Interview with Gene Greiner

This week, we interviewed Gene Greiner about what he’s learned as a Commercial Lines Producer in Global Construction.

Q: What’s going well for you right now?

A: The Global Construction book is expanding into other states aside from Texas, and our customer base is growing. Lots of good things have come out of our reputation, and our phone is starting to ring more due to the good work that we’ve done for a long time. People who are calling us seem to already understand who we are. We’re getting referrals from folks that we haven’t met before, but they’ve heard about us through our industry partners. Aside from that, we’re still knocking on doors and announcing who we are and who we work with – we’re enjoying some credibility with people that we meet.

Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d give yourself 10 years ago?

A: Figure out how to discern between accounts that are actively wanting  to work with you, versus people that are just wasting your time. The Blueprint teaches: “How can we get to the next ‘yes’?” If they are going to say no, let’s get there quickly so we can move on to the next prospect. Don’t be afraid to walk away instead of wasting your time.

Early in my career, I was willing to do anything and everything I could when trying to make a sale. There was a lot of wasted time, and a lot of people that you try to help whom you realize never had an intention of working with you. So, if I could give myself advice,  it would be to figure out how to get to the next “yes” efficiently.

Q: What have been some growing pains for you when building your book of business? 

A: The hardest part has been figuring out how to effectively prospect. The whole idea of sitting down and dialing for dollars will quickly burn anybody out. So, how do we prospect effectively and do it in a manner that’s fun and successful? Because just dialing random general businesses or a list of prospects is tough.

Recently I was traveling to west Texas. There’s a little town out there, Mineral Wells, and I noticed three cranes were sitting in a parking lot. I just pulled over, walked in, announced who I was, and handed them my card. The owner wasn’t there at the time, but later that day they sent me an email and said, “Hey, we got your card. We do want to talk to you.” Just a quick example of prospecting with a purpose and doing activities with a higher hit ratio.

We also like to send these expensive knives to targeted prospects which grabs their attention. These knives are bone, and they’re custom engraved with the prospect’s logo hand-painted on the handle. We’re only sending that out to the most qualified prospects because we know they would be a great fit to work with us. So in summary, I would say the hardest part is figuring out how to prospect and not waste your time.

Q: How is your relationship with construction clients different from the average commercial client?

A: I have a handful of accounts that are just average middle-market commercial accounts that have nothing to do with construction, and I enjoy a close relationship with them. But obviously, the majority of what I do is heavy construction. Those guys are cut from the same cloth I am, and we have a great time but, that’s not to say that I treat them any better or worse than just a normal commercial account that has nothing to do with construction. I wrote a few of those non-construction commercial accounts early on, and I still have a few of them.

Q: What are you most excited about right now?

A: I’m most excited about seeing our heavy construction book grow geographically. That’s what I’ve been wanting to see. We have an awesome reputation and a strong presence in Texas, and we’re the premier group for this part of the country. I know we can do that for more people and more places, and that’s traditionally something we haven’t done in the past. Recently, Arthur wrote an account in northern Oklahoma and then we wrote another one in Kansas, and we’ve gotten one in Colorado. I’d like to see us move into Louisiana, Arkansas, and New Mexico, and really start to grow regionally, and then ultimately nationally. I’d like to have accounts all across the country. So that’s what I’m most excited about, is seeing this happen, and working towards expanding our footprint which has been really fun to do.