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In Episode #1 of the Sage Executive Podcast, where executives share their sage advice, Robb Fahrion, sits down with Christian Richter of Old Harbor Insurance Services to discuss six questions in nine minutes, because the wise speak in few words.
Christian touches on the topic of why honesty is the best way to win new business and how a cowboy hat plays a role in his business celebrations.
For more episodes of the Sage Executive Podcast, visit www.flyingvgroup.com/podcasts.
Below is a transcription of the video above:
Robb Fahrion: Hello everyone! This is Rob Fahrion with the Sage Executive Podcast where top executives share their sage advice. It is six questions in nine minutes because the wise speak in few words. So, let's get going on our inaugural podcast. In a few sentences, tell me who you are and what you do.
Christian Richter: Good afternoon, Robb. My name is Christian Richter and I am a partner at Old Harbor Insurance Services. We are an independent insurance agency in California handling all lines of insurance and serving most of the western United States.
Robb Fahrion: Awesome. Very good. What would you say, Christian, is the best thing about being a leader and leading your team and organization?
Christian Richter: I would say that with being the leader, one of the things I've found to be the greatest benefit of being in charge and head of a company is that you can shape the culture and you can you choose where you make an impact. So at the top, you can set the set the direction of your company and, like I said, the impact and influence it will have in the local community and everyone else that you deal with throughout business whether its clients, customers, vendors or whatever.
Robb Fahrion: Yeah. That's awesome. I feel the same way with a lot of different areas to make an impact and help others and be a part of something more than yourself. Third question, moving forward. We hear a lot of times from other executives that acquiring clients or new business is a very big challenge for them with so much noise and so much competition. Would you mind telling me your thoughts on new business acquisition?
Christian Richter: Yeah, I think with new business acquisition you really need to find a healthy balance between being organic and keeping a relationship with your customer. So, it's got to be organic and that way you got to be a real person and can’t be automated. But at the same time, you have to combine the benefits of automation today to really keep in touch with those clients maintain those relationships. So, it's a balance between a personal phone call and an automated email or personal email, automated phone call, automated texts. Stuff like that. So, I would say…
Robb Fahrion: Well, we're all working from home right now. So, interruptions are to be expected.
Christian Richter: Just keep that balance and I think when you really get it dialed in have that organic presence and just take care of people and you're going to gain additional customers through word of mouth. That's kind of my take and I have had success doing that.
Robb Fahrion: Awesome. Great. Fourth question, what piece of advice, number one piece of advice, would you give to other leaders, owners, executives like yourself?
Christian Richter: I would say the biggest piece of advice that I've followed and its old, and it's been around long time, would be to just do what you say and say what you mean. I think honesty, transparency, truthfulness, those go a long way in business. They're not traits of a bygone era and I think a lot of people may associate them with the past way of doing things like handshake take deals. Everything today is a little bit more automated and a little bit more legal and what have you, but I still think just being kind of an old soul and those old-time values have done me well over the past ten years.
Robb Fahrion: Yeah, great. What other top executives, like yourself, would you like to acknowledge as a leader and someone that would fit into my podcast theme and be good resources to have on the podcast for others.
Christian Richter: Yeah. There are a few good guys. Ryan at Western Gold Insurance is a good guy. You have Martin Kalaf at HUB Agency is a good guy down in San Diego. And then probably Shaun Shenouda over at SES Insurance are a few good guys.
Robb Fahrion: Alright, we're doing great on time. But to wrap up, we are going to go with a fun question, when you're celebrating a win, and it can be a business win, any type of win, what's something that you do to celebrate at the end of the day?
Christian Richter: Well, I think since we're talking about business, it's kind of a quirky, just a fun little thing between Carlo and I at the office. When we were starting out and when we would close a big deal, there was a cowboy hat. And so, if you close the… we’re both wannabe cowboys and so, yeah, that was a big deal. When we close a big deal, whoever it was, got to wear the cowboy hat for the rest of the day.
Robb Fahrion: Now you got the beard to go with it as well.
Christian Richter: Yup, yup. I haven't closed any deals today so no cowboy hat today. It was fun and it was also cost effective. So, no need to go, you can do little things too to kind of grow the community environments in the office. I’m a big believer in actions more than just throwing money at parties or whatever. Little things, you know?
Robb Fahrion: Great. No, love it. Well, hey, Christian, thank you so much for being on. How can people find you online if they want to know more about you or your business?
Christian Richter: Yeah, you can find out more about the business at OldHarborIns.com. Also, on LinkedIn, so you can find me there. And that's the best way to reach me.
Robb Fahrion: Awesome. Again, thanks for being me on the podcast. This is our first of many moving forward. Again, this is Robb Fahrion with the Sage Executive Podcast. For more insights, and to check out more episodes of our podcast, check us out on our website at FlyingVGroup.com, and we look forward to seeing you on future episodes. Thanks again, Christian.
Christian Richter: Thank you.
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