Wow, the weather has really changed hasn’t it? I mean, we aren’t exactly Antarctica yet…but we haven’t reached the 90s today!
Wait, if it’s so nice out…why the heck is my office so freaking hot lately?? I need to get with Steve downstairs. Anyway…
It’s been an interesting start to the week for me. So far, October…barely 3 days old…has been busier than all of September combined. Strange how that works. Strange also how my business and industry works. People now days are shopping their insurance more and more. In the past, these would have been the slow months…up until the holidays. Just when you think you have something figured out…life goes and throws in a few kinks.
Going with a random kind of theme…right now im on day 5 of not shaving. Who knows how long that will last. I really wanted to show you a picture, but I think the beard destroyed the camera on the ipad…so maybe I will upload that tonight 🙂
Speaking of which…if you are shopping (for insurance not beard clippers) give me a shot.
Today was just one of those days.
I don’t think it started that way. I don’t think so at least. I mean, the weather was nice when I got on the bike, I was of clear mind and energized, it seemed like it was going to be a good day. Eh…
I’m not saying it was terrible…it wasn’t. It just wasn’t great. Little things happened all day long that made me wonder what the universe was trying to tell me.
— Riding the bike. I stalled today. Yes, embarrassing. Ugh. I’m so happy that I choose to share that with all of you though. 😐 Not only did I stall but almost every single time I stopped at a stop sign I didn’t feel sturdy. I would wobble. Eh…
— Work. It just wasn’t my day. I had a few good conversations, was able to meet with the owners of one of my favorite stores on the square AND talk with another. Other than that… Eh…
— Family. Things were awesome. My family rocks. I was able to take Caroline to horseback riding lessons tonight so that was fun.
I don’t know… some days just aren’t “YOUR” days you know? I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better one.
— “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your auto insurance”
— “Shop and Save…that’s Progressive”
— “We are Farmers…dum duh dum dum dum dum dum”
— “You’e in good hands…”
— “Like a good neighbor…”
— “Nationwide is on your side…”
Don’t you just love insurance company jingles and slogans?….
Advertising…gotta love it. Each one of those, obviously, was tested and tested to see what kind of response it would bring. The goal of marketing is not to make you love it…its to make you remember and think about it. Each of these obviously work because I thought of them…and you are probably now going to be singing at least one of them after reading this. (please don’t shoot me).
The problem is, it’s all fluff. We all know it’s fluff. It means nothing. Especially in the insurance world, the company is only as good as the agents…and each agent is completely different. People always ask for my opinion on who my best competition is. Who, Josh, do you think is the second best company behind yours? It’s impossible to answer. One company may be so-so but they may have amazing agents who make up for that. The other company may be amazing…but their agents are gutter dwellers.
So, because of this, I thought I would put together a list of what to look for in an insurance agent. Some of it may sound common and simple, but it’s very apparent that not everyone uses this knowledge when push comes to shove.
1. Where does your agent live? Is the agent part of the community? Did they grow up in the area? Do they know exactly what you are talking about when you go off on a tangent about the local ____? If you are using an agent who isn’t familiar with your community, you are doing yourself a disservice. A really good, and connected, agent can be a great source of knowledge for many things outside of the insurance industry. Because of the number of people we meet, we are great at giving referrals, we are great at knowing when certain events are happening, etc… Have an agent that is no more than 50 miles away from you.
2. Does your agent poke and prod or does he/she just take orders. If you wanted an order taker who wasn’t looking out for your best interests, you would just go online and get a Progressive or Geico policy. That’s not what you want. You wanted someone personally to speak with…so…why is it that so many are okay with an agent who just gives them what they had before? An agent is licensed and trained to give their opinions. When they see something is wrong with a policy, they should point it out. I NEVER quote apples to apples and leave it at that. That is scary to me. What is that previous agent was…
You never know what the previous agent did, what his or her motives were, etc… Your agent should NEVER trust the previous agent. It’s borderline malpractice to do so. Your agent should take what you say, respect it, and then give you his thoughts on what should happen. Does that mean he should turn your business down if you decide to just do what you originally wanted? No…but at least he has let his thoughts be known. Otherwise…again…we may as well be a cut rate company.
3. Longevity with an Agent does not equal perfection. Just because you’ve been with someone a long time does not mean they are the best. Shop around…intelligently. More on that in a moment…well…more on that right now.
4. Rates are important…find the best deal for yourself..but realize that many times, even in insurance, you get what you pay for. What kind of representation do you get for that low low almost too good to be true rate? Will they pay the claim? Will the agent answer his phone? Never sacrifice so much that you miss the forest through the trees.
5. Work with someone who wants to help you with ALL of your insurance. Does this sound counter-intuitive? Normally people hate it when a professional tries to “cross sell” them. In the insurance business though, this is important. Discounts come from multiple policies most of the time. Not only that, but you want your business with one trusted professional…not with 2 or 3 different ones.
It’s not rocket science but it is important. Think about these things before you do them. Know what you have…why you have it… and have an agent who will sit down with you and explain these things. If you haven’t spoken with your agent since you started the policy…chances are you need a new one. Sorry..just real talk here.
Okay, almost time to hit the road…until next time!
In my line of work, I meet many different people. People from all walks of life, all races, religions, and temperaments. I meet those I trust and I meet those I…not so much. One of the great things about that is that each of these individuals has different needs/wants/questions/ and issues that need to be addressed. It just so happens that with what I do for a living, I can address quite a few of those. Fun!
So, this afternoon I had an appointment…
As I waited for them to arrive I sat amongst others on the square having coffee, tea, pastries, sandwiches, and great conversation. I won’t lie…most of the time I come there just so I can listen in. Yes, that makes me bad. Of course, most of you do the same when you are sitting in a coffee shop…don’t lie!
Finally, through the front door, my clients arrived. I had met the wife before…at a networking event here in town…but never the husband. I was shocked at what I saw….
Yeah…kinda like that. She is tall and pretty and he was…well…not? Anyway, sorry, that is not appropriate or nice. Of course, what happened next made me feel a little better about thinking that then…and typing it now.
Both sat down and, get this, SHE pulled out his chair so he could sit down then asked if he wanted something to drink. He, very intelligently, said “Urgh”. I’m supposing this was some sort of Trollish language from whatever rock he came out from under, but she seemed to understand it. It apparently meant “No thank you hun”.
As they sat there, I began to discuss with them the life insurance policies I put together after meeting with her two weeks ago. Life insurance, many times, is something initiated by the female spouse…so this was nothing new. As I began to talk, he grew increasingly uncomfortable. I could tell, I could see his eyes fidgeting, his hands twitching, and his forehead sweating. Finally, I decided to do something. I closed up my Ipad, stopped the discussion, looked straight at him and asked:
“Is everything okay? You seem a bit unnerved by this conversation.”
You see, it is life insurance…many get a little wary or uncomfortable discussing it even though they see a major need for it. I’m used to that….hence the question. His response to me…ready for it?
“I just don’t see the need for it. If I dies, she is hot, she can get remarried. I don’t really want to give her ANY money if I’m gone. I mean, heck, how do I benefit from that?”
At first, I kinda laughed…or chuckled may be the better term for it. I hadn’t met him before, but I thought he was probably just making one of those jokes we make at the expense of our spouse…to kinda needle them and get under their skin. I sat there, smiled, and waited for the “just kidding” to come but it didn’t! So, I asked him if he was serious. They have a giant house, FOUR kiddos under 15, and a ton of debt. He said “Damn right I’m serious…look at her, I’m not paying for Enrique’s vacation with my wife if I ‘bite the big one’.
At that point, I did something I rarely do and probably most wouldn’t do. I stood up, gathered my things, shook the Mrs. hand, and told him the following (in so many words): Sir, you are a parents of four great kids, you have a great home, a great wife, and a ton of debt. If you pass away, you will be leaving them to sort out all of the mess. I met with y’all because I was asked to do so…not because I came after you. I, honestly, only work with nice people and frankly you don’t seem to fit that bill. When you are ready to get serious about this, please let me know.
I left. You see, this is an important thing for me. If someone doesn’t want to protect their family…that’s fine..we all have our reasons. BUT…to give that excuse as the reason for not taking care of them, I won’t be part of it.
So, here to hoping the rest of the day is more pleasant. I will keep you up to date on whether or not they call back. I have a sneaking suspicion they will.
If you live in Georgetown, and you love the square, you have no doubt noticed “All Things Kids”. It’s located on Main St. between 7th and 8th streets right next to another great shop, Kenz Guitars! Their website is http://www.allthingskidsusa.com and they also have a very informative facebook fan page…so check them out!
If you have kiddos, I would suggest you go to the website and check out their fall class schedule. Do it now…tell ’em you heard about it here!
We have taken the girls there many times, for events, for magicians, for the cast of “The Wizard of Oz”, and for playing with their awesome toys. Both Michaela and Caroline give it two pretty girl thumbs up. As a matter of fact…today would be the PERFECT day to go out and visit them. So…DO IT!
1. I love football. What is the ONE game today you are excited about seeing? If you are reading this after the games…what was the one game you most enjoyed today?
2. I totally rock as a Daddy. My girls were ready for lunch..wife was out…so what did I do? THIS is what I did…
from scratch BTW…
3. Have you been to visit my friends over at Georgetown TX Fun and Events lately? If not, go! www.facebook.com/gtownfunandevents
4. I have two blackberry phones. Yes, I’m officially that guy. Why? One is courtesy of Nationwide Insurance and one is courtesy of the fact that I am a cell phone mass murderer. I kill them…not even on purpose, it just happens **”He was such a nice/quiet/unassuming young man. I never thought he would be a cell phone killer!”**
5. This was a good and busy week. 4 networking events for work, 4 new clients who saved a bunch of money as well as had big time increases in coverage, and I found that the signs for my office may FINALLY be arriving soon. Yes…it’s been since December.
6. Along those lines, I met some really good people this week. As most of you know, one of my main goals is to be a guy who knows someone who can help…no matter what you are looking for. These people will ALL help me with that.
7. I’m excited to see the Case McCoy era officially start this afternoon. Go Horns! **Okay, Gig ’em Aggies as well… :-)**
8. What do you think about this Job’s bill the President is pitching? Do you think it will help unemployment in your area? Will it help your business grow and expand? I’m interested in your thoughts…
9. Finally, be safe today. It’s Saturday…it’s ACL weekend…its nice outside….all of these add up to a great time, but also the chance of people driving around with alcohol in their system. Remember what your parents said “It’s not you I’m worried about..it’s everyone else!”
Many of you know I am the proud owner and driver of a 2001 Honda Shadow 750. I love it! I purchased it this summer from our friend Zac. To be quite honest, I still can’t believe that I was finally able to talk my wife into agreeing to the purchase, crazy!! Probably one of the best father’s day presents I’ve ever received…and it was a steal!
I had to take it today to finish up my registration and title transfer. Did you know that you actually have to finish up applications, etc… when you do that? I’m sure you did…I’m sure I’m the only person in the world that was completely oblivious to this fact. So…after $400+ dollars in fees for not transferring it soon enough, I’m all legal and good to go. Whew… I know my wife is happy (not about the $400, but about the fact that I got it done).
Afterward, as I was driving, I started thinking. Yes, I’ve been told that is a scary thing for me to do, but I was doing it regardless. The question running through my mind: What would happen if I wrecked this thing right now and I were gone. How would my family get by? What would be said about me after I was gone? I didn’t think this in a morbid/Emo kind of way…I thought it in a very rational/Daddy kind of way. OMG I’m that husband and dad aren’t I? My goodness….
As you know, along with Auto/Home/ and Commercial Insurance…I specialize in Life Insurance. September is Life Insurance Awareness month…seriously…it is.
I’m currently putting together life insurance packages for 7 or 8 different families. Each one with different needs/wants/desires/ideas on the future. The one thing that binds them all together is a love for their family, and a want to protect them in the event of something terrible happening. Not just that, but the urgency to get it taken care of before something happens that makes them uninsurable. The old saying goes something like this “No one wants life insurance while they can actually get it…it’s not until they can’t be approved for it that they actually want and need it.”. It’s the truth…
So, thank you for allowing me to preach in this posting. If you have it, fantastic.. If you have it and haven’t had it reviewed in a while, let someone review to make sure you are covered appropriately. If you have it through work there is a very strong chance that you don’t have enough. If you don’t have it…what is stopping you? Get with someone to at least discuss the details of price, what it can do for you, etc…
Ah yes, the world of insurance. Today, I rushed to finish up paperwork for the monthly audit I’m going through tomorrow. (As an aside, why is it that I always put this off until the last possible second? Anyway…). Because of this, I was inside the office for the most part until around lunchtime. At 1:00pm I headed over to…..
Pie, of the chocolate variety, with Doug and Joe was on tap. Seriously, it’s the best pie money can buy. ***Not better than my wife’s coconut cream pie though…sweetie I love you!*** Have you ever been to Monument? Of course you have. If you haven’t been in a while you need to head back over. They have a great beer garden now and a farmer’s market…both excellent…so check them out! Aside from the fact that I think the other patrons were offended by my eating the pie with my fingers…I think it was a very lively and joyous crowd in there.
After Pie, I headed back to the office and had a 30 minute conversation/meeting with Bentley Martin. Bentley and I discussed insurance, work, business, our faith, and politics. Not bad for a 30 minute meeting huh?? That is pretty much on par for us. If you don’t know Bentley…he is a great guy. I call him the Grand Pooba of Cottonwood Shores. Why? Well..ask him!
I decided, around 4:15, to take a stroll around the square. Here is what I saw:
Our square is such a neat place…isn’t it?
So, anyway, the square was nice today…not too busy, but the weather was great and everyone was busy going about business. There were a few pic-nic-ing couples on the lawn of the courthouse this afternoon even!
After work, I got on the bike and headed home. Guess what I got??? My girls put on a fashion show for us. I realize that this kind of thing won’t be happening forever. I know that the times they allow me to dance with them…sing with them…read with them…will eventually give way to other things as they get older. I am so blessed to be able to share in experiences like that. Absolutely perfect.
On the business front, today was a successful day. I quoted and helped a family switch from Farmers Insurance over to us. We saved them a ton of money AND increased their coverages dramatically. That was both exciting and scary all at once. Exciting that I made some new friends today. Exciting that I was able to help them as much as I did. Scary that people still sell minimum coverages to those who need MUCH more. My work was done! 🙂
Tomorrow should be a very full day. Networking, quoting, walking around the square. Just a normal day around here I suppose. Oh, while you are at it, go see our friends at Georgetown, TX Fun and Events on Facebook. They are a great resource for events and fun happenings on the Historic Georgetown Square.
Ask anyone…I freaking love dollar bins. I do, I admit it. I love the dollar store in Georgetown (Dollar Tree and Dollar General), I love the places on the square who have mega sales constantly, and I love the dollar bin at Target in Georgetown. As a matter of fact, I have actually dreamed about it. Not to get too detailed, but the dream had something to do with the dollar bin, a lasso, and a rainstorm…but I digress.
Every other Monday, I take our 7 year old (Caroline) to horse riding lessons at Kelly’s Kids in Georgetown… (512) 863-7649… Normally, I stay and watch her. Tonight though, I needed an excuse to get our younger daughter (Michaela) out of the house. She was in one of those 5 year old whiny moods. So, how do I do that? How do I convince a 5 year old to go out in the heat with me?
TARGET’S DOLLAR BIN!!!!! HELL YES!!!
Okay, sorry… my bad.
So, off we trekked. If you have never browsed the dollar bin at Target, you sure are missing out. You can find pretty much everything you ever needed. Paper, pencils, notebooks, crunch n much (yes, that’s right), and socks. You can find single packaged diapers, lotion, chapstick, combs, and so many other things. Tonight though, it was special. Tonight, Michaela…sweet Michaela…found THIS:
Have you ever had one of those moments where the world just seemed right? Yes, it was one of those moments. “Daddy, what is Silly Putty?” “Ohhhh…sweetie….the question is not what IS Silly Putty…the question is what is it NOT”.
So, the next time someone makes fun of you for liking frugal pleasures..just let them know all they can do at a dollar bin 🙂
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Georgetown Texas (the county seat of Williamson County), is home to the “Square”. The square is the hub of town, where many businesses thrive (some falter), where the town congregates for festivals and events, and where much of our city is run.
Life on the square, for a business is fun, energetic, and always challenging. Hopefully, my blog will help to highlight some of the great businesses here on the square, the events that we all take part in…as well as my own thoughts on everything under the sun. I own the local Nationwide Insurance agency here on the square. Yes, insurance, exciting I know. Well…it can be! Hopefully, I can show you that not all insurance agents are the same…. I tend to be an open book (which from time to time can get me in trouble) so hopefully there will be reasons for you to keep coming back and visiting.
Well, I need to hit the work hard now. It’s 2:10pm and I have a ton of work to do before the end of the day! Hit me up if you need anything…