Justin White has been a salesman since
he graduated from college. He says he
has a “sales personality,” but he concedes his first year as a broker was a bit
of a struggle. White began working in
the industry with his family’s firm, Brock
Insurance Agency in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he is now a partner. The
company recently celebrated its 54th
year as a brokerage.
White says the thing that helped him
find his niche was the introduction of
health savings accounts in 2004. He embraced the new health insurance model
and worked to become an expert.
“It was really good for me,” he says.
“This was something that was brand
new to the industry. Since I was also
brand new to the industry, it was something I could grab a hold of and learn,
inside and out.”
It was a lesson White has applied to
his career: Change equals opportunity.
Another opportunity came with the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
“With the creation of the ACA, brokers
either dove in and learned it, or they shied away from it,”
he says. “Being on the younger side, I dove right in and
started learning it.” Despite all the headaches for businesses and brokers created by health reform, White found
in the changes a way to better serve clients.
“That’s one of the nice things about the ACA; it’s really
given brokers the opportunity to go out and differentiate
themselves,” he says.
At a time when it seems increasingly likely health insurance rules will change again, perhaps dramatically, White
encourages brokers to accept it. “You can’t be afraid to
change,” he says. “My recommendation is, don’t be afraid
to try new things.”
Along with embracing change, White believes in a team
approach to selling insurance. He says his firm’s success
is in a large part due to its excellent staff.
“I wouldn’t trade my staff for any-
thing,” he says. “If I didn’t have that
support, I couldn’t do what I do. Find-
ing people with the right skill set is
becoming more and more important.”
One area where White is still a little old school is the need for
face-to-face relationships. He acknowledges a strong web
presence is important for brokers, noting, “Probably the first
thing people are going to do [after an introduction] is check
you out online. If you don’t have social media and a website,
they might question how serious you are.”
But at the same time, he says, “I can’t say I’ve ever written any
business because of my social media presence. I think at the
end of the day, people still like to buy from people. Insurance
is a large expense item for an employer. They want to sit down
and talk to you. I don’t think it’s something that can necessar-
ily be done over the phone or online.”
At the end of the day, he says, it’s still about relation-
ships—and about being able to manage change. “I love
what I do; it’s a great industry,” he says. “I love the fact that
it is changing, because that means it doesn’t get stale. We
get to constantly bring new solutions to our clients.”
Brock and Spencer Benefits