The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Keith Tilghman
1. Find an agent you can trust and share with them personal details about you
2. Visit with your agent and insurance professional and discuss why you chose certain liability limits
3. Review your policies on an annual basis with your agent
4. Let your agent know what’s changed in your life (For instance, if you do a house add-on, let your agent know in order to make sure it’s covered)
5. Stop and think about at the time of an accident or tragedy: “Do you ask for the cheapest price or do you ask ‘Am I covered?”
On today’s Hive Five episode of the Person Behind the Professional, we had the privilege of sitting down with Keith Tilghman of Tilghman Family Insurance Agency. Tilghman Family Insurance is an independent insurance agency located in Edmond, Oklahoma, however they handle coverage in both Oklahoma and Texas. They offer home, auto, business, boat, motorcycle, general liability, and workers comp insurance, as well as much more.
Keith writes coverage with companies like SafeCo, Travelers, Mercury, ASI, Progressive, American Risk Insurance, and many more in order to get his clients the best rates to fit their needs. He discusses why consumers shouldn’t be nervous just because they may not recognize some of these names. They are still reputable companies that Keith trusts.
Before insurance, Keith worked in the retail industry for 29 years. Twenty-seven of those years were with the same company. When he pivoted to insurance, he felt like he could educate and engage people with insurance. Keith is passionate about helping clients better understand insurance and how it works. He does this by always making himself available to answer any questions his clients may have.
Keith works very hard to build personal relationships with each and every one of his clients. He loves to hear their stories and works to take an active interest in their personal life, but will only get as personal as the client wishes. He discusses how caring and serving people actually got Keith free exposure to over 100,000 people.
Because of Keith’s passion for building personal relationships, he believes that keeping your business and your personal life separate is very hard to do, especially because clients want to know that their agent is a real person too.
Lastly, Keith discusses some of the biggest challenges in building valuable and long-lasting relationships, but also how these challenges can be overcome. For people that listen to this episode, we believe you will be encouraged to serve others in your agency, business, or even just life in general.
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Everyone has a story and everyone has been there for business owners, to parents to young adults. The hive. Five aims to tell stories about overcoming the struggles and adulting while celebrating the little victories of y in each podcast. Our guests give insight to five key takeaways from someone who’s been there and done that, leaving you better than when you started. Thank you so much for listening. My name is Keegan with bribery and today we have a special guest. His name is Keith Tillman, Tillman family insurance agency located in Edmond.
Well, hello. How are you? I’m doing great. Kagan. Okay, well thank you so much for being on today and you know, we, we’ve had some struggles with technology with our podcast and Keith was one of our first people we ask to help us with this and he was so gracious to do that. And then we had to reschedule a on him, then worked through some different tech problems. So thank you so much for your patience.
Not a problem.
So Keith, tell me a little bit about your agency you’re located in Edmond, Oklahoma, and tell me about what products you offer and what kind of client you’re looking for.
We’re an independent agency so we work with many different companies and we do home auto, business, insurance, boat, motorcycle, know a lot of, lot of the business, general liability, work comp, so a lot. A lot of areas that we cover. And our typical customer I would say is probably mid age. 30th five to 15 generally has a family.
Okay. And tell, tell us a little bit about the, the type of companies that you represent. So maybe some of the reputable companies, uh, the names of the reputable companies maybe that you represent or some that really stick out to you.
A SAFECO, travelers, mercury progressive and Progressive Home Insurance Asi. And then another one arm, American risk insurance. Those are primarily the big ones that we would do business with.
Okay. You know, and sometimes do you feel like that the customers sometimes get a little leery when when they hear some of these names that maybe they maybe they haven’t heard of as much in Oklahoma or Texas area? How do you describe that to them and how do you help them understand that these are very rough people? Companies, maybe they just don’t have billboards everywhere and also not have a commercials everywhere and spending and millions of dollars on all of that.
And typically my experience has been you’ll have customers ask you about it and I, I assure them from my standpoint, I mean there’s companies that I have my personal insurance with that I, I may tell them, hey, you know, I have my insurance with Asi and so I trust them and I believe in them. Sometimes I’ll tell them the financial aspects, like they’re an a plus rated company, which means you know, what, what that means. And typically if I, if I just give them kind of a sense that I’m comfortable most of the time the customers I’ve dealt with have felt comfortable from there and I’ll be honest with them. I mean, if there’s somebody that I’m like, wow, this is a new company I’m just started dealing with, then I’ll tell them that as well and it’s just a matter of, you know, rely on the facts, the information about a company and telling them you stand behind it and you’ve always got me as an advocate, you know, if you get in a claim situation, I’m there to help you as well.
So transparency is definitely something that you, I believe from talking to you and also having a little bit of experience with you with, with my sister actually. She found you on Bright B. um, and we are so thankful for. But transparency is a big deal for you and honesty, but you didn’t begin in this industry. Correct. You didn’t start out at you, you started out in some other industry. And I want to know a little bit about why you decided to go into an industry that, you know, sometimes it’s not looked at as, as the most transparent industry.
You know, I started in retail and I was in retail for 29 years, 27 with the same company. And, you know, my job there was to engage with people to be a teacher and I felt like, you know, as I got to a point where I wanted to make a career change, I felt like that could still be something that I did with insurance where I engage people and, and, and taught them a little bit about insurance. I mean, I don’t think I realized the reputation that insurance had at the time. I mean sometimes people look at a bad, but you know, my job is to help them with the lack of understanding they have with insurance and, and to be engaging and teaching and kind of using a constitutive type type approach where I’m asking questions and getting the answers and you know, teaching them the ins and outs of insurance. And not that they’ll remember it. But at the end of my conversations general, I’ll tell them now I know you’re not going to remember all this, but you’ve got my phone number and I come here to help you. You know, when you do have questions,
you know, I think, you know, as well, they may not remember what you, what you said, but they remember that you said something and I think that’s so important and it seems that you have a passion for serving and interacting with people. Uh, definitely from, from what I can tell and talking to you over over the last weeks. So tell me about how you make the most of this passion through your work and your agency.
Well, and it’s a simple, simple thing that probably many people do, but the first thing I do is listen, you know, I listened to the customer, find out what they’re wanting, ask them questions and beyond insurance, I go onto different things. I asked them if they have kids, you know, what kind of work they do, you know, do they have pets? I mean I get into more of a personal relationship building and really just talk about like if it’s before the fourth of July, it was the other day I’ll ask somebody, oh, do you have plans for the holidays or weekend or whatever the situation may be. And listening to what they say and then just following up with their, their conversation or their concerns. I can tell you an example. Just this morning I had a customer who put our name out to recommend to her followers and she has like 140,000 followers on facebook. She did a live video and she was speaking about her products and her services and she mentioned us because we had sent a card to her husband whose brother had passed away and we just through listening to her and hearing her, you know, we reacted, sent out a card telling them what we were thinking about them. And so then we get the exposure of 140,000 people just by being caring and listening and following up with that.
So you’re telling me that listening is extremely important and you know though you aren’t trying to market anything, I don’t believe you were trying to market anything at that point. Just having a relationship with someone, it actually benefited you later down the road and your business. Now that’s not always how it works, but that’s really unique. And also encouraging that you can have a relationship with people and you can spend and invest time. You also sometimes can, can reap some benefits from it as well.
Yeah, and I’ve seen quite a few times, but it’s really first about having that relationship with customers when they decide if they have a small increase, if they’re going to stay or go with me, they’re going to look at that relationship they have and value that. And it’s um, it’s invaluable to have that relationship.
You’re absolutely right. The Keith that deal is, is that anyone listening to this, I know that people are thinking it takes a lot of time to listen. Right? And I am so busy. How do I continue to listen? What keeps me motivated to continue down that path of listening because it’s so easy to lose lose track of that. Correct?
Yeah, it is. Um, but I’ve just gotten into a habit. Part of it was my former career and you know, listening to people and here and their ideas, their thoughts and, and engage in with them. I can’t engage somebody if I’m talking about what I want to talk about, I have to engage them on what they’re wanting to talk about and and I can’t do that through any other way than listening.
You’re absolutely right. So one of the things that, that I’ve said to many people is there’s this saying that you’ve got to keep your personal and your business as separate and honestly I don’t believe in that at all. I think that the what you do in your personal life will overflow into your, into your business life, and it’s, it’s a daily thing. It’s very difficult to keep those things separate because it’s so much a part of your day every day. So would you say that you strive to practice that listening and the relationship building outside of work or is this really just a strategy that you use inside?
No, I think it’s outside of work too. I’ll tell you honestly. I mean, in the past I’m a pretty private person and it was hard for me to loosen up and to open up to people, but I, I’m doing a better job of that now on facebook and, and maybe in an outside of work where, you know, people want to know I’m a real person. So what is it that makes me a real person? You know, I have a dog, you know, I have kids, I have grandkids and I can talk about them and that, that lets them know that I’m no different than they are and that I’m a real person. I just happened to do insurance, but you know, it’s, it’s part of that building a relationship that they can relate to me and I can relate to them that makes a difference in the longterm.
True. So what would you say some of your biggest challenges are in your agency and how you grow your agency and also just dealing with, with customers?
The biggest challenge for all of us is, is finding the people to build the relationship with finding somebody that is willing to take the time and you know, maybe they’re, they’re happy with where they’re at and insurance and know how do we, how do we break into a relationship that they may already have. So you know, finding those people and then you know, starting that process of listening and caring and you know, building, building that relationship from there, you know, bright based something as physicians as well to, to start that in a different way. But I mean I think I’ve got to have 10 or 12 different ways of finding those people and getting a couple from h each different area that’s gonna allow me to talk to them.
And, and you make such a good point right there of that you’re going to have to have multiple channels and that’s one thing that we need to be completely honest. We’re working and striving to communicate that to our agents and helping them understand that we’re at, we are a tool in their tool belt and we want to price it as that. We want it to be effective for them and valuable, but at the same time, first off, that takes time. The other thing is is that there are many more channels out there that you’ve got to have your hand in a to make sure that you’re reaching many different groups of people, wouldn’t you say?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think having that range of different people. I mean you have that that’s critical to your growth.
What would you say the biggest misconception or misunderstandings regarding insurance or agents that you would say consumers have a towards, towards you or other other insurance companies?
Pick one. There’s so many people that you deal with every day. People call in, they want insurance for their car and you talked to them and they want full coverage, full coverage, full coverage is that anything that they have go wrong with their car is going to be covered. So it’s a perception of what full coverage means to each person and finding out what that means and defining it for that customer. But that’s a misconception that, you know, I’ve got full coverage on my car and then the other that you hear quite often as people asking, well can’t you get this lower in price? You know, we, we typically don’t control that pricing mechanism that’s more the carrier, whether it be a captive carrier, allstate or state farm or whether it be independent carriers like Safeco and travelers. They set their pricing based on their risk. And so we don’t, we don’t have a magic button that we can push and take off $60 for the six months and make it $10 a month cheap. So, you know, that’s part of our communication is that, you know, we, we have to make sure they get all the discounts that they qualify for. But other than that, the pricing is, is not something that, you know, we, we said we’re trying to take advantage of them.
Yeah, definitely. Well, we don’t have much more time, but I want to talk to you and ask you as we ask all of our guests on the podcast, the five takeaways from being an insurance agent and using business as an avenue for, for caring for people, what would those five takeaways be for you?
The first one I think is important is finding an agent that you can trust and share with them things about you, what assets are trying to protect, who you are, what you’ve got going on in your life. Because if if somebody closed, don’t share with us, you know, hey, I’ve got this painting or this jewelry, or ring that’s 20,000. I had a customer one time that had a $90,000 rolex that they didn’t share with me. What kind of impact that can have on their lives, so find somebody you can trust and then share with them. The second thing is visit with your agent, an insurance professional, and discussed how you choose your liabilities. I image whether it’s on your home or car, boat, motorcycle, whatever it is, you know, what? What shows you, what caused you to choose the data dilemmas that you have? Was it just what you hear people have to be compliant with the state?
Um, because it’s not always going to serve you the best if you’re not looking at what the liability limits really need to be. Third, I think reviewing your policies on an annual basis with your agent. Everybody gets so busy in their lives that they don’t have time, but taking that five, 10 minutes to stop and to review your with your agent know, let’s let them know. I guess kind of fourth. Let them know what’s changed in your life. You know, I’ve added onto my house but I didn’t tell my agent. So when, if something were to happen, I’m not fully covered because what I added onto my house, raised my value, my home, 20, $30,000 and I don’t have coverage for that. That’s very true. And then I’ll think fifth is to really stop and think about at the time of an accident or tragedy.
Do you ask yourself, did I get the cheapest price or do you ask yourself, am I covered? Because I think there’s the moment of truth, it’s not what I paid on a monthly basis, but when something happens am my cupboard, so I think those five things are things that I would, I would definitely have people think about really, you know, take them to heart and say, you know, am I looking at this, you know, do I trust my agent and am I covered a lot of paid. I paid the cheapest because I got it and that 15 minutes that they gave me, but you know, my cars and not covered. Right? So
it definitely pays off and the end to have that security knowing that you’ve been taken care of and you’ve taken care of your, your insurance needs before that time comes and hopefully it never does. But as we know from being in the insurance world, it usually does at some point in so something, something always good to consider. Keith, how do our consumers reach you and how, how, what is the best way to find you?
You can, you can google us. Tilghman family insurance or our website is two f, t dot. Okay. Dot Com. Which is the woodlands financial group, Oklahoma Dot Com. Our phone number four. Oh, five, seven, five, seven, one nine, three, three. So any of those ways, those three different ways you can reach us and get in touch with us and we’ll start the process of building a relationship.
That is so great. Well, thank you so much for being on today and anyone who is looking to also learn more about Keith, you’re more than welcome to go to BriteBee.com. Look through our agent directory page and type in Keith Tilghman and you will find him there with a great bio and also additional information regarding him. He’s have a wonderful day and everyone listening, thank you so much and we’ll talk to you soon.
Keith’s BriteBee Profile: https://app.britebee.com/agents/keith_tilghman_10
Find Keith here: http://twfgok.com/