Steve Ziemke: Lessons Learned Transitioning from Insurance to Oil and Gas

    After two decades in insurance, Gulf Coast Western’s Steve Ziemke made the change to oil and gas investments. Though totally different fields, core sales principles paved Ziemke’s transition. Key lessons shaped his journey from insurance leader to oil and gas SVP.

    In insurance, Ziemke quickly rose to state and national management roles by focusing on constant improvement. But when industry changes signaled a need for change, Ziemke saw oil and gas investments suited his sales background.

    Making the leap wasn’t easy. Ziemke had to quickly get up to speed on a new sector. As he explains, “I had no idea what I was getting into.” Leaning into sales fundamentals like prospecting helped him gain traction.

    Ziemke constantly sharpens his communication and sales abilities through coaching and practice. He structures his time efficiently too, categorizing calls and tackling unpleasant tasks first. Trying new techniques and getting feedback, even when uncomfortable, helps him refine his approach.

    “Going the extra mile is what has helped me learn the necessary skills to gain a foothold and develop my career,” Ziemke says. Though insurance and oil and gas seem very different, core sales principles have paved Ziemke’s growth.

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