Jeff Roy – President & CEO of Excalibur Insurance Group


Jeff Roy – President & CEO of Excalibur Insurance Group on the Connected Insurance Podcast presented by Agency Revolution

Jeff Roy, Award Winning Broker: ‘The ones at the top aren’t in the insurance business first. They’re in the experience business first.’

How can you know what’s really working today in insurance marketing? One way is to listen to agents and brokers whose marketing is doing just that: working.

Jeff Roy, President & CEO of the Excalibur Insurance Group in Canada delivers a plateful of ‘real beef’ in this podcast conversation with Michael Jans. You’ll discover why he was awarded Aviva Canada’s first Broker’s Hackathon, a contest designed to encourage groundbreaking ideas on how technology can enhance the industry:

  • Be prepared to take notes when Jeff describes the different technologies he uses to communicate with his customers and marketplace. (And ‘take note’ when he explains what ‘technology is not’).
  • Get Jeff’s take on the agency of today… and which ones are not prepared for the industry of tomorrow.
  • See how Jeff’s agency connects with customers at the deepest possible levels… with content the customer actually wants!

Please don’t miss this conversation with one of the industry industry’s most respected insurance brokers. Listen today and get ideas you’ll put into practice tomorrow!

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster?  Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industries leading figures.


One More Thing! What do you think? How will you and your peers use this to grow your agency or brokerage? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, subscribe to get updates delivered to you, and *please share this if you found it informative.

[Transcript] Jeff Roy – President & CEO of Excalibur Insurance Group

Michael: Jeff Roy, how are you?

Jeff: Good, Michael. How are you?

Michael: I’m very, very good. Thank you. Thank you very much for joining us. I’m going to start with the thumbnail sketch. Jeff, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jeff: I’m a broker, in the US called agent from the Great White North of Canada here. Been in the business for 29 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the last little while and basically been full-time brokering for approximately 24 years. I got my license when I was 18. When I was in high school, my father wanted a backup plan in case he have any health issues and needs some help in the summer. I started in the agency business back then and working summers. Went to a university, did a business degree and got into the dark side of insurance full-time in 1994. Been quite a ride.

Michael: The agency or the brokerage, the firm, it was your dad’s, is that right and then you?

Jeff: Yes, it was P.A. Roy Insurance Brokerage at the time. We had one other employee, myself, my dad and one other employee. Over the next number of years, we set up a cluster or a group and form the Excalibur Insurance Group. During that time period, we bought two other brokerages. Over that time period, we’ve grown into the Excalibur Group in which I’ve got a controlling interest in everything. Currently right now with two other people that are involved with me. My wife also, Una, is involved on the management team. A lot of changes over the last while.

Michael: Yes, right on. I have a– maybe it’s a bit of an oddball question. Clearly, the majority of my listeners are in the United States and I’m guessing somewhere between maybe 10% and 20% are Canadian brokers. A reasonably good distribution, considering the difference in the size of the markets and you possibly know I spent a fair amount of time in Canada over the last many years. Prior to selling Agency Revolution, the Canadian market was really important to us. The Aviva sponsorship, our relationship with Aviva and their endorsement was really, really important as we were scaling up.

In a while, haven’t been there– I haven’t really spent a lot of time there other than to go to Toronto to see my granddaughters and my children. I don’t quite see business poll now. I know that you spend a lot of time in the United States, so you have a fairly good sense of your fingers on the pulse of the industry here. Maybe for listeners who don’t know the Canadian market as well. I always found that interesting, fascinating of 80%, 90% similar issues, but there are always some differences. What do you see is the difference between the Canadian market and the US market?

Jeff: I think the biggest thing is just we have– one of the things that we have is we have a population that’s quite a bit smaller than US. We’ve got 39 to 40 million people, but yet our geography is massive. Generally, 80% of our population lives within 100, 150 kilometers of the US border. We’ve got a very diverse land and we have a lot of agencies in the past that have only dealt in their own province historically which is similar to an agent only dealing with United States. I’ve noticed over the last five, six years, a lot of agents have taken their programs and niches across the US.

Likewise, we’re seeing a movement in the Canadian market anyway, that parallels the US where a lot of people are taking their products across Canada. Because of digital marketing, you don’t necessarily physically have to be there. That shift from being a storefront to being a digital business, I’m seing that on both sides of the border. That kind of parallels it. Canadian, I think, last year at least in Ontario, I see average premiums on auto a little bit higher, we’ve got quite a bit of government regulation on it.

Really, I would just suggest we have more basket population. 95% of the things in the US are big concerns in Canada. Again, after spending a time speaking in the US the last year and a half, we have the same troubles and the same problems that we’re both trying to fix together. Just the wordings in the cupboard is maybe a little bit different, the tools, some of the BMS vendors that we have in both sides of the border are a little bit different, but largely are doing the same task.

Michael: By the way, when you say BMS?

Jeff: That’s AMS, sorry. Agency Management System and then BMS is Broker Management System.

Michael: Right.

Jeff: Just another acronym. There’s a lot of acronyms in the insurance business and I’ve got a bit of a dirty term. I come up with, I won’t use it but there’s a bit of a squaring involved. There’s a lot of acronyms and got to be very– most industries are good but insurance is probably 20 times as bad for spouting out acronyms because every word is so big and complex.

Michael: Yes.

[crosstalk]

Jeff: I would say this, Michael, just in summary. The people in Canada and US there’s not a lot of difference between what’s going on and everybody’s trying to build that customer experience right now and put a bunch of tools together to make sure that happens. It’s how that’s being done in some of the players and actors people are using just are a little bit different.

Michael: It struck me that when I was active there that the pace of consolidation was perhaps a little bit faster than consolidation. The United States that there were a lot of agencies that when you’re buying each other up brokerages or being purchased by a carrier, it did seem that there was a lot of consolidation going on in that market.

[crosstalk]

Jeff: I’m not sure if that consolidation is outstrip in the US but we do have intact insurance that owns Canadian broker link. Basically, they bought a number of brokerages and they’re well over a billion dollars in premium. We have Western Financial Group that was a big entity that W.O. and Easton invested in. You see some of that going on and you see the hubs and some of the big aggregators buying up agencies.

You have the landscape where you have the big agencies as a tier one agency buying people up trying to get scale. You’ve got people like yourselves that are digitally savvy growing, adopting the technology, and then you’ve got the third level agents and brokers that want to do something and they’re doing okay now but they don’t know where to start, and then you got the fourth level agents that have no desire like the ones that haven’t even put a website up yet, and they’re still using paper largely that just don’t want to change and they’re getting ready to sell.

That’s how a lot of companies are looking at things as those four agents and how do we move the three’s and the two’s, and how do the two’s get better. I point out there’s another group of agents that kind of the startup in the scratch agents and I see more of that in the US where people are getting a contract using an MGA and getting into the business of starting their own business that’s more dominant. That’s the landscape in Canada. I’m sure you have a similar landscape in the US in terms of that.

Michael: Yes. Very, very similar. I have a five-stage model for the modern agency. I’m sure it’s very similar to your four stage. You had mentioned how do you get the three’s into the two’s, how do you get the two’s into the one’s?

Jeff: Yes.

Michael: Could you describe your perception or your vision of what that level one, that top-level agency is in your model? What do they look like? What’s different about them?

Jeff: There’s a number of things. One of the things I look at as the agencies that top aren’t an insurance business first in their experience business, so they’re looking at how do they show up and wril people every touchpoint, and how do they use data and analytics to actually analyze all the touch points to make decisions. That’s where the number one’s are. They offer clients choice, how they interact with their agency. They offer facts, they offer internet texting, they can Skype. They first walk into the office physically, they give people choice because the bottom line is people want to do business how they want to do business with, not how we think they want to do business.

Those agencies are connected and offer clients choice and provide an experience. They have a chatbot, they offer a mobile app. They offer different ways to enable clients to do what they need to do. These companies, these level one brokers have a great culture. They’ve developed a culture in their people because if your people can’t deliver and do things for your clients and your people aren’t looked after, they can’t provide the experience you need to offer it. They offer a great people experience, got that looked after. They’ve got a strong brand. They understand.

I always talk about the Simon Sinek’s “Why”. What is your why as an agent? Why do you exist? A lot of people are too busy doing the, “What” in the insurance business. That’s their “What” and never thought of their “Why”. Like Excalibur, for instance, we are the champions of people. How do we do that? We go above and beyond to make people’s day. We’ve dialed in our “why” and our branding message to make sure that we stand out. We don’t want to look like every single agent broker and use the same terminology like, “I can save you 39%, I can save you 41%.” They speak a little different language.

The level one agencies that are doing things differently and they stand out. I always mention when I talk about the purple cow. How do you stand there like Seth Cohen’s Purple Cow? The other thing too is these people their strategy isn’t technology, they realize technology is not a strategy, it’s a lever, it’s part of your strategy and it’s important, but technology is not a strategy. They actually are using technology to provide, to accelerate that human-to-human connection.

They use social media, Facebook, they have a strategy to communicate with their clients and their prospects using social media tools, using e-mail, using the different ways to do that. They’ve got that dialed in and they’re building their community actively, so they can actually amplify their messages and grab people’s attention. One of the things I point out is the average human tend to spend eight seconds and a goldfish I think is nine seconds and you have less than half a second to grab people’s attention.

These agents are figuring out how to make sure their message can grab people’s attention and they are actually connecting with the clients at a different level. That’s some of the things that these people are doing very well. They have a really great program. There’s a number of things they’re doing, it’s just not one thing, but if you look at a pro athlete there’s not one thing they do, is about 15 or 20 little things, these are all important things that they do to be successful.

Michael: I only have about 41 questions that you just raised in my mind based on what you just said. Let me break it down or at least jump in on a couple of them. Let’s play this one for a moment here. You had mentioned that the agents or the brokers are at the top, they’re not in the insurance business first and they’re in the experience business. Let’s say I am a customer of yours.

Let’s imagine that Michael Jance is a customer of Jeff Royce, and let’s say I’m not deeply satisfied customer. What do you think is the experience? How would you describe these subjective experience that I have in the ideal relationship with you if you really fulfilled what you want to?

Jeff: First of all, you feel respected and connected with us and you have a relationship with our team. At Excalibur, we have dedicated account managers for each of our clients. We don’t have a call center, whoever picks up a phone look after people, so we build that relationship. We’re really big on the HGH here at Excalibur. When you call in, Michael you know that Kathy’s the one looking after you and you to got somebody to back you up.

You realize that we’re going to reach out to you and communicate with you a minimum of 12 times per year. We’re just currently in the process of beefing that up to about 14 or 15 times to add some more touches. We give you a phone call 60 or 90 days prior to renewal to do a check in with you. Again, you may not want it. We ask whether you want a call, or you want an e-mail, or text, or whatever, and we do that protection review just to make sure that our coverages and what we offer is up-to-date with your lifestyle. Again, as we communicate and offer more offers and different ways to engage with our consumers, we reach out and communicate those things to our clients.

Michael: I’m trying to grab some adjectives that describe my experience here. Are you [unintelligible 00:13:26] right?

Jeff: Yes.

Michael: Now, presumably based on what you just said that now you’ve touched me 12 to maybe 15 times, you have respected my wishes about the way that I’d like to be communicated with, and you offer an annual protection review. Presumably, I also feel taken care of? protected?

Jeff: Yes. You have the peace of mind. Again, a lot of people maybe don’t want to talk to us on different hours so you can engage after hours. Whether it’s through our Excalibur university, whether it’s your chat bot Aiden, or actually now we can all answer questions with an audio speaker with Amazon, Lexa, and Google so people can engage in that way. If you need to find information and we’re not open, there’s still ways that we enable you.

We enable to you to do things when it’s convenient for you not convenient for us in a way that you like, that’s something that Excalibur we give people a choice how they interact with you, we don’t force you to send us a fax or do you think something different. Basically, we give you that protection experience, that connected feeling and make you feel part of our community. We’re doing a number of things in our community that’s not about insurance to give back and help people and we support a number of causes.

We hope that you do connect with some of our values and some of the things that we’re doing, so it’s not just all about insurance. That’s another thing at Excalibur that we try and do differently. Yes. We’re an advocate, we shop for your insurance, we look after pricing. Those are things that I look at is table stakes, something every agent does. You have [unintelligible 00:15:12] an advocate, we go to bat for you, we help you out.

We jump in at those touch points, we know we will look at the price of insurance and your coverages and make sure that your policy keeps pace with your lifestyle and look after that. That’s currently what we’re doing now. Again, we’re trying to get it to the next generate now. As Wayne Gretzky says, “Go where the puck is going.” Puck is going. We’re trying to figure out how we can use predictive analytics and the different tools in the market to start anticipating clients needs before they happen and start reaching out to them whether it’s not so much in real time but start finding things not so much at renewal but all the time, that all the time connection.

In a way that it’s not creepy and intruding. That’s the other thing is there’s ways to do things that are almost creepy, nobody wants somebody that’s creepy. We’re not only Big Brother looking after you. We’re looking at ways that are anticipating needs to start lead scoring our clients. We can tell if somebody is instead of being 100, they’re at a 30 or 40 and they’re at risk of leaving our organization. What do we need to do? What haven’t we done? Before it’s too late to be able to add some touches or things in there that’s of value.

The other day, Michael, it’s really important to point out that one of my favorite lines is, “What registers on people’s give a shit-a-meter.” That’s far the best way to explain because my job is to figure out what’s important to Michael Jance as a client, what are your interests, and probably the best way, the acronym we try and use is I call it FORD, Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. We need to start learning how to board our clients better.

I’ll be honest, AMS, Agent Management System or Broker management system isn’t good enough to capture all that data. We’re on a mission to get a better one so we can actually have a better profile of the entire person, not just the risk profile but their entire person so we can connect it on a better level. That’s one of the things that I operate now that I’m in research of. We have some ways to do that. Does that answer your questions?

Michael: Yes. You answered questions that I didn’t even ask too. You’re giving me a lot of content here. Obviously, I’m going to ask more questions of you, Jeff?

Jeff: Yes. Go ahead.

Michael: The Excalibur university. If I were a client of yours, what do I get? What’s my experience of Excalibur university?

Jeff: What we’ve done is we’ve got it searchable. When we get asked questions, we’re trying to write more content. It’s not so much, we all know you can write things from an SEO level where it shows up great in search but it’s not very readable, not very enjoyable. We’re trying to build out our content in there. If people have questions and want to learn more things, we try and show up with words and when applicable video, because video is King.

A lot of people like to consume things. We’re big believers that it’s nice to, everybody learns differently. Some people like to read, some are visual learners, some have to be physically engaged in it. We give people a choice where we can whether they consume a video, whether they use a click coverage. We use a product from Forage insurance called Click Coverage where people can click on a diagram, look at what coverages they need and interact with it.

Videos we produce our own and we use my insurance videos from Mike Demco. By the way, Mike Demco, but we use his products for that and we also create our own videos, then we’re writing blogs. To be honest, we need to do more blogs, we’ve got a strategy next year to start writing more and more content. Our chat bot gets a lot of questions that we don’t have answers for at this point. We look at that question, how can we answer it better?

How can we answer in different formats so that if one of our clients or a prospect has it, we want to try and do our best to be able to answer that question. That’s how Excalibur UN… We could have brand it like a university, try to make it fun, make it graphically engaging, use images to try and do it. We’ve got a decent base set up there but we need to do a better job. My opinion of creating more and more content. Our 2019 strategy, we’re going to be really doing a good job of building content that’s engaging but hopefully in a fun way that people can learn the way they want to learn.

Michael: Let me ask you this one. I’ve had a number of agents who were guests on this podcast series who I felt were doing some really interesting things with technology and customer experience in integrating technology into the agency or the brokerage in such way that it enhances the client relationship, deepens the client relationship which has always been, and of course, one of my core values.

What’s interesting about you, Jeff, probably there are other interesting things as well, but one of the things that strikes me as interesting, like you said, you’ve been in this industry about as long as I have, right?

Jeff: Yes.

Michael: 25 years plus. You know what a brokerage was like. What it felt like, the way it ran, the habits and the rituals and the processes in the 1990s, right?

Jeff: Yes.

Michael: Contrast that with today. I have a couple of questions coming out of that. One is, what’s the challenge? What’s the demand? What’s the pressure on the entrepreneur or as I like to call them, the insurerpreneur, the agency principle? What is the demand on the agency principle today, that perhaps did have a successful agency or brokerage in the 1990s or even the 2000s? What do you think the real entrepreneurial leader of the insurance industry, what do they need to do today that’s so different than what it was back in the ’90s?

Jeff: I think a couple of things have changed in the world. The consumer has changed and how they consume. It used to be really easy, Michael, to reach the consumers. If you remember back to the ’90s, you had the big three. You had direct mail, you had TV, you had print media and the papers. You basically could put messages in blast and hammer people using those three medias. If you use all three of them in conjunction, you had a better return by doing that by crafting your message at that point. Now, people aren’t watching all the same TV stations. They’re on Netflix. They’re recording shows. You can’t reach people on TV.

Papers have evaporated and people are not going on Twitter and consuming things by looking at the news by searching the top 10 events of the day and getting stuff push to them. The advertising is not there. The Yellow Pages have become irrelevant because people don’t search and don’t even use a Yellow Page. That’s become obsolete. Clients, 70% to 80% of clients are starting their journey online. As an agency owner, how do you show up online right now? That’s the big thing. You need to work on real estate in your website, and you need to know a number of things. Is your website 10 years old and a glorified brochure from web 1.0? Do you have no reviews on your website?

People want social proof and they want social proof from a third party service, not from you typing in your own reviews editorializing them and putting in your page. They want to look like trust pilots or a shopper approved or third party sites or Google reviews to just say, “Hey. This person is the real deal. Use them,” or, “Hey, watch it. They’re not very good.” People are actually validating socially now which before, if you upset somebody they told 20, now if you upset somebody they tell 3,000 people, it can go viral. The stakes are a little higher that you can’t make a mistake. You have to build it.

I think it’s important to really have a good website, be building content and look at the metrics. A lot of people, one of the things we found out last year is our website was loading in seven seconds. That’s losing. Our SEO took a big hit, and we actually lost 120 leads in a month because our page was loading like a bag of hammers. I found out, and that now we monitor and we check it a lot tighter to make sure that never happens. You have to be aware of how your page is loading, and then how are you engaging clients? A lot of people love forms, but let’s be honest. People are comparing us as insurancepreneurs not just to other agents and brokers, but to every other industry.

If somebody gets a quote on Amazon on their book and they can buy it in seconds, why can’t my policy be bought like after that quickly? That’s the huge shift right now. People didn’t compare agents to other industries, but now you’ve got Amazon, you got iTunes. Even people on Tinder can go look shopping for their next significant other with the swipe of their thumb, right? They made everything easier. Back then, you could have a lot of friction and people tolerated it.

They didn’t need answers, they weren’t as demanding. Now, clients want things now. We’re in the now generation. They want it the way they want it. Not the way you’re offering it. As an entrepreneur, you have to look at how do you shop in a digital world and how’s my experience in every touch point. My staff is either an ambassador or an assassin at every touch point. They’re either getting a thumbs up or a thumbs down. By the way, if you make one mistake, one mistake could be enough to completely turf the relationship. Whereas before, “Sorry, I made a mistake.” It wasn’t quite as magnified, but people’s expectations and patience aren’t what they used to be.

The consumers have changed. The technology has changed. The environments changed. We’ve had a number of things change. One of the things I talk to agents about is look at yourself as Disney and you are building your amusement park. You choose the companies or the rides in there that you offer and the services, you choose the people that deliver that service, and you choose the vendors and technology. It’s all to provide that Disney like experience. As an entrepreneur, you have to look at all the different tools and technologies you use and constantly get feedback from your clients. Are they happy? How’s your net promoter score? Are you doing well, right?

These are things that the new insurancepreneur has start looking at how they do that. That’s probably the biggest shift I’ve seen. The one term I don’t love is the term digital because people will say, “I’m a digital agent or a digital insurer or digital broker.” Really, if you remember back in the ’90s when fax machines or late ’80s when fax machines were big. We didn’t call ourselves fax broker or a fax agent. When the internet came out, you didn’t call yourself an internet agent. It’s not so much digital brokerage. You’re using digital marketing to provide that experience.

I think as an entrepreneur, insurancepreneur, you need to have a good technology stack and make sure those programs could talk as much as possible. Unfortunately, there’s some real barriers with insurance companies who haven’t opened up their device that prevents us from talking and doing what a new insure tech startup can do from scratch which is kind of alarming. That’s one of our threats, that we need to move on that. Does that answer your question?

Michael: Yes. That does answer the question. What do you do, Jeff, to stay in touch with friends and to make sure that you’re a lifelong learner?

Jeff: Yes. That’s a good point. I think Zig Ziglar has said it best. If you’re green, you’re growing. If you’re ripe, you rot.” That’s important to make sure that I’d never be, I’d rather be a learn-it-all and not a know-it-all. The more I’m learning right now with everything, the more I realize I really don’t know that much. I’m pretty humbled by what’s out there. One of the things we do at Excalibur is, I think the first you have to be is don’t be scared to fail. There’s a lot of people in the industry that, “Oh. I can’t make a mistake. I might look bad.” They’ve got fear of change or fear of the unknown.

Fear can stand for forget everything and run, or it can stand for face everything and rise. It’s all about your perspective. In our organization, I always talk about launch, fail, learn, fix. That’s a mindset and a culture I instill. It’s okay to launch and fail. I think Reid Hoffman on Masters of Scales says it best. That, if you’ve launched your product when it’s perfect, you’ve launched your product too late.

Michael: [laughs] I think what he said was if you’re not embarrassed when your product launches, you waited too long.

Jeff: Imperfect is perfect, right?

Michael: I could look back and say, “Oh, then I absolutely did the right thing because there was plenty that we were embarrassed about in our early days.”

Jeff: Yes. That’s one of the things that you look at that and it’s like–

Michael: LFLF. Launch, fail, learn, fix. I like it.

Jeff: Yes. I’ll give you an example. Our chatbot, we have it out there. It’s not perfect. It answers about 125 to 150 questions. It’s learning the content of questions people are asking.

Michael: Where did you get your chatbot?

Jeff: I’ll jump into that. Sorry. The chatbot, we use Joseph D’Souza ProNavigator and we actually worked on it for the last two years. I was one of the brokers. Myself and a guy named Adam Mitchell, who owns Mitchell and Whale Insurance in Ontario, we start building off our scripts to deliver, taking our scripts, and we help Joseph, give him feedback as he built it. That’s an example of the mindset that you have to be able– we launched it and we’re using it. It’s not perfect right now, but we’re learning. Every time a question comes in that it doesn’t understand, we answer it, we start building on it. The next version is going to allow us to put our own questions in which is really cool.

Michael: It would seem that you have a reasonably high risk tolerance. In other words, you’re willing to test things in the market place to see if they work and play with, and then either until they do or until you drop them, is that right?

Jeff: Yes. I would say I have some tolerance to risk. Let’s be honest though. It’s like a portfolio of stocks. If you got 10 stocks, 5 might do nothing. Three might disappoint you, but the other two that do well make up for all of the other ones. I would say we take calculated risks. Again, that’s one thing we’ve learned is back to the original question is where we learn. We’re part of a number of different groups or I am, and my team.

I’m part of Jason Cass’s agency, Agents Influence, and he’s got a mastermind program that meets monthly. I’m a member of IAOA and we attend the conference. I’ve been fortunate enough to speak there. My wife Una have spoke there, which has been really cool. I was a member of Michael McClain’s mastermind group for a number of years and he’s left the business, but I learned a lot of great things from him. I’m part of TEC Canada, a group of CEOs, that meet at Vistage. They call it Vistage in the US, but you meet with people outside of your industry, so I’m meeting with people nothing to do about insurance and learning from them.

They’re learning from me, and we’re sharing and growing together and they bring in some of the best speakers in the world to talk to us. We solve problems together, so I’ve learned a lot of things from there and there’s seven or eight other groups that I’m a member of that– I don’t know where the next great idea is going to come, Michael, but I know the chances of me finding it are a lot greater if I’m out making collisions with people.

Michael: By being involved.

Jeff: Being involved, right, so that’s my encouragement to all agents and people listening to the podcast is meet people, take risks, ask questions and be interested. Have the mind of a child and have the curiosity and never lose that because asking the hard questions and learning is what you need to do. You can’t think that you have arrived because insurance is just changing so much right now that you really got to be on your game, learning and applying and doing things, not sitting static.

There’s a lot of people that are static right now that are doing very well and they have a great business, but Blockbuster owners had a really good business too for a period of time.

Michael: I think we talked about that last time we chatted, Netflix and Blockbuster.

Jeff: Yes, exactly. You don’t want to get Blockbustered, right?

[crosstalk]

Michael: I think it was Jim Keyes, the CEO of Blockbuster, who said that, “Netflix is not even on our radar.” [laughs]

Jeff: Yes.

Michael: It shows what can happen if you’re not paying attention to trends and clearly there was a, Netflix had a strategy, it was a digitally based strategy that just came in and frankly kicked their butt.

Jeff: Well, that’s the scary part because you look at–

Michael: To use a term I’ve never heard before, it should have been on their give-a-shit meter.

[laughter]

Jeff: Exactly. Well, it’s too bad–

Michael: Apologies to the audience, this is normally a family show. [laughs]

Jeff: Well, I tell you, I had to throw that in there because there’s no other way to say the meter properly that resonates with people.

Michael: No, it’s a good one. Actually, I’m stealing that one, but I’ll give you credit for it every time I use it. I have two last questions for you, Jeff.

Jeff: Yes, sir.

Michael: The first one, so I’m looking for a short answer. Am I asking too much here, Jeff, maybe?

Jeff: I can always give a short answer.

Michael: Yes, you’re looking for a short answer. All right, so let’s say that the insurance industry was speeding down the highway at 85 miles an hour on the highway and they got to see a billboard, but they’re going fast and so if you get too much beyond 8 or 10 words, they can’t read it. If you were going to deliver a non-commercial message that mattered, that meant something to this industry, what would you say?

Jeff: In regards to, you mean the people in the industry?

Michael: Yes. What would you say to the agents and brokers who are speeding down the highway? They’re trying to get where they’re going and now here’s an opportunity for Jeff Roy to, “I just want to give you something to chew on.” Give them something they can put in their pipe and smoke, what would you say?

Jeff: I’ll give you a couple things. Number one, I got this from Mike Strom, “Regardless of your past, you have a spotless future.” I think that’s a great one. Spend some time, it’s a famous one, but, “Spend a day sharpening your ax instead of 40 days in the forest. Work on your business, not in your business.” I think that’s really important to do that at this point, especially when we’re going into planning season.

Too many people are too into the foxholes and things are moving fast and changing and you get wrapped up and you need to take some time to check out. The third thing is learn your metrics. I think that’s the most important thing. Learn your metrics, there’s too many people that can’t measure things and they’re operating by their gut.

Michael: No, very good, very sound. All right, my last question, and I realize you have a busy schedule and the last thing you want to do probably is take a whole bunch of phone calls, but if people did have questions or they wanted to learn more, how could they reach out to you?

Jeff: I think the best way to reach me is send an email to J-O-Y-@-E-I-G-R-O-U-P, all one word, .-C-A. You can also follow me on social media, twitter, jroy150, is another way to get a hold of me. Again, obviously my Facebook page or LinkedIn, feel free, if you’re an insurance business, add me on the LinkedIn profile. It’s funny, I have a lot of people that add me that I haven’t really officially met, but I’ve spoke at a conference and I’m very happy to connect with people, agents and brokers, because, let’s be honest, you never know when somebody might have something that can help you.

We need to build networks and communities, so LinkedIn is a great place. Those are some spots where you can find me.

Michael: Very good. Well, Jeff, as always it’s been a pleasure. I look forward to our next conversation. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and insight today.

Jeff: Yes, thanks, Michael. I enjoyed it. Have a fantastic day and enjoy your next trip to Canada and to Toronto.  

Michael: [laughs] Right on. Well, I will because I have two very beautiful granddaughters there.

Jeff: Awesome. Thanks so much for having me in the show.

Michael: You bet.