Jim Campbell, Hartland Insurance
by Amanda Washburn*
Insurance agent, Jim Campbell, of Hartland Insurance based out of Hartland, MI is the ideal CaerusNet Member to feature in our very first Member Highlight. Jim is passionate about helping others and is fully engaged in CaerusNet. Jim is a dedicated member of not one, but three CaerusNet groups operating out of Washtenaw and Livingston County. He is committed to growing his business while empowering other professionals and is consistently passing quality referrals. He also has the record for bringing the most visitors to CaerusNet referral team meetings. We had a chat with Jim to glean some of his valuable knowledge on how to make CaerusNet a success for your business.
What is the best thing about your business?
The best thing about my business is the opportunity to meet so many good people. With the insurance business you really get to build relationships with your clients. If you work in a store, people simply buy their things and then leave – there isn’t the opportunity to interact. With this profession, I get to learn a little bit about people and see if I can help them. I have had the fortunate experience to be able to make a difference for people. There have been people I have worked with or networked with and through getting to know them, I have been able to help them well beyond insurance (through referrals). Making a difference is the biggest reward.
How long have you been actively pursuing networking opportunities?
I have been networking in this type of field for about five years. I have been aware of networking for quite a few years but never really enjoyed the models that were being used (Member-run). I never got involved in networking because I never wanted to be a president or on the board of these organizations, I simply wanted to be a member. Those groups are successful and work for some people but I didn’t want to be in that type of group.
As you prioritized networking time, why did you decide to make CaerusNet a focus?
When I visited CaerusNet I liked the format. I was glad to hear that I would not have to be a facilitator or be responsible for building the group. I have referred a lot of people to the group, and I guess in a way that is participating in building the group, but I am glad to have someone else in charge of managing the group. I am also in a couple of chamber groups – they have a similar structure with having a president and vice president – and while that does work, I like CaerusNet the best. The CaerusNet model has worked well for me.
What is it about the CaerusNet model that you like most?
The relationships – we build a lot of good relationships within these groups. I enjoy being able to help people in the group build their businesses. I have been able to use CaerusNet to help my clients in certain situations. I even can use it to help my clients build their businesses. If my clients need someone for a bank loan, or something else, I can refer them to somebody I trust within our CaerusNet groups.
Share a success story about why giving referrals/bringing visitors is beneficial to you?
It’s hard to find a certain event – I have been able to become somewhat of a reference person for my contacts. When you are a part of these CaerusNet groups and are well connected, people look at you and say “Oh you know a lot people. I can use you as a reference point.” That has definitely helped build my relationships and my business.
Can you share the specific dollar amount of money you have earned from passed business with CaerusNet?
I probably make $35,000 a year from business passed in CaerusNet. Most of my business is referral-based.
Any tips on learning how to find situations where you can create a referral?
I have had success just talking to people – there probably is something that will come up and allow me to learn about what they need. People will start talking about “Oh I need to this, or I need that,” I sit down with business people and I simply ask how is business going. I am confident I can help them with whatever they need because of my network of business resources.
The best thing you can do is simply listen to people. You don’t know where you will see the opportunity. You can just be having a conversation. Sometimes you don’t know where the conversation is going, but just listen. Let your contacts know that you want to see if you can help them. For me, my clients know that I want to be more than just an insurance agent. I let them know what I do and that I can help them on other things, all they have to do is let me know what they need help with.
*Interviewed by professional writer, Amanda Washburn, CaerusNet Jackson, MI, www.roughdraftsolutions.com