Age of Indiependence: Are You a Sales Organization or a Service Organization?

by | October 27, 2020



In this episode of the Agency Intelligence podcast miniseries, Age of Indiependence, host Katlyn Eggar interviews Tolga Demirel, the Co-Founder of Agency Zoom. Tolga talks about the power that a highly trained and highly motivated team can have in an agency, and the significance of technology to an agency.

Episode Highlights:

  • Katlyn introduces Tolga Demirel. (1:08)
  • Tolga shares that he started his insurance career in late October 2011. (3:22)
  • Where did Tolga get the idea for Agency Zoom? (4:59) 
  • Tolga shares that they are where they are today, because of their cultural adaptation. (8:36)
  • What are some of the differences that Tolga has seen in the struggles that agency owners are facing? (10:52)
  • Tolga mentions that the biggest change that he has seen is an increased appetite for technology. (12:42)
  • Katlyn shares that in the insurance world, the agency owner is viewed by the carrier as a distribution point or distribution channel. (17:00)
  • For the agency owner, what are some key elements that they need to be able to get visibility on before they can hold their team accountable for big changes? (18:38)
  • Katlyn thinks that accountability is a challenge within organizations in every department and a huge challenge for the leaders. (22:33)
  • How would Tolga reinvest the time, talent, energy, and resources into transforming the agency into a sales organization? (27:23)
  • Tolga shares that you should be creative in how to keep your people motivated, fairly compensate them, and let them grow together with your agency. (29:34)
  • Katlyn thinks that team culture and being all about people still exists in an agency that has a sales organization mindset. (36:06)
  • Tolga believes that when you make your customers happy, you become happy. (36:31)
  • Tolga shares that you should view automation in a way that it can help your agency on both sides, and sales enablement is an area where there’s a tremendous need in the independent space. (38:03)
  • Tolga mentions that proactive engagement is going to win the future. (38:44)

Key Quotes:

  • “With a poor onboarding experience, you get a lot of inbound emails, a lot of inbound calls that take your people’s time away from the root activity, which is sales. So I’m a big believer in that all agencies, no matter if they’re big or small, they’re sales organizations.” Tolga Demirel
  • “I believe that the only reason you service a policy is because someone sold one first. The only reason you do an endorsement is because somebody sold a policy first. So how can we allocate as much time on that root activity, that grows the agency and creates other opportunities within the agency?” Tolga Demirel
  • “Imagine that every person you hire works at your company, and then they move on to a better career that you just can’t provide them to your company. That’s a great problem to have. That means that you are bettering people in their life, and the more people you better, the better you are.” Tolga Demirel
  • “Number one thing I would say is to keep an open mind and to technology that’s available. Two, automation is your friend and automation is your enemy. Meaning, you can get into analysis-paralysis and automate, and do these things.” Tolga Demirel
  • “You’ve got to be an expert at segmenting your book of business so that you can allocate your CSR’s and account reps’ time correctly because they can’t talk to all your customers.” Tolga Demirel

Resources Mentioned:


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