I am a master of the ‘task’ list. Several years ago I read David Allen’s very helpful book – ‘Getting Things Done’. Practicing the concepts Allen outlines has reduced my stress level by keeping things organized electronically. One thing Mr. Allen recommends is keeping an ongoing long-term project list at hand. Finally, this fall, the time came for me to attack one of the major projects on my never-ending list – renovating my kitchen.
The demolition and reconstruction portion of this major undertaking began a few weeks ago. Things are going smoothly so far. The reason I share this with you is to tell you about my contractor, Rick.
Rick is in his early 30s and a master electrician by trade. He has expanded his knowledge into many areas of contracting including laying tile and fine carpentry. He shared with me his newest interest – landscaping.
It struck me the other day, while we were contemplating the kitchen lighting options, that Rick is everything any insurance agency owner would look for in a fantastic saleperson. He’s a natural.
What are the qualities that stand out?
- He’s genuine – a nice guy who takes extreme pride in his work. Rick has taken complete ownership of the project – like it’s his own kitchen in his own house.
- He takes the time to understand the desired outcome. My kitchen is central to my entire home and we do a lot of entertaining. He made sure he understood what the traffic flow and usage would be. He then made very helpful, insightful suggestions that improved upon the plans we had drawn up.
- He instills confidence with his knowledge of the various solutions available. For example, Rick asked very good questions that helped me choose, what I perceive, is the best lighting solution for our situation.
- He communicates the timeline for decision-making. Some decisions can be pondered for awhile or changed down the line, others are important to make quickly so the project can proceed. Rick constantly keeps me aware of next steps so there haven’t been any surprises or hold-ups.
- Above everything else, he always has a smile and a pleasant attitude – even when his 6 month old has kept him up half the night!
The very things that Rick embodies as he pursues his profession, are the very things that make for an outstanding insurance advisor. While Rick is a natural, I’m sure he’s practiced his people skills right along with his trade skills. If soft skill development is successful for contractors, how might the committment to developing these qualities across your staff work to solidify relationships with your clients?
The AIMS Society’s “Insurance Success Seminars” are designed to help insurance personnel combine marketing and sales skill development with technical knowledge and risk management techniques. Visit www.aimssociety.com to learn more and to see a scheduled of workshops!