Pick up the phone, urges top broker

Pick up the phone, urges top broker | Insurance Business Australia

Pick up the phone, urges top broker

A double-award winning broker has urged others in the industry to pick up the phone more often, saying an email chain just isn’t the same as a real conversation.

Taela Bloemers (pictured) beat off stiff competition at the 2019 Insurance Business Awards to win Young Gun of the Year, in the category of independent brokerages with more than 20 staff. The Queensland-based account manager then went on to claim the prestigious accolade of overall Australian Young Gun of the Year.

Feedback from judges pointed to her high standard of service as well as the strong relationships Bloemers manages to forge – and maintain – with clients.

When asked what advice she’d offer other young insurance professionals looking to deliver exceptional client service, the 25-year-old shared some relatively straightforward words of wisdom.

“I’d say pick up the phone,” Bloemers told Insurance Business. “It’s the number one way to get things done and yet people just seem to think sending multiple emails is easier.”

Bloemers, who has been steadily climbing the corporate ladder since entering the industry at just 17, says young people often receive the most criticism around their preferred communication method – but she insisted the reluctance to get on the phone is by no means exclusive to millennials.

“It’s not just the younger generation, it seems to be across the board age-wise,” she said. “It’s quite common to see people send multiple emails to chase things up when you could probably get something resolved within 5-10 minutes if you picked up the phone.”

With the world embracing digital communication, Bloemers said it can be easy for brokers to rely on email – however, leveraging more traditional methods will likely set them apart.

“The world is evolving so much around technology these days, you really need to work a lot harder in order to keep those key connections, forge those professional relationships and build your reputation,” she said. “I think it’s something that’s slipped in the last decade or so, not many people see it as important anymore, but I definitely do.”

However, while Bloemers now prefers to use the phone or speak to someone in person, she admitted it wasn’t always that way.

“I sense there’s a bit of fear around picking up the phone these days and I remember when I first started in the industry, back when I’d just left school, the thing I was most scared of was picking up the phone and answering calls,” she said.

“But as soon you overcome that, you realise you’re just talking to another human being and you’re more likely to make a real connection.”

Part of the initial fear, she suggested, was rooted in a desire to know all the answers immediately – but Bloemers also said young people shouldn’t be afraid to admit they’re not sure about something.

“I think we all fall into this perfectionism trap where we want to be perfect at everything but we’re human and we all make mistakes – that’s how we learn, that’s how we move forward, and that’s how we get to where we want to be,” she said. “It’s OK to not know things, it’s OK to ask someone else or go and find out the answer – as long as you’re completely honest, that’s all you can do at the end of the day.”