Five minutes with…Joe Bonura, Leavitt Group

Five minutes with…Joe Bonura, Leavitt Group | Insurance Business America

Five minutes with…Joe Bonura, Leavitt Group
Leavitt Group’s newest Salinas, Calif. producer Joe Bonura wasn’t always bound for insurance. However, starting out in the newspaper industry helped prepare him for the kinds of connections he’s been making as an independent insurance agent specializing in trucking and agriculture.

Insurance Business caught up with Bonura three months into his new position with Leavitt to chat about where he’s been and where he plans to go.

Q. How did you get into the insurance business?

A. I came from the newspaper industry. I worked for the Monterey Herald on the sales side and loved it, and had a great boss, but I was a little worried about the industry and wary of my longevity.

I have a friend who also works with the Leavitt Group and he’d always been telling me how great his office was and the atmosphere with Leavitt, and one day I saw a job opening in Salinas so I called him and he said I should check it out.

It’s been a natural fit and I’ve just really loved my new position.

Q. What are your priorities for your new role with Leavitt?

A. The first priority is just cold-calling and talking to everybody I can. That’s my number one priority.

I get some lead lists and make a lot of calls every day, just trying to touch base and make sure everybody I do know knows what I’m doing now. I’ve got to keep those relationships going.

Q. What has been the most surprising thing in your insurance career so far?

A. The one thing that surprised me the most was how receptive some of the companies are to me calling them and asking about insurance. When I first came, I thought it was going to be 99 “no”s and maybe one yes, but it has been nowhere near that.

Mostly, people are very receptive and tell me either to contact them later in the year or we go about setting up appointments. It’s been a much better success ratio than I thought it was going to be. I’m excited about that.

Q. What should an ideal insurance producer be?

A. A go-getter, and organized.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your insurance career?

A. Don’t take “no”s personally because you’re going to get a lot of them. And, just generally, work hard and do what you’re supposed to do and you’ll be successful.

Q. Complete the sentence. If I weren’t in insurance, I would be…

A. I’d probably be right where I’m at. Every day, I just love it here. I don’t know if I’d like to be anywhere else—besides being a professional athlete. I just love basketball. I played through college and I still play in the 40-and-over league.