Generalist or Specialist?

For one thing I don't have to deal with policy performance.
Every di policy has a small buy up at the anniversary most people take it.
They are sticky....people generally don't cancel or replace.
The first year comp is good and renewals are quite high.
Most people have no idea how their employer plan works.
You will deal with underwriting issues though.
There is a large market for group DI whether group sponsored or voluntary buy up.
There are also good deal of these plans with limited underwriting.
I am surprised that wasn't much interest in annuities only.
Especially with some much money in 401k's, and IRA's.
The laws are changing for IRA/401ks being placed in annuities for starters (making everything more of a headache).

That said, you fight an uphill battle against all of the RIAs and registered reps who already manage the client's assets or have a relationship with them when they retire.

You can't move all of someone's 401k into an annuity so being able to give a comprehensive solution is important to many.

Now cross-selling annuities (to a medicare book for instance) can be very lucrative, as can be a practice that focuses on generating annuity-only leads (people specifically looking to buy annuities).
If I was starting over, I would do almost everything different. I came into this with company-funded Personal Lines and Health licenses, but that job went south very fast and I left. On a whim, I pursued my life license to sell life insurance with one or two carriers (I avoided IMOs like the plague at first).
I then proceeded to contract with an IMO to do MA and PDP, an IMO to do LTC, and added two more life/annuity carriers. In doing so, I crippled myself from making any notable progress because I was overwhelmed. I knew I had to specialize, that was the only choice.
So what did I do? I *added* more to my 'things I can do' list by doing the FFM so I could sell ACA. But I sell almost nothing because I'm in a constant state of learning.

So, I would do everything different. I might literally just start with a Life carrier or two and then as I became an expert of sorts, add the other stuff. Or maybe I'd start with MedSupp or MA and cross sell life.

My other problem is I had no mentoring at that time and I'm annoyingly indecisive.
I'm leaning toward annuities, following the Tom Hegna pattern.
Looking for thoughts from other deep thinkers, and doers.
I am surprised that wasn't much interest in annuities only.
Especially with some much money in 401k's, and IRA's.
Thanks for the insights everyone.

Let me help you: annuities are a solution to a problem.

That, and the increased suitability and pending DOL rules (effective late September if I remember correctly) requiring fiduciary duty on rollovers... it's just not feasible to just specialize in "annuities".

In short, specializing in annuities will quickly become outdated and those who promote themselves that way will have a regulatory target.

Focus on the problems you help people solve... that happen to be solved with annuities. That's the angle of Tom Hegna's materials. He paints the problem and how they can be solved.

If you want to further expand your education on retirement income planning, you may want to look into RICP from The American College.
We all love do overs, so if you started over today, which products or markets would you work in?

Two words: Specialize and Renewals.

I would never sell anything that doesn't pay a healthy renewal commission. And I would give up any thought of being a "generalist." The route I found to good comp was specializing in one area, almost exclusively....Medicare. My only regret was not getting into the Medicare market and going "all in" sooner.

Other than Medicare, what I should have done earlier in my career was market myself as a disability income specialist. This would include group DI but focus would be DI for professional classes: Doctors, dentists, lawyers, CFP, CPAs and perhaps other business owners. If I were new or young in the business....this is where I would focus all effort. The renewal comp on DI is excellent and much less competition. I sold my share of DI back in the day....just not enough to do it exclusively. But if I had??

Regarding annuities....other than fixed MYGAs, any other product is extremely complex. Also, who wants the hassle of explaining renewal rates on an FIA, why the client didn't make any money when the market was up, explaining the product to their adult children now that Mom can't handle her own money? All the new fiduciary rules, etc.? And all that for no renewal? It's worse than selling a term life policy.

Better...find another agent who wants that business who you can trust and refer all that stuff out. Build your own referral network for DI from all those agents who don't know the market or want to work it. Again...SPECIALIZE and you can build a block of business much faster vs. trying to be everything to everyone.

When I sold DI, my main pitch was:

All that other insurance you buy pays the other guy, but who pays YOU? If you had a machine that sat on your desk and cranked out thousands of dollars every week and month, would you just leave it there and go away for a 2-week vacation? Or would you lock it up and insure it? What if you could guarantee if it broke down tomorrow or was stolen from you by a drunk driver, it would still crank out the money until your were 67? How much money are you leaving on the table now if that happens? Not to mention, did you know the odds of disability are way higher than the odds of dying at any age? Well, that machine is you and you are worth protecting.