P.J. Miller is the Vice President and Partner with Wallace & Turner, Inc. P.J. is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. He provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the growth of Wallace & Turner, Inc. P.J. joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded Wallace & Turner, Inc. with our Impact Company of 2019 award. We are delighted to have P.J. join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview, and our popular “speed round” as well.
P.J., thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for Wallace & Turner, Inc.?
Wallace & Turner, Inc. has operated locally in Springfield, Ohio since 1870, making us one of the oldest Independent Insurance Agencies in the state. Just being “old” does not necessarily mean “good,” but in our case, it does mean financial stability and consistency in service for our clients. We provide personal insurance, commercial insurance and life & health coverage.
2. What is the key to your company’s success?
We’re local, and second and third generation owners. We have a staff person answering the phone that promptly addresses customer needs, and we will talk to you in-person about your claim. We’re visible in the community and a leading donor to many causes within our surrounding area. Moreover, our team is committed to providing clients with the best insurance protection and outstanding claims service when they need it most, all at a fair price.
3. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Service, service, service. The lowest price is long forgotten once the service suffers.
4. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Expect it. What current business or new venture doesn’t have challenges? Surround yourself with good people…and we do.
5. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Wallace & Turner, Inc., and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
As previously stated, we believe our service sells. We know people can go many directions to obtain insurance and fortunately, we enjoy a good reputation in our community. Our staff knows that our reputation is so important and it creates loyalty – we’ve had a lot of clients for 60 years or more, and we know most of our clients on a first-name basis.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
Hiring young staff as retirements take place, and then we train and mentor the new folks. We are active on social media and pay attention to what customers are asking, and what competitors are doing. We employ a marketing professional that helps keep us top of mind, and ensures we’re doing what we can to remain at the forefront of the industry.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Wallace & Turner, Inc.?
Insurance is in my blood, as boring as that might sound. My father taught me well and my mentors taught me well. I like the claim involvement and finding coverage for clients when the worst occurs. I’m not a claim representative but I like the research in coverage.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
I can’t! Except for insurance manuals, and teaching continuing education classes which has led to researching the technical side of the business to do so.
9. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at Wallace & Turner, Inc.?
I’m at their desk to offer assistance when they need help. We have a very open-door policy and I make the rounds to see what’s going on in their world.
10. Can you explain what leadership means to you?
Having the respect of the staff is first and foremost. Hopefully, they see me working hard and setting the example. So, when I tell them something or ask something of them, they’re very willing to follow.
We would like to have some fun and do a “speed round” with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only.
Here you go!
1. In three words or less, what makes a successful CEO?
Excited, planful, smart
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
To be respected
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Wallace & Turner, Inc.?
Whirlwind, fun, exciting
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English language?
P.J. Miller, thank you so much for sitting down with us for our DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Wallace & Turner, Inc. nothing but the best.