Sam Compton, an independent insurance agent, and owner of Steel City Insurance. In this episode of the Magic City Business podcast, we discuss how Sam came to be his boss and what lessons he’s learned over the years in doing business.
To start, I ask Sam to explain a bit about how Steel City Insurance sets itself apart from other insurance companies. After all, insurance is a broad and competitive field. For Sam, he wanted to make sure Steel City had a niche in the industry. That way, they could establish themselves at the best at one specific thing first, then branch out from their core business. That niche happened to be homeowner insurance.
Sam also explains the difference between an independent agent versus being a captive agent. For 14 years, he was a captive agent for a local company and was limited with the products he could offer his clients. When Sam was a captive agent, he could only sell one product to customers, which also meant he couldn’t offer them alternative options if their rates went up—which they did frequently. Sam discovered being an independent agent allowed him to find the best product for his clients. He could look and get quotes from several different companies as opposed to just one.
I then asks Sam how he became a business owner. Sam says it spurred from him being fired from that local company he worked for 14 years. Sam took control of the setback and turned it into a time for growth. The short time after being fired, Sam did some soul searching, exploring different careers and eventually coming back to insurance—establishing Steel City.
Sam’s success follows a couple of core principles: specialize, network, execute, and work by word of mouth. Sam believed if he specialized in homeowners insurance, he could put himself at the top of the niche. Then, he had to network diligently, going to local meetings and events to get to know builders and other members of the home building business. Next, Sam had to execute on having these connections, getting the best quotes to his potential clients in a fast turnaround. And lastly, Sam knew by offering premium support he could rely on his clients telling others about Steel City.
This episode of Magic City Business is packed with several great evergreen tips on how to run a business, as well as stories from how Sam and Steel City adjusted during COVID in the past year. Make sure to tune in by pressing play below.
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