Peter Vitale isn’t shy about sharing the knowledge he’s amassed in his more than 15 years in the insurance business. In fact, he goes out of his way to find new ways to connect, inform and educate consumers, insurance agents just starting out in the business, and the general public. It’s Vitale’s view that the more people know, the better choices they are able to make. That openness helps Michigan-based Peter Vitale’s business as an insurance industry consultant.
Why Information is Important in the Insurance Business
“Insurance is one of those products that can be rather confusing for those who don’t deal with it on an everyday basis,” explains Peter Vitale. “Some of the terms we use, like comprehensive and umbrella, don’t have a lot of meaning for those outside of the industry.” Vitale is looking to change that. He regularly blogs about industry issues, such as the importance of having adequate auto liability coverage, the different types of auto insurance and even tips for safe driving in the harsh Michigan winters. He also writes about tips aimed at insurance salespeople just entering the business. He wants those new agents to have the benefit of the information he’s gained the hard way over the last 15 years.
The Journey From Agent to Consultant
Sharing his knowledge and experience with others is also what drove Peter Vitale to broaden his business approach. In 2016, he branched out from being strictly an insurance salesperson to being an insurance consultant. The difference is subtle, yet important. A salesperson sells insurance products and is compensated for the products he or she sells. An insurance consultant works with individuals, companies and even fledging or struggling insurance agencies to help them with their insurance business needs.
A consultant is compensated for his or her time, not just for products sold. Vitale has found this business model to be beneficial for all parties. He helps individuals and businesses create an insurance portfolio that best suits their individual needs, without having to pay for coverages they’ll never use. For insurance agencies, he helps them hire and train agents, as well as structure their businesses for success. Says Vitale about his work with other insurance agencies, “As an insurance consultant, my job is to garner success on behalf of my clients. It takes a multi-faceted approach to maximize success on all fronts, from marketing to staffing.” He’s proud of the number of insurance businesses he’s been able to save and those he’s been able to help start out on the path to success.
Never Stop Learning
It’s not just insurance consumers that Peter Vitale is seeking to educate. He freely shares his experience and tips with new agents. It’s his view that the more knowledgeable and the more successful each member of the industry is, the better and stronger the industry becomes as a whole. One of Vitale’s top tips for agents is to never stop learning. Says Vitale, “When I started in the industry, I didn’t need to explore hobbies during weekends, as I was busy reading about business development strategies and insurance.” It’s a habit he’s continued, even though he’s now an industry veteran.
Vitale also advises agents to never stop educating the public. He readily concedes that insurance products aren’t always the easiest to understand. Says Vitale, “When individuals shop for auto insurance coverage, understanding their coverage, and being able to actively imagine the benefits of various coverage options in ‘real-life scenarios’ is very helpful in crafting the most appropriate policies.”
Vitale’s Favorite Business Tools
As you may have guessed, Michigan-based Peter Vitale crams more work into a 24-hour day than most people. He credits picking the right business tools for this high productivity, and he’s happy to share his favorites. Vitale uses a task organization app, called Asana, to help him keep track of everything he needs to do and to stay focused. He likes Asana’s combination of task management features for both in-office and remote work.
Not all of his favorite tools are high-tech. In fact, some are decidedly basic. Vitale doesn’t go anywhere without his notebook. That way he can jot down any ideas when they come to him, and he doesn’t have to rely on being able to remember later what he was thinking. He even keeps a notebook by his bed. Says Vitale, “Jotting down a quick note in a notebook allows me to return to the idea when I’m able, even when I don’t have time right then to give it the attention it deserves”.
Best Advice to New Business Owners
When asked what advice he would give to new business owners, both inside and outside the insurance business, Vitale replied, “I would certainly tell any hopeful business owner that hard work is a major key to success. I recognize that this advice seems rudimentary, but it is absolutely true. Often, fledgling entrepreneurs believe that they may become lucky, or bypass the grunt work to get to glorious success.”
From what we’ve seen, Michigan’s Peter Vitale certainly follows his own advice. He also cautions business owners and agents not to become distracted by the digital devices most of us have, and to make sure to take some time each day for yourself. Says Vitale, “There are so many external stimuli simultaneously vying for our attention. In order to make sense of my thoughts, professional strategies, and overall ideas, I try to sit in complete silence for at least one hour per day”.
Vitale’s favorite business book is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. According to Vitale, “the book is a must-read for anyone that is working on business operations at a high level.” Collins emphasizes commitment to building the right team, something that Vitale wholeheartedly agrees with. “Collins says you need to ‘get the right people on the bus’, meaning you must have the right team to make the organization successful”.
Branding, Goodwill and Why Sharing Information is Good for Business
Why is all of this sharing of insurance information and tips good for business? “It’s all about branding”, says Vitale. Good branding leads to consumers and businesses looking to you when they have an insurance need, even if that need is six months, a year or five years in the future. When you’ve positioned yourself as a trusted expert in the field (whatever industry you are in), people feel like they know you even before you have that first conversation. Admittedly, it’s a long game. However, it’s one that’s paid off for Vitale. “When people hear the name Peter Vitale,” says Vitale, “I want them to automatically think of good insurance advice. Earning that kind of reputation is good for business”.
About Peter Vitale
Peter Vitale is an insurance consultant in Southeast Michigan. He concentrates most of his effort into helping owners of small and medium-sized insurance businesses be successful. Vitale also owns the Bloomfield Insurance Group in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Michigan’s Oakland University and still lives in the Oakland County community where he grew up. Vitale is very involved with the local business community. Peter Vitale sits on the Board of the Eastern Michigan Better Business Bureau.