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Community Highlights: Meet Michael Davidson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Davidson.

Alright, thank you for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us how you got started?
My name is Michael Davidson, and I have been a State Farm Agent for over three years. I went to college at Eastern Illinois University, hoping to become a teacher. I quickly realized that while I enjoyed the coaching aspect of being an educator, I wasn’t passionate about the content of what I would be teaching. After graduating, I interviewed with a State Farm Agent who helped me realize that being an Agent is often like being a teacher. You are constantly coaching and building up your staff, helping them achieve personal goals. Still, you are also educating your customers and helping them realize the coverages they need to protect their hopes and dreams.

I became a licensed Sales Associate for State Farm in 2013. Fortunately, the Agent I worked for provided leads and all the training I needed to succeed. I focused on developing strong processes and refining a needs-based conversation unlike anything else in the insurance industry. My goal was to give people an experience they couldn’t get with any of our major competitors and to educate potential clients on how certain coverages worked and why they needed to change. The vast majority of people I spoke with daily were underinsured, and by having a needs-based conversation, I was able to thrive in this role for roughly six years.

In June 2019, I earned the opportunity to open my own State Farm agency in Fenton. There have been many moving parts over the last three years, but having my wife Sarah alongside me has helped us achieve every goal we have set for ourselves thus far.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Our first day in business was a Monday. I had hired four employees, but when 9 am rolled around, only three showed up. I called the tardy employee, but they didn’t answer, and I never heard from them again. All you can do is laugh it off! It has been far from a smooth road throughout our three years.

As is true with all small businesses, COVID provided many unique challenges for us. We used those challenges to be a staple of the St. Louis community and called every one of our customers during the lockdown, asking how they were doing and if they could work or remain healthy. We purchased over $1,000 in gift cards from local restaurants in the St. Louis area and mailed them out to customers who were sick or unable to work due to the pandemic. I firmly believe that doing things differently and setting yourself apart from the pack is something your community will notice over time if you stay consistent and put your customers’ needs first.

There have been hundreds of other obstacles that have come our way in the last three years as well. As a first-time small business owner, there is often no playbook for how to do certain things, so you just improvise and call audibles as necessary. There have been things that worked and haven’t, but trusting your gut and staying true to your mission will always put you on the right path.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Michael Davidson – State Farm?
Our agency is your one-stop-shop for all things insurance; whether it be auto, renters, homeowners, life, or disability insurance, we can assist anyone in Missouri or Illinois. We have qualified for an exclusive club called Chairman’s Circle each of our first two years, putting us in the top 5% of all State Farm agencies in the country. I can attribute this success partially to the processes I established in my six years as a Sales Associate. Still, the primary reason for our success is my team: Sarah (my wife) came on as my Office Manager during COVID and does a phenomenal job implementing team processes to make us more organized and efficient. Cathy has worked for State Farm for over 20 years and is a well of knowledge for our customers. Ryan is our Senior Sales Representative and does a great job driving the production and being a mentor for our newest Sales Associate, Autumn, who just started last month. She is making excellent progress in her journey towards helping customers as well.

Our team meets weekly to discuss what we can do differently from other insurance companies and other State Farm agencies to set us apart. We take great pride in the service we provide and our daily recommendations to customers. We are on track to hit Chairman’s Circle for the third year, which would put us in elite company. Our agency’s mission is “to provide outstanding service at a level unmatched by any competitor to help each client meet their insurance goals and financial dreams,” I know in my heart we live by that mission day in and day out.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role you feel it’s played for you?
I firmly believe that no one gets where they are without a bit of luck. However, I think luck is something that can be created with hard work and capitalizing on opportunity. Was I lucky to have landed with the State Farm Agent I worked for six years? Absolutely.  He paved the path for me to open my agency. But I got there with hard work and determination. Taking that luck and running with it got me where I am today.

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Image Credits
photos by James Jackson

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