Ann Harris is probably one of the kindest, most compassionate people you’ll ever meet. As a lead sales agent and trainer, she has a passion for serving her customers, but also her agents in training. She’s a Crossfit® enthusiast, a leader in her community, and a one-of-a-kind woman that Direct Auto Insurance is lucky to have. As such an important member of our sales team, we gave Ann a call in our Ocala, FL store to see what makes her just so special.
Q: What originally attracted you to Direct?
Ann: I was actually referred by someone who worked for another insurance company, but I had heard good things about the career growth and potential at Direct. The opportunity for career advancement was, and is, a top priority for me, so this was exactly what I was looking for. You’re also given a choice about where you work, so there’s a lot of opportunity for travel if you’re interested. I’ve worked for other insurance companies in the past but have had the best experience at Direct.
Q: What part of your job is most challenging and most rewarding?
Ann: Training agents while waiting on customers can be difficult because I want to give both my undivided attention, but seeing my agents benefit from the training process is very rewarding. We also offer so many products that it feels great to offer customers exactly what they need.
Q: Tell our readers a little about the area you work in.
Ann: Ocala is centrally located and has that classic Florida charm. It is growing quickly but still has that family feel to it. You’re always seeing people you know around town. In fact, it’s so charming that even John Travolta lives just outside of Ocala!
Q: What one word would you use to describe Direct and why?
Ann: Family. The company is like my family, and we’re like family to our customers. The agents and I work so hard to build relationships with our customers beyond taking their payments, whether we’re talking to them in person or over the phone. During policy reviews, I find out about life-changing events like a baby being born, a marriage, divorce, or a new teenage driver in the house. I try and view my customer’s problem as my problem, which helps me serve them even better. I’m not just providing service; I’m solving a problem.
Oftentimes, our customers depend on us in a time of crisis, which could range from a minor car accident to even a death in the family. I remember one customer in particular; he was 21 and took care of his deaf parents on a daily basis. He purchased a life insurance policy, along with insurance for his truck, to help take care of them when he passed and unfortunately, he passed away at a very young age. That’s one of those events you don’t easily forget, but I’m glad that we were able to help him leave something for his parents.
We laugh and cry with our customers, and before they walk out of my store I want them to feel completely happy to stick with us for the long term. When we all feel like family members, that kind of longevity is possible.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not at work?
Ann: I love traveling and spending time with my family. It’s so much fun when we get together. We eat, play music, sing, visit the beach, go to church…the list goes on. I personally like to eat sushi and work in my herb garden. Growing herbs, fruit trees, and other plants is one of my hobbies. The aroma of lavender and making tea or homemade bread is so relaxing and therapeutic to me.
For fun, I’ll read a good book by the ocean or do Crossfit, the new exercise program. Staying healthy and fit is important for all of us and with our busy lives, it’s crucial to take the time to just be healthy.
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