After spending forty-five successful years in the insurance industry, Scott Ables jumped to the real-estate side by joining Residential Inspector of America as our Business Development Director. You might recognize him as the “Guy with the Tie” that visits your agency on a regular basis. If you know him, you also probably know he has a few interesting stories to tell as well as suggestions to help improve your sales. (How do you stand out? What is your Unique Selling Position?)
So, who is this guy? Scott grew up in Dallas, Texas and later graduated from North Texas State University with a BA degree in Sociology. During his college years he worked in psychiatry, beginning as an attendant and later assisting in social work at Parkland/Woodlawn Hospital in Dallas. His work experience there made a strong impression on him since Parkland was the emergency hospital where John F. Kennedy was taken following his assassination and Woodlawn was a psychiatric teaching hospital. (Build on every experience and relationship….it can lead you to a greater success.)
After college, he was drafted in the Marines but assigned to the Army (a good story). Expecting to be sent to Vietnam, he was blessed and assigned stateside as a Social Work Technician assisting Dr. Dan Greenson, a Psychiatrist from Beverly Hills, CA. Both were assigned to Ft. Dix, New Jersey. The psychiatrist’s father, Dr. Ralph Greenson, treated many of the stars in California, including Marilyn Monroe. Scott has several stories about the time he spent in the military and his time with Dr. Greenson. (Be thankful for your successes and let others know that successes are greater with team support.)
You would think that Scott would have chosen to work in the field of medicine, but he actually chose to work in insurance following his discharge from the military. He joined Safeco insurance, beginning his career in Claims, then moved to Sales and eventually became VP of Claims in Seattle, Washington. While living in Atlanta, he met his wife, Diane, and they moved to Seattle where they lived for sixteen years. Diane worked as the Human Resource Manager for KOMO, the ABC television affiliate, then for Union Bay Sportswear and later for the University of Washington Medical Center.
When asked about the top experiences Scott had while working in insurance, he shared that there were too many to list; however, here are a few:
As a young adjuster, Scott worked directly with Sam Walton when he handled one of the first Walmart store fire losses. This was in the early days, when Walmart Corporation was just expanding their holdings throughout the US. The end results?… Sam got the best of him, and Scott learned from the experience (smile).
As the Atlanta Sales Manager, Scott and his team wrote a small account called “T. J. Applebee’s.” As that account and others grew, so did Scott and his team’s success, and they were awarded a trip to Paris for their efforts. Following his marriage to Diane, they honeymooned in Paris for a not-to-be-duplicated experience, including a private dinner and fireworks at the Palace of Versailles!
After his transfer to the home office in Seattle, Scott helped build one of the premier claims departments in the country, handling many interesting claims and catastrophes (lots of stories). His philosophy was to always look for coverage to help your customers, rather than look for ways to deny claims. An example of this philosophy was displayed when his team helped manage the Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption; most insurance carriers denied losses because volcanic eruption was an exclusion in their policies. Safeco looked for coverage and paid losses as an “Explosion.” The decision helped develop more customers and eventually the State Insurance Commissioner required all carriers to follow the example of Safeco.
In addition, Scott sponsored and helped develop one of the first electronic claims files in the industry, working with Microsoft. This allowed the company to “transfer the work and not the people,” saving millions and reducing hardships on families. (What innovations are you exploring?) Scott and Diane eventually moved to the east coast to be closer to family. Diane’s family lives in South Carolina, and Scott’s four grown children live in Atlanta and Nashville.
Scott and Diane now live on the 30th floor of a condominium on the river in downtown Jacksonville with their cat, “Smudge.” They love seeing the city come alive with bright lights and frequent fireworks, and they enjoy all the nearby offerings of city life, such as attending the Jacksonville Symphony, Florida Theatre, Broadway shows at the Times-Union, or dining out in one of the great area restaurants.
When you see “The Guy with the Tie,” ask him how you can increase your sales with a RIA Inspection, 18 Month RWS Home Warranty, Monument Commercial Building Inspection, or our Chimney Champions sweep, inspect and repair programs. He has some great tips to increase your listings, referrals, and sales!