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Jonathan Hogg

I had the agricultural knowledge, but no sales experience

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Meet Jonathan Hogg

I started as a stockman and farm manager and still work on my uncle’s farm during the lambing season. I started a family and the long hours meant that I wasn’t getting to spend as much time with them as I wanted. As a result, I began working for the Scottish government, inspecting livestock and carrying out land inspections while also assessing and approving Agricultural Grant applications.

Then in 2016, I found out about the Agent role. I thought at first it wouldn’t be for me. I had the agricultural knowledge and the customer relationship skills, but no sales or insurance experience. However, I think it’s easier to learn about insurance and sales than it is to learn about agriculture.

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Introducing my agency

Dingwall, Inverness
We have three Agent Partners, a Financial Adviser and 12 staff across our two sites in Dingwall and Thurso. It’s quite a big agency for Scotland. In terms of land mass, we cover an area of around 6,500 square miles and in the three years since I joined in 2016, we’ve grown our business significantly. We have a lot of different farming and commercial customers – these range from fish farms to haulage companies, large mixed farms, family farms and crofts.

One of our farming customers has a mix of incomes from crops, livestock, a large hydroelectricity turbine, property and holiday lettings, and reviewing their needs each year is not only important for them but is also interesting to find out how the business has evolved each year. I really enjoy working with these different businesses as we insure a wide variety of interesting and complex risks for them.

My career life story

I started as a farmer and farm manager and still work on my uncle’s farm during lambing season. After working as a livestock and land inspector for the Scottish government, I heard about the NFU Mutual Agent role.

2016

Agent
Agent of NFU Mutual, Dingwall

Developing strong relationships with farming customers while growing the team and the business.

2011

Agricultural Officer
Scottish Government

Inspecting livestock and land for subsidy applications and assessing grant applications.

2006

Farm Manager
Various stock farms

I worked on three different stock farms, managing herds of cattle and flocks of sheep.

A little Q&A

Being an Agent of NFU Mutual can be challenging and varied, but ultimately extremely rewarding. As a self-employed Agent, I’m responsible for leading, developing and growing my business. Here, I’ve tried to answer some of the questions you might have if you’re thinking of becoming an Agent with NFU Mutual.

What skills or behaviours do you think make a good Agent?

You need to be a good listener in order to understand customers and empathise with their needs and problems. That makes it easier to find solutions that work for them. It’s important to have the drive to grow the business and if you listen and respond, then it will happen organically.

What do you enjoy about being an Agent?

I really enjoy going out, meeting farming and rural customers, and chatting about our common interests. I love the customer interaction and the fact that every day’s different. I’m passionate about having a strong network, building relationships and providing customers with the very best solutions.

How does being a self-employed Agent differ from being employed?

Being self-employed means you can build the right team around you. Since I joined the agency, I’ve evolved the team by taking on people who are open to change. That included hiring two school-leavers and training them. I get a lot of satisfaction in seeing them develop.

Why should someone consider becoming an Agent?

For me, it’s about building strong customer relationships that last. You need to get under the skin of their businesses, treat them as you’d want to be treated, and build their trust by giving them good, reliable advice.

Describe being an Agent in three words

Varied. Challenging. Satisfying.