Young Agent Spotlight: Amos Gibson at Blumberg and Associates

How did you get into insurance?

I attended business school at Ole Miss, where I enrolled in an introductory course on risk management. I did well in the class and enjoyed learning about strategies companies employ to mitigate risks. After graduation, I went into insurance sales—first at a captive agency and later at independent agencies.

I appreciate the day-to-day work of an independent agent. It is fun to find solutions that help people protect their businesses. I focus on commercial lines, specializing in construction accounts. I also work closely with many high-net-worth households in my community.

How do you approach prospecting?

Blumberg and Associates is a trusted business with an excellent name locally. We remain involved in the community through LSU sports and receive a lot of recognition for our partnership with the university. Beyond traditional channels, we rank well on search engines, which helps with prospective clients who are researching agencies online.

Personally, I am beginning to explore geo-targeted marketing as well as how to build a social media presence. My early efforts in social media have been well received, yet developing strong content can be time-consuming and distract from other work.

Organic growth is important. For high-net-worth clients, I work to build trust. I may serve them in a personal lines capacity at first, providing white glove service. For many of these clients, it is helpful to be a sounding board as they think through ideas and explain what challenges they are facing. If I am effective, I can develop the relationship to a point where they are comfortable with me handling their commercial insurance needs.

My discussions with clients emphasize coverages. This approach will not be effective for folks who are strictly price-driven. For instance, when assisting an individual with their personal lines, I focus on potential liability. Often, it only costs a few extra dollars for more comprehensive and thorough protection. Unfortunately, I have several clients who have experienced a significant claim where their personal umbrella provided the coverage.

How do you build relationships with carriers?

I am involved in every step of the quoting process with their carrier. I want to make sure I file the forms accurately and completely. This helps build trust by putting your best foot forward. Being responsive and up front about the risks is required when establishing a partnership. Creating a relationship takes time, but having a good reputation allows you to explain why an account should be considered by the underwriter. Ultimately, we are all human—make sure you get to know your underwriter as a person.

What advice do you have for a new agent just entering the industry?

First off, cold call! No one likes cold calling, but I have picked up a lot of business over the last ten years. It works.
Second, find a mentor. Having a mentor who is there to help and bounce ideas off of is a great resource. Third, make sure to take advantage of all carrier-provided trainings—especially when the material is tailored to a specific product.

Fourth, put yourself out into the market. You may receive a “no” at first, but stay in touch with folks. A “no” today does not mean a “no” forever.

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