As a kid Tonya Pierron spent her summers either hanging out with her father down the bayou on the seafood dock or with her mom in town at the medical supply store. A desire to be in sales developed from the time she spent observing them.
In 1998, Tonya was working at an oilfield company and was bored. She knew she needed a career that would cultivate her sales drive and ambition. She wanted something that was more than an hourly or salary pay. She wanted to earn a commission.
So Tonya went to work at a State Farm agency and maxed out the agent commission scale within a year. After a few years, she got bored there too and eventually found her way to the independent agent side of insurance.
A friend of Tonya's gave her phone number to ABC Insurance owner Blue Bunol in 2003. He recruited her to run the ABC Insurance office in Houma, Louisiana. She started as the only employee but has helped it grow to two offices and five employees.
Thirteen years after joining ABC, Tonya is still not bored and loves that there is never a dull moment. I talked with Tonya about her start in the industry and more. This is how Tonya Pierron works.
Bayou Country! Houma, Louisiana
Production manager at ABC Insurance Agencies
One word that describes how you like to work.
Current mobile device:
Dell Optiplex with dual monitors
What is it you like about the insurance industry?
Every day it is a new day. No two customers are alike. There is never a dull moment.
Project(s) you're currently working on:
Sales Academy for our call center sales agents.
Accomplishments you're proud of:
I am ecstatic about passing the Louisiana notary public exam. The pass rate for the exam is only 14 percent. It was challenging but oh so worth it!
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
ABC Insurance Agencies offers DMV Services at a few of our locations. I look forward to implementing sales techniques to grow that line of business as we expand these services to other offices.
What technology, apps or tools can't you live without?
My wireless headset at work! I talk to customers all day long on the telephone! My FitBit and Spotify!
Describe your workspace.
Cozy! I spend a lot of time at the office, it's homey! I do have some pieces of furniture I had redone in my office.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Louisiana auto insurance is expensive. It is a daily challenge to stay upbeat (instead of feeling beat up) when you are constantly overcoming customer objections. I just keep reminding myself that everyone has a story, and you never know what obstacles they are facing, so just do the best at helping them obtain insurance that fits their needs and is affordable.
What motivates you?
Being a blessing to others motivates me!
How do you manage your to-do list?
Give me a pen and paper daily journal, and I'm good to go. Every now and then I set a reminder on my phone, but not often.
What's your best time-saving tip or hack?
Consistency is key! Create a workflow that requires the least amount of follow up work as possible, allowing you to focus on making the next sale.
What is your best everyday habit?
Wake up early enough to sit back and enjoy my coffee without being plugged into the internet or television! And don't leave the house without eyeliner and mascara on, no matter how you feel!
What do you listen to while working?
When I'm not listening to a customer, I prefer to listen to nothing. When there is a moment of silence, I absorb ever bit of it. Most of the time I hear Cajun zydeco in the background; my coworker always has some music playing!!
What are you currently reading?
'Girls with Swords' by Lisa Bevere and 'Bridge to Haven' by Francine Rivers
What's your favorite blog and/or podcast ?
I honestly don't have any. I prefer to listen to music and read books or daily devotionals.
How do you decompress?
After being inside the office all day, patio therapy is essential to my overall wellbeing! No phones, no texts or social media! Just wind chimes and water fountains to soothe my soul. Gardening and painting furniture has been a hobby lately.
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I rarely watch television, but when I do, it's a romantic comedy.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Beau, my dog! He thinks he's my boss, and he lets me know when it's time to wake up.
Do you hit the ground running in the morning or does it take you some time to wake up and get in the groove?
I'm not a morning person at all. The most essential kitchen gadget I own is my Keurig! Mornings would not be nice without it.
Who are your business idols and why?
My mom. She just so happy about going to work each day.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
No one is going to take care of YOU the way YOU are gonna do! So do it WELL! That was from my Mom.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
When in doubt, don't.
What would you be doing if you weren't working in the insurance industry?
I would love to be able to work at a Christian non-profit organization helping others.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Blue Bunol, general manager at ABC Insurance Agencies.
The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.
About the Author
As senior vice president of sales and marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s sales and marketing departments. Her specialties include creating and documenting processes; establishing metrics for managing those processes; developing content strategy and generating leads; and driving the overall company sales and marketing strategy. Becky was named an Elite Woman in Insurance by Insurance Business America in 2016. She has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder