When clients become friends

Kyle Browning, Co-owner/Vice President, of Witkemper Insurance Group discusses the importance of building relationships with clients. Watch the video or read the transcript below.

We're very blessed to have gracious clients who over the years share their wins and losses with us, really, more importantly, their losses as they become friends. As you sit in front of business owners every day, the owners become your friends. As a young business person back 24 years ago, probably the biggest advantage I had in this industry was getting to sit in front of a business owner and decision-maker every single day, and they get to share what they did well in their career, but more importantly, maybe what they failed at or wouldn't do again.

One situation that I can think of, and kind of a mentor to me, was a gentleman who was significantly older than me when I started selling to them. It's the O'Brien Automotive Group here in Indianapolis, and Mr. O'Brien, who passed away about three years ago. But this goes back to when I was 25 years old. So it goes back 21 years for me when they first bought from me. And Mr. O'Brien was well into his 60s, maybe later at that point, but gave me an opportunity, gave me his word that if I could do these three things - He had given his current agent an opportunity to renew the business but they couldn't come through on those things - He gave me his word that if I could do these three things, I would earn the business. I asked him to give me 12 hours till the next day to get the authority to do that. We got that authority. We made it happen. He gave me his word. He gave me the check. We got the deal. But when I was picking up the check and the signatures, he said, 'hey, just to let you know kind of what happened in the last 12 hours, my old agent came back to me and was able to do those things. But I told him, I'd already put you on the clock and given you my word that if you did these, the business was yours.'

That always stuck with me. Just his level of character and integrity, that as a young guy, he could have easily used me. And he had a lot of years in the business and had a lot of relationships. His current agent was much older, much more experienced. But he chose..he made the choice to honor his word, show me his character, and it just stuck with me.

And so from that time, I've done business with them ever since in some way, shape, or form. And even on years when I didn't have certain lines of coverage, they would call me as their kind of sounding board, as a consultant, if you will, even for areas that I wasn't insuring at the time. Now today in 2022, we have all lines of their coverage for their property and casualty.

I think that in the probably 15 years that Mr. O'Brien was still in the relationship, and he was still doing business, he always gave of his time to me, and when I had questions for him.. when I just wanted to probe him about different business ideas...he was always very gracious to give of his time to me and of his experience more importantly, which I think made me a better business person.

Our experienced team at Witkemper Insurance Group is here to help you find the best solution to your business needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


Contact Us

Indianapolis Office
7740 East 88th Street Suite 100
Indianapolis, Indiana 46256
Phone: (800) 395-2478
Greensburg Office
104 East 10th Street
Greensburg, Indiana 47240
Phone: (812) 663-3500
Since 1984, Witkemper Insurance and Financial Services have been providing insurance and financial service solutions for over 40 national insurance and financial service companies across the United States.
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