The Hive Five Podcast
5 Key Takeaways from Aaron Ruiz
1. Got to believe in your product
2. Got to believe in your company
3. Build relationships
4. Find your niche
5. Set tangible goals
In this episode of the Person Behind the Professional, we are excited to sit down with Aaron Ruiz (pronounced “reese”), a Shelter Insurance agent with Aaron Ruiz Insurance Agency in Oklahoma City. Aaron has worked in sales since graduating college, both with Paycom and since he became an insurance agent when he was only 23 years old.
Aaron knew growing up that he wanted to work in sales, but he didn’t know that he would be selling insurance. During his senior year of college, he got a sales internship with Paycom, which pretty much consisted of cold calling all day, every day. After he graduated, Paycom hired him as an outside sales rep for about a year, and Aaron says that it was the best sales training he has ever received.
However, after a year at Paycom, an opportunity arose to do something that was a little less stressful when a friend, who was a Shelter Insurance agent, let him know of a book of business that would soon be available. Shelter wasn’t starting scratch agencies in Oklahoma, but Aaron was blessed with the opportunity to take over a current book of business when he was only 23 years old. It was an ideal situation because it was already producing some revenue, and Aaron already had some sales experience. Nevertheless, Aaron talks in this episode about why it wasn’t of benefit to come in and sell, sell, sell, but the necessity of actually running the agency like a business.
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Hey guys, thanks for listening today. My name is Keagan with BriteBee where insurance quotes don’t sting. And today on this episode of the Person Behind the Professional, we’re excited to be on with Aaron Ruiz, the owner and agent with [inaudible] Insurance Agency. Aaron started his agency back in 2010 and prior to that worked in sales and as a photographer, thanks for being on today or
yes, thanks for having me. I’m excited to talk with you.
Well, tell us a little bit about your background and story behind the Aaron Reese. Everyone, it looks like “reese”, but it’s Ruiz Insurance Agency.
Yeah. So, um, before I got into the insurance, not that I ever had planned on being an insurance agent. I didn’t grow up as a child and dream of one day selling insurance, but I did grow up. No, I don’t want her to be in sales in some way form or fashion. So, uh, I uh, out of college, actually my senior year of college, I got an internship. It was a sales internship, which basically consisted of just making cold calls all day, every day. So that really accustomed being on the phone and uh, comfortable. So when I graduated, take on, hired me an outside sales rep and I was, hey, come for a year, which probably is the best sales training.
It definitely is the best illustrating I’ve ever gotten.
Um, I would say that take on probably has, would that sales force in company in the world.
They’re a pretty amazing. I’ve heard they’re a beast.
Yeah. Yeah. They uh, and, and they really, they train their sales reps well, they have a good product and I’m, I was very thankful for my time there. Um, but like I said, I was a, I was a rep there for a year
just knew that I wanted to do something a little different, a little less stressful. Well, it is a great company. And uh, they did offer great training. It was, it’s a little bit of a stressful job. So a family member of mine was actually a shelter insurance agent in Midwest City and he let me know of an opportunity,
which shelter and uh, I actually, I emailed, I’m the decision maker about it and ultimately we got together and uh, and he hired me. I really didn’t know what it was or what is it about. I really, like I said, I was just looking for something different and that was it and it, it ended up being the best. That’s never happened. February of 2010 when I started.
No, ended about nine years. So tell me a little bit about, you know, you’re starting, you’re starting your own business and just the thought when you first got in. I mean, I know you’re gung Ho, but at the same time were you thinking, what am I doing? What I’m leaving? I’m leaving something that is somewhat stable, a little bit of stress, but it’s the worth it if I’m at stable. What were you thinking?
Yeah, it was a shelter that would make it a little bit easier on the agent.
So at least in Oklahoma shelter isn’t already in any scratch agent for you. So I, I actually took over a book of business, which at the time I was the only 23 years old, so I really had no idea what kind of opportunity that was. Um, so I had, I had awesome income coming in when I started, um, which was good. And uh, so there wasn’t that much stress and I was young my walk and I had just gotten married. We didn’t have kids or anything like that. So really we didn’t need much to survive. So that was good. And really I just came in with a sales mentality that I had developed a payphone and just continued with it. Yeah. So I started off full force selling and was able to grow their off the Ark and then kind of the business aspects came later as, as I, I realized know what kind of opportunity I actually had and that I really needed to, to put together some business plans and, and run it like a business.
Wouldn’t you say that’s one of the hard things as an agency owner is running it like a business? I think it’s easy to not run it like a business.
Yeah, absolutely. And really some of the more successful insurance agents I know really aren’t failed. Um, and some people that are very successful agencies that I know hate selling, but they’re great leaders and uh, they have great business mind and so they kind of just come in and put a practices and plans in place and hire the right people in and grow like that. But yeah, I think it’s probably the most important aspect of an agency is having that business mind and um, and just developing, you know, procedures, the plan, your goals to really run it like a business.
So you have a little bit of background as a photographer and I’m assuming that you’re creative if you’re a photographer. Well, I could be assuming wrong.
Yeah. Don’t, don’t, don’t read too much into that. Require a title. So I definitely, I am not that creative. My photography consisted of taking graduation pictures, which requires much more timing than it does creativity basically. Yeah, I was the guy that stood on stage and as you walk by and get your diploma, um, but it, it did let me travel so we would take graduation pictures in Colorado in California every summer. I did that for like basically all through high school and uh, into college. Um, so it was a fun opportunity, but definitely I had a, a sheep, uh, to tell me what settings I needed to use settings into the camera right now I would stand up there like a robot and take some pictures.
That’s great. Well, so talking about your background in sales for a really large company has only gotten larger now. How has that helped you in your agency? What have you taken away from that, that you feel like has benefited you? I mean, you, you did say that you thought that the sells process was, was really beneficial for you.
It was huge and really I probably can’t even define how much help, especially just the time I spent on the phone. Probably neither cold calling to gather information or cold calling to set appointment, uh, that really, really hit has helped me tremendously
because it really tough.
Okay. Yeah. And especially when I started my was more important for me to be doing, um, the rejection side of that really didn’t bother me at all. And so I really learned that making cold calls or trying to get appointments was strictly a numbers game. And so, you know, there’s things that you can say or you know, I guess strategies that you can use to try and set appointments or to try and give somebody a quote, but at the end of the day is just based on how many calls you make, uh, versus where your sales are gonna be. And so that’s really what, what I learned at, at Paycom and then no further from that, they really taught us about the structure sales call really, really taught us how to close and all of that. So all of that that I learned there is just so valuable to me.
So I’ve got a question for you and I always tell everyone that they don’t have to answer it, but I’m expecting you to answer it. So there you go. What would you. It’s just courtesy. Right? Right, right. So what would you say something that no one knows about you? What would you say that would be something that maybe is unique about you that most people don’t know about you?
Man, that’s a tough one.
I had an agent tell me the other day that he was a part of a screamo band, um, that now that burned me for a loop. So, I mean, you don’t have to try to beat that one, but there that maybe most people don’t know about you. Something that you find important
oriented. So I will think about it in my mind and think about, um, because I, I get very, very distracted very easily. So like even, I mean to start my day, I don’t write down everything that I have to do then I’m not going to be able to do it. I really don’t know how much of a surprise that would be. But man, I don’t know, I don’t know about New People. Would it necessarily know. I’m pretty much an open book
since you’re an open book. I’ve got another question for you then. All right, so if you were stuck on an island, what superhero would you want to be?
What Superhero would I want to be? Probably the one of the, uh, somebody like superman or something like that.
You could get off as quickly.
That’s what I think. That’s what I do.
That is awesome. Well, a lot of people say that customer service, you know, is there top priority, I mean everyone says it, right. But a differentiates your agency and how do you work to make sure that your service is top notch?
Yeah, that’s a good question. So even branching out further from customer service, our goal in my agency is to build relationship with our customers, look at it as a really simple way. The people that I can kind of count on that are always going to stick with me, you know, as right, go up and down are my family and my close friends. Um, and so with that being said, our goal is really to develop relationships with all of our customers so that no, they are close friends. Um, and so that really building relationships with our customers, you know, learning about them, learning about their family, learning about what’s important to them and just really getting to know them and that, and that goes farther than just customer service, you know, being courteous or, or thanking them for their business, but really actually taken an interest in them and their life is, is what we try to do.
That’s great. Well, what products and companies do you offer at your agency?
So I am captive with shelter insurance, which shelter is a mutual insurance company. We’re based out of Columbia, Missouri. Um, and, and what that means being a mutual company is we’re owned by our policy holders, which really,
Is the insurance was setup to be a from the beginning. So that means, you know, we’re only looking out for the interest of our policy holders because they’re the owners of the company. Um, and what we do primarily personal lines. So auto insurance, home insurance, life insurance. We do a little bit of commercial insurance, so for like a small owner, we can typically help them with maybe their general liability insurance or if they leave an office space or have, you know, a truck that they drive for our landscaping job. We can help in that regard. Uh, but our, our business insurance is really to just a way to further promote, you know, our personal lines.
That’s great. So one of the things that we want to make sure our listeners come away with are five key takeaways that they can truly benefit from when they walk away from this.
What would those, what I would say, especially, you know, somebody’s listening that is a business owner or another insurance agent. I think the five biggest things are, first you got to believe in your product. You know, there are a lot of people out there that are great salespeople can sell anything no matter what, um, but if you don’t believe in what you’re selling that will only last so long and you’re going to burn out and want to move onto something else. So I really think that you need to believe in your product, you got to believe in your company as well. If you don’t believe in the people backing you or in the company that you started, you know, it’s hard to. It’s hard to sell something that you know, that you don’t believe in. I mean, same thing with, with the product I’m in. Third would be to build relationships, whether that’s with your employees, your coworkers, or your customers. That all trickles down ultimately. And so if you’re not, if you’re not building relationships with the people around you or the people that are supporting you by buying your product, you’re really not going to last very long. Okay? Um, I think this is vital for small business owners is to, to find your niche. Um, and that’s one thing that I did when I, when I started out, but,
you know, okay, products can get so broad and you know, there’s Walmart and Amazon and those huge companies that do everything. But as a small business owner, if you, if you try to do too much, you’re just or an out and you’re going to get eaten up, I would really say to the fine one thing or one specific thing. You’re really good at focus there and become the expert there to where people know, like, hey, that person is this. For me it was rental property. I kind of became a go to person for people to ensure rental properties. So once you establish your niche, then you can work out from there and cross sell and, and you know, the other product you have to offer. Um, and I’d say the fifth thing is to, to set tangible goals because really if you don’t have goals established, you’re not going to go anywhere. La, she won’t go anywhere for very long because you really have to kind of to find a roadmap of where you want to go. Set tangible daily goals of things to do every day to might be.
So what’s the best way if they want to know more about Aaron Reese and where to find you and how to connect with you, what are the best ways to do that
is the best way to do it, and our phone number is a five, seven slash seven slash three 5,500 in that seven slash seven, three, five, five, zero, zero. Or to email us. And the email addresses my first initial and last name. So a really. So that’s a R, Z as in Zebra@shelterinsurance.com. Those are, those are the best ways to get in touch with that.
Really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us today and for the valuable information and we want to make sure that everyone subscribes to the podcast to do it now so you don’t forget and also give her a view on what you thought of this podcast and our conversation today. Don’t forget that if you are looking for insurance quotes that don’t sting checkout BriteBee.com, click get a quote and type in Aaron Ruiz’s name. Now remember, it looks like Ruiz, so that would be R-U-I-Z, but it’s actually reese so don’t say it wrong when you call him, but give him a chance to give you a quote and I know that he’ll be happy to serve you guys. We really appreciate you listening and we’ll see you next time.
Check out Aaron’s BriteBee Profile: https://app.britebee.com/agents/aaronruiz120
Check out Aaron’s Website: https://www.shelterinsurance.com/CA/agent/aruiz