Lexi is our 23 year old college intern. Or- I should say, she was our intern. She spent a little over 90 hours this past semester with Richards Group doing a marketing internship (or so she thought). Little did she know that if you are going to market a business the right way- you really have to know and love your products. You can’t sell something if you don’t believe in them. So we threw her right into the mix of things and included her in just about everything. Then, on her last day- I asked her to write a blog on what she learned. Here is what she wrote:
Lessons from Lexi’s Internship…
- It was the end of week two when I found myself thinking “insurance” everywhere I went. “Ope, there is a fender bender…hope they have collision!” …. see someone pulling a trailer with a bunch of stuff loaded on it, “Man…I hope they have insurance to cover that trailer!”. No matter where I was, my eyes felt opened to an entire new world the ‘Insurance World’.
- Insurance isn’t “fun”, but it is necessary, it’s not a want but it is a need. When looking for a place to purchase insurance, you want it to be through an agent you trust is in your best interest. Christine and Dennis proved to me that not all insurance agents are the stereotypical large man with a suit and tie who have nothing better to do than take your money. They are two wholesome, caring, family oriented, self-less human beings…they are the kind of people I want when (fingers crossed that it would never happen) my basement floods, when a car slams into the side of my car, when a deer crushes my windows, but also when, I purchase my first home, when I become a parent, when I buy a brand new car for the first time, and all those other beautiful life moments.
- Life insurance isn’t something to start thinking about when your 95, it’s something you should start thinking about when you turn 18, when you have a significant other in your life, when you’re married, and especially when you have children. Life insurance is not for the person who is paying for it with their credit card but for the people they love and care for. Death has always been a scary topic for me and the thought of purchasing life insurance at the age of 23 was a joke before my internship, but here I am, a better-financially-educated young adult who does in fact have life insurance. Not only did Christine and Dennis explain the purpose of life insurance but my own life experiences influenced my decision to invest toward those I love. Before I even turned 21 three close friends had passed away. It just goes to show, you never know what could happen and that’s scary because I always want to be in control. Now, I may not be in control of whether or not I get hit by the proverbial bus, but I can be in control of how well prepared I am if that were to ever happen to me. Now, my parents and fiance are protected from having to scramble to put together a funeral, pay my final expenses, and once my fiance and I buy a house- if something were to happen to me, he would be able to pay off the mortgage and not figure out while he is mourning how to pay off the debt we have incurred together.
- As someone who trusts Christine and Dennis, I recommended my parents to them. Now, I don’t know about you (you reading this) but I am very protective of my family, especially my parents, so, I wanted them in the best hands possible! The Richards Group was not only able to save them money but also protect them much better than their old insurance agent- by making sure that if they had a claim, they wouldn’t be losing money later on. Dennis nor Christine treated them with respect and I saw how much time and energy they put into researching every little thing about their home, property, etc so I knew that their values were well thought out. They acted as if my parents were their own parents- and I’ve felt that way about how they treat other customers when I’ve heard them on the phone, when they come into the office, or when we’ve gone on customer home-visits.
- There is SO much to go over when choosing your insurance coverages that it’s near impossible to do everything online all by yourself! Trust me- I have learned that they actually went to classes for this and there is a lot of legalease behind the scenes. Having a reliable agent sit down and walk you through the best game plan for you is a must. I had no idea how many different coverages there are for just home-insurance- all within one single policy! I will never try to be “my own agent” and buy online again!
- Hand-written birthday cards! Christine always wants her “customers” to feel part of their family, she hand writes many birthday cards every single month to send out. She knows that it is time consuming and hand cramping but the joy she hears when people call her thanking her for the card is all the satisfaction she needs to make it all worth it. Insurance agents get a lot more angry, heartbreaking, and frustrated phone calls than friendly and pleasant phone calls so when a customer is excited about a birthday card or some other little “extra” that they have poured their heart into to set them apart from other agents that forget you exist- it really puts a smile on her face.
- Giving hearts are two words that perfectly describe Dennis and Christine. They make it their mission to help those around them, whether it be volunteering at local organizations or supporting other small family run businesses. Many agencies and companies can just write a check and call it quits but they are always itching to get their hands dirty and do more than just writing a check. I went with them when they sponsored a dog rescue through haws where over 30 dogs young and old were rescued from Alabama. But they not only sponsored the rescue, we all went and were hands on, giving the dogs baths, feeding them, and snuggling with them to show them love! It was an amazing experience, and this is one of many examples I have.
This semester long internship has opened my eyes to the ins and outs of insurance, but more than that it showed me…when business owners have a passion for something they love, they will be successful, and passion is exactly what Christine and Dennis have. I know that the sky is the limit for ‘The Richards Group’ future success and I am honored to have been involved for even a small bit of their big dream.
P.S. This made me cry. — Christine