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In this episode of The Power Producers Podcast, David Carothers and co-host Kyle Houck interview Hal Soden, Jr., CPCU, AAI, CIC, CRM, Principal, and Risk Management Advisor at Oliver L.E. Soden Agency. Being the fourth generation in their agency, Hal shares his knowledge and expertise in the insurance business and explains how their services have changed as technology, and business practices have changed.

Episode Highlights:

  • David introduces Hal Soden. (1:28)
  • David talks about the conversation that he had with Scott Howell from The Insurance Guys Podcast. (1:58)
  • Hal shares his background. (5:04)
  • Hal mentions that he’s the fourth generation of their agency and it all started from his great grandfather. (5:28)
  • Hal shares that his father and his uncle introduced him to commercial insurance. (6:08)
  • Hal mentions that back in the day, he had to beg people to write their insurance. (9:49)
  • Hall shares that Matt is kind of a new chapter in their story and their first non-family producer. (10:30)
  • David shares the conversation he had with a guy who has a producer, and that producer had one huge account that he thought was going to save him. (11:35)
  • How’s Hal’s experience been as an agency owner? (13:37)
  • Hal mentions that he and his father have different personalities, and he never thought that he had a sales type of personality. (13:54)
  • Hal shares that working with his father went well because they balance out each other. (14:48)
  • Hal mentions that if he wanted an insurance agent, he’d want it to be his father. (15:31)
  • Kyle thinks that people don’t completely understand the volume of different industries or positions there are in sales. (17:24)
  • In Hal’s opinion, he sees it more as selling himself or selling his services, than selling insurance. (17:48)
  • Hal thinks that most of the sales are about problem-solving and being good to people. (18:17)
  • David shares that his experience in working with his father was very educational, very refining. (19:18)
  • Hal shares that his father let him do what he wants, that’s why he was very engaged in directing where the agency was, and that has helped him a lot. (20:45)
  • When Hal required Matt to get their family crest tattooed in the middle of his back, how did Matt react to it? (23:50)
  • David mentions that Hal may have more ZyWave products than they do. (24:09)
  • What are Hal’s other niches? (24:24)
  • Hal mentions that his first niche was HVAC Mechanical Contractors. (27:27)
  • Hal shares that Ohio Casualty was their first major insurance point which became peerless, and currently is part of Liberty Mutual. (29:11)
  • Hal mentions that his weakness is marketing. (32:03)
  • Hal mentions that he’s the incoming chairman of the Big I New Jersey. (33:00)
  • Hal shares that he’s a firm believer in learning from other agents. (33:45)
  • Hal thinks that a lot of agents and brokers would be better served to push beyond their boundaries, and find their capabilities. (41:28)
  • David shares that his first two employees were ModMaster and Broker Briefcase because he knew that he could get in front of people, and close the deal If he had those two resources. (43:04)
  • David mentions that if anybody has read Thomas Stanley’s books, they would be a millionaire. (44:18)
  • What’s the most creative way Hal has used ModMaster, to get a deal done? (48:45)
  • David shares his most creative way of using ModMaster. (49:14)
  • What is the resistance to return to work? (55:59)
  • Did Hal lose a bet when David watched him walking through a fire pit in innovation? (1:02:14)
  • Hal mentions that most people might assume that he’s a risk-averse person but he’s not. (1:03:39)

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “I was thinking about my typical line to people that how I got into insurance was that I was tricked into insurance.” – Hal Soden
  • “I’ve sort of changed my approach that it’s not just about, like this coverage and knowledge and stuff like that. That’s super important, but it doesn’t necessarily lend you any accounts. You know, that’s not necessarily getting you any business being the best insurance agent, and knowing coverage better than anybody else does.” – Hal Soden
  • “If a carrier comes out with something that they’re best at, I don’t mind targeting that. Especially if it’s not too far from what we do. There’s still certain things I’m going to turn down, no matter what.” – Hal Soden
  • “We’ve got to get better though, and part of the reason I joined your course is because my weakness is marketing. I am very good at closing, you can hand me most accounts, if I get in front of them, I’m probably going to write it.” – Hal Soden

Resources Mentioned:

The Power Producers Podcast where we are refining and redefining the sales game.

Kyle Houck