KEEPING TOP AGENTS motivated is a tall order. They may not be compensated like media stars or CEOs, but few groups of salespeople are as handsomely rewarded. Not to mention that they're continually courted by competing companies who try to lure them with ever more exciting travel experiences.
ICP magazine tries to help with our biennial research study that asks agents what they want most: overseas travel, domestic resorts, golf, spas, soft adventure, sun and beach, or sightseeing. It's good stuff. But until now, we never dreamed of adding charity events to the list.
Yup, I said charity events. As you'll read in Alison Hall's cover story on page 22, the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. has created a huge success with its Chubb Charity Challenge, an event that raises more than $500,000 of donations to large and small charities across the U.S. and Canada. Here's the deal: Chubb's independent producers pay $2,000 out of their own pockets to play in a local golf event that might eventually lead them to the annual national— and the chance to raise thousands of dollars for their favorite charities.
When Chubb & Son corporate meeting planner Lorraine Struck first told me about the Charity Challenge, I thought I had misheard her. Agents pay? But that's the thing about motivation. Nothing feels better than helping others in need. “It brings the agents such pride to know they are part of a wonderful cause, and they're having a good time to boot,” says Lorraine. Hooray for Chubb! This is the kind of event that does a company proud — and creates agent loyalty that can't be bought.
New Best Friends
As many of you know, I don't golf. But the recent experience of my fellow Primedia Business Meetings Group editor Larry Keltto makes me wish I did. Larry joined 40 meeting planners recently for the Meet the Greens Puerto Rico Invitational Golf Classic (page 96), an event we co-sponsored with the Puerto Rico, Convention Bureau, and got the thrill of a lifetime when his team won first prize: a six-day golf trip to Ireland.
Talk about bonding: “Our team met each other for the first time Monday morning, and by the end of the tournament Tuesday night we were as excited about being able to take the trip to Ireland together, as about the trip itself,” says Larry. He loves not only the game, but the camaraderie it engenders. “Golf is a terrific jumping off point to other conversations.”
We all know how important golf events are to insurance meetings. You'll find plenty of planning tips in this issue, from how to welcome women golfers (page 11), to a compilation of great golf gifts (page 29). And if, like me, you want to like the game but agree with Mark Twain that “golf is a good walk spoiled,” — or if you're simply in the mood for a belly laugh — turn to Dale Irvin's Last Laugh column on page 132, “Golf Spelled Backwards Is Flog.”