Laura Viskovich: Hello and welcome to the Professional Business Connections. I’m Laura Viskovich. And I’m a little bit excited to introduce you today to Julie Edison from One Stop Insurance. Please introduce yourself, Julie.
Julie Edison: Well, I’m Julie Edison with One Stop Insurance. I’ve been doing insurance now for three-and-a-half years. I fell into it. It was an accident. I was so tired of working corporate, retail grindings through the holidays. And I decided I want something with a little more freedom and ability to make my own schedule and work one-on-one with people instead of this mass situation. And a friend of mine was an insurance agent. And he was looking for help and needed, you know, another agent. And I just said I guess that that’s me. Raised my hand and jumped into it. And here I am and I’m really enjoying it and loving what I do.
Laura Viskovich: That’s great. So important to love what you do. So walk us through a little bit how you generate leads into your business.
Julie Edison: I do everything referral leads. I don’t like to cold call. I think cold calling is a really challenging place to be in. So I do what I – I look for referrals. One of the ways I do that is through BNI.
Laura Viskovich: Okay, great. So BNI. So how – what does that look like? Do you go there every week? Do you go with relationships?
Julie Edison: Yes. So I’m a member at the BNI Sterling chapter here in Utah North. And I go to a weekly – oh, sorry, I go to a weekly meeting with my chapter where I have 25 to 30 other members who are there teaching me how to refer them. And likewise, I get to teach them how to refer me. I get to ask the perfect referral and get those in return and get to link into their connections.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So BNI Utah North. So for anyone out there who’s looking to join at BNI, what would you say to a visitor maybe looking at your chapter?
Julie Edison: I would say, some prepared to meet a lot of people who are passing so much business and are so busy, but they’re having to now carve time out of their day for BNI because it’s such a profitable way for them to run their business. Come prepared to tell who you are, why you got into what you’re doing, why you love it and let us join your passion at what you do.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So Julie, let’s just say I was a visitor at your chapter, how would you explain and educate to the member about what it is that you do?
Julie Edison: I work with primarily homebuyers and people that are looking to get into their home and get protected, get that loan processed through and make it as easy as possible. I take care of the insurance side of it. I quote them out on different carriers, different options for them, find what’s going to work best for their family and their situation. Everyone is unique. There’s no cookie cutter option.
And I want to be a resource for them. They can call me anytime. Most of my clients have my cell phone number. If they have a question about their coverage limit, if they have a question about, you know, the new piece of jewelry they purchased that they want to get covered, if they have questions about a new car or what happens when their teenagers start to drive, I can be that resource for them to help them out and really guide them through the insurance well that is complicated and legal jargon and full of so many little itsy-bitsy pieces and I can just take care of simplifying that for them.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. Amazing. Oh geez, I want to give you a dream referral now.
Julie Edison: Perfect.
Laura Viskovich: So walk us through – you had mentioned before that you’re in BNI for seven years. So what did the first year look like for you and your business and going through the whole seven years.
Julie Edison: Oh man, the first year of my business was so scary because I didn’t think I was going to be able to pass a referral. I was so scared about being able to be a giver and, you know, giving back to my chapter because they just jumped into trusting me, which I can’t say always happens but I’m really grateful for.
But BNI through some of the trainings that we offer, our director showing up with the chapter, I learned how to be a giver and when I give a referral, I end up getting those back twofold from other people. So it was a scary experience and the first year was a lot of work for me to be prepared to give and receive referrals the right way. But BNI has walked me through the steps of that and show me how to take care of a referral the right way, how to follow up and how to be a good referral source for my members.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So is there a percentage that you have that that referrals come from BNI?
Julie Edison: Right now, about 70% of my business is coming through BNI referrals. It’s huge. And I will never leave BNI because I’m not prepared to let that referral source go.
Laura Viskovich: Right. Wow, 70%. Imagine if you did leave. Oh my gosh, I wouldn’t even like to imagine.
Julie Edison: Well, it didn’t start that way. I mean I had to work out to it and really be willing to trust my other members that they would be there for me. But you just have to ask for it. And, you know, you’re getting into year seven and it gets to be second nature to do it and, man –
Laura Viskovich: Seven years.
Julie Edison: Yeah, I can’t event link the numbers in there. When I was looking them up, it’s incredible and a blessing and worth every minute I spend with my colleagues in BNI.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So you’ve built relationships. I’m guessing that’s really the secret sauce in building and giving referrals and then just watching the referrals come in. So is there a specific dream story that you have, like you’re given a connection which just changed the course of your business?
Julie Edison: I was. Yeah. I was given a connection to a loan officer and more specifically the processor that worked for the loan officer. They’re the ones that deal behind the scenes and get all the paperwork done. At any time that they needed a quote or to be able to get that hazard insurance or meet, you know, some technical deadlines, they can shoot me over an email and I really quickly can get that referral quote back to them.
But that opened the door for me realizing that my business didn’t have to be tied down to one person here and one person there, that working with a specific group of people, loan officers, was just the best thing ever.
And not only that one loan officer, but it opened the door for me to realize that I could meet and work with lots of loan officers. I didn’t have to just, you know, pigeon myself with one person.
Laura Viskovich: Fantastic. So BNI taught you how to build a referral-based relationship and now you’ve got multiple –
Julie Edison: Yes, yes, it really did. Not only did it hand to me that first one, but it taught me how to build them going forward with other that I didn’t know, I did not step out and meet, but it taught me how to do that too.
Laura Viskovich: Right. Fantastic. So if anyone is out there looking to join a BNI chapter, what would the words of wisdom from Julie be?
Julie Edison: I would say, go find the one that meets your time schedule. Find the one that meets in a location that you like. Go maybe try out a few, get the flavor. They all taste a little different, even though they act the same. And fit in with the people that are there. Meet them. Get to know them. Bring some business cards. We like the old school business cards. Bring them. Pass them out like candy. Call us. Let us me you for one-to-ones. And whether or not BNI ends up being the right place for you, you know, we want to meet you and make connections because that’s what we’re all about.
Laura Viskovich: So Julie, we’re talking about earlier how you can become a visitor. So walk us through your experience in being a visitor at BNI.
Julie Edison: Oh dear, I was terrified to visit BNI. I had never done any type of networking in my previous job, didn’t really do that. And did not know what to expect. I wasn’t given a lot of information leading into it. But I went. The person that was asking me to come, she’s like, don’t worry, I’ll be there, I’ll walk you through it. I went into the chapter, I met a lot of people. They were so friendly and so nice, as scared as I was to talk about them and do the networking thing, I didn’t know.
But it was easy. BNI made it so easy for me. They ask me for my business card, what I did. It was all about me as a visitor. And seven years later, it’s still that way in BNI. When a visitor walks into our meeting, we are so excited to see them and share their experiences and share our passions with them, find out what they do, what drives them, why they love what they do. And we want visitors to come. Whether or not they’re someone already in the chapter that is part of your category, we want to get to know you. You’ve got great connections. You’ve got a great story. And maybe we can find you a chapter that doesn’t have your category.
But I urge visitors to just go, try it, see what it’s all about, bring a lot of business cards because we like the business cards. Get to know the other meeting – other chapter members. And just be open-minded about it. Maybe you try out a few chapters to see which flavor of chapter you like and see what we’re all about. Just visit us, that’s all we ask.
Laura Viskovich: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Julie. What a wonderful story. Wow. That’s Julie Edison everyone from One Stop Insurance. And I’ll see you on the next show of The Professional Business Connections.