#SitkinsIsTheSolution

Creating Luck and Taking Calls with Ryan Teubner

podcast producer Sep 13, 2022
 

Brent Kelly:

Welcome to the Agent Leader Podcast. My name is Brent Kelly, your host. Thanks so much for joining me on this episode. As always, I want to thank you, the agent leader podcast listener, for being part of this growing community. Our purpose, our mission of the Agent Leader Podcast is to help you, the agency leaders out there, whether you're the principal, a producer, a high level professional, you just want to get better at your craft.

Brent Kelly:

Leadership is influence. We want to help you gain clarity, build consistency, and make a commitment to become your best version possible. If you're watching this on YouTube, you'll see in my graphic, I've got a copy of our book, Best Version Possible, which came out this year. As always, if you want to download a copy, or get your copy, you go to sitkins.com/bvp for best version possible. Grab your book. We're getting some great feedback on that and want to get that into more agency leaders hands. Take a look at that.

Brent Kelly:

I've got a fantastic guest today. I've done a bunch of different podcast episodes and the weeks that I've just recorded here. Roger Sitkins and myself did an eight part series on some clicks. Take a listen to that if you haven't. I've had some great interviews from the Tech Space, Rick Fox from Vertafore was with me recently and this, I'm really excited about this conversation today I've got with Ryan Teubner. He's with Rich & Cartmill in Oklahoma. I was actually initially connected to Ryan through Jim Schubert of another podcast that he does. Got to hear Ryan through a little bit of his story on email and kind of like me, he's involved in lots of stuff and loves his family and his agency and building relationships and been involved in different things. Excited to hear Ryan's story. I knew he was going to add a ton of value to the agency's leaders out there. Ryan, without further ado, welcome to the Agent Leader Podcast.

Ryan Teubner:

Thank you, and thank you for having me. I need to thank you and for our guests listening to Jim and Jim for referring me to you. I'm excited, started reading my Best Version Possible, the book, my copy, so I'm excited to have a good discussion with you today.

Brent Kelly:

Wonderful, wonderful. Well, I know you come from a long time family agency and some of the background and the history, but if you could just for the audience, Ryan, just share a little about that history, the background, how you got to where you are, some of the things your agency focuses on, all that good important stuff.

Ryan Teubner:

Sure. Rich & Cartmill in itself started in 1922, so we are celebrating our 100 year this year. My grandfather actually merged his small little agency in the early '50s, mid -'50s to Rich & Cartmill, to join some other guys in there. My grandfather was a member, a partner agent of Rich & Cartmill all the way up until he finally decided, "I'm done, no longer the chairman of the board. I am out," this past December. It was a long time that he was involved in the agency. With my grandfather, he was the first president for our the National Association out of the state of Oklahoma. Seeing him go through what he did growing up and then knowing a little bit about his path, the people he's helped, the stories he's told, the friendships he's made, really kind of got me into wanting to become part of Rich & Cartmill.

Ryan Teubner:

As we sit Rich & Cartmill is shareholder owned. It's privately owned, one of the largest privately owned agencies in the nation. We will not sell. I don't see a reason for it. I don't see how we're going to do it, because you have 22 shareholders that have to make an agreement on that. I just don't... That happening. Plus we are unique in the fact that we all own our own books of business. Rich & Cartmill does not own a single book of business.

Ryan Teubner:

Our commission split goes to the overhead and then to us. It's very producer friendly. We concentrate a lot of our markets that we work or target industries that we work with, our construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and then a lot of other general business, your Main Street America group or Main Street America type businesses, your home and autos. We do some home and autos as well. We have about 70 agents that do really whatever they want to do focus in on. That's kind of the big picture, how Rich & Cartmill.

Brent Kelly:

Love it and thanks for sharing that. Couple things and I've got, I told you Ryan, I said be like we're having a cup of coffee. I hear things that hit my ear. I'm like, Oh, I want to know more about that.

Brent Kelly:

First of all, it's interesting because you know how you guys are set up and we've got some agencies we work with that are similar in structure of that. I think a big part of that is it's a very sales focused, right, producer focused agency. Which again, I'm one of those weird people, Ryan, that I believe sales is a good and noble thing, because we do the right things for people that we're doing them, we're doing them good work and we're adding value to their lives and their business and all that good stuff. I love that. I did want to ask you a little bit about your background, because obviously you grew up around the agency, but then part of the information you sent me, you started with Liberty Mutual, right?

Ryan Teubner:

Yeah.

Brent Kelly:

Are you with Liberty Mutual prior to that? Tell me about that and then how you kind of got transitioned in and of course the impact of working with the carrier side for a while.

Ryan Teubner:

Absolutely. My sales career actually started at LifeLock. That's where I say my sales, my true bonafide sales career started at LifeLock. That's a ton. I actually, I was so thankful that I got to spend two and a half years over at LifeLock, because I learned the cSuite. I learned how to talk to decision makers, I learned the importance of relationships. I learned from one of the founders, Todd Davis, that you don't have to be just stuck in the office to get your sales.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

He always said, and I always remember, "I don't care where you are, you could be on a beach in Hawaii, as long as you get your numbers in, I'm fine."

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm.

Ryan Teubner:

But it was that time where I learned that I was valuable for me. Moving on there, I went to Liberty Mutual on the personal lines side.

Brent Kelly:

Gotcha.

Ryan Teubner:

The training was great. Got to meet, I'm still buddies with one of the guys from that time. That was back in, I want to say '08, '09, somewhere around there.

Brent Kelly:

Okay.

Ryan Teubner:

But I quickly realized that if I want to be in the insurance business, I want to be on the independent side. It suited me better. I didn't like doing personalized, than more complex commercial side. I knew you could make more money there. I knew I could provide for the family. I knew I could reach my goals and really follow in the footsteps of my grandpa.

Ryan Teubner:

At that time though, I will admit at that time, I wanted to pave my own path. I wanted to go that way. I didn't want to go to Rich & Cartmill right off the bat, because my grandfather was such a huge shoes to fill, right?

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

But I realized that it truly is the best spot for me. After Liberty Mutual, I went to a little independent agency in my hometown in Stillwater and tried to make it work, it just didn't work. I didn't have the training, didn't know what I was doing. I was just spinning my wheels, I was getting frustrated. If I did leave there to come to Rich & Cartmill, I probably wouldn't be in the insurance business.

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm.

Ryan Teubner:

I'm thankful that I was able to at least go there, just to see what doesn't work and what I needed, then called my grandpa, called Rich & Cartmill, talked to Mark Blacksten, one of our former shareholders. Then the rest is history. Been here since 2010 and loving it, so it worked out.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah, absolutely. Well of course it did. It's interesting. Everybody's got their own path and whatever, however that works for them and their agency. But it is interesting, a lot of the agencies we work with that are family agencies, it doesn't always have to be this way, but many cases similar to your path, Ryan, to where they may spend some time on the carrier side or somewhere else. It could be a number of reasons for that. Some of it is like you said, I don't want to be, just because grandpa, or dad, or mom are there, that I've got to start in there because I want to have my own, I want to create my own future to a degree. Then at some point you realize, "Man, that's a pretty great spot. It's pretty great opportunities in that.

Ryan Teubner:

Mm-hmm.

Brent Kelly:

But then you come to the agency with some great experience in different ways and not even necessarily always insurance experience like you said, but just experience about business acumen. Experience about what are relationships really mean. You mentioned that I need to get out of the office and do different things as long as I'm bringing results. These things that can carry through as you move forward I think are really, really powerful.

Brent Kelly:

I just share a really quick side story. It's funny of the, you talk to people and especially the producers out there and some of the back jobs they had and there's always these little lessons that you learn. Some of that you shared there. I'll never forget when I worked at a clothing retail store part-time. I had two or three jobs and in college and I don't like clothes or I don't really care, I just needed a job and it was a commission based job in clothes.

Ryan Teubner:

Mm-hmm.

Brent Kelly:

One of the first lessons I learned is that I don't need to sell to the 17 year old kid. I find the 45 year old mom who has three kids and I just focus on her. Right?

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

It was the idea of just the vital few versus the trivial many and I never thought about that, where that would come to. But it's just funny these little things that you learn along the way. I'm going to ask you a question, because you having a grandpa and a family and coming down in the business and now in your position of where you're at, you've been there since 2010 as you mentioned. Question I want to ask, and you're one of the first people I've asked in this way, because it's pretty broad, so you can take it wherever you want. This is the Agent Leader Podcast.

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

You've learned from leaders, you now are a leader and you have been in your community and with the agency. What does leadership mean to you, Ryan? When you think of leadership, what does it mean to you?

Ryan Teubner:

Gosh, I think you're right, it could be so broad. It could be leadership in itself and the way I think of it, is making those hard decisions when nobody else wants to.

Brent Kelly:

Oh.

Ryan Teubner:

Holding yourself to a higher standard. It's representing not only at a national conference, I'm representing not only Rich & Cartmill, but Oklahoma and my family. My family name as well. It's a lot of the younger generation that are up and coming don't the history of my grandpa within the IIABA, but all the past presidents that I look up to, that I see that our leaders do.

Ryan Teubner:

When I go to those conferences or even when I'm acting, whatever I'm posting a social or anything like that, then I think for me being a leader per se, you have to represent not only your family name, your agency, your state, and the industry as well. There are some tough decisions you have to make in being a leader, and I think you have to have the ability to make those tough decisions.

Ryan Teubner:

Do I... No, but learning from those mistakes and learning from those decisions that you may have made early on or at a specific time, but now you're not going to make that decision again, and then when that time comes up or that situation arises, then you know the exact decision you need to make. I think, I mean, it's a rambling way to say what being a leader is to me. However, I think it's all encompassing.

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm.

Ryan Teubner:

I think it's doing the right thing. It's like when people say what is integrity or what is in character, I think it all goes hand in hand to what is doing the right thing, when no one's looking. It's making those tough decisions that have to be made. You don't like to make it, but it has to be made.

Brent Kelly:

Yep.

Ryan Teubner:

It's things like that, that you just, I think just builds upon the leadership. I think most importantly, honestly, you have to be able to, learn. Being able to learn from other leaders and listen to people that may not be a leader, but may be up and coming. I mean it's those, that instance as well. You got to learn from others. If I'm talking to my account manager and she has a good idea, even though I'm technically the leader of her per se, I have to realize that's a great idea, let's do that.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

Instead of what I say. It's things like that, that I think really models a great leader.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. I love Ryan and I've even said, "Oh I'm..." It's a tough question and I know that, because it can go so many different ways. But I mean, I took what you said there and I had three main bullet points that I think the listeners could absolutely take away. I know I did in listening to you, and number one, I think it starts, leadership starts with yourself. I've got to hold myself to the highest standard possible.

Brent Kelly:

Like you said, it's the idea that I represent myself and I represent my team, I represent my company, I represent my state, depending on what it is you're doing. The big part you said there, I think what's really interesting is that you got to make hard decisions. Here's the thing about this too, and I'm sure you've had this, as soon as you got to make hard decisions and there's no guarantee of the outcome, right?

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

You're using your best judgment and the fact is that this decision can affect a number of people, but someone's got to make it. Right?

Ryan Teubner:

Mm-hmm.

Brent Kelly:

We got to make a choice on something. You've got to take all the data, information, emotional capacity you have and say, "Listen, I'm doing what's best for the company or for the team or the organization. There's no guarantee." You've got to make that decision, but also understand that it may not always be the right decision.

Ryan Teubner:

Yeah.

Brent Kelly:

That's why there's a lot of pressure in that. Then the last one too, I think, and this is where I was getting to, this mold together, is being coachable.

Ryan Teubner:

Mm-hmm.

Brent Kelly:

The fact that-

Ryan Teubner:

Coachable, I agree. You have to be coachable. When I first started, my grandpa told me two things. He said, "Be student of the game like Mike Cole." Mike Cole was the guy that bought my grandpa's book gap, over in Tulsa. He said, the other thing he said is, "You pay attention and watch Travis Brown." He's our current president of our agency. I did. I mean, I'm not going to go against a guy, even though it's my grandfather, I'm not going to go against a guy that has the proven formula and wisdom to help me succeed.

Ryan Teubner:

Did it take longer for me to get to where I want to be? Absolutely. I tell every young agent I did things bass ackwards and I got involved in the industry and in the association and gone up through the young agents way too quickly. I should have built my book first, but it's the path and so I wouldn't change it for the world.

Ryan Teubner:

But it's that being coachable, I did things my way that helped me out to become where I am today. During those lean years, because we all know in the first few years in the insurance business, is lean. When you start building it and building that book, you look back and you are thankful for those times, because you're more appreciative of what you have now. When I first started, and my grandpa told me what to do, I mean, I knew every month when those numbers came out, he'd be calling me. But that got accountability as well. You know?

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. Right. Absolutely.

Ryan Teubner:

He'd asked how the month was, I said, "Hey, you know how my month was. You got those numbers," but it's listening as well. You got to listen to those that came before you, because they have a lot of wisdom to bestow upon us. I mean, Travis... Best bond guys that I've ever met, construction insurance and bond agents that you'll ever meet. So brilliant. The thing I love about him, is he's willing to help, he's willing to help out the knowledge that you need, et cetera, but he's also humble about where he is. He's laid back, he's like me, laid back guy. It's things like, it's guys like that you want to... Your career after. Pave your own path, but be coachable, be moldable.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

I mean we're always learning about new things, new ways to structure an account from an insurance perspective, bond wise, etcetera.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

You can't be afraid to ask questions.

Brent Kelly:

Oh, absolutely. I mean, again, just two big knows, I mean, be a student of the game and find mentors. All right, I mean there's just so much of that and I love that. It's interesting to me, and I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of different people and different backgrounds, but it's always the most successful. Again, however you want to define success, that typically ask the most questions, or the most curious. I just always find that it's not interesting in the way that surprises me anymore. It's just interesting as you look at humans and how they approach things and their mindset. Like you said, I'm always going to ask why, or how, or try to learn something a little bit differently. I'm also going to model people that are doing good things, which is what you said. I love that.

Brent Kelly:

All right, I'm guessing you've got challenges going on, Ryan, somewhere in your life or business. Right? We all have them. Probably one, maybe two, who knows? But if you were to say right now, and again you could take this question wherever you want, but yeah, think about challenges you're facing. What would be, would you say your number one challenge you're dealing with right now, and what are you doing to address it?

Ryan Teubner:

I think a lot of people when they ask this question, I would assume the vast majority say time management. I mean, time management. It's being able to balance my work, my insurance business, the clients, new business prospecting, everything that goes into the insurance business. I mean, we're in football season, we talked about that before we started. I always tell people in the insurance business, you're playing offense, defense and special teams all day every day.

Ryan Teubner:

I mean that's what you're doing. You're trying to go get more clients, you're trying to be on the defense of other agents coming in. You're trying to round out accounts, you're trying to come up with ways to ensure a specific need that this account is doing. You're just doing a lot of things, but you also have a home life and you also want to be with your kids. I enjoy being with the kids, family, training dogs, I absolutely love that. It's my get away from insurance life options. I love it.

Ryan Teubner:

To me, my biggest challenge is managing that work-life balance. It is not checking my emails, it is not checking an email every time something comes in, I'm checking it, or a text message from client comes in, I'm checking it. It's managing that work-life balance. It's managing the fact that if we're on vacation, I only get maybe an hour of the day right off the bat before the kids wake up to do something with work. I think for me, I'm just a pleaser and I want to make sure that I'm providing the best customer service possible, but in doing so, am I sacrificing time away too?

Brent Kelly:

Right.

Ryan Teubner:

I say that, but in reality, with our setup the way we are, I'm barely in the office. I'm either out and about, I have a little setup at the house, I will have a setup... I mean, my daughter's in gymnastics four and a half hours a day every day.

Brent Kelly:

Wow.

Ryan Teubner:

There's a little place over there that I actually, that's an office area, that's closed off that I have set up over there. If I can take her and I can watch her doing gymnastics, then I can do that. My big has always been to build this book to as a level and continuing build it to meet my goals, but also to have that flexibility to where I can be with the kids and watch the kids grow up.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

That was absolutely non-negotiable for my wife and I. She would stay at home, she's doing homeschool with the kids and I would be able to have that flexibility. Now if I was just starting out, I wouldn't feel like I have that flexibility. The good thing is we waited to have kids, we're good.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. I mean, you know, it's not unusual, but it's in how you presented it was really interesting. I wrote something down there, it was like, this is true a lot of businesses, but certainly for insurance professionals. You can work anywhere, which is a great thing. You can work anywhere. That's part of it.

Ryan Teubner:

You just can.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. I mean I'm sitting there and I know you got, you said your kids were 10 and five? Is that right?

Ryan Teubner:

Yes. Yes.

Brent Kelly:

Those ages obviously are so moldable and it's like as a parent, you want to be part of a lot, as much as you can of those things, because they are fleeting. I just had one go to college. It's like, "Oh my gosh, where did that go?"

Ryan Teubner:

Exactly.

Brent Kelly:

You sit there and but at the same time your mind's like, "Gosh what would one more call, or one more email, or one more minute of preparation mean," and then the other side of you go, "What would one more hug, one more how are you, one more I love you mean?"

Ryan Teubner:

Exactly.

Brent Kelly:

To try to balance those together, it's an ongoing challenge. Just to go a little deeper on that, have you found some ways that you've... I don't know if I'd say found peace, but found greater focus maybe even around doing that? I know it's a challenge, but have you had anything that's worked for you?

Ryan Teubner:

Yeah, it's communicating with my wife. Telling her, "Okay, this day on next week," we go through our schedules every week. Make sure we're good to go, because my daughter's in gymnastics 9-1:30 every day and then Tuesdays Wednesdays she has a two hour break and goes back for two hours.

Brent Kelly:

When are we going to see her on the Olympics by the way? I don't mean to interrupt you but I got to ask. When are we going to see her on the Olympic?

Ryan Teubner:

No, no, no. I would be fine if she continues, has fun, and goes to college.

Brent Kelly:

Okay, all right. I'm sorry.

Ryan Teubner:

I'm good with a college scholarship.

Brent Kelly:

That's not a bad deal.

Ryan Teubner:

That's what I'm good with. We're fortunate to know some really good families that's been to where we are on the gymnastics side with their daughter. We're great friends with the Bowers over with at OU. She's a gymnast, sophomore at University of Oklahoma. We can lean on them and lean on her parents and ask them questions. They all said on the elite level it's tough. My wife and I talked about that too. I don't know if we want that for Dixie, unless she is adamant that she wants to become an elite Olympic level gymnast. Is she on the right track? Yeah, she's doing really, really well. However, me personally would be happy with a college scholarship.

Brent Kelly:

Hey, like I said, you're speaking by language here, Ryan. I'm living in that world right now.

Ryan Teubner:

I think its just communicating with my wife and because she knows I absolutely love going out there and prospecting.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

Yesterday I was with clients, I was with prospects, I was going around knocking on doors. I loved doing that.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

Last week for last Friday, one of my clients invited me to a Ducks Unlimited event there in Stillwater. I love doing that. There were plenty of guys around there that I knew that I could kind of put a bug in their ear and see if I could work on their insurance. That's where I go do my work stuff and she knows I need to do my work stuff to continue building the book and providing for the family and meeting the goals that we have, but it's also, "Hey, one day I want to just go hang out at gymnastics and go watch the gymnastics, and take my iPad and computer there and work work from the office there." I say office loosely but it literally, it's a sweet set up. Not going to lie.

Brent Kelly:

It sounds like it. It sounds... One thing I take, listen, I hope the listeners will get about communication with your wife up front. We actually, you'll see this in the book if you haven't already. We talk about high performance teams, versus high maintenance teams. This is true certainly in an office, but you know, you think about a team of a family and it works both ways.

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

I mean what hits me, is that the clearer that we can be on the expectations, or the calendar that week, or our focus and our goals, the more that we can be in the moment and be 100% present when we're doing those things.

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

That to me is the big thing, is that, "Hey, I need to be for this next three hours or whatever, focused on prospect, or work, or pipeline stuff, because I know that when that three hours is over, I'm going to have two hours with my daughter, whatever it is.

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

You're clear about it. The biggest thing is just be where you are.

Ryan Teubner:

Exactly. I completely agree. I love that mindset of just be present and that's what I continually have to work on, because my mind goes elsewhere. Sometimes mind goes to it fine, I'm sleeping at night, I'm like, "Oh crap, did I do that? Dang it, I got to get that done."

Brent Kelly:

That's right.

Ryan Teubner:

You're somewhere else. My wife will call me out on it, which I'm, she does. I need to be able to be present more often and it's a challenge, but it's one that I continually to strive and do better, because the kids start calling me out too. Okay, you're right. It's things like that. But it's funny how life puts in things perspective to the tragedy of some other people, to where you have friends, we have some good friends that their son needs surgery and he's off in college at the Navy Academy and they live in Montana, so he had to drop everything and go over there.

Ryan Teubner:

Then another friend, his son died tragically. It's things like that, events like that, for me personally that puts things in perspective and helps me realize, "Okay, work is always going to be there, period. Insurance business and the way we're set up at Rich & Cartmill at least, for me, I have the flexibility, it's always going to be there. I need to be able to give that extra hug, say that extra I love you, go spend some time with Clancy playing with trucks and tractors and his toys, talking trucks with him, being with my wife, just being present.

Ryan Teubner:

Last night we were just hanging out in the front yard watching Clancy play with the puppy that we're about to, we bred a dog, one of our dogs had the puppies, but I took Leah this weekend. We were just hanging out, having a cocktail and being present and that was great.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

I did... Was going to skip a work out and do that. That for me is largely due in the fact that I got to put things in perspective. I think life has a funny way of doing that for all of us, no matter if you're in the business or not in the industry, of putting things in perspective, of being able to say, "Oh crap, I got to balance this work life, more family balance a little better, so I can be present."

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm.

Ryan Teubner:

I think that's what this industry affords individuals. Flexibility, young producers coming up, you have that flexibility to be able to do that.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah, yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

Any other industry, if I was selling widgets or wherever, I don't think I'd have that flexibility.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah, we say at our producer camp, typically in the first session, "How many of you are making more money than some people in your family," and they raise their hand or, "How many are making more money or difficult in your friends?" It's like, "How many are making more money than if you had a real job?" They kind of laugh and I go, "How many would be fired if you had a real job?"

Ryan Teubner:

Absolutely.

Brent Kelly:

It's kind of a joke, but you all kind of go, "Gosh, we probably would be," right.

Ryan Teubner:

Yeah.

Brent Kelly:

It's such a great opportunity and it really is a great business for so many different reasons. I think the thing on there, Ryan, you just said it's a couple things that jump out. I mean obviously number one is just you've got freedom and flexibility, but you still got to prioritize and be diligent and disciplined.

Brent Kelly:

I think it's where some certainly insurance producers and professionals get off track, because, "Wow, I can do whatever I want." Yep, you can, so make good decisions. The other part too then, it's kind of the flip of what I'm going to say here, is I had a coach years ago that I was working with, and I was telling her, I'm like, "Well I got to do this, and I got to do this, and I got to do this, and I got to do this, and I got to do this, and then I got to go do this, and I got to do this." She's like, "Why you got a lot to do?" I said, "Well yeah, I mean I got a family, I got to run this business." She goes, "If I recall, I think we're called human beings, now human doings." I was like, ""Oh, I go get it. She's like, "At some point, certain times, you just need to be with people."

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

I appreciate you sharing that. I think there's such great wisdom in what you just provided. I want to go on to, you talk about some challenges and maybe this bleeds into some of this, but successes, I think we talk about having mentors and people you model. For the agency leaders listening to this, again, whatever the role or position, what's the success that you feel confident about or that you feel proud about, that and you're trying to replicate it that you think would be worthwhile to share to others out there?

Ryan Teubner:

Oh gosh. I think a lot of my successes are due to luck sometimes, but hold on. However, I think you can build your own luck. I think or go knock on doors and then at some point it's all going to pay off. The relationships, key thing there, is relationships with the customers. One of my longest friends, he moved from, golly where were they? New Mexico, I want to say, to Stillwater, when we were in the third grade. I was the first friend he knew and we're still friends to this date.

Ryan Teubner:

He's been one of my biggest advocates for my clients. I mean he has built a company and business that's really cool and doing a lot of cool things for property and real estate down in Oklahoma City, midtown, downtown Oklahoma City. I mean it's my second largest account now. It grew from, let's see, it started maybe at a $20,000 account and it's exponentially higher. Just those relationships with the right people has helped me on the success.

Ryan Teubner:

The other thing to never be afraid of, is taking a call in from the outside. If somebody just calls the agency looking for a quote, don't be afraid to take that, because I'll tell you this other's cool story and we just renewed this policy. Couple, I want to say a couple, two years ago maybe, right before pandemic started, or right there of, we had a call in and I got it and the policy was for a big furniture store down in southern part... It was maybe a $40,000 account for a call in. Now, we just renewed it at 66. Never be afraid to take a call in. Some of the guys, some of the young agents may think, "Yeah, I'm not going to waste my time on that." It's worth calling them back. One, here's the deal, if you think about it, if you call them back, then at least you're not making the agency look bad and not returning calls.

Brent Kelly:

Sure.

Ryan Teubner:

That's the biggest thing. Even though it may be a waste of time and you don't want to do it and you think you have a pipeline elsewhere, call those people back, because you don't want egg on the agency. You don't want them to go to their friends and say, "Hey, I called them but they never called me back. Don't call that agency," call them back, it's five seconds, 10 seconds, call him back. Conversation.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah. Some of that, I mean just hopefully just a professional courtesy of some kind of doing the right thing. Part of this too, in fact I think it's been many years ago, I wrote an article about the Friday 4:00 PM phone call. I typically, I joke, because as you probably know many of those, there's a reason why they're calling Friday at 4:00 PM. But at the same time, if you qualify it, you never know. I love what you said there. You got to explore that opportunity.

Brent Kelly:

But I want to go back to something earlier you said, because I think it was interesting and you even kind of caught yourself maybe or qualified yourself about luck. Like, "Oh I've been lucky." Then all of a sudden it's like, "Well lucky, or you were building relationships and making deposits in certain ways, which gave you more opportunity, and then you took action upon that opportunity?"

Brent Kelly:

Again, I love how you shared that, because it's like, we'll have producers in our camp sometimes, Ryan, like, "Well that big account I wrote, I got pretty lucky." I go, "Well, tell me about it." They'll be like, "Well I was referred in from, I have an influencer here and whatever, it could be another professional firm of some kind. I kind of know them and he introduced me to them and they were having issues and we were able to take care of, It's a great account." I'm like, "Oh, so you just got lucky, or maybe you had a relationship that you have developed and over a period of time and it gave you better opportunities?" I think there's a lot of value there.

Ryan Teubner:

I think you hit the head right there, hit the nail on the head right there. Probably not luck and you're right, I did catch myself on that. It's building those key relationships and just having those relationships and building upon them.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

There's an account that I write. There's two accounts that I write that took me, no lie, four years to get one of them and eight years to get the other. When I got the eight year one, it was not a big account. It is a $40,000 account. It's not a big account, but it was that I pried that account finally away from that other agent.

Brent Kelly:

Yeah.

Ryan Teubner:

Same with the one that I worked on for four years. That account when I first wrote it was around $50,000. Now it's a $97,000 account. If I didn't have an attitude of perseverance that I'm not going to give up, I'm going to continue building those relationships, even though I may not get some of the first year, you still build that relationship, then you're going to get the opportunity. Because at the end of the day, clients do business with who they want to do business with.

Brent Kelly:

Mm-hmm.

Ryan Teubner:

I mean, they're going to... You may come in and be 15% lower on a deal, but if you don't have the relationship and they have a relationship with somebody else, they're going to want to do business with that other person no matter what. They find ways and find ways to do business with who they want to do business with. You have to build those relationships and with key individuals, those key individuals may be referral sources. They may your current clients, they may be, I don't know, a real estate deal or construction association or anything like that.

Ryan Teubner:

Relationships and working and molding those relationships and putting forth and your best effort, that's where your perceived luck comes in to be able to build that book and write those accounts and do all this. I mean, shoot, one of my clients I literally got from a parent at... It started out as a $900 policy and now it's going to increase, because they have more need. It is just, it's anywhere you go, you can always network, you can always build those relationships. You can always carry yourself in a positive not egotistical way.

Brent Kelly:

Right.

Ryan Teubner:

People are going to want to do business with you. For me, it took me longer to realize that, because remember when I said my intern, well my sales career started at LifeLock. But at LifeLock, it was a lot of dialing phone numbers, dialing specific areas and industries, targets to work on building relationships with them. It's a lot over the phone. When I got in to Rich & Cartmill, I kind of tried to do the same thing. It didn't work out. You have to pivot and go to more face to face relationships and building those relationships, going to knock on doors, prospecting the right way in a more effective way. When I started doing that, my luck, if you will, started turning.

Brent Kelly:

Right, right. But, Ryan, part of that too comes back to what you said earlier. It's about that quest to learn and be coachable, right? Because some people go, "Ah, that doesn't work, yeah." But to say, "Okay, well what did I learn from that? How can I grow from that? What's something else I could try," and just continue to build those experiences that you have. I had someone, I forgot where I heard this from, a few different places, but people say experience is the best teacher. This person said, "No, experience isn't the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher."

Ryan Teubner:

Uh-huh.

Brent Kelly:

Everyone can have experiences, but what do you learn and how are you growing from that? What are you adapting to?

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

A lot of great wisdom. The listeners here, hope you're not driving the car, because you can take some things that Ryan's saying and start to put that to use. All right, I got one more question for you. I want to be respectful of your time here. This is my favorite question that I ask for any guests that's on my podcast, is the fact that if you had, I don't care how far back you go, I mean maybe 10, 15 years or back to your first job or whatever, but if you had to have a conversation, or if you did have a chance to have a conversation with your younger self, so you go back and maybe the very beginning of your career and your younger self is looking at you today and says, "Ryan, give me one piece of advice that you think will help me as I move forward." What would you tell him?

Ryan Teubner:

Don't be afraid.

Brent Kelly:

Don't be afraid.

Ryan Teubner:

Don't be afraid. You can take that however you want. Don't... To get told no, because that can be an opportunity. They're just saying no right now. They're not saying no forever.

Brent Kelly:

Right.

Ryan Teubner:

Remember that. Don't be afraid to go in and knock on a door. When I say knock on doors, I'm not saying go around to a residential neighborhood and knock on the residential. Okay? I'm saying go to your commercial businesses. If you have a client, I don't know, a contractor or whomever, and there's businesses around there, go knock on doors. What are they going to do? Throw you out. I mean, they're not going to physically throw you out. They're going to probably say, "Thank you," or, "Good," or, "Thanks, I'll give it to the person that needs this card," da, da, da, da.

Ryan Teubner:

I would say don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to put forth the work that needs to be done that nobody else wants to do. One of the biggest things that I'll always remember growing up playing baseball, and going to baseball camps, is the head coach at Oklahoma State at the time was Gary Ward. He always said, "Somewhere someone is practicing, and when you meet him in head to head competition, they'll beat you."

Brent Kelly:

Oh.

Ryan Teubner:

I think that, don't let that guy beat you or girl, or whomever. Don't let that other agent beat you. You go out, working, you go practice on your craft, you go be a student of the game and you are the one that are going to be able to beat that person. Don't be afraid. I think it all comes back to don't be afraid.

Brent Kelly:

I love it. So many great examples there. I just think, I don't want to over qualify this, or whatever I'm trying to say, but if you think about fear. Where does that come from? Well, a lot of different things, but I think what I see often, Ryan, it's lack of belief.

Ryan Teubner:

Right.

Brent Kelly:

I think, well, why do people have lack of belief? Well, in many cases they have lack of belief because maybe they have, certainly it can come in a lack of confidence. Well, why is that? Well, lack of preparation.

Ryan Teubner:

Mm-hmm.

Brent Kelly:

In many cases. Now, obviously if you're out starting and you're always going to have that, and we all have this head trash around us. But you're right. I love what you're... You said it was the baseball coach at Oklahoma State?

Ryan Teubner:

Yeah. Baseball coach.

Brent Kelly:

I mean, it's like one of those things, and I played sports, but you know that even though you wouldn't come out and say you didn't put as much time in as... You know it, like deep down in your subconscious, you know if you're prepared and practiced and done the thing, which gives you confidence, which helps you overcome some of that fear. That's good stuff. I knew, see, I knew having you on here was going to have great value to the audience.

Ryan Teubner:

Well, hopefully.

Brent Kelly:

You have delivered, Ryan.

Ryan Teubner:

Hopefully so, I appreciate it. Hopefully so.

Brent Kelly:

You have delivered. Well, hey, anything else you'd want to say before we wrap up here?

Ryan Teubner:

No, I think if, I mean the audience listening, I mean, there's probably a multitude of different roles in which they play within their own specific agency or business. I think it's just have fun. This business is fun. I enjoy it. If you're not having fun in this business, you probably should get out and find something else, because it truly can be so much fun. But, I thank you for having me. I appreciate it. Hopefully we can do it again sometime and then in the future, but I've thoroughly enjoyed it and thank you.

Brent Kelly:

All right, Ryan, thank you. Appreciate it, again. To listeners out there, thank you. If this podcast, other podcast, the Agent Leader Podcast added value to you in any way, we love, whether it's a subscribe, or a review, again, we're trying, or share with your friends out there, want to continue to add value to the marketplace with great guests, like Ryan today. With that, I wish you and your agency all the best in your success. Thanks for listening.

 

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