Phil Hildebrand – Quincy, IL
If you ever meet Phil Hildebrand of Mendon, he’ll probably have you laughing in minutes. He also has a serious side, and it comes out when he’s talking about your future plans and needs. He’s one of WCU’s top agents, and here’s his story:
“The only thing I ever wanted to do in my life was farm.” Phil Hildebrand grew up with his hands in the dirt of Adams County. He loved working on the farm and growing up around the workers on a farm. That is his soul. That is the foundation of this area. “When a farmer has a good year everybody has a good year,” Phil said.
His love of the blue skies and fresh dirt may have also influenced his love for TV Westerns. After a long day, nothing is better than kicking back in his comfy chair and re-watching one of his favorite shows that he’s nearly memorized. He can zip through the “horse chases” and commercials to trim The Virginian episode down to 33 minutes. “Everybody who knows me knows if I sit still for very long there’s something wrong because I don’t like to sit still.”
There’s not a lot of time to follow The Virginian or Trampas, much less Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty. Phil has his own adventures to live out. The last episode of The Virginian aired in 1971, but Phil still thinks the stories are as meaningful as ever. Just like those shows, in real life time marches on. Phil notes that the tractors he grew up riding were nothing like the GPS-guided ones of today. A gallon of gasoline used to cost about a quarter. The fact that time marches on causes families to address their life insurance needs again and again.“I like to sit down with people and find their need. I gather information, let them know what they need and talk about what they can afford,” he said. “Solving problems is what’s fun in this business.”
Every day, he’s reminded that like a television show, new episodes happen each year. He and wife Jeannie Hildebrand have watched their 9 grandchildren become young adults. With the oldest in law school at Notre Dame and their three youngest now sophomores in high school, their own family is a constant reminder that as life changes, each family realizes new needs. “They don’t inspire me, they AMAZE me. They’re going to be just fine.”
When he started as a life insurance salesman, his kids couldn’t understand why he’d make the switch. His appreciation, or lack thereof, for other salesmen was obvious. “I’d tell Jeannie to tell them I had lost a leg” to get out of a scheduled appointment. He knows that most people try to avoid talking insurance. To this day, Phil tries to help his clients feel comfortable. “When you show them their need, and treat them well, people will buy, you just have to ask. They may not buy today, may not tomorrow, but some time they solve their problem and will buy from you.”
Although Phil loves watching his TV shows from simpler days, he never actually wanted to saddle up himself. “I don’t like horses,” he said. “In a true farmer’s mind, horses eat dollars and poop work.” Yes, he’s a man with a gifted tongue. But he knows how to keep his clients protected in their own “gun fights.”
“Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. That’s why you have insurance.” Phil Hildebrand helps turn men and women into heroes for their family. He gives them a chance to sit tall and ride hard, then helps gather their gold for tomorrow. Phil is a cowboy at heart, roaming the prairie of Adams County, taking care of his woman, and speaking the truth, unless he breaks into a colorful tall tale. He enjoys getting to work before seeing the sun rise, watching the stars, and his memories of years of riding hard.
He still enjoys the day’s ride…
He’s been knocked around a little, and wears his life of adventure in his walk. But Phil’s rodeo has been a full one. He is still doing what he loves. In that, Phil is as free as man on the open range.
“I want my clients to think, ‘Hey, let Phil worry about that.’ They can lay on their pillow at night and rest comfortably.” Nobody sleeps as sound as a cowboy under the stars.
You can reach Phil at 1-217-257-9210.