The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Mark Jameson
1. You have to set your priorities first and foremost
2. Hard work and great attitude overcome nearly everything
3. Don’t get out of kilter when something bad happens (that’s how life works)
4. It’s not that hard to stand out, so pay attention to the people around you, listen to what they have to say, and have a good conversation
5. Quit texting, and have a true conversation
In this episode of the Person Behind the Professional, we are honored to talk with Mark Jameson, an Allstate agent with offices in Burleson, Cleburne, Colleyville, and Southlake, Texas. With these four locations, Mark is not only the largest agency that we’ve had on the podcast, but he is also the largest Allstate agency in Texas and one of the largest in the whole United States. As an agency, they’ve been labeled a Peak Performer within Allstate and have ranked within the Top Five Allstate agencies out of 11,000 in the US. However, the honor they are most proud of is having been recognized twenty-nine different times by consumers as “Best Of”, or “Favorite”, or “Most Liked” insurance agency in Texas.
One of the big topics discussed in this episode is how Mark has been able to grow his agency from when he started out nineteen years ago by himself to now having four locations and being able to serve 9,000 households as an agency. One of the really impactful quotes from Mark is “You can either exist in circumstances, or live in vision, and my team lives in a vision.” We talk with Mark about what this vision is and how they carry it out for their clients on a day to day basis. He acknowledges the daunting task they’ve undertaken to deliver an experience of unparalleled customer service and how that service has made clients into walking-talking billboards that have gotten the agency to their current place in the community.
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Thanks for listening today. My name is Brian today and the person behind the professional, we’re honored to have mark Jameson with allstate. He has an agency for locations. I think that’s probably the most locations that have an agent we’ve ever talked to and he’s throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex. He’s also noted as one of the largest allstate agents in the state of Texas. Also received countless honors awards like peak perform with allstate and ranking of the top five agencies that were over 11,000 in the nation. Mark and his agency are also very involved in the communities that the school system, athletic departments and more. Mark, thank you so much for being on today.
Yeah, you bet. My pleasure. Glad to. Glad that we could get together and share stuff and listen. You missed the. Probably the thing that I’m most proud of about what we’ve accomplished over the course of time and tell me we will hit our 19th anniversary on September the first. That’s not it, but what I’m most proud about is 29 different times, uh, in my career, we have been recognized as best of or number one or favorite back consumers in our marketplace. So of all the accolades I’ve gotten from all state and all that kind of stuff, the thing I’m most proud of is that our own consumers unaided. By the way, none of this. I don’t send step out. I mean, you know, the local newspapers, magazines, radio stations, they run these, hey, tell us who’s best in the market. Twenty nine times we’ve won an award like that. So that, that’s, that’s probably the single proudest thing that I could point to in my career in insurance.
Well, you must have an amazing team, especially with four locations. I know you’re not doing that all by yourself.
Yeah. You know, when I started that 10 years ago and it was just me in one office with one and a half sales or one and a half staff members. I had a fulltime lady and a part time lady helping me. You know, I did do a whole lot of it, you know, in four locations now we serve over 9,000 households in the metroplex. It absolutely doesn’t happen without great team members and I couldn’t do any of what I do without them. They do a magnificent job. A famous football coach once said that you can exist in circumstance or live in vision and my team lives in a vision and our vision is to deliver a customer experience that’s unparalleled not only in the insurance business but with any of the vendors that our customers do business with. We want them to think of us as the best vendor that they have and that’s a vision in my team has chosen to live the end of the vision and set of simply existing circumstances.
it is constant attention to detail and it’s a constant reminder to my team that that’s what got us where we are today. It is odd, decided to long time ago that we had to have a foundation of bedrock upon which we would build our business and I chose customer service as that foundation. I’ve always believed that if you give great service, people will come to you and they will stay with you. And then ultimately our goal is to make our customers walking, talking billboards for us, uh, where they’re telling their friends and families and acquaintances, wow, if you want, if you need insurance, you need to talk to mark Jamison and his team because you just can’t beat their service.
That makes complete sense. So I want to talk a little bit more about where you, where you started because as, as you said, you did not start with four locations and not at all. And so tell me a little bit about the grit that you had that, what did you have to go through to get to this point?
When I started, I was not an insurance guy. And by the way, I don’t think most people in the industry grow up thinking, Hey man, I’m going to be in the insurance business. It’s just not the way it works. I had always wanted to own my own business. And the opportunity that allstate provides is indeed to be an entrepreneur and to own your own business. And when you’re above the personality like me, and this is really a terrible reflection, I think maybe, and that is, I just had where I’ve been a corporate guy for 20 years and unfortunately I’d never worked for anyone that I felt like I couldn’t do their job better than they were doing it. And when you’re of that personality, you got to own your own business. That’s the only way to survive. And so I ran into this opportunity, uh, which has just been magnificent for me and my family, best decision I ever made was becoming an allstate agent.
And, you know, I got into it not really knowing anything about it. And uh, I woke up pretty quickly and went, oh, wow, this is a really crappy job, is what I have here. And I didn’t want a job. I wanted a business. Right? And so I had to, you know, frankly I had to get big quickly or I would have never stayed in it. And uh, so we just made the determination that we had to, we had to start growing and we needed to do it at a rapid rate. And things have, you know, I’ve been extraordinarily blessed in many, many different aspects. Really blessed beyond belief. It was hard, it was hard work. You don’t get to our size, our scale in this industry, uh, without, um, like my grandfather used to say, keep your eye on the ball, your nose to the ground and you shoulder to the wheel.
You know, you just gotta you just gotTa, you know, kind of a for lack of better description. I’m an east Texas boy. So, you know, lack of better description, head down and butt up kind of the way it works. So one of the biggest struggles that you faced. Well, I think the biggest struggle is that there are a number of things that are out of my control, specifically insurance, business pricing. I have zero to do with the pricing. There’s no negotiation. You know, we take our consumer’s information, we plug it into the machine and there’s an algorithm and it spits out a price. And sometimes my practice is really, really good and sometime I price is maybe not quite so attractive. What I quickly learned was is because I don’t control the price, I ha. I have to rely on things that do control. Now I do control the level of service I deliver.
We can give a better service experience. Now, here’s the other thing I’m blessed with. Allstate has the best insurance products in the industry. We offer things that nobody in the industry offers. Listen to this. We guarantee what you’re buying because if you’re buying insurance, you’re buying claims. We guarantee the claim experience. If you don’t like the claim experience, we give you your money back in. By the way, we’ll do it for any reason up to and including and for all the folks that are about to hear this. Don’t get mad at me because my son has red hair. I tell people is, if you don’t like your claims adjuster because he’s got red hair, we’ll give you your money back. I’ll tell you for any reason, we’ll give you your money back. It’s called claim satisfaction guarantee. We will give you your money back. Nobody in the industry does that except all states, so I start out ahead of the game because I got stuff nobody else gives.
I also have a product that will agree to never raise your rates because of a chargeable accident. There’s nobody in the industry that does it like we do now. There’s a couple of copycats that kind of halfway do it, but not like we do because if you’re with your typical insurance company and you have a wreck, I can assure you that your price is about to go up 25 to 60 percent depending on the carrier. I’ll give you a product until you are never raise your rates because you had an accident. I’ll also reduce your deductible by $100 right this second, meaning if you were in a different place and you had a $500 dollar deductible, it’s $400 with me in every year. You don’t have a wreck. I’ll knock it off another hundred bucks all the way down to zero, and then the next cool thing is if you don’t file a claim and a six month period, I’ll send you a check for up to five percent of your premium back, a check you can cash and go buy dinner with or whatever else you want to do. So I guarantee my product a reduce your deductible. I’m never going to raise your rates. I mean I got this deal. I got the world by the tail. I got the best products that are guaranteed and I give great service.
Well, it definitely sounds like you’ve got the world by the tail and the Latin. The next question was going to ask was how do you work to maintain this growth? But I can already tell you because you believe in your product, you believe in whatever and, and that helps maintain your growth. But let me ask you this. So some people might be a little hesitant to go with a large agency. You may have heard something. Well, you know, they’re, they’re so big, I won’t ever see the agent or what. What do you,
what do I say to those folks? Well, here’s what a sight. I am available to any of my customers anytime they want it. Now I’ll tell you this, that we get a lot of calls that say, hey, how much do I owe this month? All right, now I’m just going to be straight up with everybody this listening. If you want to say hi to me, I will, but I’m not going to tell you how much you. I’ve got 25 people that work for me. They will tell you that. I mean, I got a bunch going on. So. But now if you just say, look, I’m not comfortable with something that’s happened to me, whatever. I’ll talk to anybody anytime. But the truth is, you know, for Canada, the everyday stuff, I simply can’t. I can’t service 9,000 households. You know, that’s probably closer to 20,000 people. I’ve just never going to be able to do that. But I can tell you this, that I spend an inordinate amount of time training my staff to believe what I believe and to give great service. And I think just being straight up with you, I think our record speaks for itself 29 different times. Our consumers, we’re best up where the best insurance agent in the market place. So I feel like that’s it. But any of my customers that want to talk to me, I’m apps. I’m never dodging anybody anytime.
So how do you balance all this? You know, you’re extremely busy and you’ve got over 20 employees. How do you manage, manage this company in leading all these people, but also, uh, you know, you said your, your family. How do you manage that? How does that come together?
Well, first of all it comes because I got great people and they’re, you know, I don’t, for lack of better vernacular, y’all forgiven her. I don’t have to Babysit my people. I empower them. Let me tell you what I tell them. You do whatever it takes to make our customers happy. There are three exceptions. Don’t break the law, don’t do anything immoral or unethical and don’t do anything that will jeopardize my contract with all states other than those three criteria. Do what ever it takes to make our customers happy. That’s how we do it.
Do you have a maybe a particular story where that has happened where you’ve empowered one of your employees to to do something that made a world of difference, but it wasn’t because of what you told them to do, but what they actually did for the consumer
recently we had a customer who just did not enjoy their claims experience. Now we don’t handle claims were, you know, we were the sales and service side. We’re not. None of us are licensed to be adjusters. We don’t have that ability, but they weren’t having a great claim experience. Now we always hop in and try to help to the best of our ability, but we can’t always fix that. So what they did is they reminded our customer that we have the claim satisfaction guarantee. So we started that process. The customer got their money back. They also got a a couple of gift cards and sent flowers with an apology. Now they didn’t need to call and asked me to do that because they didn’t break the law. They didn’t do anything immoral or unethical and they didn’t jeopardize my contract with allstate. I got an email later about that situation who said, mark, you need to know that I was on the verge of leaving. I wasn’t happy, but because you all stepped in and did everything you could and really you didn’t need to send flowers or give me gift cards, but because you did that, I’m going to stay with you.
Yeah, it’s amazing. Just a small, small gift just to notice your employees notice a need. That’s really great. So tell me a little bit about the products you offer and the company’s. Now. I know that you are with allstate, but um, are there some other companies as well that you represent that all state allows?
We’re called. I’m an exclusive agent, meaning that I can only sell allstate products or the ones that they designate that I can sell. Um, and so over the court, when I first started, we really only had allstate branded products. Over the course of time, the company recognize that we did. There were some gaps. There’s some cluster customers that need something beyond their personal automobile and their personal home in their personal toys protected. Of course we do life insurance and annuities, you know, oh, by the way, we’re one of the largest life and retirement producers in the United States and the all state system. Um, but, uh, anyway, on the property and casualty, sad, you know, we have customers where we do all their personal line step that they had some business land insurance that was not in the market direction of all states. So they have allowed us to go out and uh, in our parlance we call it broker some products. And so depending on the risk, you know, I’ve got a number of other companies that we can get insurance from and through. We have permission to do that. And that’s really helped us because we kind of close some gaps for. So I’m real happy that the company recognized that and allows us to do it.
Well. Mark, we don’t have a lot of time last, but I would love to hear five key takeaways from you on insurance life. What you’ve learned as a business owner. What would those five things?
Well, I think first of all, you need to set your priorities in life first and foremost. Okay. What’s most important to you know? For me it’s pretty simple in an order, by the way, an important, you know, God’s at the top. My family second and then my business is third. Now I don’t. I’m not suggesting that your business or your job needs to be third. I would say to you that if one into art, in some level of importance above your job and your business, you should reevaluate. So that’d be the first thing I would tell you that hard work in great attitude overcome nearly everything because I can tell you, you can be the smartest person in the world, but if you don’t work hard and don’t have a great attitude, it’s never going to get you anywhere. I like to tell folks I’m not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but I don’t.
There are very few people that are going to be willing to outwork me, so you don’t have to be the smartest person ever, but you do have to have a perseverance and determination because guaranteed last gonna throw some curves that you sometime and you need to be able to deal with it. And by the way, I also don’t think that folks need to get all out of kilter when something bad happens to them. That’s just the way it works. You just take it, you accept it, you do the best you can and you move on and you know, throwing a baby fit and pouting about it didn’t do anybody any good in it. Doggone sure didn’t solve the problem, but I can tell you this. Solving the problem starts with recognizing it and then working your tail off and doing everything you can and while it may not fix it, every time you have done what’s within your control.
And I think that’s. I think that’s key. And the other thing that I’ve observed, and maybe a bit older than your, than the folks that are listening to you just for reference, those who hear this, I’m 55, I’ll tell you this, what I’ve observed is that the bar has gotten substantially lower. It’s not that hard to stand out in the crowd. So I would recommend to all the folks and by the way, I’m pointing my finger at myself while we’re talking. Put that dad gum phone down in that smart thing you got and pay attention to the people around you. Listen carefully to what they have to say and then look him in the eye and have a good conversation with them in turn that damn phone off and fix a bunch of stuff. And by the way, quit texting everybody. Let’s have a conversation while it’s easy to text and while it’s easy to send emails, what people value truly is, is other people who can communicate with them.
It’s amazing to me when I see young folks who are sitting side by side spending quality time together and they never look at one another. They just pounded away on the phone and so what that does, what that has done is it’s lowered, lowered the bar for success. So when people come in and want to work with me, you know, they want to come to work for me. If they can’t look me in the eye and carry a conversation, it’s just never going to work. Right. And you’d be shocked at the number of people that I interviewed just can’t do that. They just don’t have the ability. Hell, they’re nervous sitting there because they’re not playing on their phone. Yeah. How’s that for takeaways?
Hey, I think they are phenomenal takeaways.
I’m going to guess I made about half your audience mad, but that’s okay. They like that old coot. He doesn’t know anything. Laugh is passed him by babies.
You should hear the other things. People say, no, this is. This is phenomenal and that’s, that’s why. That’s why we want to hear from people like you and to hear the experience and this is so valuable to anyone listening that this is not just about insurance. So fantastic. The last question we have for you, I told you my five key takeaways was the last question, but really the last question we have for you is how do people get in touch with you? What is the, what is the best way?
Well, and so we. I will say this as old as I am and it’s set in my ways as I am. I do know this, that we have to be available in the manner in which our consumers choose to do business with us. So that’s it. This is a. This should be a fairly extensive list. You can google search, Mark Jamison, allstate. I promise it’s going to come up. I’ve got four different locations. Pick the one closest to you. If you don’t know which one’s closest to you, pick any of them and it’ll go right to our website. It’ll give you the telephone number, a, it’ll give you our email address. You know there’s 100 ways via the Internet to get in contact with me. If you’re like me and you much prefer to call just alley one, seven, four, four, seven, one, one, three, nine.
That’ll ring it. What we refer to as a Home Office or our primary location, I don’t view it that way. That’s the way the company says it because it was about first. So Danny Burleson. But uh, you can, you know, it’ll go with if everybody is on the telephone at Burleson, we’ll find somebody who’s not on the telephone. And by the way, I’ve had this phone system for about 10 years and I’ve never one time seen every single one of my employees on the phone at the same time. Oh, I forgot to tell you this. One of the things that we do different than everybody else is you are never enlisted, never going to get voicemail, and you are never ever going to go through an Ivr where you dial my number. It says, punch one for this, two, for that three for this. What’s your policy number?
What’s your birthday? What’s your social security? Are you willing to give me your first born? Then you get to talk to somebody and then the lab body says, now, tell me who you are and what’s your name? What’s your policy number? I never ever going to do that. You’re going to get a live voice within 13 seconds. Every time you call me between 8:30 and 5:30, Monday through Friday, you will always talk to a lab body period into story and so you can call that phone number. You’re going to get a live body every single time unless the Internet stand because I do have voice over Internet protocol. If the Internet goes down, I’m in trouble.
but beyond that, you are going to talk to somebody or you can email me at Marc m a R K dot Jamison, j a m e s o email@example.com. So you can get me the internet telephone website. My email address I just gave you it. What else can I do?
There’s not much else. I mean you’re even on social media and everything else, so.
Oh, I forgot. Yes, we do have a facebook. We have an insta twitter Graham book or something,
My daughter, my young daughter, uh, handles all that for me. I just, she tells me what we have a [inaudible] I’m not even sure. I don’t personally, I don’t personally, twitter grant myself.
Great. Well we really, we really appreciate you being on today and we want to make sure that everyone subscribes to this podcast and also gives us a review on a market and what your thoughts were on him. Uh, we, we know it would be great. Also, we want to remind you, and don’t forget that if you’re looking for insurance, what’s that? Don’t stay in which everyone should be checkout bing.com and you will find Mark Jamison there as well with an amazing profile, a great bio and some videos. I hope everyone has a wonderful day and we will talk to you soon.
Find Mark’s BriteBee Profile Here: https://app.britebee.com/agents/mark_jameson_99
Find Mark’s Website Here: https://agents.allstate.com/mark-jameson-burleson-tx.html
Follow Mark on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/MarkJamesonAllstate/
Follow Mark on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesonagency