Great Consultative Selling Qualities…From my Contractor

Kitty Ambers, COO/AVYSTPhoto of a contractor on a ladder working on the ceiling.

I am a master of the ‘task’ list. Several years ago I read David Allen’s very helpful book – ‘Getting Things Done’. Practicing the concepts Allen outlines has reduced my stress level by keeping things organized electronically. One thing Mr. Allen recommends is keeping an ongoing long-term project list at hand. Finally, the time came for me to attack one of the major projects on my never-ending list – renovating my kitchen.

The demolition and reconstruction portion of this major undertaking ran smoothly. The reason I share this with you is to tell you about my contractor, Rick.

Rick is in his early 30s and a master electrician by trade. He has expanded his knowledge into many areas of contracting including laying tile and fine carpentry. He shared with me his newest interest – landscaping.

It struck me while we were contemplating the kitchen lighting options, that Rick is everything any insurance agency owner would look for in a fantastic salesperson. He’s a natural.

What were the qualities that stood out?

  • He was genuine – a nice guy who takes extreme pride in his work. Rick has taken complete ownership of the project – like it’s his own kitchen in his own house.
  • He took the time to understand the desired outcome. My kitchen is central to my entire home, and we do a lot of entertaining. He made sure he understood what the traffic flow and usage would be. He then made very helpful, insightful suggestions that improved upon the plans we had drawn up.
  • He instilled confidence with his knowledge of the various solutions available. For example, Rick asked very good questions that helped me choose, what I perceive, was the best lighting solution for our situation.
  • He communicated the timeline for decision-making. Some decisions can be pondered for a while or changed down the line; others are important to make quickly so the project can proceed. Rick constantly kept me aware of next steps so there weren’t any surprises or hold-ups.
  • Above everything else, he always had a smile and a pleasant attitude – even when his 6-month-old had kept him up half the night!

The very things that Rick embodies as he pursues his profession, are the very things that make for an outstanding insurance advisor. While Rick is a natural, I’m sure he has practiced his people skills right along with his trade skills. If soft skill development is successful for contractors, how might the commitment to developing these qualities across your staff work to solidify relationships with your clients?



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