What is the biggest challenge your agency faced in the past year?
The biggest challenge the agency faced in the past year was moving the office to a new location. The logistics of locating a new office in another town and all the minutiae of moving that accompanies it was a lot to manage. Handling that without losing focus on writing new business and servicing existing clients was a fine balancing act. Looking back though it was well worth it.
Do you have a new tip or best practice you have learned and want to share?
I wanted to get positive Google reviews, which is extremely valuable for agents like me. While there are different technology solutions to help with this, it was something I thought I could easily do myself. Basically, I just ask for reviews at the appropriate time and email the link to make it easy for the client. Human nature is to reciprocate, so I treat customers like family. This means interacting with clients in a warm, pleasant, and genuine way. As a result, many are more than happy to leave a positive review. Timing is important, so asking during the “honeymoon” phase yields better results. I wouldn’t ask after a rate increase, for example. However, after a positive interaction, asking with a little verbal finesse and not worrying about if they leave one has worked for me.
Why are you an SIA of Northern Ohio member?
Coming from the captive side I felt like I had the proverbial ball and chain on my ankle and limited possibilities. I joined SIANO for several reasons such as carrier access and having my own agency with more markets. What also really appealed to me are all the endless possibilities and lines of insurance through SIAA at the local and national level. Learning new lines is professionally fulfilling. I can expand the agency horizons, and the knowledge the local team has provided has been invaluable
What makes your agency unique?
My answer may not be unique, but I always do my best to be prompt, detailed and available with prospects and customers. By utilizing texting through the management system, I’m able to help with customer needs outside of normal business hours. I view the process like building a house with a strong foundation. I avoid the commodity trap of running quotes and copying another agent’s work such as prior policy limits. Like a good detective, I take time to look for exposures that may trigger a client to consider better coverage options or higher limits. Discerning customers will notice and appreciate this, plus you will get a better educated clientele.
What causes does your agency actively support?
I support a local dog rescue through donations and participating with dog rescue fundraiser events. We also offer referral programs where the referral fund will go to a local rescue. I grew up with animals and have always had a fondness for dogs.