The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Bradley Flowers
1. Your competition is your friend.
2. Always play the long game.
3. Customer experience > Customer Service
4. Find out what’s holding you back from doing what you want to do and get over it.
5. Give value.
Today on the Hive Five Podcast, we are excited to be talking to Bradley Flowers, the owner and independent insurance agent with Alfa Insurance in Saraland, Alabama. Bradley also co-hosts The Insurance Guys Podcast along with Scott Howell. In 2017, he was also named the #1 Insurance Personality on Snapchat by the Wall Street Journal, so we are really excited to be able to talk to him about the story behind that.
Unlike most other people in the insurance industry who didn’t necessarily aim to become an insurance agent, Bradley decided that he wanted to be an insurance agent when he was fifteen years old. He was a golfer and while he was golfing, he would meet all of these insurance agents on the course at like 3:30pm on a work day. Because of this, he got the idea in his head that if he were to become an insurance agent, it would allow him to have a career that gave him the freedom to golf as much as he’d like.
However, his path changed and he ended up as a cellphone salesman, but while he was doing this, someone approached him and told him he should sell insurance. He absolutely loved the idea and the professionalism associated with insurance vs. selling cellphones. As he started his agency, he considered, and still considers, himself a marketer first, and an insurance agent second. When he entered the industry, he realized that none of his competition was using social media or digital marketing, so he went where none of his competition was at. After being an early adopter of social media with relation to the insurance industry, he started to get noticed and this led to his being named the #1 Snapchat Insurance Personality by the Wall Street Journal.
If you want to hear the rest of the story behind this honor and how it happened, you’ll have to listen to the rest of the episode. It is full of valuable marketing tips and information for businesses of all types, but especially insurance agencies. Also, definitely check out Bradley’s podcast The Insurance Guys, which is linked below.
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When you were talking to the Wall Street Journal, I mean you weren’t any like crazy expert where you mean you were just doing the. You’re just doing them.
Yeah, exactly. I didn’t have a crazy amount of followers. I still don’t know. One thing that I tell a lot of insurance agents when it comes to marketing is you need to at least have some kind of presence everywhere you had the number one insurance. I didn’t know Myspace doesn’t exist anymore, so when these platforms disappeared, you need to have somewhere to shift and you’d rather not start from scratch.
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Well, hey man, I really appreciate it. I’m not famous, man, I really appreciate the introductions.
Well, so tell me, first off, how do you become the number one insurance personality on snapchat? Because at first I thought I think about snapchat as it goes away in a certain time. So I, I guess you’re snap chatting people to remember you.
Well, to be honest, I’ve actually moved away from the platform a little bit. Unfortunately they never published that article.
Yeah. But they, they literally did say it. This is not the guy that saying they said it. They didn’t say it, they didn’t publish, but basically I got on snapchat early really, really early and basically would just document my day. People would message me and be like, man, I didn’t realize you did so much in a day, you know, because in, in Mobile Alabama, I’m 40 minutes from the beach, you know, everybody thinks that the insurance agent wearing the wool slacks who gets to the office at night and is that the golf course at 3:34 beers deep. You know what I mean? Like, so, oh my God, you’re literally working 14, 15 hours a day and you’re just absolutely busting your butt. And so I would just document my day and uh, I got to the point where I started getting some business from it. Nothing crazy but enough that it was, you know, like I would, I would sell some life insurance cases from it and a lot of times it was kids like the kids would be like, can you quote my insurance?
But the insurance was actually in the parent’s name, you know, that kind of stuff started happening. And I actually liked communicating with clients on snapchat because I could tell if they had read the message or not. And uh, so basically what happened, I’m Gary Vee, was on a snapchat early as well. And in a lot of these personalities, like Gary Vee, go to a platform really early and if you’re there to, it’s an opportunity to talk to, to get to them a lot easier than you could somewhere else. Right? So I’ll literally, not, not on a first name basis, but I would like message Gary v and he would respond and things like that. And um, we weren’t friends or anything like that, but it was just, you know, hey, did he would engage, right. So, uh, I remember at one point, I can’t remember what led to the conversation, but basically he was like, look, uh, reach out to top industry publications in your industry and asked to write an article about how to mark it on snapchat.
So, um, I reached out to life health pro.com, which is now fake advisor.com. And I read a blog post for them and the blog post told a story about how I did a payday geotag on snapchat. And my ROI on that was 364 percent or something like that. Right? So that got the attention to the Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal called me, a lady named Daisy Maxey with the Wall Street Journal. I give her name, that way people can verify with her that this happened, but they is a reporter or was a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and talked about snapchat for two hours on it in an interview. The interview happened almost a year after they originally reached out, unfortunately a during that interview they said, as far as we’re concerned, you’re the number one insurance agent on snapchat. I told them, I said, guys, you’re going to have to give me about five minutes. I’m going to need to go put that on all my social media. I’m getting to the point to where I need to take it off. But uh, uh, some kind of something cool and quirky. But, uh, unfortunately a little while later, snapchat with public soon thereafter and all the talk on the Wall Street Journal was how snapchat stock sucks, not how you can get business from it. So that’s actually, believe it or not, a very shortened version of that story.
That’s really funny. And I mean, when you were talking to the Wall Street Journal, I mean, you weren’t any like crazy expert where you mean you were just doing the, you were just doing the planning.
Exactly. I didn’t have a crazy amount of followers. I didn’t, I still don’t and I don’t, I don’t use it much anymore. I still have it because, you know, one thing that I tell a lot of insurance agents when it comes to marketing is you need to at least have some kind of presence everywhere. You know, the number one insurance agent, my space doesn’t exist anymore. Right? So when these platforms disappeared, you need to have somewhere to shift and you’d rather not start from scratch. Right. So, um, I still have an account, I don’t really use it, but no, it didn’t have a crazy amount of followers. I just got an engagement that I got some business off of it and I still do, you know, I have a friend of mine who, who a few months ago reached out for a quote and has no form of social media other than snapchat. And he’s like, I see your cell phone, snapchat. So I reached out to you, you know, so yeah.
That’s amazing. It’s amazing how that can work. I mean, I mean, you and I, I commented on a LinkedIn post of yours and that’s another great example. And what was funny is I was talking to Chris Paradiso and he goes, yeah, do you know Bradley? And I was like, well, yeah, I mean I just commented on a post and now I’m talking to him. So that’s about all
LinkedIn is another platform that I sorta just checked the box on. It’s not, I don’t have a huge amount of focus on it, but, but every now and then something like that’ll happen either.
Yeah. Yeah. And I don’t even know exactly why I came across you or whatever. But glad. Glad I did. So. Well tell me about your background and why you got started in insurance.
So believe it or not, I was everybody. I’ve interviewed a bunch of people on my podcast and every single one of them say, well, I was not, I did not intend on becoming an insurance agent. I was actually 15 years old and I told my dad I wanted to be an insurance agent. The reason I said that, well I don’t, I don’t really know what he said to be honest, but the reason I said that was because that was a golfer. And all the golfers played in, all the, all the golfers were insured. They were the ones that were at three at the golf course at 3:30 every day. Uh, fast forward a few years later, I was actually working at a cell phone store for a company called southern link, which I don’t think exists anymore. They’re like, beep, beep radios. And I’m, the area we were at was a terrible area for that particular product because it wasn’t great service there.
Um, in terms of, you know, the phones didn’t pick up signal very well. And so a friend of mine who was selling insurance for Liberty National Life Insurance only company came by my office day and was like, dude, if you can sell this stuff, you can sell insurance. So I quit my job and few days later started with liberty national. Uh, and to be honest, I loved it immediately. And I liked the fact that I was a professional. You know what I mean? I could, I could dress nice and I could talk to people about serious stuff, not cell phones. And I knew absolutely nothing about insurance. But my boss at the time, who is still a very good friend of friend of mine, Jonathan Jones, you know, he, he taught me a pitch for one type of policy that I could fail. I learned that pitch and, and I could replicate it over and over and over, um, did that for about a year, went to work for a captive agent and for a year and then ended up where I’m at now.
Um, so that’s sort of the shortened version of how I got an insurance and I really, I consider myself a marketer first and an insurance agent second. Um, but I, it hasn’t always been that way. I sort of learned marketing a very early 2000, 13, 2014 and just sort of recognize that none of my competition was really marketing on social media. They were all doing direct mail and billboards and radio and it wasn’t that I was dislike. I could see the future and I thought this was going to pan out, but it was the fact that they weren’t there and I was just going where they were not going. Right. So
yeah, when I talked to people and say, well, how are you gaining business, you know, are you online or what, what are you doing? And, and they look at me and they say I’m referral based only and that’s, uh, that’s, that’s great. I mean, I think it, I think definitely that’s, that’s very helpful. But what else are you doing? I’m not doing anything. What would you, what would you say to that?
What are your thoughts? I think it’s one of two things. Either I’ve caught lightning in a bottle and I have no idea where the heck my business is coming from, but we’re profitable and I don’t, I’m, I’m pulling the window shade down. I don’t, I don’t want to know or I’ve gotten complacent and I’m good with the amount of business I’m getting. So I’m going to say it’s referral based. That would be my, my, uh, interpretation of that. Um, the, you know, I think the level at which those people that say their referral base wants you to think their referral based only about less than 10 percent of agencies are actually there. I think.
Well, I mean there’s only so many people and you can only get so many referrals. Right?
Exactly, exactly. We track everything. Um, you know, I want to know where everything came from. I was actually, I was having a with a friend of mine who owns a, a not really a fast food restaurant, but like a step above a fast food restaurant yesterday and they’re not struggling but businesses down and we’re just having a conversation. And, and uh, and he was like, well, where’s your, where are your people coming from? Where they’re coming from, Sarah Land, that’s all man, Sarah. So Sarah Land has 14,000 people and there’s, there are about eight communities around Sarah land that have 14,000 people fairly and is just the hub. That’s where everything is. But to these people probably aren’t coming from South Carolina. So why don’t you do this when, when someone comes into your business, ask them what their zip code is, nothing else. Just ask them what their zip code is.
Have all the zip codes down on a piece of paper and the cashier just checks off what’s the zip code is. And if you see three, three, six, six, one zero, is 50 percent of your business do a marketing campaign for three, six, six, one, zero. I think you have to track where everything comes from. Even if it is referral based because if it is referral based, like why did you refer them to us? Because the reason they may have referred them to you is not because of price. It may be because of service or it may not be because of service. It may be. Well the reason are for John d is considered close to your office,
right? Yeah, you definitely got to know. One of the things that we really like to do on the high five podcasts is do five key takeaways and we just want our people listening to be able to take five things away coming from you. The number one insurance personality on snapchat and why. Why would someone not want to know something from you? So let’s start with these five key takeaways. So this first key takeaway you gave us was your competition is your friend. Give me some insight on what’s going on in your, in your thoughts with that takeaway.
So I’m working on a blog post right now. I’ve been in the business seven years. It’s going to be the top seven things that I’ve learned being in the business seven years. Um, I only have one point so far. One thing I’ve learned because I’ve learned many things and the, and this is the one thing is the competition is your friend. Um, so the reason I say that is I worked for an agent one time who was not a huge fan of any competitors, didn’t want to converse with them, didn’t want to know what was going on, didn’t want to collaborate, nothing like that. Right. And I would do that, you know, we were captive, I would collaborate or partner with or, or go to lunch with or just chat with, become friends with the independent agents. Right. And because you know, we can only ride, you know, we might’ve had a 24 percent close ratio where the independent agent might have 85 on a bad month.
And so why wouldn’t I send them business if they’re going to reciprocate, right? I’m a good friend, a good friend of mine, a toy course garden. Who is the author of power, your agency, uh, just recently wrote a book called discussion partner in Troy’s, a captive agent and basically what, what he’s laid out in that book is, um, the, the, the structure of the 20, 20, 19, 20, 20 agency is not going to be a, we do auto, home and life, but it’s if you’re competent or not, your competition, your client calls you and says, I want to go. I want you to insure my airplane. You have someone in your arsenal that can ensure an airplane. You go find them. And then depending on state regulations, things like that, you are somehow incentivized for that. That way everybody helping everybody, right? Um,
so just to,
oh, 100 percent. And so, you know, I think that collaboration is a key thing that people don’t talk about. You know, I was a, a Grant Cardone follower very early, if you’re familiar with grant Cardone, and uh, one thing Grant Cardone does is, is he has these podcasts and these shows and he’ll use the podcast and the shows to bring his competition on, not necessarily to promote them, but obviously, they’re promoted by default, but he wants to get in their circle, you know what I mean? And so we’ve done that with our podcast. We had a, the number one realtor in the state of Alabama on our podcast, on an insurance podcasts for nothing else other than I just want it to connect with them. Right? And I know that’s not necessarily a competition, but to give you another example, I’m actually married to my biggest competitor who is my next agency. Next door to me is my wife.
believe in keeping the competition close. Now I’m not saying you don’t want to kick your competition’s ass.
You want to do that? But I think
get the end of the day. I had a, uh, an agent asked me one time, he said, I think there’s too much animosity between agents, right? So I had an agent asked me one time, this was early when we had started our podcast, um, we were maybe six months in and he’s like, no, why would you create a podcast where you’re literally giving away all your secrets, you’re literally helping your competitors. And he’s like, I know you are because I’m one of them. And I looked at him and I said, you and I are not competitors. We’re competitors with the people who are trying to put us out of business. That’s our competition, not you and I. You and I need to stick together because if I can help you and you can help me, the rising tide lifts all ships. So that’s just, it’s just something I believe in. You know, there’s no competitor that I have that I absolutely hate and wouldn’t speak to if I saw them on the street are wouldn’t help out on a case and that sort of thing, you know?
Yeah. You’re speaking directly to these mission and it’s extremely clear like people come and they say, well, I don’t want to compete with anyone else. And we’re like, guys, you don’t, you don’t understand. First off, you’re already with other people. It’s already out there. And then, I mean if you, even if you look at the name brands, you know, state farm is on progressive’s website. That’s how crazy it is.
Well, so like, you know, also there’s enough business to go around, you know, like I said, I’m in a town of 14,000 people. My wife is my next door competitor. Um, you know, before we were dating, when we were just friends, my pitch to her, my, I guess not a lot come online when I was trying to get her to go out when there’s enough business to go around, I’ll say this, we’re next door to each other in a town of 14,000 people. I’m on the chamber board, she’s on the chamber board. I’m in the Lions Club. She’s on the, she’s in the Lions Club. I’m on the make a wish board. She’s on the make a wish board. We run into each other a lot physically, we almost never fight over the same, almost never because, well, number one, we mark it in different ways, but in terms of our paid marketing. But number two, there’s just, there’s enough, there’s enough to go around there.
Yeah. Well, I think that brings us to our next key takeaway is always play the long game. How do you and your agency play that long game?
So I think, uh, I was listening to an interview with Gary the other day and I know I listened to your podcast with the young lady that worked for Gary today, so I know everybody knows a guarantee, so I have to explain that, that. So, Gary, the, uh, he, he talked about this kid that approached them in an airport and it’s on one of his latest videos, approached him in the airport and kid gives him the spiel about how he lost all his money doing something. And Gary’s response was, you went for short term short term payoff, didn’t you? It’s like, absolutely, I made, I made a money play. And so that’s just sort of how I think about things is how my brain is wired. It’s not, okay, how can I benefit from this right now? Um, how is this going to benefit me 10 years from now?
How you see what I mean? And the simplest example is, is with marketing and branding, you know, all of, you know, all of my marketing and branding the brand is what’s going to propel me for the long-term. The brand is what after the paid advertising stops, my brand stays. That’s what’s going to keep people in the door, right? And I will sacrifice, and I say this very tip toe around the subject, but I will sacrifice short term business for the long-term play, right? An example I give of my brand and my marketing is very important to me. And an example I give is a few weeks ago, I was, like I said I had from the previous question, I have a lot of competition that are friends of mine, right? So we’ll go to a networking event and I say this very humbly, I’m not to sound, I’m not trying to stop much.
Yes, by saying this, but I’ll go to market a networking event and have several of my friends who are, who are other insurance agents with me in almost every networking event I go to around here. Somebody comes up to me and says, I love your marketing. I love your session. Maybe I love your videos and I have no idea who they are and my friends, my friends that our competitors will be like, man, I wish that would happen. You know, things like that. Right? It happens to you every time. Right? So fast forward, a few weeks ago, I got to the office about 6:30 in the morning and I had three things that I had to do before 8:00 pertaining to clients, right? And it was just this service things I had to take care of. And uh, I sit down at my desk. The very first thing I do is I start putting together an Instagram post for that day, right?
Um, now I still got the three things done. It wasn’t like I got to the office at 7:45 and I had to get them done, but I’m doing my Instagram posts or while I did it, I stopped and lean back and was like, you know, if 99 of my competitors were in this room watching me do this, and they had the same choice, they would do the three things first and then maybe do the social media posts if they could squeeze it in, right? Because I do all my stuff. No, none of its outsourced. And I thought that my son has said the same reason. The same people that don’t make their brand a priority are the same people that get pissed off when people don’t recognize them at networking events. So, I will sacrifice the short term for the long-term. I think you always have to have to make the long play.
I think when agents get complacent, like we talked about the referral guy, I think it’s, you’re taking short term over the long term, right? Um, you know, the, uh, another example, I was actually talking to my cohost Scott today, um, he is about to do a big giveaway in his office and I was just sort of talking to the phone with him about it and he’s going to do a live video and basically tell people the DMM if they want to get in on the contest and share the video or whatever. And then he said what? I said, make sure you do it from your business page. And he says, why? I said, because this is why. Because when I, when I do stuff for my personal page, he said I get way more engagement than I do on my, on my, uh, on my business page like everybody else in the world, right?
Because Scott, think about it like this. Yeah, you can do it from your business page and you’re going to get more stuff in the short term, more engagement in the short term. But if you do it from your business page, you’re going to get less engagement. But people are going to like that page and that that post is going to reach more people than on a normal post. Would those people that have liked your page and further down the road are going to engage with more your business page stuff because at some point you’re going to hit that $5,000 cap that Facebook puts on there and you’re going to have 5,000 friends, but you’re going to have a thousand followers on your business page. Right? So, think about it as a long-term. It’s a long-term deal, but that’s sort of, you know, a simple example. Um, another thing I do, so one of my things that I do is I go around to real estate offices and I give presentations on social media. That’s my number one source of business at this point. So I give presentations on social media to realtors and in turn they send me referrals. I don’t have to ask for it, they just do. I’m not to say referrals are my number one source of business.
So, uh, anyway, one thing I tell them is, is, is so many people are way too big, way too much right hook online, right? And there’s two, there too much sales, especially in insurance game and, and, and even in real estate, and this is one because they’re posting on Facebook and Instagram and twitter and LinkedIn with the intention of, okay, I’m gonna make this post and somebody is going to request a quote today or somebody is going to buy from me today. And when you do that, even if you have your values in your head, if the intention is to make a sale, you’re going to be too salesy and you’re going to lose. What you need to do is you need to post with the intention of creating engagement on that post. To me, that’s what the better marketers do. And in turn that will lead to a conversation which leads to a sale. That’s a, that’s another long-term play. So that’s sort of my definition in my philosophy.
Well, I think that brings us to a really good segue into this next one. So the marketing side, definitely you, you believe that’s really a first priority for you, but at the same time you don’t let customer experience and customer service a go by the wayside. And so the next takeaway you said was customer experience is greater than customer service. What’s that about
raising that for cases? Because everybody gives good customer service. You’re right about that. Or at least they say they do customer service. Yeah, exactly. If I was in a room full of, and I do this when I did my realtor presentations, if I was in a room full of a full of insurance agent, every insurance agent, United States of America and said, said, who here gives good customer service? Every single hand would go up and there’s a good chance. There’s a really good chance that everybody actually gives good customer service. You know, I don’t know where you guys are located. If you guys have chick filet there. Oh, from chick fil a chick fil a guy. Yeah, I know. You. Awesome. Great. Perfect. Well, I tell people, tell people you’re not getting good customer service at Chick filet. You’re getting good customer experience.
That is so right. So I got to stop you right there. So just got this new gym in town. We’re in Oklahoma City so that this new gym in town and it is, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s one of those gems where you look at it, it’s, it’s massive and it is a, it’s very nice and the service is supposed to be unbelievable and pay for it. But I go in and I mean it is one thing after the other that’s just wrong. And finally a person. I said, hey look, listen, I am here. I said, I know it sounds snobby, but I am here because I want the experience when I get up in the morning and come here, I want to start my day off with an amazing experience. Sound snobby. That’s okay, but I’m just telling you my reasoning. My reasoning is not because of that, you know the, the weights, the freeway, it’s over there. My reasoning is because when I walk in, I want an amazing experience, not good customer service. I want an experience and build. I, I still think I need to teach a class on that to them. Um, but I, I get what you’re saying. It’s in it.
It’s hard to say this is how to do it, you know what I mean? Our customer experience. Yeah. Yeah. And, and it’s, you know, the thing about gyms is a gym gyms are never going away, right? There’s no amount of homework out equipment that will replace the gym, you know, it’s, it’s Kinda like that post office government employees, like it’s not a priority in that industry because they’re not going to gym is closed and gyms open, but the gym industry ended up itself. You know what I mean?
But it’s, you know, customer experience, your customer service is what happens when something goes wrong. Customer experiences. What’s your proactive about now? That’s a Sydney road statement. I stole that from Sydney Road Agency nation, not Bradley Flowers, but uh, you know, I’ve got a buddy and I, and I’ve told this story publicly, so many confidential. He’s going to hear one of these and be like, you’re talking about me. I got a buddy that I was doing marketing for and I knew a little bit of marketing on the side. I don’t, I don’t take any money. I need to do it for free or I either, I either do it, spend my own money just to help the person or it’s a wash and they just basically pay me and I do it for them, but uh, like pay me for the ad spend or whatever. And we sat, we sat down this premium.
Okay, what’s your goal for Your Business? I want to take my business to x amount of dollars next year. Like, well, how are you going to do that? Good customer service. Okay, great. Um, but you know, how are you going to do that? Who’s that do outstanding customer service. I said, but like physically, what are you guys gonna do through exceptionally exceptional customer? You’re just adding words to customer service. What, what is it? What is customer service? When something goes wrong, we’re going to have exactly that. That’s sale. Nobody that’s in business for a long period of time doesn’t give good customer service is especially in the insurance industry. So in this guy wasn’t an insurance industry but, but so my focus on a day to day level from a tangible aspect is how to make that customer experience better. Is Our customer experience great? No, but it’s more important to me to customer service because I know if something goes wrong, our people or myself, we’re going to jump in and we’re going to make it right.
You know, I drove from mobile, Alabama to Roanoke, Alabama. We had a client who we accidentally took too much money out of her account bank draft, right. Um, unfortunately it was gonna take two to three business days for a check to be mailed to her and a refund check. And she did not have a, the carrier did this, not our agency. She did not have the money to make our house payment. And I drove, I drove. And this is not to Brag, I drove from mobile, Alabama to Roanoke, Alabama halfway there, stopped by the Home Office of the carrier. They hand wrote me a check. I drove that. So I want my money. It was carriers. I drove from mobile to Roanoke, which is six hours, one way, six hours handed her the checks that go make your house, tend to drift back. That’s customer service. That’s not customer experience because she’s still pissed off that it happened, but I made it right. You sort of mean like the customer experience would be something that happened on the front end that made it okay, that that happened. You see what I mean? Like, you know, this happened. It sucks, but, but they did a real, you know, they’re awesome. This kind of thing. So to me, man, that’s, you know, that’s the way that we as brick and mortar agencies are good in the long run to separate ourselves from the my companies and slash or close the gap. Yeah.
Find out what’s holding you back from doing what you want to do and get over it. That’s your fourth.
So you asked on here, do I have a specific story? And I do. This is something I’ve talked about on my podcast before. So I was on a and if I’m talking too much let me know. I go on tangents. I was on a periscope extremely early, right. Uh, at that point I had two years ago, I had never put myself on camera in a marketing setting. Now that’s like my go to. So, if you had told me two years ago that I would flip open Facebook live and talk to people about insurance, you are freaking crazy. There’s no way I’m doing that. It’s not gonna happen. It’s not going to happen. I was on periscope early. I was on periscope back in the day where you could put the little heat map, the United States of America and they’ll be two or three people going live upright and it would give you jump on there because I went, I went live one time and just put my face on there. I was showing the beach or something. It was like 30,000 people on there, like you imagine getting that on a Facebook live.
And then I do Instagram live and there’s four people on there and I keep going. I go with it, you know. So, um, but, and I would not put my face on it. I was like, I’m not going to do that. And finally I realized like, what is it that that’s keeping me from doing this and identified that it really, the only thing that was keeping me back was the fact that I cared what my fellow agents thought about me. They would state the ones even doing this. I cannot believe, you know what I’m saying. Like it was, it was, it was the opinions of other agents that, that was keeping me from doing that is buying. One day it just hit me. I was driving down the road and I was like, they’re literally never going to buy insurance from me ever. Why do I care what they think?
And, and I remember what happened. Um, there was a, a competitor who I am friends with too, was a basically selling the product that this person did not do business with their own agency. And I knew that for a fact and this person was out there selling this product and I’m a firm believer that you cannot sell a product that you don’t own or you cannot sell your agency to somebody if you yourself don’t do business with your agency. And so the very first video I did was if your insurance agent is trying to sell you, whoever is trying to sell your product, ask them if they would, if they’re doing business with themselves, if they’re not, you need to. You need to find out where they are doing business and go there. That was the first video on night and ever since then it was full for.
So I just always give that advice to people. Like if something’s holding you back, if you’re not doing something that you know you need to be doing, figure out what’s holding you back and then climbed that mountain. Right? One thing right now that I know I need to be doing is if I want to do. I think there’s, there’s a market for lack a daily log, right? I feel like I’m good enough on camera and enough interesting things happened to me throughout a week that I could put out a daily, weekly, monthly blog. Right. But I had to identify your Zack and Matt was gn and insurance. Absolutely killing it with their daily blog bobble on. Oh, it’s great. You go, go watch it. It’s, it’s Gary v quality. Um, yeah. I need to be doing that. So I had to identify what it is, is keeping me from doing that and then figure out a way to overcome it. So that’s just, that’s just something I believe in.
Yeah. That’s great. Talk about that more because I’m, I’m, yeah, absolutely. I’m a, I’m, I’m okay to be on video, but honestly, you know, that’s not my um, it’s, it’s not what I thrive on, you know, so it’s
always a rider. Yeah. I’m always. I was the blogger, right? I had a very good English teacher in high school. I was always like, my go to is always blogging. I write a blog post, a LinkedIn post on medium. If you go back on my LinkedIn and you’ll see some old articles on there from Twenty 15, 2016, a lot of them have taken down because my opinions changed. But uh, you know, but then when I figured out is, is, it’s easier for, it would be easier for me to get on camera and say the spiel about customer experience than it would be for me to write a blog post. Right. Even though the blog posts might be really good, it’s going to take me longer to do that, you know. So now what I do is I could video first and then if I want to write a blog post, I’d go to the notes section on my phone. I hit the little voice to text and I talk, I email it to myself, I’ll fix the grammar and I’ll post it. So it’s all about time, you know, it’s just, it’s easier for me to get on camera. I don’t think I have great camera skills. You know, I was on the phone with nick errors last night, uh, just chatting for a minute, a nick’s brilliant with video and I’m like, man, his skills on camera so much better than mine, but I know how to get my message across in my way. So yeah.
Yeah, no, it makes sense where your last key takeaway is give value and this is a big one. One that BriteBee strives to meet and everything we do. And so how do you specifically aim to provide value to your clients?
So I think that in every area of life you need to try to give more than you expect to receive. Um, you know, we do that with our podcast. We do that with a, we did that in the office. We try, we try to provide as much value as possible. My goal when I sit down with the client, it’s not to sell stuff for this, to sell them the best policy or point them in the direction for their best policy. I tell every client, this is not my value pitch until every client, look, show me what you got or show me what you, you’re getting quoted. If, if I can’t beat it, I’ll tell you. And I literally mean that. It’s not a sales pitch, right? Yeah, I did. I do this a lot with my realtors, but I talked to you. I had a realtor call me yesterday and she said, Hey Bradley, I want you to sit down and help me with some marketing stuff and I’m, I’m one of these guys that every minute of every day is booked up.
Um, we got lucky with this today because I had a three hour thing that canceled, so I had a bunch of white space, but literally everything’s accounted for and uh, so my time is precious to me. But my favorite thing that I do besides the podcast on a daily basis is sitting down with either realtors or other people and talk about marketing, right? I love and helping them with that. I love helping people. I really do. I’m not money motivated at all. And this realtor called me new realtor. She wants to sit down and talk about her marketing and I’m like, great, and she’s like, I know your time’s valuable so I’m willing to pay you. I’m like, no, not at all. You’re not going to pay me at all. I said, I said, my, my pay is the fact that this pays off for you.
Well, I’m going to send you business. I’m like, you can send me business. You don’t have to send me business. I know she will. Right. But I’m just, I’m willing to sit down and give them everything. It’s not, it’s not like I don’t, I’m not giving them just enough and hold some back for myself. Right. No, hold stuff back if I know they’re not, they’re either not ready or they won’t necessarily deploy that strategy, you know what I mean? And, and with, with our podcasts, you know, it’s, I have nothing against sponsors on a podcast, but we purposely have not done sponsors even though we’ve had people reach out to us because if x, Y, z vendor sponsors my podcast and then two years from now they come out with a crappy product. They have grade their product and all of a sudden it’s not the best option. I want to be able to say
that’s a terrible product without having that bias. You see what I mean? It’s just, it’s with, with, with our PA, our podcast is a podcast and the realtors, the best example is it’s, it’s, we want to help as many people as possible, as fast as possible. You know, with our podcast, we started it for fun and then, uh, we all of a sudden had agents reaching out to us. I have two or three agents have day reaching out to me, love the podcast. I need help with this. When people started reaching out to us saying, Hey, I’m about to leave my agency, or hey, this is happening, I had one guy call me and literally sent his resignation Catholic area while he was almost falling. They just started an independent agency. Like that’s a huge responsibility, right? So it’s, I think you just have to have it in your head.
Like, I’m going to try to benefit this person as much as possible without looking at it from a selfish, selfish reason. Yeah, yeah, definitely. It’s, I mean that’s almost the most important thing because it’s, you know, and when you go, when you, when you try to, when you try to take, take, take that, it goes back to the play, the long game, you know, and it’s take, take, take now, now, now you know, I mean this, you know, bright. It is something that, I mean that could live on for hundreds of years. Right. And that’s what you want. You want to benefit your kids, your grandkids and the only way you’re going to be able to do that is to provide value to your people. US honest value.
Yeah. You’re absolutely right. I mean you will Takeaways that are specifically geared towards us, honestly.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think too many, too many, you know, the referral partner saying is, is, is a really good example because I think too many agents to. One, I actually neglected the loan officer realtor market for several years because I didn’t want to be the typical insurance I did that showed up at your office or pastries and shoved a business card in your face to do some business, you know, and, and it, and so many agents, it’s like they go to you. I’ve done this before. I would go to speak to a group of realtors and I’d be like, Hey, my name’s Bradley. I have great service. We have awesome product. Best rates, please send me. It’s all about me, me, me, me, me. It’s not what can I do for you, you know? Um, and that’s something I learned from guys like Matt and Zack, which he had an insurance, you know, I actually flipped the Boston and spent the day with those guys and with parody.
So, uh, who’s an awesome, awesome mentor of mine, um, is, you know, sit down with that referral, partner that client and talk about, you know, talk about them, don’t, don’t, don’t talk about what they can do for you to talk about what you can do for them. You know, and too many agents that I talked to there, we’ll go into the real estate offices and asking you to send this business. How much business have you sent them? Right. You know, I’ve, I’ve had a loan officer right now that I’m sending business to them and I stopped by their office the other day and there was a box of cookies from my, from one of my competitors now appointed. I must say, guys, if y’all want me to start bringing cookies, I can do that. And they just busted out laughing like, you know.
Right. That’s so funny. I’ll tell you, we don’t have a lot more time, but let me list off all of these five takeaways again, just to make sure everyone hears them clearly. So your competition is your friend to always play the long game. Three customer experience is greater than customer service for find out what’s holding you back from doing what you want to do and get over it, get over it. And then five, give value. Really appreciate you being on today, Bradley. And I’m really, really excited to, to actually probably, you know, come and see you and actually get to talk to you more versus just the podcast, um, but really excited about what you’re doing and your, your service to an insurance agents specifically, and your care for the industry in general is just great. Um, and, and really excited.
Appreciate that man with you. We’ll have you on our podcast today.
Well, thanks man. Well hopefully I can give as many stories as you did and I’m going to have to get some number one snapchat, you know, rating or something to make sure I hasn’t.
I mean, that’s, that happened, but in a way it’s kind of a joke, you know, don’t worry, go back and forth. But, you know, the thing is, is that it’s. I went so long, I went a long time without talking about these things I’m talking about now, you know, I didn’t try to be an expert quote unquote right out of the gate, like a lot of these people. Do you know what I mean?
One thing I’m,
they do. And the thing is, is, is, you know, I’m not gonna talk about anything that I don’t know for sure that I’m right on.
Yeah, we can get in there and jumping because we’re really excited and we get in there too soon and we think, man, we’re going to take a step back. Don’t know as much as. Yeah. Well we want to remind all of our listeners to subscribe and review. Now you can give a review on this guys. How could you not give a five star and then we’ll do some press release to make him feel better that he got five stars, a good review so we can put that on instead of the snapchat. But don’t forget for insurance try BriteBee.com where insurance quotes don’t sting. Uh, I’m going to try to get Bradley on there too. Uh, just to make sure that you guys can find him. So go to BriteBee and by this time you should be able to see him as well. And uh, guys, we really appreciate it. I will look forward to you all listening later on. Thanks.
Check out Alfa Insurance: https://www.bradleyflowersinsurance.com/
Connect with Bradley on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saralandinsurance/
Listen to The Insurance Guys Podcast: http://theinsuranceguyspodcast.com/