Profile of Brandon Simpson

Brandon Simpson, age 31, from Kentwood, Louisiana, is now a Kentuckian with a funny accent. He bleeds blue, not Wildcat Blue… KFB Blue! Brandon relocated to Kentucky looking for a fresh start. He started as an agent with Louisiana Farm Bureau, but as a new agent, was put out of business by Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, LFB shut down the P&C business and only being a life agent with SFB was not going to be enough to make the kind of living he had dreamed of. With nothing to hold him back, Brandon began to interview with KFB.

Brandon like many of us was not unfamiliar with the insurance business. His Uncle Mike Gill was an agency manager with LFB, and a good one at that. He saw his uncle travel abroad and sing the praises of a lifestyle in the insurance business. Uncle Mike was the reason that he started in the business. As influential as Uncle Mike was to Brandon, his success stems from a work ethic learned from his father and the family dairy, the personality and compassion of his mother, and the business savvy of his grandfather. All of them have shaped his world view.

Brandon like just about anyone you meet who has worked in one of the SFB states other than Kentucky had a much different view of the insurance business than the veterans in Kentucky and was convinced that he was right. That is, the key to success in our business is directly through SFB. In time this view would change. Brandon like most validating agents struggled at times, but according to his Agency Manager, Terry Patterson, he continued to work hard.

It was a couple years into his insurance career before the advice and counsel of his AM sunk in. Work the P&C business and cross sell the life. That was not however Brandon’s secret. His secret is not a secret at all, but simply, Put in the Time!! Here are a few ways he’s done this:

  • It starts with networking. Brandon has been very effective soliciting real-estate agents and brokers for their business and there referrals.
  • No one knows your name till you introduce yourself. Being from Louisiana, Brandon had to create a network of friends and acquaintances. If Brandon saw an account that he wanted (or a farm he wanted to hunt), he would knock on the door until he got an X-date. It might take several trips, but once he would catch someone in the garden or on the lawn mower, he was going at least get to introduce himself.
  • Sell appointments on price; sell insurance on service and relationships. Brandon has a great way of getting in the door by trying to help someone save a little money. In the end, Brandon sells the policy by being a likable guy who has a great track record with their neighbors.
  • Mix business and pleasure. It is nothing for Brandon to turn a family crawfish boil into an opportunity to thank some clients for their business by having them over for the event. He’ll take them hunting, out to dinner, to a benefit, etc. He feels that his clients are his friends.
  • Work to have time to play. Brandon rewards himself for putting in long days by getting out in the woods. Some of us feel entitled to a day off others like Brandon know what has to be done to be able to take a day off, not just because it is Thursday.

Brandon will tell you he is not a great salesman. I will tell you he has gotten pretty good at it. What he does do is sell need, not price. I think one of the really interesting sales concepts that Brandon uses is not giving a price for life insurance. He creates a demand for the product he is selling and gives the client a ballpark number (usually a little high), submits policy on COD, delivers policy, and picks up a check. This has been very successful and he claims it’s easier to get the application up front.

Brandon’s biggest key to success is he likes to keep score. He knows what his new business premium is just about every day. He knows how this compares to agents in his offices, agency, district and state. He knows what contests are coming up and which ones he is going to win. He knows how much commission he has is the hopper and how much more he needs to generate. Brandon, like most successful agents, never runs out of prospects. He is a great hunter whether in camo or a suit.

At the end of the day, Brandon is less concerned about being seen as a winner than he is not being seen as a looser.

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