Ultimate Producer School Transformed Insurance For Agency Owner


Mitch Belter at the OWC Cable Park

Even though he grew up around the industry and got a degree in insurance, once Mitch Belter started working in his family’s agency he felt like he needed something to help him figure out how to make a career in insurance. Belter was looking for a way to be excited about going to work everyday.

“I found Cheryl, attended the Ultimate Producer School and learned that insurance could be something different than the traditional, stodgy, boring agency,” said Belter, now Principal at R. A. Belter Insurance and Marine Manufactuters Insurance Agency in Willows.  “Cheryl taught me that insurance is a relationship driven business that could be very exciting, rewarding and lucrative.”

“Cheryl (Cheryl Koch, IBA West Education Managing Director, creator and "dean" of the Ultimate Producer School) is an expert on the mechanics of insurance coverage and agency management but she also helped me break through the conventional image of an agency," said Belter.  He said he also learned insurance could be fun because it’s about solving problems, helping people and developing friendships.

Belter believes that Cheryl gives a fresh agent a jumpstart; she introduces relationship and sales concepts that would otherwise take years to learn and understand because they don’t come naturally.

For example, explained Belter, “I relate to boat dealers, because I take time to understand their business and our agency is invested in their industry;  we wakeboard, we help them sell boats, etc.; we are a good “match” with many of those in our niche and we add value to their business.  We are not just there to sell insurance. In fact, insurance seems to be a byproduct of our relationship.” 

“Most of my clients have become great friends," said Belter.  “I learned that developing trust with a client is a powerful thing. The resulting friendship creates an interesting dynamic. Because of it, I have every reason in the world to be their biggest advocate rather than just a ‘sales guy.” 

The Ultimate Producer School taught Belter when it was appropriate to walk away from certain prospects. The course emphasized the importance in finding a match –and directing your attention to those who find value in what you have to offer.

"Mitch is an exceptional young man, which was obvious from the first day he attended our Producer School," said Koch. "I am particularly proud of the Ultimate Producer School and the role we can play a role in influenceing careers of individuals like Mitch." 

"The Ultimate Producer School is my opportunity to “pay it forward” to an industry I love and to help those who seek success in insurance to find it," added Koch.  

By getting deeply involved in the marine industry, Belter and his brother expanded a small marine insurance specialty program into their core business that is now licensed in 47 states and represents marinas all over the U.S. 

IBA West is offering the Ultimate Producer School™ over two weeks November 7-18 in Santa Clara. The marathon course is designed for those new to insurance sales to them trained and back to the agency quickly, ready to hit the ground running.

Started in 1999, the school combines technical coverage information, emphasizing commercial insurance, with extensive sales training and business development planning. 

In addition, the Ultimate Producer School doesn't end after the seminar. IBA West stays with producers for one year following the class providing coaching and support to make sure they achieve their production goals.

Click here for fees and registration information. Click here to view the entire 2011 conference agenda.

Questions? Contact Mike Orrick at 916-757-6154 or morrick@ibawest.com