At Patterson & Associates, the signs of success are everywhere—literally. You’ll find a Success Wall, a Collaboration Wall in the “Create Room,” a Teamwork Wall, and a Guts and Glory Wall that provide words of inspiration and set constant reminders of what it takes to succeed in the insurance industry.
“Our people are motivated to be professional, educated, and to uphold the highest standards of ethics. Our walls are just one visible way that we try to inspire and align everyone around those goals,” says Ben Patterson, President of the Richardson, Texas-based agency.
Growing and Giving Back
Patterson & Associates was founded in 1983 by Ben’s father, Ron Patterson. Initially the agency wrote primarily personal lines coverages for the people in the Richardson community and surrounding areas. When Ben took over for his father in 2011, the agency began pivoting from being primarily a personal lines agency to one with significant commercial lines business.
“We recognized that we needed to write more lines and different kinds of business for diversification and so that we would be better protected against downturns in any one market or line of business,” says Ben. Today Patterson’s revenue mix is 65 percent commercial, 30 percent personal, and 5 percent benefits. The agency has grown to over $7 million in revenue and 40 employees.
Growth at Patterson & Associates has been driven by a combination of referrals, association marketing, leveraging social media and technology, and old-school cold calling. “Referrals are still our preferred way of producing new business, and we have a closing ratio over 80 percent on those, says Ben. “We also have a robust advertising program that is designed to reach markets in which we have strong expertise.”
When the agency writes an account, more often than not it retains it. “We help businesses improve their risk profile and become more attractive to the insurance market. They show their gratitude by being intensely loyal to us. They view us as long-term partners,” Ben says, adding that he also credits strong customer retention to the relationship-building skills of the agency’s staff.
“Our people make all the difference in the world not only for our growth but for the experience customers have with us. Once customers place their trust in us, they see the quality of people in our organization.”
Patterson & Associates is also known for its support of the community. “We’ve been in the community a long time—38 years—and we continue to look for ways to give back,” Ben says.
Each quarter, the agency identifies a different charity to spotlight. It also supports numerous events throughout the year, from sponsoring back-to-school supply and holiday gift drives to being involved in charitable events. Although the pandemic had put a pause to some in-person events, the agency fielded a 40-person team for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation 5k run this year.
Patterson & Associates has been achieving double-digit revenue growth in recent years and plans to continue on that trajectory. Managing that strong growth will require more staff, so the firm is planning to add risk advisors, account managers, claims managers, and support staff. The agency works closely with two local universities that have insurance programs and has been successful in establishing a recruiting pipeline.
The agency also has a perpetuation plan in place that offers new producers an opportunity to become future owners. “We formalized that two years ago, working with an industry consultant to help us really home in on a strategy,” Ben says.
Despite its strong growth and continued success, the agency also stays humble and thankful. “Everything we’ve achieved comes back to our people,” Ben says. “From our shared commitment to deliver outstanding customer service to our team approach that ensures we are always responsive to clients, we are incredibly grateful for everyone’s continued contributions.”