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Our Relationship Business

09/25/2009

How many hats do you wear? Work in any small business for a day and you’ll wear many – independent insurance agency included. Everyone around you  needs to be more than JUST client focused, sales driven, and detail oriented. We all need to be able to jump in and fix the copy machine, shovel the front walkway, make a pot of coffee, handle the walk-ins, deal with those rare real emergencies, cover someone’s desk while they’re on vacation…

I was inspired when I saw this blog post titled All the Hats and Faces We Wear by Chris Brogan a few days ago as I was catching up on some reading.

In this post, Chris lists some of the things he is (and some of things he isn’t) in an effort to explain to his readership how he keeps all his hats on.  Here is an excerpt of his list:

  • I am human. I most certainly conduct myself like one.
  • I am a blogger. I write about what captures my attention.
  • I am a business man. I run a company of marketers and business communicators.
  • I am a marketer. I promote my clients, and help them gain more business.
  • I am an author. I write books about things I feel are helpful.
  • I am a father. I have two loving children I enjoy playing with.

Each of these items describes his relationships to the people around him – to his family, his clients, his associates, and his network. He then goes on to talk about what he calls “Human Shaped Business” which struck as me as being so applicable to the insurance agent community. Few will argue this point:  it is the human to human relationships that keep this business alive.

The relationships with your clients keep your book of business growing. The relationships with your company reps keep your commission dollars flowing. The relationships within your community keep your business well-positioned. Foster poor relationships and business starts to suffer even in the best markets.

It might be a good exercise to take a few minutes and write down your list. How many hats do you wear? How many relationships do you have? What ones do you need to spend time on? Are there any that you need to let go of?

**If you have any interest in building social media strategies in your agency, I highly suggest checking out Chris Brogan’s blog, and his recent book Trust Agents. He is full of energy and ideas, and is really great at describing the “how to” of social media. And as an added bonus, he is also Massachusetts local.

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