REPLY ALL: A conversation with Benjamin Yingling

REPLY ALL | Benjamin Yingling
Vice President, Crawford-Yingling Insurance
Maryland Chamber of Commerce board member

Carroll County native, born and raised in Westminster, Benjamin Yingling’s love for building relationships is what initially got him into the business of insurance. After years of working for a large insurance financial firm, Yingling is the fourth generation to run his family’s 100-year-old business. Hear from Yingling on what it takes to build a successful career at a young age and why he loves what he does.

What has been one of the keys to your success at such a young age?
The key to my success has been surrounding myself with other people who are motivated in similar ways as me. When you surround yourself with smart people, you learn from other smart, successful people. I’m definitely a person who loves to learn from others and I love to watch others succeed and be a part of that success. Success really is contagious.

What advice can you give to young professionals on how to approach connecting with professionals of all levels?
The best advice I can give is to take a long-term approach. If you’re looking for transactional types of relationships, that’s okay, but I feel that you need to take those long-term relationships over the transactional ones.  Sometimes they take five years, 10 years, or even 20 years.  I was just talking to someone the other day that won an account they had been working on for 12 years—that’s incredible.

For me, you want to take the long-term approach, which will pay off. Be patient.

What qualities do you feel successful young professionals share?
A passion for what they’re doing, strong work ethic and being very personable. In this era of technology, with smart phones and Facebook, you still really need to be able to talk to people. At the Carroll County Chamber, we have a group called Launch Carroll and it’s a young professional networking group. It encourages people fresh out of out of college, or a little seasoned out of college, to really go out and actually have a face-to-face conversation with people. That means something. That’s a pretty strong trait I see in successful young professionals, people who can engage in-person.

What’s the best part about being a young professional? 
The best part is knowing that you’re making an impact for the long-run. I’m a long-term thinker. I know my work on the chamber boards or the Boys and Girls Club is going to make an impact on somebody down the road, [maybe even] 20 years from now.

That’s the best part.

What advice do you have for young professionals trying to advance their career?
Never stop building your network. It’s invaluable. Always try to meet new people and follow up. There’s so many times I meet someone and I hand them my business card and I say, “If I can ever help you with anything, let me know.” Follow-up on that, send an email, a hand-written note and continuously do that.

What I have found is people want to help other people. Always expand your network and always follow-up.

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