Agency Success, Community Impact, and Why the Two Shall Never Meet

Agents' online reputations

On the outside, Rob Bowen, owner of Patriotic Insurance Group in Chester, New York, admits he looks a lot like the average insurance agent: “58, pale, and stale.” In this week’s episode of “And I Quote,” Rob illustrates beautifully why you can’t judge a book, or an insurance agent, by its cover. 

Like many in the industry, Rob fell into insurance, drawn in by the opportunity to be an expert and offer real solutions that protect people. “It’s a great industry,” he said. “There’s a lot going on.” 

Rob describes making the leap from captive agent to agency owner as a natural transition, adding that the hardest part was deciding how to do things with so many options. 

“I’m a squirrel,” he said. “I’ll chase everything.” 

Detailing that chase—a true squirrel’s journey—Rob shares how he uncovered what he needed to build a successful agency. He also discovered how to use his position in his community to make an even greater impact with a group of people he is personally affiliated with: veterans. 

Suits for Soldiers collects suits for soldiers returning to civilian life, a service Rob knows is important. 

“I came home like most soldiers do—wearing my uniform, the only clothes I had,” he said.

Rob chuckles as he tells how many of the people he meets through Suits for Soldiers come in ready to defend against a sales pitch. They know he’s an insurance agent, but he’s not there to pitch anyone anything. It is purely about donating or receiving a suit. 

His commitment to no-sell community work boggles the minds of some, delights most, and over the years has fostered many meaningful relationships. 

“It’s a different conversation when you talk about helping your community, versus insurance,” he said. “I have to keep that commitment 100 percent of the time. As a result, I’ve met hundreds of people I wouldn’t have had the chance to speak to.”

Certainly, some of the people he meets come to him when they have an insurance need. Others come by referral, and the rest by hard work. Rob’s story isn’t a how-to for drawing more of what you want, but further proof that true success comes from giving more of what you have. 

This week’s episode of “And I Quote” is hosted by Ann Boger, VP of Scaling at Coterie Insurance

 “And I Quote” brings together insurance experts to help you build relationships and stay current in the industry. See it on your favorite podcast platform: YouTubeSpotifyApple Podcasts, and the Google Play Store.

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