs to combine two simple but vital components: (1) the right tools to help producers grow their business as independent entrepreneurs and (2) a system of recognition for great work.