Perk Reichley, was the first volunteer leader I met when I joined the OIA and immediately, I was intrigued by his work, his connections with the community, his wisdoms, his insights, and the way he seemed to be able to hold the attention of the room whenever he had something to share.
He admittedly claims he is the worst salesman because in his personal life, he despises being sold anything. When people come in asking for a quote, Perk wittingly says “you don’t want a quote from me”, meaning, it’s not a quote that he can provide, because anyone can provide a quote. The person asking, can jump on Perk’s computer and crank out a quote. What Perk provides is 40+ years of wisdom that he can draw upon to educate his clients. Perk is not a salesman, he does not sell insurance, he’s an educator and shares his decades of experience to empower the client to make the right choices for their personal and professional lives. Perk candidly shares, “selling isn’t the game changer or the win, it’s the relationship, it’s the trust that’s your win”.
Proudly displayed in the agency’s conference room, is a phrase Perk coined – Insurance is not a product, it is a promise and a trusted relationship. Perk tries to keep things simple, the agency does not use a lot of technology, and only uses the things that will help people. As it is the people that make the business.
People before policies, it is 1 of the 4 pillars that guide Reichley Insurance Agency. It is what drives everything for Perk and his team. Here is why. There are so many variables that feed into the policy price. It can be challenging to untangle why prices change, so it’s important for Perk to become an investigator, to know A LOT about both the client and the computer systems to best serve and be an advocate for his clients. And that is where the other 3 pillars play out:
Promises exceptional solutions and services | Find answers to all your questions | Listen to your needs
One of the best qualities about Perk that everyone picks up on quickly is always do the right thing. This philosophy to life rings true for Perk and all that he does. In fact, a lot of his business comes through referrals, even from people he never wrote a policy for but had a meaningful conversation with. Perk just being himself and sharing his wisdoms that may be helpful to others. However, he evaluates each case that comes in to ensure it’s a right fit for his agency, especially if they are leaving their current agent – again, people before policies. First, he evaluates if the agent needs to be fired, or if it were a mistake that he could see easily happening. He bolsters his peers and protects the industry and the profession. Always doing the right thing.
Being in the insurance industry for as many years as he has been, he has seen many catastrophes in his town and for his clients from tornadoes to fires, Perk has put in many “after hours” visits to ensure his clients are in the best care possible. He recalls climbing up on roofs, nailing down tarps, and reassuring his clients that things are replaceable, people aren’t. The best feeling is when he arrives to help his clients and seeing their faces feeling a bit of relief that not only resources are coming but people are coming to help.
I recall visiting Perk’s office shortly after the 2019 tornado storms that devastated Beavercreek and the Dayton area over Memorial Day weekend. We were able to visit a couple of his clients and seeing the relief on their faces at the sight of Perk while he discussed the next steps in their claims process. These people were more than clients, you would have thought these were family members but that’s just another example of how solid these relationships that Perk and his agency have formed with their community.
Perk’s career has provided to him the flexibility and resources to give back to the community. Perk has provided 25 years of service to the YMCA of Greater Dayton. He was awarded the 2018 E.L. Kohnle, the highest honor given to a volunteer of the YMCA of Greater Dayton. Perk was recognized for the years of dedicated service and leadership to the YMCA and his tireless work on the new Xenia YMCA capital campaign. Through his efforts, he helped raise the funds necessary to build the $11 million facility on South Progress Drive. Perk has also served as the past president of the Greene County YMCA and as a Board Member Golden Age Senior Center, Inc.
Reichley Insurance Agency focuses on many non-profits in their community that are doing good things; including supporting churches, food pantries and the battered women shelters. Perk never requires his team to donate, but simply hires good people that are already donating to many of these charities. It forms a solidarity and a greater connection between their agency and the community. In fact, many people that call into the agency, just wants to talk to the team and not Perk and Perk completely understands, he has a team of great people.
Most of his team have been there for 10 to 20+ years and it is very likely there will be a day coming too soon that most of the team will retire and walk out around the same time. You can hear it in his voice, his passion, his commitment to his staff, clients, and community. I can assure you; it will be a painful day when he walks away from Reichley Insurance Agency, but this I can glimmer, the relationships and the commitment will always be there. The relationships that Perk has established will never retire.
Perk hopes the wisdoms that he has shared and what he has formed a career around – the relationships, the community – others will see in themselves being able to do. When Perk’s career ends, he plans to turn the reigns over to someone that values relationships and connections and can continue the commitment to people that Perk has spent 40 years establishing.
For the next generation, Perk offers these gems of wisdom from his experiences – never put a price on your integrity, show up every day, work hard, and never ask anyone to do more than what you wouldn’t do yourself. There is no such thing as a “get rich quick” hack, you need to put the hours in and remember, don’t let the results of the numbers be your guide – you’ll be misled. The relationships are far more valuable than the numbers of the agency.