Owner/agent, JDC Insurance Group
Awards: IIA Illinois Young Agent of the Year
How did you determine that insurance was a viable career choice?
While dating my now wife just out of high school, my father-in-law encouraged me to get into the industry at the time was selling for Conseco Insurance. I saw the life and time that he was able to provide for his family. His great involvement in the community and the admiration of his clients and peers. I wanted to help people while getting all the things he had acquired through life. I saw insurance as that avenue. Read why Jason decided to start his own agency.
How does technology fit into your work strategy?
My strategy is to find clients that are in sync with the way I provide service and do business. The changing times are requiring us to sell, service, and communicate differently, creating new markets and ways to help. Being mobile, paperless, and able to work from home, makes the brick & mortar shops nothing more than unnecessary, expensive overhead. My strategy is to be virtually different and without technology this would not be possible. Face to face at their place of comfort, usually at their house or place of business is my strategy and technology makes this possible. Read about Jason's agency model.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in 2010 as a young agent, and how did you handle it?
Getting companies and vendors to realize young agents want to sell, service, market, brand, and operate their agencies completely different than the last 50 years. The clients that we are trying to help (Gen Y & X) demand this. The cookie cutter, in the box approach companies/vendors take to helping new/young agents grow or open their own agency does not work. Every chance I get I make them aware of the request and needs of my agency and clients. I am really happy the way the companies are starting to respond.
Who do you look toward as a mentor in this industry?
I look to leaders of our industry through our great associations. These agents have walked the walk and talked the talk about being who you need to be, while living in the leadership role. Getting to know your mentors by seeing their leadership in action helps you find the kind of mentor that fits your personality type. Allowing you to feel comfortable and confident that their information, and guidance will benefit you directly.
What skills do you think young agents will need in 2011?
Young agents need the same skills that have been needed since the beginning of time. Being responsible, caring, hardworking, ethical and consistent. Also, we are in a great time of change where we are going to be expected to deal with the unexpected. When this occurs this is where young agents have the leg up. By being nimble, outside the box, and willing to except change will allow you to be able to take an unknown and make it your own. If really successful, others will call or write you to find out your skills and ways of business! What a great way to make your own way in this great industry.
Jason Cass was featured in the April 2011 issue of AA&B. He is an owner/agent at JDC Insurance Group.