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Rollerblades and Parades: Spreading Joy and Withstanding the Pandemic

In a situation where everyone’s health is at risk, Big "I" member and independent agent Owen Thomas knew he had to combat the stress of the coronavirus pandemic with a positive twist.
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Rollerblades and Parades: Spreading Joy and Withstanding the Pandemic

How am I dealing with the coronavirus pandemic?

Going into a new decade I was filled with energy and excitement. However, that was halted by the pandemic, the likes of which no one in my lifetime has experienced. My first thought was, “don't panic." In such a situation where everyone's health is at risk, I knew I had to combat this with a positive twist.

I have been proactive in my communications to educate folks on issues surrounding the pandemic. Having honest conversations about health and wellness, cost-saving opportunities, insurance coverages and offering support in every way possible have been keys to success during the coronavirus pandemic.

Being into health and wellness, I knew this was a perfect opportunity for me to focus on strengthening my immune system and mental health. I also decided to share my fitness journey with those that follow me on social media. It was an opportunity for me to engage my community and keep positive vibes going toward my current and potential clients.

I bought rollerblades early on and have enjoyed riding around my community doing what I loved as a kid 20 years ago. I also have been participating in a number of 30-day challenges consisting of such wild endeavors as 100 burpees a day. I often tagged other organizations, friends and influencers on social media to get them engaged in my journey.

Building trust and a strong rapport during this time has been imperative to retaining and growing my business. Many people are at home working remotely, and with business dropping off drastically, many are even out of work completely. I make sure people know that they can save money by shopping their insurance, which enables them to focus their funds on other bills or food for their families. 

Another important step I've taken is to visit my clients virtually, including taking the time to send video messages to my clients letting them know I am thinking about them and their families.

Being able to serve my community during this time has been a wonderful opportunity to create some hope and happiness for others, which has also given me a sense of joy during these tough times.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my local Shriners Pirate Unit visited assisted living facilities from outside their windows. We brought our ship, music and joy. Raising money for our Shriner hospital through parades and other fundraisers is our main goal, but during these times we felt necessary to engage a community that may not have visitors every day. We also partnered with a school to do a mini-parade loop around the community, stopping by as many students' neighborhoods as we could.

I also joined Team Rubicon, an organization that serves communities all over the world in the event of disasters. Currently, we are serving meals to communities in need to help them get through these tough times.

So, how am I dealing with the coronavirus pandemic? I have been transparent, visible and honest with my current and potential client base. I have shown hope and interest in the lives of others in a genuine and caring way. The community needs someone that they can trust and that will be there for them in the event of a crisis.

It's not always about selling, and these times have brought this to light even more than ever.

Owen Thomas is senior account executive at Dial Insurance Agency in Pembroke, North Carolina.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Agency Operations & Best Practices