William Gillespie is an award winning Allstate Agent, that sais he has basically been training to be an Allstate agency owner his entire life. His father started with Allstate corporate back in the early 70’s and retired about 3 years ago. Growing up around senior leadership and top agents, William saw many ups and downs on both the field and corporate sides.
Deciding to forge his own path, William went into the restaurant industry. His restaurant experience includes being a Captain at a 5 star 5 diamond restaurant, bartender, manager, and owner. As a captain, he was trained on the highest standards of points of service and served two U.S presidents, actors, royalty, corporate leaders, and musicians such as Ace Frehley, Tim McGraw, and Julio Iglesias.
From there, William went into the corporate restaurant management world with the O’Charley’s corporation. O’Charley’s high volume atmosphere was a great training ground for staffing. He had to learn how to hire and train staff quickly, and the importance of maintaining the staff you have. Tiring of being transferred every few months and living out of hotels, William purchased a small restaurant in Roanoke VA. In the three years he owned it, he increased food quality, cut food cost by 20%, and doubled annual sales.
In 2006 William had his first child and decided working nights, holiday’s, and weekends were no longer feasible if he wanted to be a good dad. He then decided to go into the insurance industry, but still determined to forge his own path, went in to group health rather than property and casualty. When he started, the agency owner gave him an out of date phone book, a legal pad and said “start calling”. This 2 minute training session left William in tailspin right out of the gate. He didn’t receive his first commission check (paid monthly) for six months, and it was only $3.98.
After trial and error, William eventually became one of the top producers which encourage he and another broker to break off and start their own agency. As a group health broker, William built a nice book of business to only see it implode due to healthcare reform. Fortunately, he happened across an Allstate agency for sale in Vinton, Va. The Vinton agency was under producing and was over $20,000 in the hole with financial production credit. After much deliberation, negotiation, and prayers, William purchased the agency and was an Allstate agent as of October 1, 2014. William turned the agency around in the first year and finished 2015 with Circle of Champions award (top 2% – 5% of agencies in the country).
In June of 2016, he opened his second agency in Rocky Mount, VA as a scratch. In less than six months, he was able to find a location, do a build out, hire and train staff, and write over $200,000 in premium from that one location. In the month of December 2016, his staff wrote 195 items and over $70,000 in premium. William takes a multifaceted approach to develop business.
When he had the one agency in Vinton, events and social networks were plenty to get him to Circle of Champions. Once he took on the second agency, he quickly realized that would not be enough. He then added social media leads with the assistance of Sean Matheis’s Agency Alliance. Sean’s social media techniques now account for 30% of Williams business and he expects that to double in the year 2017.
” Working with the Agency Alliance has given me the lead generation strategies we needed to increase our new business production while decreasing the amount of money we were spending on internet leads by more than $2,000 a month. Today nearly 1/3 of our new business production comes from on-line and social media lead generation strategies we learned working with Sean Mathies.”