Don’t Teach a Man to Fish, Take him on a Fishing Trip!

We’ve all heard it. Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. But if you want things to stick, you can’t just teach the man to fish. You got to take them on a fishing trip. That’s what I’m going to talk to you about today.

We’ve all heard the saying, give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. But I’ve got to tell you if you want that lesson to stick, you got to take the man on a fishing trip. Let me explain. This past weekend, I was down in Key West, and I invited my good friend, Doug Benz, a fellow cold-blooded killer in Killing Commercial, to come down for the weekend with his wife, Liz, and be my guest on our fishing charter. And it was fantastic to watch Doug light up every time a fish was on his line, which was every single time we dropped bait down. And as I’m watching him and his excitement, I’m equally as excited because I’m pulling fish up left and right. I’m thinking to myself, how does this translate to what we do as producers every single day?  Today,  I’m going to share my thoughts on how that fishing trip translates to what we do every single day, and specifically, in Killing Commercial.

Have the Right Equipment

So the first thing is, if you’re going to go out and catch the big ones, you have to have the right equipment. You have to have good poles. You have to understand the lines that you’re supposed to use. You have to know whether or not you need a leader. You need to understand which type of hook and all of the stuff that goes into that. And it’s not one of those things where you walk into a tackle store and buy everything. You have to do your research. You have to figure it out. You have to make sure you’re getting the tools you need to catch the type of fish you want to catch.

That’s the same thing that we deal with every day in our agencies. We have all kinds of bait or lures cast right in front of our eyes that we want to go after. And honestly, if we haven’t done enough research, we may get caught up in the shiny object syndrome, and we may bite. So if you want to make sure you’re set up to catch the big ones, and specifically, the type and the species of fish you want to go after, or in our case, the ideal prospect, you’ve got to take time to research the tools you need, the bait you need to get them interested in having a conversation with you.

You Must Have the Correct Vessel

The second thing you have to have is you have to have the right vessel. You have to have a boat that can go out far enough and get right where you need to be, whether you get anchored up on a reef or if you’re trolling out in the middle of the ocean, you have to have a craft that’s able to support your activity. That boat is the same thing as your agency. Your agency platform has to be able to support the types of accounts you’re going after and the volume that you’re going to generate. And if the boat’s not right, you’re probably not going to get the best results. So you have to make sure that you’re in the right vessel, with the right equipment.

You Must Have a Good Guide

The other thing you need, you got to have a good guide. You have to have a good captain. Having the right equipment and having the right boat doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have somebody that can give you good GPS coordinates or drive you to those areas.

And a good captain is just like a good mentor or a sales coach. They study the tides. Good captains study the lunar patterns. They study the wind. They know what they’re getting into before they ever leave the dock. That’s why mentorship is so important. If you’re a new producer, you need to make sure you have somebody that’s just like that seasoned fishing guide. That’s able to direct you precisely the way you need to get directed. And when we got back, we had so many fish from this fishing trip it took them over an hour to clean all of them so that we could take them home and stick them in our freezer.

You Have to Have a Good Cleaning Crew

A dependable cleaning crew is the fourth thing that you have to have. You’ve got to have somebody there that knows how to clean the fish. Look, I’m a producer. You’re probably a producer. We don’t like to clean the fish. We like to catch them. We don’t want to have to do any more than we have to once we get that thing landed in the boat.

You must have a great relationship with your service team. Your service team is the crew that cleans the fish so that you can go back out and fish for another day. I hope you enjoyed the parallels that I put here. I love to fish. I love to fish for accounts, and I also love to fish for, well, fish. But if you can follow these things, and you can connect the dots, and you can put the time and energy in to do the right amount of research and learning before you make snap decisions, and you can find the right coach, and you have a good service team and a good agency, you have no choice. You’re going to kill it in commercial insurance.


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