Peddlers and Professionals
By Will Lemanski, AIC, API, AAI Chair, Young Agents Council
There are a great deal of agents out there who are peddlers. You know the type – looking to score the next client by coming in with flashy low prices. Maybe they’ll be in our industry for a few years before they wash out. Anyone can sell insurance, but it takes someone with knowledge and professionalism to stay around for the long haul and be successful.
When I started as an insurance agent nearly seven years ago, I tried to figure out ways that I could establish myself as a professional to my customers. I was in this for the long haul, not just a couple of years. Getting involved with the Young Agents Council (YAC) has helped me to do that.
YAC has given me a great opportunity to network and stay on top of issues affecting our industry. With all of the potential changes to Michigan no-fault legislation, health care reform, and the market turning harder, I’m able to speak with confidence to my customers. I know where the issues stand today.
Having the opportunity to network and share experiences with other agents through YAC events has given me a better understanding of what others face across the state. (You’re not alone out there: chances are other agents are dealing with the same issues you have, I promise.) If you’re a young agent who wants to get involved with issues in our industry, is looking to network with other agents close to your age or experience level, and in need of a great industry learning resource, please consider getting involved in YAC.
What’s happening with YAC in 2013? On the political side, YAC members are once again attending the Big I Legislative Conference in Washington
D.C. this April. We are also attending a legislative day with MAIA leadership on May 2 in Lansing, where we’ll be meeting our local Representatives faceto-face to discuss issues that affect our industry.
We have also stepped up efforts this year in giving back to our industry, communities and beyond.
Several of our council members recently made the trip to Olivet college to speak with students in their insurance program about the great professional opportunities independent agencies can provide them.
We’re supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation through a Trusted Choice grant by sponsoring and attending the Walk for Wishes at the Detroit Zoo on May 4, and the Wish-A-Mile Bike Ride on July 25-28.
And we’re also working with Be The Match, an organization that registers potential donors on the National Bone Marrow Registry, linking donors with patients suffering life threatening blood cancers or other diseases. We have facilitated donor drives at several events already this year and want to get as many donors registered as we can, plus raise funds for this worthy cause.
YAC also has a great line up of networking events this year, so if you haven’t been involved in the past, now’s a great time to jump in.
YAC Rodeo Days: A Stampede for Young and New Agents will take place at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, June 19-20. We’ll be offering educational courses, including sales. We’ll also host a golf scramble at their beautiful golf course, and our own private rodeo and mechanical bull competition for attendees.
On September 12 we’ll host our annual Charity Golf Outing at Timber Ridge Golf Club in East Lansing. Proceeds will benefit The MI Future Foundation.
On September 21 we’re headed to the Detroit Tigers Game, with a private networking event at Hockeytown Café before the game.
These are great events to network with other insurance agents, company representatives, and vendors who we all work with.
Being involved with YAC has definitely set me apart from the peddlers of the world. Where do you stand? If you’re not currently involved, I hope you’ll consider joining us. To find out more, go to miyac.org, or feel free to contact me or anyone else on the Council.
Will Lemanski is an agent at Meiers & Lombardini Insurance Services in East Lansing. Email him at email@example.com