Tim Connon on Transformative Decisions in Business and Life
Tim Connon is Founder & CEO of ParamountQuote Insurance Advisors and took some time out to share the wisdom and experience they gained during pivotal moments in life and in business.
Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your journey as a leader in your industry?
I grew up in Florida selling security systems with my father from an early age. This led to a natural inclination to sales and marketing. I grew up to become a licensed life insurance agent shortly after my father was licensed. I started working for agencies that taught me a lot about products and underwriting. After awhile I found myself wanting more in terms of leadership. In addition to this I wanted to produce my own leads which is what led me to starting my own agency and mastering using digital marketing to produce leads for my agents and I.
What specific experiences or decisions in your journey do you believe have shaped your approach to business and leadership?
My most significant experience that I recall is when I saw another agent on the phone lose a sale. The client hung up on her and it was the first week she was working in the call center I worked in. She began to get frustrated and even cried a little bit which is when I walked over and provided her with reassurance that sales is just a statistic and all she has to do is "just work the numbers". She really appreciated me giving her this advice and wanted me to coach her on calls. This led to us working together, me coaching her and within a month she became one of the top producers of that call center. This when I realized that my approach needed to be friendly and statistic based. I realized providing agents with the fact that sales is just a numbers game improved their morale which gave me my first insight into my approach for leadership.
Can you share a story of a pivotal moment in your career that led to a significant transformation in your business or personal life?
A pivotal moment happened when I had spent over 8 months working on my company website for SEO. I was not seeing any growth and was about to give up on the idea of having high ranking informative articles. Then on month 9 the website popped with numerous keywords and rankings growing on the graph Ahrefs provides. We then started getting comments and leads organically from our website which lead to higher revenue and changed my company forever. This when I truly understood the saying "Its always darkest before the dawn".
What factors did you consider when making that critical decision, and how did you weigh the potential risks and rewards?
I considered the loss of time because running a website is inexpensive but SEO costs time and attention to detail. So the reward far out weighed the risk due to the fact that time is something I have where as low cost organic leads is something I didn't have.
What challenges did you face during this transformative period, and how did you overcome them?
The greatest challenges were identifying the search intent behind keywords and the temptation to quit. I overcame these challenges by getting a whiteboard and writing down all the ideas about search intent for specific keywords. Narrowed it down and allowed me to optimize for the user intent properly. The temptation to quit came several times and I overcame this by consulting my mentor who explained that ranking takes time. He told me to stay the course in order to see the fruits of my labor.
Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self at that time, or to entrepreneurs and business leaders who might find themselves in a similar situation?
Just stay the course and work the numbers is the best advice I can give. If you are doing everything correctly in your power the statistics and numbers should average out.
How has that pivotal moment influenced the way you make decisions today, and what lasting impact has it had on your business?
It taught me a new level of patience I never thought was possible. It influences our decisions when we optimize our paid advertising campaigns for lead generation. We do not pull an ad immediately just because we don't see it performing right away. We let it run and after a full month if it underperforms is when we pull the plug.
In your opinion, how important is it for entrepreneurs and business leaders to have these transformative moments, and how can they best prepare for and learn from them?
It is crucial because you may read about it but until you experience it first hand you will not realize the value these types of moments have. Entrepreneurs will learn from them because the experience is so good they will have a lasting memory for the rest of their lives to fall back on. I would pull out a notebook and write down specific notes on that day of everything you recall. Steps, thoughts, feelings etc. that led up to that moment of accomplishment to remind you of where you came from.