Anthony Nunn went to junior college and then attended Oregon State University, where he majored in new media communications, an art degree in graphic design, videography and photography. When he graduated in the middle of the COVID pandemic, no one was hiring, so he worked as an Amazon delivery driver for six months. He left Amazon and became director of operations at a startup moving company his friend from college had started. When his partner became pregnant, he knew he needed to make a career change.
“I started looking for sales jobs,” Nunn remembers. “I applied for an insurance job at a Farmers agency in Salem, and they called back and told me about the Farmers’ Protege Program. I only had 30 days to get my Property and Casualty license.”
After Nunn got his license, he started the mentorship with a seasoned Farmers agent. He didn’t have a sales background but in his second month on the job his son was born, which was great motivation to succeed. After he surpassed expectations, he was told that if he hit 100K in premiums his first year, he could open his own agency. By month six, he made 100K in sales.
“I made it happen because I wanted to be my own boss,” says Nunn. “I also wanted to start my own business and be the dad I was always hoping to be.”
In May 2023, Nunn opened the doors to his own agency. His mentor had taught him how to handle rejection and how to close a deal. He’d also taught Nunn how to take billing to servicing and how to work leads.
“He bought leads from SmartFinancial,” Nunn says. “That’s how I first forged a relationship with my account manager. When I started my agency, I continued working with him because we have a lot in common, and he knows what I need to do to be successful.”
Nunn’s district manager, who oversees his territory in Oregon, helps by buying half of his leads. This allows Nunn to employ a producer to help with sales. Like Nunn, she is doing the Farmers Protege Program.
“At the agency where I used to work, it was hard to work the older leads,” says Nunn. “The owner bought a lot of leads, and I was the only one working them while he was servicing existing customers. When I started my agency, I made it a point to allow for time to work the older leads. We just bound a couple of leads in early October that we bought back in June!”
Nunn buys 10 leads a day, five data and five live transfers. He tracks his producer’s performance in the SmartFinancial dashboard based on her notes. He also gets to see how often each lead has been worked, so he knows which ones to contact and which to leave alone.
“Being a captive agent is hard, especially in this economy, but I refuse to give up after a two-point contact,” says Nunn “I refuse to quit because I am helping people out and saving them money while putting food on the table. I try not to sell on price however. My success comes from walking the customer through what they are paying for. When I started I didn’t know anything about insurance, I don’t want someone buying insurance without knowing what they are spending money on.”
In a perfect world, Nunn will be making passive income down the line and will be able to hire more producers. Meanwhile, he’s simply building his book of business.
“I still don’t have a guaranteed income, so right now it’s hustle, hustle, hustle,” he says. “Down the line, I want to grow my agency for my son. I may one day give him the book of business or sell the book and have a fun life with my kid.”
4 Golden Tips from Anthony Nunn of Farmers
- You don’t have the option to fail, so don’t give up. If someone says no, it may be that they don’t know you yet. Don’t get discouraged. You’ll hear 100 no’s for each yes. Just keep calling or texting after a month or six months. They may be unhappy with their insurer come renewal time, and you called just in time. It happens.
- Hold yourself accountable. You can’t hire someone and make them do all the work. It does not create a good work environment. Do the work and be present. Take constructive criticism. I have my producer tell me what she suggests and how I can be doing things better.
- Your tone of voice when presenting the quote or educating the client is important. Don’t speak in monotone or sound like a robot. Put energy behind what you’re saying and convince the customer to buy what they need. If you’re outgoing and happy, the prospect is more likely to buy from you.
- Have a positive attitude. Your employees will feed off your energy. Put out there what you want to receive. If you have to, just fake it till you make it.