10 lessons from 10 years in the insurance industry

Yes, it is true that as of 11/11/12 I have been employed in the insurance industry for ten years.  Of course I have learned an uncountable amount of information and a new lesson is learned or reinforced weekly if not daily.  So to keep this a reasonable read I’ll pick 10 things that stand out.

1. Give all things a chance to work.  Yes, your instinct is correct most, but not all ,of the time.  In my case I stumbled into insurance having just finished a brief career in Football.  I have yet to meet anyone that set out with the intention of working in Insurance but I have met a lot of people that did not give themselves a chance to be successful in insurance.

2. Set YOUR goals.  For a long stretch I was influenced by quotas, contests and rankings…then I woke up.  I set my own goals for earnings, meetings, profitability, growth, etc. and that is when life started to get good.  I can stay up all night and get up at all sorts of hours to accomplish what I want but was unable to do that when the goals were not mine.

3. Careful who you associate with, negativity is contagious.  I honestly think it takes more energy to deflect negative energy and wash yourself clean from a negative experience then it does for the negative person to be negative.  Either way, always keep it positive.  It’s easier on the body and better for your wallet.

4. Know what you want; growth, profitability or both.  There was a long stretch of time where my “book of business” (insurance for dollar value of your client list) was growing year to year and very profitable.  I thought this was great but with many changes in leadership above me some disagreements occurred.  Sure, you can have both, but you still need to know what is most important to the business.

5. There is no negotiating with people that do not want to negotiate.  Tough to know this until you  try and talk.   If you sense the other side has not interest in talking and this happens time after time, you have a choice; resign to the facts as they are or resign.

6. It is tough to defend bad behavior.   Having worked for a very large company, after a period of time I became their face.  This was ok, until how they were behaving did not fit with my personal ethics.  At the end of it all, all you have is your name and reputation.  Careful who you let use it.

7. Only when you leave will you know who is really with you.  That’s right and you have heard it before, choose to make a tough stand or leave a situation and don’t be surprised that you will lose some friends.  Don’t worry you’ll be better off without them.

8. There are lots of good companies.  Just because one does things one way and the other does it differently does no mean either is wrong.  There are lots of ways to get a job done, respect different methods

9. BE HUMAN, because what else would you want to be.  Call it whatever you want just treat people good.  A couple of years ago I stopped selling and started helping people buy.  Way easier this way.

10. Clients come first.  No, not before family or me or you or God.  I mean without clients there is no business.  We need people to like us and want to buy from us so do not get overwhelmed by how companies rate and rank people.  Remember they are people.

Well, a little longer than usual but fun.  Just some ideas, thanks for letting me share.