Team Spotlight: Bryant Shuler
Learn a little bit about Bryant Shuler, Beacon Hill’s Broker in the Southeast and Great Lakes Regions
Please tell us about your family, interests, and hobbies.
I grew up with my younger sister near the Massanutten Resort in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I have been playing golf since I was about seven years old; it plays a big role in my life and my family’s lives. I attended The University of Alabama where I earned a degree in Business Marketing and Health Care Management. After graduating, I accepted a marketing representative position in Florida, working for an MGA. I then moved back home to Virginia and currently reside in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I spend most of my free time playing golf, working out, shooting pool, being with friends & family, and watching sports.
What is your professional background and how has it led you to work in environmental insurance?
As an undergraduate, I worked part-time at a local independent insurance agency. That was where I was really introduced, up close and personal, to the insurance industry. My family has worked in insurance for years, my dad has been an independent insurance agent for around 25 years and my grandfather also worked in the industry for almost 15 years. This played a part in me accepting my first job out of college in the insurance world. My father has actually worked with Beacon Hill for several years and was very instrumental in my decision to seek out an opportunity for employment with the company. While I am new to the environmental insurance space, it has been an exciting, adventurous past year and a half working in this realm. It has been a pleasure talking through account opportunities and informing our customers about the importance of environmental insurance.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career?
To always ask for new business opportunities. An old boss of mine used to tell this story about a carrier representative who had a very close business and personal friendship with an agency principal. The carrier representative had this great rapport with the agency principal but they had been unsuccessful for several years in writing business together. One day the carrier asks the agency principal why they have been unable to help them write anything and the agency principal simply replied, “Well you never asked.” I think about this story often when talking with agents I have not met before and even with agents with whom we already have existing business. It seems like something small in the grand scheme of things, but I feel that it is so important to convey to my agency partners how much I would like the opportunity to earn their business.
If you had to choose one word to describe the most important motivator to being a leader in your career, what would it be and why? What are you doing specifically at Beacon Hill to help you achieve this?
Empathy. I have found that this is such a valuable trait to possess, especially in the insurance industry. You have to be able to relate and put yourself in someone else’s shoes when working with insurance agents, CSRs, underwriters, etc. Without being able to empathize, it can really put you at a disadvantage with your customers. This industry is about doing right by your customers; so, for me, having that true understanding and sense of togetherness when meeting with customers is everything. There was a time at the very beginning of my career when I used to conduct 20 agency visits per week. This is when I really started to embrace being able to exude that empathy towards my customers. During my time at Beacon Hill I have really been able to draw off of my past experiences, specifically with empathy, as the majority of my interactions with Beacon Hill have been with new customers. I feel that this has allowed me to be able to do business with new and existing agents whom I have never talked with prior to coming on board. It is an on-going process, but I make it a point in my daily life at Beacon Hill to go out of my way to have awareness of the feelings and emotions of the customers that I work with.