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In this episode of The Power Producers Podcast, David Carothers and co-host Kyle Houck interview the Co-Founders of GloveBox, Ryan Mathisen, and Sean Mulhern. Ryan and Sean discuss how they got to this point in their career and how they developed the GloveBox App.

Episode Highlights:

  • David introduces Ryan Mathisen and Sean Mulhern. (1:30)
  • How did Ryan and Sean get to this point in their career, where they developed an app, and distributed it to agencies all over the country? (2:18)
  • Sean shares his background. (2:26)
  • Sean mentions that Ryan, together with his brother and father, owned an agency in Colorado. (2:46)
  • Ryan shares his background. (3:16)
  • Ryan mentions that his brother, together with Sean and the GloveBox team, helped in growing the agency to about 100 million in premium, over the nine and a half year span. (3:43)
  • Ryan shares that GloveBox is seeing the service side and looking at the mass influx of service demands that they can’t handle it fast enough on the consumer side. (6:25)
  • David thinks that some of the best technology for the insurance industry comes from agents who figure out a way to solve a problem that they face every day. (7:24)
  • What were Ryan and Sean’s tipping point, where they needed to find something that they could develop? (9:17)
  • Sean shares that it’s tech being thrown at a problem, but they didn’t know what the actual problem was because insurance is a nuanced sale, and it’s very unique. (9:51)
  • What are the three biggest issues that Ryan and Sean wanted to solve by developing the app that made their lives ultimately easier, as an agent? (10:55)
  • Ryan mentions that the biggest piece is looking at what clients can truly handle on their own without needing an agent, which is the bulk of the service work on personal lines. (12:13)
  • Ryan shares that they have never made themselves a referral to the independent channel. Therefore, being able to refer your agent, on social media or a direct one on one conversation is huge. (12:52)
  • What’s the “Refer My Agent” button process look like, and how has that become a game-changer? (13:15)
  • Ryan shares a great feature of the button. (13:55)
  • David thinks that one of the biggest problems that any mobile app has is the adoption rate. (14:15)
  • Ryan mentions that getting clients to adopt your technology is a huge hurdle. (15:55)
  • Sean shares that the apps from other carriers or AMS were not doing a good job of putting the brand front and center. (16:39)
  • Sean mentions that the first link that the client will see is a branded page, built for their agency. (17:36)
  • Ryan shares a little sneak peek into their roadmap where GloveBox will be an actual revenue driver and not an expense, for an agency. (18:58)
  • Ryan mentions that the biggest pain point, from being an agency owner, is you’re solely reliant on what your agents quote. (19:04)
  • In terms of the carriers that are involved, is it unlimited? (21:38)
  • Ryan shares that they’re working on billing and one of their main carriers will be piloting it in the third quarter. (22:02)
  • What does the process of customer service look like on their app? (22:41)
  • Ryan shares that they see GloveBox is a great opportunity to be able to guide those service requests based on an agency set up, with service centers. (23:44)
  • What were the three biggest obstacles that Ryan and Sean experienced, with regards to getting agents to buy it, and purchase and use the product? (24:23)
  • Sean shares that there’s a little bit of reliance on the agency to be sharing the details in their email signatures, their page, and bring it as a sales tool. (26:52)
  • What’s the story behind the name of the app? (29:08)
  • Ryan mentions that they essentially got the name that Geico couldn’t get. (30:06)
  • What other developments might Ryan and Sean be adding over time that aren’t where they need to be right now? (30:23)
  • Ryan shares that they just agreed in principle to bring their development team in-house, which is a nice win for them, and their team built their database and platform from scratch. (30:57)
  • Ryan mentions that they’re currently focused on engaging with the users from the agency’s app. (31:14)
  • Sean shares that they’re able to show a lot more data because they will be connecting to the carrier, not on the AMS. Therefore, they will be able to grab certain elements, before the download hits. (32:59)
  • Kyle thinks that being able to take the analytics and figure out when somebody might be likely to shop, could have a positive impact on the business that’s coming in. (33:36)
  • Ryan shares that when a client imports their policy documents from a carrier that they represent in their GloveBox, they can push those documents directly to the agency’s AMS. (35:05)
  • David mentions that his fundamental theory on anything regarding the agency world is agencies are running their businesses wrong, by and large. (36:22)
  • David shares that agencies are lost. They’re lost in who they’re competing against and they think they’re competing against other agencies in their area. (39:45)
  • David mentions that Uber technology is one of the biggest big data repositories in the world. (40:02)
  • Sean mentions that there hasn’t been a lot of technology in insurance, at all. Therefore, anything that’s new may seem a little off to them. (43:30)
  • David shares that they have a plugin for HubSpot called Sakari, and it’s a texting platform. (44:23)
  • Ryan mentions that the first step is the carriers need to let them embed their telematics experience within the agent’s app. (51:07)
  • Ryan shares that once they have them engaging with the agent’s app and the telematics embedded, they will be able to manage it. It’s easy to pivot between carriers and easy to maintain that data to get a better profile on that client. (51:37)
  • Does the GloveBox app have the ability to home inventory? (54:36)

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “Look, if nobody else is going to do it, we’re going to do it and who better to do it than agents who sell you know, a lot of business.” – Ryan Mathisen
  • “If you’re not in the grind, man, you have no clue about what you’re creating. Like, how are you going to eloquently create features that are going to make agents’ lives better, and make them more money if you’ve never done it?” – Ryan Mathisen
  • “A combo of the fact that nothing was out there and nothing was on the horizon. We had tried other technologies and I would say we’re ambitious, and when we see a big problem no matter what that is, it’s something that we always want to go after and jump into.” – Sean Mulhern
  • “Everything that we’re doing goes directly to the carrier, not relying on downloaded data, and creating these relationships with our carrier partners to bring this to fruition. And so that’s why we’re the only ones that are creating our product directly with the carriers.” – Ryan Mathisen
  • “Why are we kidding ourselves with busy work, right? Especially on the service side, why are we reverting back to digging our heels in with these old school ways of servicing business, when it doesn’t provide us any valuable data.” – Ryan Mathisen
  • “Stop trying to tell your clients how they should engage with you, accept the fact that everybody’s going to be different, and we need to cater to the masses and look at the demographics of your book, don’t kid yourself.” – Ryan Mathisen
  • “We see an opportunity to kind of encompass a lot of those different functionalities in one fell swoop. So that’s really what we’re looking to do, we try to be very eloquent in the way we add features.” – Ryan Mathisen
  • “One of the most important things that we bring up in our meetings is that these technologies, and what you can do with the data is amazing. But if you don’t have the end-users eyeballs, you know, it’s a waste if you’re not going to get them to use it.” – Sean Mulhern
  • “We want to challenge the industry to stop talking about customer experience and make moves to enhance the customer experience. Because at the end of the day, that’s what we see last on the pecking order with organizations inside the industry.” – Ryan Mathisen
  • “We would certainly love to talk to you and show you the value of GloveBox, and where we’re going because we are changing the independent channel. It’s not going to be the same.” – Ryan Mathisen

Resources Mentioned:

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

Kyle Houck