When Matt Stadler joined MHBT Inc. as a market leader in 2012, he was thrilled at the chance to bring greater profitability to the brokerage’s Forth Worth branch. The office had a great client list, he said, as well as a high knowledge base and plenty of resources – management was just aiming to bring in a little more business.
As it turned out, they brought in a lot more. In the past four years, the group has taken its revenue from $3.5 million in 2012 to $11 million and counting. When asked the story behind this remarkable growth, Stadler says it’s all to do with creating the right work environment.
“We’re your typical Fort Worth company – a good mixture of cowboy and culture,” Stadler told Insurance Business America.
“We’ve really built a great depth in our service roles with people who know the industry and work as a team to do right by our clients. We’re heavy on relationships and do business on handshakes. When you’ve got all that, the business will start rolling in.”
Knowing that developing culture often starts with the newest generation of employees, Stadler helped refine MHBT’s existing Strike Force program, a regimen designed for any new producer with fewer than two years in the insurance business. In addition to training and onboarding, employees in Strike Force are taught company success strategies around sales and industry knowledge. They also receive mentors and meet together to discuss prospects and practice presentations.
The program has generated huge success for MHBT. While the industry posts a troubling 56% success rate in hiring new employees, according to a 2015 study from Reagan Consulting, MHBT reports a 90% success rate and greater revenue companywide.
“When you have young producers finding success, it energizes them,” Stadler said. “They have fun and are eager to go out and find new business. When you bring in that kind of energy, everybody wins.”
Stadler knows the truth of that himself. When he joined the insurance industry in 2005, he was fresh out of college and a brief stint as a financial advisor. Though he had both a father and brother in the business, it was down to two great mentors to help him cultivate industry knowledge, confidence and eventual success.
“Mentors encourage energy and optimism, and make sure you have the resources to make good decisions,” he said. “When someone has a true mentor, they always do better – they succeed faster and display more consistent growth.”
Stadler says the program has also been key in tackling another common industry challenge: attracting millennials to the business of insurance. Calling MHBT’s young employees “pied pipers,” Stadler says millennials happy in insurance will spread the word and bring in more young recruits to perpetuate the business.
Looking ahead, he hopes to continue his push for innovation, primarily by hiring great people and bringing on more resources, including technology.
“That’s how we’ll position ourselves to be the most successful agency possible and find creative solutions to upcoming problems,” Stadler said. “We’ve already laid a lot of groundwork and are starting to feel the effects.”
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