How to build and maintain client relationships

Mark Charlton, a Hagerty member, Nicholas Keith, Senior Manager of Private Client Sales and Business Development for Canada at Hagerty, and Barry Hogan, President, Gamble Hub International, join host Dave Hord, Director of Events at Hagerty Canada, to discuss how brokers can learn and build knowledge to relate to classic car owners and potential clients. Together, they examine how to win that business and how to keep it for years ahead.


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Dave: [00:00:28] Welcome to enthusiastic clients for Life: How to Build and Maintain Client Relationships. Today we're going to explore ways that you can relate with your client, cultivate relationships with them, and how to build those long lasting relationships we all desire. The collector car audience continues to grow. A multi-year study by HAGERTY estimates that there are roughly 73 million collector vehicles globally, with an estimated market of $1.4 trillion. Our goal by the end of this session is to give you some interesting ideas, tools and strategies for building and maintaining those client relationships. And to that end, we've assembled a panel of experts that I'd love to introduce to you today. Joining me today is Barry Hogan, president of Gamble Hub International. He brings over 30 years of experience to the insurance agency. He claims he's not a car guy but somehow has amassed a pretty impressive car collection. My absolute favorite is his 83 Toyota. He picks his kids up from school, and that's no small feat because all eight of them can fit in his Toyota cruiser. Also joining me today is Nick Keith, senior manager of private client sales and business development for HAGERTY, Canada. Nick has worked in the high net worth scene for 15 years, grew up around car dealerships and customer service as a family business. He's currently working on a 944 race car project, but is also involved in his ten year old son's budding karting career. And finally, we have Mark Charlton, owner of Vision Forum and Big Cat Garage in Ottawa. Mark joins us as the enthusiast for today. He's amassed a fantastic collection of panteras and odd French automobiles. Mark has been a great friend of the three of us for the last 15 years and brings the enthusiast angle to our panel today. So, gentlemen, thank you for joining me. 

Mark: [00:02:13] Nice to be here. 

Barry: [00:02:14] Thanks. Great to be here. 

Dave: [00:02:16] And I think I want to start. All of us have a little bit of a relationship with HAGERTY. I fell in love with HAGERTY because I really bought into the idea that they want to save driving. HAGERTY's interest in me being able to hit the road for that crazy backcountry drive at any time is really the key element for me and why I'm involved with HAGERTY. What is it about the HAGERTY culture that attracted to you and what brings you into the HAGERTY fold? And Barry why don't we start with you? 

Barry: [00:02:46] Sure. That's great. Thanks so much, Dave. I would say it's the passion. And truly, HAGERTY has a passion for classic cars and memorabilia and collections and the and the the whole. Everything that's wrapped around a classic car. Dave, you mentioned I'm not a car guy. Say, I'm not a car guy. That's mostly for my wife's benefit. Because if she thought I was a car guy, I can't imagine how many cars I'd have. But, you know, it's it's HAGERTY just understands and gets the space. And I think that's the that's the piece that we really like. And that's that's how we've built the relationship as part of hub and HAGERTY and that's what people want. People want knowledge, people want experts. And that that's what really drives us to HAGERTY. 

Dave: [00:03:43] So, Mark, you've been a HAGERTY client for a few years, and you've got a little bit of a different twist as to why you've come on board with HAGERTY. What is it about HAGERTY that interested you? 

Mark: [00:03:53] I think it's very much what Barry said. But my first interaction with HAGERTY, I mean, I'd seen the ads of HAGERTY us in all the car magazines, but in Canada, it had no real presence for me until I did a classic car adventure rally out in British Columbia with a very good friend of mine who, you know, and I. I was shocked that it was sponsored by an insurance company. I thought, wow, here's a here's an insurance company that actually wants people to enjoy the product that they're insuring. And and I thought that was a very insightful perspective for the company to take there. They're not really just looking at it from the point of view of how can we make money off these people, but how can we be a part of their experience? How can we improve their experience? And I just thought that was such an interesting perspective that I switched my policies over to HAGERTY. So and it's been great ever since. 

Dave: [00:05:01] I love it. So so, Nick, 15 years at RBC and you've made the move to HAGERTY a year ago. I'm curious what made the jump? 

Nick: [00:05:10] You know, for me, I think it goes back to tying into my experience and what I really enjoyed as part of my career. And that's really helping others, right? Helping them to protect their passions and really tapping into that hobby side of it and making sure that we were connecting. You know, I found that HAGERTY was spending a lot of time in that space creating experiences and giving back to the community. And I saw this as an opportunity for me to come and be a part of that and to be really sort of a part of the network as we move forward and to continue to give back, but also to build a business and to continue to promote the brand and everything else that HAGERTY done so well in the past and continues to do so. 

Dave: [00:05:42] I think for the four of us as car guys and I'm sorry, Barry, if that's your excuse, I think you are a car guy. 

Mark: [00:05:50] Barry is a car guy. I talked to him. He's a 100% car guy. 

Dave: [00:05:59] And so in some ways, it's easy for us when a when a car enthusiast walks in the office or a car enthusiast calls looking for insurance, it's easy for us to connect. And I think part of our goal of this panel is to help those non car people to connect. And so let's assume for a moment that we all want to connect with our clients. We want to make that commitment. What are your tips or examples for for making that first initial contact? And I guess, Barry and your experience, you know, I guess things have changed in the last two years, but is it walk ins into the office? Is it phone calls? What's the first step? 

Barry: [00:06:35] Yeah, it's quite interesting. So we took a little bit of a different approach, probably about four or five years ago within Hub. And and it was trying to make sure that we had an expert that understood cars and and that just helps because we all have relationships. You know all brokers, agents, they have relationships with their clients. And you're not trying to step on that relationship, but you're trying to add to it. And so we found having an expert within Hub Ontario that could speak the classic car language, talk about the benefits of. HAGERTY It it instantly. HAGERTY has a name that people trust, right? Mark, you mentioned it, right? You see, And now you want it to be part of it. So we need to make sure that our teams understand that and then asked, how do we how do we how do we instill that to our customers? Customers don't just walk into the office, but you build that level of trust over time. And I have lots of stories of people that I've talked to that don't have a classic car, but yet they're enthusiastic about the sport and and they want to come to events and they want to and someday they want to buy a car. And so so you spend a lot of time with those people before they even buy a policy. And and it's funny, you're just starting to build that level of trust with them. And and that in turn turns into a policy down the road. So I kind of believe we talk about classic cars, we talk about we're at events. HAGERTY is amazing plug to. HAGERTY They're amazing to sponsor clubs, sponsor events. They want you to be present and be at activities. And and so we want to convey that to customers. But the sales cycle is actually can be quite long because you can have people that say, I'm interested, but I don't know the questions to ask. I haven't bought a car yet. And so eventually when they do buy the car. They come to you. 

Dave: [00:08:45] Nicky, Barry mentioned at events, and I know you've spent the last summer at a number of events and often with Mark in the booth. What's your trick when that person walks into the booth. How do you, how do you connect with a car owner when they might be a Pantera owner or they might love obscure French stuff that you know nothing about? 

Nick: [00:09:08] You know Dave, great question. I think coming into HAGERTY, you probably would have said I wasn't a car guy myself either, right? And I think, you know, my basis of where I start is just being interested, interested in who I'm meeting with, what their story is and what their passions are. And something that's common here is we all have the love for the automobile. And I think being able to just learn and tap into Mark's knowledge or someone else's knowledge and allow them to be that center of influence for you with that vehicle itself or, you know, the experience they've had and the emotional intelligence all the way through to that purchase decision that they've made and why it's a part of their collection. I think really being interested in who you're meeting and then following through on that and adding value to the relationship is going to be key. It's not just about a transaction or getting a lead through the door. It's really about what value you can bring to the relationship and that comes in that ties in your knowledge of obviously your prior experiences and obviously to the future and making sure that you do follow through on your promises that you make initially. 

Mark: [00:10:09] So, Mark, if I remember your vehicle history a little bit, you you fell in love with the Pantera as a younger guy but didn't know much about them. Now you are one of Canada's top Pantera experts. How does one so if we don't hire somebody who's an expert in classic cars and we want to build that into our business model, how do we learn? How do you build that knowledge? 

Mark: [00:10:34] You know, and you know this as well as as any other car guy. It's all about learning as you go. And I've been really fortunate to be a participant in a bunch of events that HAGERTY has either been participant at or has sponsored. And unlike some other some other exhibitors that I've seen at some of these events. HAGERTY People don't just sit behind a table. They're actually out walking around introducing themselves. I've seen Nick go up and introduce himself to people that he knows our customers, but he may not have met face to face and just saying, you know, if you need anything, I'm here and tell me about your car. And that's really cool. You know, And I think that that one on one engagement with customers is is what builds relationships And an interesting little Segway. Gosh, it's probably 40 years ago I used to deal with one of the national banks and I. I got frustrated because they didn't want to build relationships. Every time I went to the bank, the manager was a different guy. And and so I, I bumped into this one guy who actually said, Well, I'd like to be your banker. And he worked hard to establish a relationship in a climate that was really kind of dissuading relationships. And there's probably very good reasons in the banking industry to do that. But but that guy kept my business for decades because he built that relationship. And I think HAGERTY is one of the few companies that I have seen, is certainly the only insurance company that I have seen that really works hard at connecting with its customers on a one on one basis. And even collectively, there's a fantastic magazine that reaches out to the community. There are a great series of of videos. Jason Camisa does video sponsored by HAGERTY. There's the speaker series and so on. And that kind of connection to the community is what builds a really strong relationship and and lets me as a client, know that you're not just looking to take as much money out of my wallet as you can, but you're interested in making sure that my experience in this hobby is the best it can be. 

Nick: [00:13:05] I couldn't agree more, Mark, And I think going back to that experience piece, it's what's most important. What I've been mostly impressed with at HAGERTY here is the amount of effort that's put into us being in front of the clients and participating in these events and really just being a part of that community and obviously spreading that network because what better way to build relationships and to tap into those sort of passions with everybody else but to make sure that we're part of it in the most authentic way possible. So great point. 

Barry: [00:13:30] I would add. Nick made the comment, but it truly is a partnership. And that's how that's how we feel because we as the broker have our trusted clients and some of our best clients that have classic cars and collections and and we want to make sure they're taken care of and they want to make sure they've got the best product possible. It's amazing the number of conversations we have with clients where they're asking us questions that have nothing to do with insurance. You know, the number of times I've gotten a call saying, you know, I'm looking for this unique tire from my truck and I'm like, I'm not a tire shop, but I am an insurance person. And, you know, and HAGERTY has so many tools and ways that we can actually help just connect people. And sometimes we're able to help, and other times we're just able to direct them in the right in the right path and way. And I think that's what's really unique is it's not about saying, well, no, I don't do that. But it's usually when you say, well, here's some more information and timely information. So I think of HAGERTY and and recently they've been sending out notices to our clients saying your value of this particular client vehicle has likely increased. So maybe take a review of that. And and that just sparks the conversation. And it's some people think, well, that's just trying to get into your wallet like you say, Mark it's not it's about clients wanting to protect their investment and giving that timely data and sharing it That's that's really key. 

Mark: [00:15:08] Yeah. I mean, a lot of people really. They don't know how much their cars have increased in value. I mean, I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who is also a HAGERTY client and a vehicle that he bought two years ago has doubled in value. And he knows it has because people are offering him twice what he paid for it. So, you know, that is a very helpful thing. You know, insurance companies are generally like, I know my my home policy. They just bump up my house value every year by a certain percentage. But it doesn't seem like they actually do that to my benefit to protect me, but more just to bump my rates up a little bit. Whereas I find the way, HAGERTY says, you know, you really want to look at your policy and look at your values and check to make sure you're covered properly is a good approach. 

Nick: [00:16:05] Yeah, I did just add to it, too. I think HAGERTY's done a great job. From the media perspective, I think about our YouTube channel and how many young children have come up, even with my son who's into go karting. And if I had my HAGERTY shirt on and they recognized the brand because of the YouTube videos they watch with their parents. Right. And it's just bringing that even further and rooting itself into the family and the passion and getting them passionate about what their parents are into and really hopefully going to extend the hobby for for years to come. 

Dave: [00:16:32] I love it. So we've had some good ideas for making those initial connections. I'm also really curious about the downfalls and the way we can really make mistakes in those in those first few hours or those first few meetings. What are some big pain points or what are some difficulties you guys see with connecting with clients? What are the things we need to be aware of and avoid? 

Barry: [00:16:55] I would say education and and my favorite favorite thing, we spent lots of times talking to car clubs and car members and you know, if you know one somebody who has a classic car, they know lots of people that have classic cars. My favorite line is a guy in the car club told me, and then he goes on to say something about insurance and inevitably, nine out of ten times it's not actually accurate information. So I think that we have to listen to clients because they they they truly believe they know in some cases and in some cases they do know. But I think educating people and and giving them the tools to make educated decisions is really key. But but even when we know that the answer may be wrong, I love when people say HAGERTY only wants you to buy the insurance and they don't want you to drive the car, you can't drive it at all. Right? And of course, I think we all know that HAGERTY wants you to drive the car they love when you drive the car. And and so but you have to be very respectful to people. And they may have been told that in the past. And that's probably one of the big takeaways, is we could have had a client of ours who says, well, I was told it's okay to do this or not, and that might have been the right rule 20 years ago, but it's not the case today. So it may be that they didn't start or intentionally be wrong, But but you have to listen to people. You have to understand their perspective on things, and then you need to help educate them to what what really is available. 

Nick: [00:18:44] And just to add to that, I think you hit it spot on. I think it's really a unique position that advisors and brokers are in, right? Where clients come to them, they trust their advice or looking to them for that knowledge and and guidance along the way to protect those assets. But yeah, you said it right. I think that education piece is important, making sure the messaging is consistent and just being honest with them so that they understand what to expect in the event of a claim. I mean, that's the reason they're coming to us for insurance and different things. But yeah, I think making sure that we have that time to connect, as we said before, but also to to make sure that they're getting value out of that discussion and that interaction in a big way because they won't forget that as part of their experience. Right. We tend to draw to the negatives, but I think the more that we add value and educate the public and clients and so on, it's only going to help us to build a brand and relationships even more. But it's easier said than done because we can often get stuck into that transactional mode where you need to get this off your plate or you have ten meetings this week that you're you're focused on and it's spending that time that I think is really important. And especially in today's hybrid environment, I think it's even more important that we find that time to connect with our clients and really to spend that half an hour having that discussion with them and not just make it about, yes, I'll take care of this, don't worry about it and let's move on. But great point. 

Dave: [00:19:59] So, Nick, you mentioned a little bit about the time and taking the 5 minutes, the 10 minutes, that sort of thing. You spend a lot of your time at events and Barry, I don't know if you spend a lot of time at car clubs and events. Mark, do you find as an enthusiast your engagement is more real at events or car meetings versus having to go into the office or make a phone call? Or is it the same? 

Mark: [00:20:26] Oh, 100%. Interesting sort of connection back to something that we were talking earlier about connecting with clients. Obviously, every insurance company, every business has a lot more clients than they can really nurture on a 1 to 1 basis. And one of the things which I learned many, many years ago was that if I aligned my business with certain influencers or well, in my case for architectural signage, I deal with architects, interior designers. And I realized that it's much easier to sell those people on my services than to sell end clients on my services. If an architect specifies products that we make or says these guys know what they're doing, then that carries a lot of weight. And similarly, I think in this in this industry, relationships that companies like HAGERTY develop with people like me who have a loud mouth and like to talk, is that we help to to sort of correct those misinformation situations that that Barry was mentioning, which I see all the time. So I think as a strategic initiative to connect with certain clients and really arm them with the knowledge to go out and represent, you're basically getting free salesmen. You know, I really, I drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago. It tasted good. It still tastes good. And so I you know, I'm out there talking up. HAGERTY Because I've had great experiences. And I think as long as as a company works hard to make those experiences, good, then they're going to be well perceived by the by the clients down the road talking pain points. The one the one pain point that I would say I've I've observed in the past is and not specifically with HAGERTY but just in general is. When I'm when I get a reference from a client. To another client. I really work hard to make sure that that relationship is nurtured because somebody's gone out on a limb to recommend me. I want to make sure that they don't look bad recommending me. So, you know, if the insurance company gets a referral from somebody, they've got to jump on it and really nurture it because they're non commissioned sales people are out there trying to sell the product. And we don't. We won't look good. Or get or get well received if it isn't responded to kind of quickly or accurately or whatever. 

Nick: [00:23:24] So it's so true because I think first impressions matter. Right? And being entrusted with insuring one's collection or even having Barry come to us with one of his best clients to look after their needs is an honor for HAGERTY. Right. And I think it's something that we want to make sure that we honor and respect that relationship. And having Mark or anyone bring a client to us is a great honor as well, because we want to make sure we fulfill that. And Mark, I think you're right. The first impression, the first few phone calls, that sort of discovery process is probably the start to any relationship and the core to building that foundation as you move forward. 

Barry: [00:24:01] Dave, I would I would add in one of the I would say one of my pain points is time, because some of the best experiences that we've had and times that I've had with clients are when we go out and take a look at my collection of vehicles and we sit and talk about it and we try to schedule some some time. Right. And this past summer I had a group of seven of us out at my farm to look at my cars. And we grabbed some sandwiches and came out. And what struck me is two of the people that that came one of them was the first time he'd driven his Corvette that year. And this was in in July. And and so he was excited about the fact that he actually got to come out. And it was kind of like it was in the calendar. And we're going to do this right. And and one of the other fellows brought his car and he you know, it was for both of them. It was the experience of getting out and driving and coming to the, you know, just like a little get together. And so I think it's about time as well, because we all have the same amount of time to how we use it. And sometimes we just get so focused on other things that we forget to block time in the calendar and just and just do these things. So I would say I think everybody loves it. After you come away from an event, you've seen classic cars, classic car. People will talk about classic cars forever, right? So. So but it's really I would say people need to block that time off. They need to really do it and just get out there and encourage. 

Mark: [00:25:44] Yeah, it's a very good point. I had a group of friends, we sent an email and the next thing you know, there were eight of us going on a 45 minute drive down to a little village south of the city having an ice cream and coming back in November. I mean, it was wonderful. And yeah, everybody at the end of it said, Wow, you know, I was going to mow the lawn, but that was so much more fun. So yeah, definitely. Yep. Got to go to use your time wisely. 

Dave: [00:26:16] But it also loops back into that. Being real and being interested in the industry. Right. So if I wanted to sell more marine and boat insurance, I'd probably want to start hanging out and spending more time around marine and boat and making a focus for that. And I think that rolls perfectly into sort of my next question. I mean, the first sale is always exciting, right? We've now landed the client. We've got them on the policy for the year. But the real challenge is maintaining that and the real challenge is making them lifetime. And to have an ambassador like Mark who drank the Kool-Aid and gets it and is out there helping us in our mission is worth far more than whatever Mark's policy might be. It's way more valuable. So how do we turn those initial sales into those lifelong relationships? I think we've talked a little bit about some of those, some of those tips and some of those relationships, but how do you guys consciously change a mark, whether it's an architect that you're turning into a long term client or a car guy? Like what are your thoughts on how does the mindset change and what do you guys do differently to keep and make those long term? 

Nick: [00:27:32] I'll jump in. I'll start. I think a big part for me is have I invested the time that's needed in that relationship? Right? I think a lot of it starts with, yes, we've won the business. That's our first year. Let's do our best. We probably made a lot of promises through the first part of that transaction in terms of pitching the proposal, and it's being there for the client when they call picking up that phone call, making sure you're delivering on that service component and God forbid, being there in the event of a claim, because that's really our moment to shine. But it's trying to make sure that we're fulfilling our promise, but also to spending that time, as we talked about, to connect and to build the relationship, because it doesn't happen with one phone call. It happens in the field at events. And a lot of what you do, Dave, too, in terms of events and driving experiences of a big part of a lot of the relationships that I've formed over this year to some of the best clients that I have in relationships today come from those experiences and spending those that time in the field. So yeah, I think a lot of it has to do with a few different buckets, but it all comes together in terms of the overall experience and just making sure that we're maintaining our promise. But you know something that I think HAGERTY does really well and I mentioned this before, is really making sure that we're a part of the community and embedded in the hobby. And there's a lot of focus on that, which allows us to connect with Barry, with Mark, and to be able to bring all the partners together under one roof. I think it's pretty impressive. 

Barry: [00:28:53] I would I would kind of add to to that two things. One is growing with the customer because it's amazing the number of times you insure one vehicle for somebody and that's and there's a lot of people that have one classic and they always, always have one class. Right? They might change it a little bit, but but you have others that that grow their collection over time. It's really as that client grows, we need to grow with them. And HAGERTY does an amazing job of of being able to to look at different clients. And as their collection grows, they grow with it and they grow with their product offering as well. So I think that's super, super important as we continue to build that relationship. It's not static, right? It's you work at it every day, but you need to be able to grow with them. The other was a great story I heard from one of our HAGERTY clients who actually happens to also be a hub employee in Ontario, and he was telling me about being out for a drive on Sunday and one of his new cars, and he was out with one of his neighbors and his neighbor's car, which had just come back from from the shop, caught fire, and neither one of them had a fire extinguisher in their vehicle. And so, you know, it and nobody was hurt and the car was minor damage and somebody came along with a fire extinguisher. But I went out and bought six fire extinguishers the following week because I had never thought of I should have a fire extinguisher in these cars. Right. So it's I think it's as we grow and as we hear about these things, HAGERTY is good at telling the stories. I think brokers are good about telling the stories, and Mark's great at telling stories. It's telling the stories to remind people and make people think, okay, yeah, I should probably have a $100 fire extinguisher in in my vehicle. And this is, by the way, the right fire extinguisher to have not the wrong one as well. So so it's growing with them, educating them. And and clients don't want to have claims. I mean, we're in the business to pay claims, but clients do not want to have. Right. And the last thing they wanted, at least our experience is if they have a claim, they don't want to see their beloved car on a flatbed heading down the road. And that's why having things like HAGERTY's cherished salvage endorsement are just so key. But you talk to some people and they have no idea what that is. So I think I think those are the things that as as companies change, as clients change, we need to be able to change with them. 

Mark: [00:31:39] I think that's. You've made some excellent points there, Barry. My brother carries around fire extinguishers in the back of his car. He's used them on three different occasions and never for himself. He's literally driving down the road and some of these cars on fire. He stops and whips out the fire extinguisher and saves their vehicle. One of the things which a little sort of anecdote back in my early days of of my first company, I had a printing sales rep that was really trying to get my business. And I kept saying to him, you know, I'm really happy with the company we're dealing with, you know, And and he kept he knew I was a car guy. He was a car guy, and he kept sending me articles or little notes or, hey, I saw this. Thought you might be interested or, Hey, you saw this made me think of you. And he would do this a couple, three times a year. And one day that printing supplier that I had been really happy with really let me down in a big way and basically left me out in a field. And from that day forward, this other guy had my business. And I think that laying that groundwork to to let a client know that you're not just interested in their business, but you care about them, you're interested in the things that they're interested in, I think is a really good thing. And that that really was the first twig that got me with HAGERTY because, well. They're interested in me driving my car. I'm interested in me driving my car. What a coincidence. And. And the fact that the. I mean. This. I know this isn't supposed to be a rah rah HAGERTY session, but I think the point is that a company that really lets you know that they care about you and they care about your interests, even if it doesn't result in business today, as you guys have said, those are useful things to do. And and so getting getting knowledge out there, putting on seminars, sponsoring events, putting out a great magazine, these are all things that help the broader community and and I think build a great foundation for a strong business growth. You know, being the player in the industry, that is the first place that everybody thinks to go to the course is always to keep that that level of service up. 

Nick: [00:34:12] Definitely. I think we added to the value of it, right, Because insurance is the product itself. But, you know, as Barry said, what stood out to me was him lending his experience and his knowledge right. Or taking from someone else's experience and continuing to build on it. And I think all the other facets tie into that. Like you mentioned, Mark, the Driver's Club magazine in different areas that we're able to support the community so well. 

Dave: [00:34:32] And I think Barry, like you, you are very fortunate that you're able to bring a set of clients or a group of people to your collection, to tour your collection. But if we don't have a collection that I'm doing, HAGERTY events all across Canada where we've sponsored or we have experiences that you can instead of to a collection, bring them to an event and take them to the All-british field, meet or take them to Dry Fest in Toronto and give them an experience that is within the industry. So even before they own the car, they know that you're a part of it and into it. 

Barry: [00:35:05] And I think Mark hit the nail on the head. There's times when when we build relationships and it's not just about that sale because some some HAGERTY policies you know you're going to sell them and that's really great but but it's about really showing people that you care and you build that fence around them. And and if something happens, it's amazing the number of times of somebody call me with a claims question and they're not even our client. And and it's easy to then say, I'm sorry, you're not my client, I'm not going to help you. But that's not what we do, right? We try to help them help navigate the situation and just make it as positive a situation as it can be. And and I believe if you treat people the way you want to be treated, eventually they are going to become clients of yours. Absolutely. And sometimes it's amazing people. People can't be your client because the brother in law is their insurance broker. Right. And you know. And but. The day will come when they will refer somebody else and they'll refer that person to you. And that's what I tell people. We've had clients who are HAGERTY clients, but they're not clients of our brokerage, and then they'll ask us questions and we're happy to to give them that information. And we're not trying to step on somebody else's toes. It's just a matter of doing the right things for those clients because because those clients just crave that information. 

Nick: [00:36:37] That has such a powerful impact on relationships, right? Because you become that insurance person, that trusted individual for them, regardless of what transactions are involved. They think of Barry first when they want to give a name or get advice on something with the topics that we're able to add knowledge to. So great point.  

Dave: [00:36:54] Nick. With HAGERTY, we've developed a number of tools that are available for brokers and team members to use. And my thought here is if we don't have an expert on staff and we don't have an expert who can be the car expert within our brokerage, you know, what are these tools in and how can we use them? And then, Barry, I kind of want to toss these back to both Barry and Mark to find out what their experience with those tools are as well. So, Nick, walk us through a couple of HAGERTY tools and let's discuss how those can be used for for client relationships. 

Nick: [00:37:31] Yeah, I think yeah, great question. I think our goal of HAGERTY is to reach the enthusiasts in new and exciting ways that we know are important to them, right? So through our HAGERTY Drivers Club membership, you have access to our evaluation tool, which I know has become a great resource for clients and managing their collections. 

Nick: [00:37:46] And even in some cases buying decisions too, probably. But for us it's really about providing that knowledge, whether it's a person that contact or even some sort of a resource for them. And it's part of why HAGERTY continues to invest heavily in experiences as well as signature events, as well as grad and social, so that we're obviously providing more to the community beyond just that one insurance policy itself. But things like the claims promise and the parts finding team that's going over and above just settling a claim, right. We're there to say, Hey, listen, Dave, you can't find that part. That's rare. We have someone to help you, our team that's going to go searching and it's about being that connector. So bringing partners together, brokers, clients, individuals, so that we can improve that experience and impacted in a positive way. 

Dave: [00:38:35] So, Barry, do you have any real world examples where you've been able to use some of those tools for your clients and be the expert? 

Barry: [00:38:42] Absolutely. The market valuation tool is absolutely the best in the best in the industry. It's I think, the only one in the industry. And again, I've been around in insurance a long time. I mean we used to be you would have to call up and you'd have to get an appraiser to come out and look at your car and the appraiser come out. The appraiser didn't necessarily know much about. He was an expert when it came to Ford, Mustangs and Corvettes, but he knew nothing about a Chrysler product. And, you know, and he you know, I'm dating myself. But when you used to flip through the AutoTrader magazine. Right. And and you would you would look at classic cars and different vehicles. Now there's so much information and misinformation as well. So I can Google a whole bunch of stuff and find and show somebody, Oh, look, this car is actually worth this. The HAGERTY guide is great when it comes to actually giving that that range. And and you'd be amazed the number of times that we're talking to a client and they'll say, my vehicle's worth 60,000 and we'll put the information in and we'll go. It's interesting because the guide says it should range between 35 and 45,000, right? So what's different about your vehicle? And that's when you learn that it's actually very customized and very, very unique. So I think that the real life is that tool just helps bring that level of expertise up and the confidence in the client that we know what we're talking about as well. 

Dave: [00:40:22] So, Mark, I have used the HAGERTY Parts Finder tool to get a hubcap from my 58 Volkswagen after I lost one on a road trip. Have you ever used that service? 

Mark: [00:40:33] I have not, but. I would like to challenge them to find a rear quarter glass for a 1978D Tommaso Longchamp just to see. But no, I mean, Nick mentioned some really great sort of value adds that that HAGERTY provides as tools that are of value. And Barry talked about the evaluation tool. Well, as you know, I have some pretty weird cars, and I'm actually quite amazed at how accurate the valuation tool is for some specifically weird vehicles. I mean, you know, 66 Mustangs, that's that's not that hard to value, but you get into a Peugeot V six Cabriolet, it's a little more challenging or the De Tomaso, Pantera or Mangusta or whatever. So I think that's really good. The other other things that I've experienced that that HAGERTY has provided is I went to an event and HAGERTY brought along half a dozen classic cars, and people could sign up and go for a driving experience where they actually got to drive the classic car. Well, I've always wanted a 69 Camaro. I finally got a chance to sit in and drive a 69 Camaro. Thank you very much. HAGERTY, For saving me from buying a car that drove like a wet noodle. I just I realized that compared to a 66 Mustang, totally different, like. So I think that, you know, providing some unusual type of experiences that add value to people. As an organization, not something I find HAGERTY does remarkably well. Not a lot of companies are going to be able to do that. But those we mentioned, the magazine, in my opinion, that the HAGERTY magazine, which is part of the drivers club membership. Is worth the price of the driver's club membership on its own. It's got Wayne Carini, Jay Leno, Larry Webster. I mean, the writers are top notch writers in the automotive industry. It's a fabulous production and it features customers, cars and interesting stories. There's a lot of knowledge contained in that. My only complaint about it is it's only six issues a year. It should be 12. 

Nick: [00:43:04] It's so true. I'm talking about adding value in the driver's club membership, with the roadside assistance being huge. I know a lot of our clients benefit in terms of you go for a drive, you want that peace of mind, right? Because things do happen and these cars sometimes aren't turnkey, but it's us being able to support that member in every way, right beyond just a claim itself, but making that convenience part of the factor. And that's why Dave puts on these events throughout the year so we can get members out engaged and experiencing more of what HAGERTY Mission is in terms of saving driving. 

Dave: [00:43:35] Well, and I think, Mark, you mentioned that you're into weird and strange cars and you've got your Pantera mangusta behind you. That's not overly weird. It's your peugeots and your French cars that I just I can't connect with. But I think a key and important part is, is I don't understand them. They're weird to me. I'm not a fan of their shape, but you and I have built a relationship where I can at least ask you questions. I can ask you why you're passionate about this and what interests you about these strange cars. And we've we've built a rapport around your French cars that, quite frankly, I still think are terrible. But at least you and I have built a relationship where we can enjoy your path and your your walk with the restoration and purchase of your latest one. And I think that's a key that we've kind of we've touched on here and there and Barry mentioned, you know, being educated and interested. But I don't have to love what you're into. I don't have to like what you're into. I just have to share that experience with you. And you can probably speak to that. 

Mark: [00:44:42] I don't understand people that drive Skoda's, for example, but there are people out there and some of them are reasonably nice to know. I think. I mean, we're sort of drifting off insurance but into the car hobby. I don't really care whether you drive a. 150 567 Chevy or a Ferrari or a Peugeot or a Skoda or even a Beetle. I mean, apparently people like those two. So what I think is interesting is that we we all share a passion for mechanical. Conveyances. And I love the variety. I mean, it's fun to to see a lineup of 17 De Tomaso, but it's way more fun to see 17 completely different cars, everything from a 66 Lincoln Continental to a little Fiat 500. And, you know, I, I think that diversity is what makes this hobby so interesting and so dynamic. And you become friends with with with people that broaden your perspectives and horizons. And I think HAGERTY has been a really excellent partner in doing that, because whenever I've been to a HAGERTY sponsored event, there's an unbelievable range of vehicles there. So it's definitely cool. 

Dave: [00:46:10] I like it. So, gentlemen, I really appreciate you taking the time today. I want to know, do you have any final thoughts on on relationships and building client relationships? 

Barry: [00:46:21] You know, I would say it's not to rush. So so. So definitely do not rush trying to make that sale. And I think people make that mistake. It's building a level of trust and and and being an expert. So I kind of I was thinking of this this morning on my drive in, you know. You want to find an expert in the field. So HAGERTY is the expert when it comes to the insurance company. You know, I think you want to find that expert when it comes to a broker, somebody that really understands it can can speak about the language. But I would also say, please don't make the mistake that I make, which is I don't drive my cars enoguh. I truly don't. And you mentioned that, Dave, at the very beginning, probably one of my best videos that I have of my Toyota FJ Troopee is coming into the driveway in the fall with the kids in the vehicle, having picked them up from school. And I've I've loaded them in our farm. I've loaded the four youngest kids in and driven around the shed and around getting getting the vehicle mucked up. It's about enjoying it and driving. And that's. HAGERTY does say that they want to save that. It's true. We so often have this stuff and and we don't use it. And so, you know, when you're building relationships, I think it's being open with people about I'm not just trying to sell you a policy. I'm trying to protect this investment that you have and and the education piece of it. And, and, you know, if you do those right things, know, and be honest with people. I think I business days are. 

Nick: [00:48:12] Like I said, authenticity is key, right? It's being true to the relationship there. And everything you said, Barry, I think ties into the overall picture of the relationship. Right. And making sure that experience is really what counts for them and just not making it about that transaction. But you think about those parts of memories that stick with you and it has to do with that experience and the journey along the way, which often enough in sales you can kind of get lost with, right? And you sort of racing to the end or wanting to get to the close and missing the important pieces along the way that really are important to building that foundation to a relationship that will last and one that you can continue to build and flourish for referrals from client to client, which is really what's going to be important for us all to build a business or even just relationships as we move forward in this new hybrid world that we're in. 

Barry: [00:49:00] And before Mark jumps in, I just have to say HAGERTY, you know, we've enjoyed a long relationship with HAGERTY, but there have been a few key individuals, and I can think of one specifically within HAGERTY that really helped us nurture our relationship and help us understand the HAGERTY side. And she's no longer with HAGERTY, but but it's amazing the the relationship that you build with people that really allows you to grow in business. So HAGERTY gets that, and HAGERTY team gets that, and their people get that. And it's about long term, not short term. 

Mark: [00:49:37] I would say that. You know, when you when you make it clear that your interest is in in helping people and helping clients, then you're not selling your helping and they will naturally want to work with you. I have been running my current company for over 20 years and we have never had a salesperson. We do quite well and we don't do sales. And the way we do it is we let the clients know that we care about what they get. We care about the experience. All of my team knows that delivering a positive experience to the client is the most important thing. There's never a question of what's, Oh, there's there's an issue. What's it going to cost? No, solve the issue. That's what's important. Maintaining that relationship. It may one project here, one project there. You may not you may not make a profit on it. But by by looking at it for the interests of the client, you're never going to have to look for clients. I would say that is the thing that and I see HAGERTY looking out for their clients. I have no reason to switch. Is it cheaper than other people? I don't think so, but I don't care. I enjoy the experience. I feel like I'm working with with a company that values me as a customer and values helping me enjoy my hobby in a in a better way than than any other company that I've dealt with in this in this realm. 

Barry: [00:51:21] And I think you said it, Mark. You said it's not the cheapest, but I don't think anybody wants the cheapest. They want value. And that's what that's what they bring to the table.  

Dave: [00:51:32] Well, gentlemen, I think we've come up with some excellent takeaways and key points from today's discussion. When establishing initial relationships, it's important to be real and ideally have an expert on your team. If you don't have an expert finding and using resources like those that HAGERTY has is key. Certainly don't miss opportunities for education and avoid being transaction focused. If you can find nurture client influencers who will help sell your services to others, invest with your time and as your clients change and grow, do so with them. Ultimately, however, I think it's about building trust and being real. Become the enthusiast that your client wants to work with. I want to thank our panel members Barry, Nick and Mark. It's been a pleasure and I look forward to the next time we get together. 

Barry: [00:52:19] Thanks Dave. Take care guys. 

Mark: [00:52:21] Thanks, guys. 

Nick: [00:52:23] All right, guys.