The Sterling Insurance Group has been an independent insurance agency since 1996, when Joe Haney and Paul Mattes started the business as the Sterling Agency. In 2006, Sterling Agency was awarded Top Performer in its size category in a National Survey using Best Practices’ criteria by the Independent Insurance Agents of America. Since then, Sterling has won numerous awards for customer service from all of our carriers.
Mining the Middle Market
We’re a generalist middle-market agency; we write the types of business our carriers want. Our business mix comes to 30% Personal, 50% Commercial, 20% Life/Health. Account rounding is a way of life. We average more than five policies per account and write almost all our Personal Lines book as package policies. We enjoy a 96% retention rate because most of our accounts are longtime customers and get great service.
At Sterling, we put our insurance customers first. We provide a sense of confidence, and see ourselves as part of our customers family or their business. Every Commercial account receives a visit 100 days before their renewal. We contact individual customers based on their needs, which we understand because we know them – both professionally and often, socially.
We negotiate renewals for our Personal & Commercial clients. Because we know the top management of all of our clients, we talk with them by phone or in person. Negotiating renewals is a challenge, yet we are able to solve our account challenges through our various markets and relationships.
At The Sterling Insurance Group, we’re always looking for good people to fit into our culture as synergistic team players. Each candidate faces an extensive interview with everyone in the agency. We believe this process is paramount to the continued growth and success of the agency. Our employees are our direct link to our customers. When an employee is happy, you will typically have happy customers.
Cultivating a Culture For Success
Once every other month, we hold an off-site staff meeting run by an outside ‘facilitator’ – not an insurance professional, but a psychologist. The meeting deals with workplace and personal issues: removing roadblocks to success, building camaraderie and mutual respect, simplifying work procedures, and nurturing creativity. In alternate months, the facilitator meets one-on-one with two employees for an hour a piece to discuss their individual challenges. Within a year, every employee will have gone through this process … and the cycle starts again. The results have been phenomenal. We are nurturing our employees and they enjoy what they do. Their creativity keeps blossoming, building our relationships with customers and carriers, and the business keeps growing. This isn’t luck – our investment in people is paying off.