What is the summit and how does it benefit agencies?

The Insurance Agent Summit (www.insuranceagentsummit.com) is the largest completely online virtual event that insurance agents can take part in. To date we’ve had more than 10,000 agents register and attend our events from around the world.

We are the only event of its kind that is online and focuses specifically on Sales, Marketing and Business Growth. At our event agents and owners learn from other top agents and owners along with industry leading thought experts and some of the most creative companies in insurance.

We are also the only event that allows you to attend for free with upgrade VIP options available.

What pushed you to take on an agency focused event like this?

I had been involved in the industry for a while as an agent and then a consultant before launching the event. I saw people doing something similar outside of the insurance industry and thought “why couldn’t we do this in the insurance industry?”.

That’s literally how it started. I thought it would be a great platform for agents to share information and I thought we would see where it goes from there. I had a small network of connections that I reached out to and everyone said “if you can pull this off, I’m in”.

It just went from there. Our first event had almost 5,000 agents that registered and attended.

You deal with thousands of agencies, do you have any advice to an agency onhow they can become more efficient and improve their business?

Slow down.

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but some of the best advice I ever got from a mentor was “you have to go slow, before you can go fast”. Most of us are so busy thinking “I need to get more done” or “I don’t have enough time” which causes you to rush through more, put out a product that isn’t as good, and get burnt out.

Over the last few years I’ve really been practicing telling myself to slow down and put out a better product. When I do this I don’t have to go back and fix it as much when I’m rushed to get something out.I find I actually get more done by just relaxing into I’m right where I’m supposed to be and where I need to be.

Then I just show up every day and do what I know I needs to get done.

How do you think agency consolidation is going to impact the industry?

This is a great question and I think the obvious answer is it’s going to have a huge impact for those that acquire agencies and for those that don’t.

If you have the right process in place, a focus on culture, and have a great brand you could bring on an agency and quickly increase your market share and overall profitability.

If you don’t have the size or capital to acquire agencies there is still a great amount of opportunity out there for you. A lot of agencies are going to do a poor job of acquisition, which means there is going to be a wealth of opportunity for you.

If you have a strong brand and a great marketing process you can grab a lot of business that will be underserved through the acquisition process.

Is there anything that surprises you about where the industry is today?

Yes, a lot.

The way the entire culture of the industry has changed and has become open to change recently blows me away. The timing of the summit has been a great success because we have been fortunate enough to ride this wave.

When I first came into the industry a lot of people running the direction of the industry were agents who did things the way they’ve always been done, no one wanted to rock the boat. You were expected to show up in a suit and tie and sit and sell the way that they sold. People were slow to share information for a fear that helping another agent was helping their competition.

This is completely different now, technology has changed everything. Agents are very open to sharing and helping each other grow and get better. I now see agents wearing hats, growing beards, wearing jeans and t-shirts when on stage or even when working in their agency.

They have defined their brand based on who they really are and are connecting with clients who appreciate this authenticity. It has been a lot of fun to watch and I’m excited and hopeful about the future of our industry.