When Michael Herring, CLU®, ChFC®, LUTCF, was studying business in college, he expected to build a career in finance, but he decided to change direction when he took a course on insurance. After graduation, he took a job as a claims adjuster and, three years later, became an insurance agent. Now, he works primarily with Nebraska’s farming community. He protects their farmhouses, combines, and tractors; provides liability coverage for the rare chemical spill or animal collision; and is his clients’ first call after a hailstorm.
What It Takes to Succeed
A successful agent needs two things, says Herring. First, they should enjoy having conversations with clients and helping them find the right solutions. In his 38 years with State Farm, Herring has developed countless personal and professional relationships in his community and continues to grow and deepen those relationships every day.
Agents also need to be dedicated to their own financial security, says Herring. “[The insurance industry] gives you the opportunity where the sky is the limit,” he begins. “You can be as motivated as you wish to to make your business successful.” He describes insurance and financial services as a “high risk, high reward” industry. “Initially, you have to put in a lot of hours and not receive a lot of money for doing it,” he begins. “But ultimately the risk is high, but the reward is high as well.”
NAIFA’s Political Advocacy
Herring is the National Committeeperson for NAIFA-NE and has been involved in NAIFA’s political advocacy at the state and federal levels, including as NAIFA-NE Grassroots Chair. Getting involved in political advocacy can be a daunting prospect, he says. He talks about the uncertainty that comes with it, the insecurity of asking, “Do I know enough? Am I going to look like a fool?” He addresses those fears, saying, “When you get involved, you find out [lawmakers] are just like everybody else, especially in Nebraska. They’re very open to hearing what we have to say about our industry.” He emphasizes the importance of NAIFA's advocacy, adding, “NAIFA is the one on the front battlelines working with our state and federal legislators. It’s our business insurance.”
The Value of NAIFA
NAIFA has contributed to Herring's success in many ways, he says. As a property and casualty specialist, he appreciates the diverse and robust knowledge base of fellow NAIFA members and the speakers at NAIFA events. Herring adds that NAIFA’s professional development has also benefitted his career. He earned the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF) designation through NAIFA and says the course helped him hone and augment his sales skills.
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Herring loves playing golf, watching football, and spending time with his family. His home’s new pool is a grandchild magnet, he says. He volunteers with his church’s mission work and is the drummer in their praise band. He also participates in a youth mentorship program. Five years ago, he started working with a 7th grader. Now, the pair are working together on college applications.
For his service to our industry and association, we’re #NAIFAproud to have Mike Herring as part of our NAIFA family.