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Two Great Producers Point Out Some Great Reasons to Sell DI

Charles K. Hirsch

Mr. Cohen concluded, “I think the carriers need to do a better job of recruiting and training people to sell not only disability insurance but other financial service protection related products as well.”

Mr. Nichols sees some exciting developments as well.  “The disability insurance carriers have made it easier – the process, the underwriting, and even the product sales tools,” he told me.  “As I mentioned earlier, the size of the marketplace is growing. The younger demographic is as big as the Baby Boomer generation. They need and want to be educated so they can make informed decisions about their health and finances. Society has shifted to the ‘iworld’ to include health and fitness, etc.   The consumer has been primed to have the conversation in part because of discussion, debate, and implementation of healthcare reform.”

So, if those are the positive developments, where are the challenges?  I asked about the areas of the business that are causing them the most concern.  Mr. Nichols said, “My biggest concern for the DI business is that there are not enough advisors educating their clients on the value of the insurance. Many advisors wait until the consumer asks.”

Mr. Cohen had an interesting point regarding why his job is becoming more difficult. “With regard to areas that are causing my greatest concern, I see problems in two specific areas.  First, the industry is not growing.  There are not enough people coming into the business selling disability insurance and advising clients on disability insurance. And second, there are not enough companies in the market. These two things are of great concern.  Competition is truly good for business, and a small market with few players and few salespeople make my job harder, not easier.”

These two top producers are experienced, and they’ve learned a lot as they’ve grown their businesses.  With that high experience level in mind, I asked about what they might advise the younger, less-experienced producer who wants to write more disability insurance.  “To the younger producer who’s looking to ramp up the amount of DI business he or she is generating,” Mr. Cohen said, “I would advise him or her to focus on disability perhaps as a specialty. But to get good at any given industry, the agent needs to go to the ‘school of transactions.’ What I mean is this — maybe it takes 100 or 200 or 300 transactions before the agent really gets a feel of knowing something.  So the young producer needs to put his or her nose to the grindstone, drill down, and set a goal of doing the ‘big number’ of disability insurance cases every year. And then I would say, once he or she has written $250,000 or so of premium, sit back and reflect. See if you like it, see if it’s good.  I guarantee the young producer that if he gets to that point, he’ll never look back.  The producer will have a high level of confidence in his ability to sell it, and he’ll be thrilled by amount of renewals he’ll generate.”



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