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2017 Trusted Advisers Insurance Agent: Craig Jamison

Shelter Insurance

After a fruitful career in ministry leadership, Craig Jamison made the switch to insurance salesman and business owner.

He spent l4 years as a minister at Brighton Assembly Church and as the national director of a faith-based after-school program for teens called Thrive Student Centers. To solidify his management skills, he earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership, learning how to measure, track and run organizations with greater effectiveness.

In 2010, Jamison discerned the need to support his family by switching gears and heading into the business world. Although the cause is very different, he says many of the qualities that helped him excel in ministry carried over to insurance sales.

“In business, you’re just creating a widget or selling a service that adds value in some way. The skill set is the same, ironically,” he says. “If you have people skills in one, you have people skills in the other.”

Caring genuinely for people and using interpersonal skills have aided Jamison in building relationships with both congregations and clients.

“If they know, like and trust you, they’ll attend your church,” he says. “If they know, like and trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

After spending six years at Northwestern Mutual, AAA Insurance and Fortner Insurance Services, Jamison jumped at the chance to run his own office. He took over the Shelter Insurance office at 1740 S. Glenstone Ave., Ste. M, in 2016. He has worked with thousands of clients, he says.

“I learned a long time ago,” he says, “if my clients don’t trust me, I’m only a salesman to them – never an adviser.”

His agency, with a staff of three, has 600 clients and signed $300,000 in new home, business, auto and life product premiums last year. The agency follows a set of standards Jamison designed to direct every decision and client interaction with honesty and integrity – including never recommending products clients don’t really need. If the employees wouldn’t buy a policy for themselves, he says, they won’t sell it either. “If you care about your clients, they will refer their friends and family – if they feel like there’s a genuine partnership,” Jamison says.

After about one year at Shelter, his office is doing about $1 million in annual premiums, including renewals. He has set a goal to have the largest Shelter office in Missouri, by reaching $5 million in annual premiums. He’s building relationships with influential people who can refer large numbers of clients. “I focus almost exclusively on centers of influence – mortgage bankers, real estate agents, business owners,” he says. “If I spend two hours with them, I’ll receive multiple referrals monthly verses two hours to simply quote a person’s auto and home.”

Jamison was a 2015-16 organizer for Springfield’s 1 Million Cups and currently serves the entrepreneurial networking and education group as an adviser. Other roles are as a booster for Hillcrest High School girls’ basketball and as a former “lunch buddy” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

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