Insurance Immersion: Toto, I Have a Feeling We're Not in "The County" Anymore

June 28, 2019

Insurance Immersion Interns Taylor Kashmer and Remi  Leblanc with VP of Operations Dottie Chalmers Cutter at the MMG Portsmouth Office with Kayla Dill and her team

Remi and I got to visit MMG's home office last week up in "The County" as I've heard it called a few times now (you can read more about that here if you haven't already seen the post). This week, we got to see their new office in Portsmouth!

Kayla Dill, a marketing rep for MMG, showed us around the office and introduced us to the team. They were all super friendly!

Fun Fact: In talking to Kayla, we realized that my grandparents used to babysit her. Talk about a small world!

After meeting everyone in the office, Kayla brought Dottie, Remi, and I into the conference room along with three underwriters from MMG and told us that we were going to play a game. I don't know about you, but I personally will never complain about getting to start my work day by playing a game!

We split into two teams - Team Dexter (the three underwriters from MMG) and the Chalmers Charmers (the team you should be rooting for, obviously). Both teams were given a large envelope that contained a piece of paper with the scoring details, a piece of paper with a blue dot, and a piece of paper with a red dot. There were ten rounds before which both teams met separately to make a decision about which dot they would choose that round. After a few rounds, we were allowed to pick a negotiator to meet with the chosen negotiator from the other team to make a deal. The way to win was to have a positive score at the end of ten rounds.

Scoring details were as follows:

If both teams choose blue, both teams get -6 points.

If one team chooses red and the other team chooses blue, red gets -12 points and blue gets +12 points.

If both teams choose red, both teams get +6 points.

I can't lie - it was a rough start for the Chalmers Charmers. When it was time to negotiate, we were pretty far into the negatives. I was chosen to negotiate for our team. I asked the negotiator for Team Dexter if they would be willing to choose red for the remainder of the rounds so that both teams could end up in the positives by the last round (meaning both teams would win, though Team Dexter would have a much higher final score). She agreed and we shook on it.

As the game progressed, both teams held up their end of the handshake deal. When it was time for the final round, the score looked like this:

Team Dexter ~ 24

Chalmers Charmers ~ 0

We had finally broken even, but we needed to get into the positives in order to win. I figured both teams would choose red in  the final round and the game would end with a 30 - 6 score, making us both winners (despite much different scores). Not so fast. Team Dexter wanted to re-negotiate before the final round. Uh oh. I thought for sure they were going to call off our deal.

To my surprise, they offered to choose red if we chose blue. This would mean we'd both end with scores of 12. They said they thought for sure we would try to play a blue at some point despite our deal, and they were so impressed that we kept our promise that they wanted us both to be winners (with equal scores in this scenario). So that's what happened. They played red, we played blue, and we both finished with scores of 12.

The point of playing this game was clearly not as much about the game as it was about the takeaways. Here's what I got from it:

1. Always follow through on your promises. Whether in business or in life in general, you have nothing if you don't have your word.

2. Communication is KEY. If we had been able to negotiate earlier in the game, both teams could have ended with much higher scores. This showed me how important it is to communicate with business partners during all steps of the process in order to make sure everyone is on the same page, thus allowing both sides to get more from the deal. I suppose this applies to any relationship in life. Consistent and adequate communication ensures that relationships of all kinds remain mutually beneficial.

All of this from a couple of colored dots! Who would've thought?!

We finished out the day by having lunch in the conference room with everyone in the office. We got to ask them all about how they ended up in insurance and what a day of work looks like for them. It was a wonderful experience and I learned so much.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to Kayla Dill and everyone at the MMG Portsmouth Office for being such great hosts and answering all of our questions!

Taylor

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