While selling to one of the many active buyers of independentinsurance agencies may be a great financial move for owners, manyof these transactions are wrought with unanticipated issues forboth parties.

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Obviously, not all of them end with tales of woe, but many docarry the weight of frustration for brokers and/or their teams.Many of the issues are largely avoidable, but either way, it'simporant to know what you're getting into before taking theplunge.

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Related: Howbroker consolidation is changing the benefitslandscape

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Here are five things brokers should know about agencyacqusitions.

1. Agency owners usually consider selling because thereis an underlying problem.


Something is broken in their agency and the owners are unsure ofhow to fix it. If things had been truly going well — consistentorganic growth, healthy profit margins, etc. — the agency likelywould have never sold.

2. Volume with carriers isn't the real challenge formost agencies.


The real challenges are leadership's inability to successfullymanage the agency by fostering a healthy culture, evolving thevalue proposition, and instilling the discipline necessary toachieve growth in the first place.

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Related: 7 lessons in leadership: top femaleinsurance execs share their advice

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3. Acquiring agencies are selling the selling agency onwhy they should sell.


If you go into an acquisition because you’re flattered someone isinterested and wooing you, stop right now. These are salespeoplelooking to make a sale and virtually any business isattractive.

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Related: 7 lessons in leadership: top female insurance execsshare their advice

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4. Promises are often made as part of the sellingprocess.

You’ll hear how everyone gets to keep their jobs and no one willreally notice any difference, but this is hardly ever the case. Itmay remain that way for a while, but then things begin to change.They have to.

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Related: Why brokers must “un-think” their approach toclient acquisition

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5. For a successful acquisition/merger, egos must beset aside and control must shift.

Consistent, mandated expectations must be in place for each newoffice: goal setting, planning, CRM, value proposition, processes,etc. This consistency frees up offices and producers to do whatthey do really well: sell.

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Related: 5 common CRM fails — and how to avoidthem

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