Q: What tools or strategies would help you most in your business?
In the world we live in, we have to get better at the use of technology. That’s a given for those in Generation X and especially the millennials. If I call my son, maybe he’ll answer. If I text him, I get an instant response. So we have to do a better job at defining how people wish to be communicated with and how they respond to communication.
In addition to that, we live in a changing world. So products and circumstances and the use of old products in different ways are critical. When you’re green, you’re growing. When you’re ripe, you’re rotting. So you have to continue to improve regardless of what you think you know.
- John W. Wheeler Jr., executive vice president, Water Tower Financial Partners, Chicago
The answer to that question starts with: Where are you in the business? When I was young, I just needed to know what to do – how to find people, how to talk to them. What happens after you’ve been in the business maybe 10 years or so is that your clients start running you. You’re following their needs. You’re learning the things that your client base wants from you. So when I started out, my clients were typically like me: they were young families starting out, they were having children, they needed life insurance. Then they started needing pension plans and individual retirement accounts and those sorts of things. I’m at a point in my career now – I’m 67 –where a lot of my clients have businesses but they’re looking to go into Medicare or they are thinking, ‘What am I going to do with my business?’ So what I need is learning the skills to keep up with this client base.
- Gene Burkett, InsuranceLink, Felton, Calif.
I’m a former athlete, so the way that I look at my business is the way you would look at sport. So there are those who are in New York Life, a bigger insurance group, so they are more like a basketball team or a football team where you have multiple players, multiple classes of information where you can get help. You can talk to someone in the next cubicle, down the hall or the next floor or whatever. So those individuals are getting help in furthering their career and their place in the industry by being coached and managed by those systems. But for me, being more independent, I’m kind of like a tennis player, a one-man show trying to win the match. But if you notice that the tennis player has a nutrition coach, a conditional coach, a hitting coach. They have all those coaches who need to be in place that come and evaluate and talk to them and strategize with them. That’s kind of what I would say somebody like myself, an independent, needs is to develop or have a company or something like an advisement team in place.
- Ricardo E. Mediano, field agent, Agency Department, Knights of Columbus, Downers Grove, Ill.