How KJ VanDerwerken has built a multi-million dollar book of business

Ever wonder what it takes to build a million-dollar book of business?  Entrepreneur KJ VanDerwerken has been in the insurance industry for eight years now and has masterfully navigated that question.  Over his time, he has built a book of business of more than $4,000,000 of personal lines premium, writing and managing over 4,000 policies.  So how has he found such great success at his company in such a competitive setting?  We sat down with him to find out what is important when growing your business.

Taking care of your referral partners.

The most important aspect of growing your book of business is to build lasting relationships with referral partners.  If you have a Lamborghini, but there’s no engine – you won’t get very far.  Your referral partners are your engine.  They keep your business going and must be taken care of – you are nothing without them.  Property and casualty insurance companies get most of their referrals from realtors and mortgage lenders.  Since homeowners’ insurance is needed to close when purchasing a home, it becomes a very targeted lead from those sources.  A good insurance company brings value in this scenario.  Both the client, realtor and mortgage broker want a hassle free, seamless process with insurance.  If an agent or agency can be trusted, accessible, responsive, express urgency and be thorough all the above parties will have a great experience.  The more testimonials of your excellent service, the more your referral partners will be likely to send you repeat business.  The more referral partners you can duplicate this experience with, the better.  As an agent or agency, you need to make your partners lives easier.  Before it’s your client, it is their client.  Make sure you are an extension of the person referring you and provide the same level if not better service than they are.  Lastly, show gratitude.  We are human, and we need each other.  Show thanks when someone does something they don’t need to do, such as refer their client.  Treat every deal like it’s your first.

Taking care of your clients.

Once you’ve gotten the referral, you now need to take care of your client.  Listen, and assess their insurance needs. Educate them on different coverage options available.  Finally implement policies to protect, for most of them, the single largest investment they will ever make.  It’s your duty to make sure they are properly covered and aware of what they are purchasing and why it’s important.  Be personable, and although no one loves purchasing insurance, make the process as enjoyable as possible.  Like your referral partners, if they have a good experience buying the home insurance, they are more likely to give you a chance to win their auto or business insurance as well.  Or refer their friends and family.

The rest falls on your work ethic.  Be the first to enter the office, and the last to leave.  You must want it more than your competing companies and agents.  It’s a simple process, that with execution and time will build your million-dollar book of business.

If you have any questions feel free to connect with KJ VanDerwerken on Instagram


Nishi Singh is a professional journalist and editor in New Delhi. She has studied Mass Communication from National Institute of Mass Communication.