Chamber member Patrick Skinner, owner of Patrick Skinner and Associates, shares his business insights. Skinner established his business in 1978 and says, "I’m the unusual Insurance Broker who has had only one profession. I studied Insurance at SMU and started after my Junior year, and have kept at it for 41 years."
What inspired you to start your business?
I like helping people with their HealthCare Financial Risks.
What services or products do you offer?
Individual and staff employee benefits such as health insurance, Medicare, Disability, dental, life, vision insurance and 401(k)s.
What is unique about your business?
I’m an Independent Broker who works for my clients, not the insurance company. I’ve never received a W2, always only compensated if I help someone.
How does your business give back to the community?
I was the 1st Nation Chief of the YMCA Indian Princess/Guides when the McKinney Y opened and coached 30+ Youth baseball, soccer, and basketball teams as well as serving as the McKinney Baseball Association Commissioner from 2000 thru 2002.
What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where are today?
Perseverance through good and poor economies and government regulations to continue to serve my clients' needs.
What methods have you used to grow your business?
I knocked on over 6000 business doors asking for their business. I would ask 10 business’ per day as 10 nos are about all you can take and still try again tomorrow. Three yeses and I was done for the day.
What is the secret to keeping happy customers?
"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care!" - Zig Ziglar
The only time you get money back from an insurance company is at claim time, that’s where I try to shine! I lean toward lower premiums even though it reduces my income. But my clients stick around.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My Parents – Dad left before dawn and returned at dark for 37 years to raise four kids. Mom was always learning and teaching – helping others become the best they could be.
What is your most/least favorite thing about your business?
Trying to make government regulation and insurance company customer service make sense.
Where do you see your business going in the future?
I’m afraid the U.S. Healthcare System will financially have to go to a Medicaid System for all, with some buying supplements to access private healthcare.
To what do you attribute your success?
Treating the customer as I would want to be serviced and covered.
How are you involved in the chamber and what is the effect on your business?
I’m actually a Life Member of the North Dallas Chamber but haven’t been very involved with McKinney other than attending Luncheons, LINKS, and marketing events. I strongly believe in the Chamber's mission of assisting the community through a strong viable business environment.
What’s the best advice you would give a new chamber member to get the most out of their membership?
Attend as many events as you can. Get involved in committees that interest you. You’ll meet quality people who really care about their neighbors and community, and get some business out of it too!