Troy Heise was born and raised on a farm in Northeast Nebraska. Following high school, Troy attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he completed a four-year degree in Political science. After graduating in 1991, he landed a position with Omaha Insurance Services where he worked as a property and casualty insurance agent. Today, Troy also specializes in home, commercial auto, property, and life insurance and takes pride in helping clients obtain the coverage they need. Outside of work, Mr. Heise is an avid reader and enjoys activities such as attending sporting events, watching college football, and exercise.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
That came from my brother-in-law. He told me that it had the potential to grow my own business so that really gave me the confidence to put my best foot forward. I enjoy working directly with customers to help them establish a customized solution that will work for them and their family.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There isn’t really a typical day in the insurance industry. One day, I could be answering claims questions, the next I could be following up with someone who missed a payment or giving someone a quote. What I like to do is make a list the day before work of everything that has to be done for the next day or of things that are coming up, so that the next day I will be productive and follow that list, then review what was completed and what still needs to be done.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Collaboration with my fellow insurance agents and other customer service reps in the office. I’m also part of a business exchange network where they have experience in different industries. We meet every week and they have lots of great ideas for expanding your business.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The one trend about the insurance industry that is exciting is that it’s always changing. Rates, companies, underwriting guidelines, and products all change over the years. Because of that, what is offered for products changes. It doesn’t matter if it’s home, auto, or business, there’s always going to be something new.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Consistency. Consistency with customers, consistency with showing up every day, helping people, and letting customers know how their insurance works.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Probably the same thing my brother told me about keeping a positive attitude. I also wish someone had given me advice on how God won’t give you something you can’t overcome earlier in life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think big government is absolutely corrupt to the core. There’s a lot of corruption in the world and it doesn’t stop at the government. It’s in big business, big pharma, and big media as well.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
When you meet someone, let them know what you do. The way I start doing that is to find out what they do. When you ask someone what they do for a living or what they’re interested in, then they’re going to ask you what you do for a living, and it’s a great conversation starter.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The business referral group that I’m in has helped a lot. It lets you meet people from all different industries and they have great ideas and can connect you with other people.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I worked for an agency and the owner promised to sell me the agency at some point. What I failed to do was get that agreement in writing. I did it with a handshake. The way that I overcame it was to join the agency I’m at now and start building a book from the ground up.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Find a niche business or product that you can become an expert in. There are really endless possibilities nowadays you just need the skills and a stellar marketing plan.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I sponsored a car show and that was a good $100 to spend because I met a lot of people and had great conversations about potentially writing people’s insurance both within the car show’s club and the people who were attending the show.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The comparative rater is a piece of software that goes out to all of the companies that we represent, puts the insurance data into the system, and automatically goes out to the company websites. Once it goes to the company websites, it gets the rates and puts them into competitive rates so that we know who has the best premium.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend Les Miserables by Victor Hugo because it’s kind of an everyman story about the underdog and how he turned his life around and became successful. Everybody loves that kind of story and there are great life lessons in it.
What is your favorite quote?
Someone looks down on each of us in different hours—a friend, a wife, somebody alive or dead, or God—and he will not expect us to disappoint him.
- Networking is extremely important
- Everyone loves an underdog story
- Get all agreements in writing
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.