Kris Tawney, president of Tawney Insurance Consulting LLC, in Morgantown, W.Va., is the one of Employee Benefit Advisers 2014 Rising Stars in Advising. He shared three tips for other young advisers in the field. A lot of companies are just holding on, says the 29-year-old, who founded his own business in September. Stay tuned to EBA for more on Tawney and our other nine Rising Stars.
- Dont hold your ideas back, Tawney says. If you have an idea of a new way to do something, dont be discouraged if someone else doesnt agree. I always try to keep in mind that if someones already made it and been doing it 20 years, that person is different than just starting out. A lot of companies right now are just holding on. Dont be afraid of it, voice new ideas.
- Pay more attention to business, not just selling insurance, he says. I find myself talking about business and the economy all the time and once you have that business acumen, the people youre selling to respect you more. Youre not just pitching prices.
- People learn differently. Its been a challenge for me that there are different ways of generational learning, he says. It took me time to learn that people learn and operate differently. You have a diverse workforce and you have to bridge gaps between different generations. You cant just do well for the under 30s or 40s, you have to cater to everyone all clients.
- Dont be afraid to ask questions. I know thats cliché, but I mean [ask questions] about the business you work for, he says. Im always asking, What are we going to do about this? I dont think you should be afraid to ask [the head of your agency], Whats your cessation plan? What if theres no money in health insurance anymore? If youre a young person, you probably want to find out what you want to do before its too late. A lot of agencies in the next three to four years are going to know if theyve lost a lot of business. If someones apprehensive about business plans, you may start to think about something else.
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