A Broker’s Perspective…Choice: A Shortcut to Success
An individual’s right to choice is one of the most important symbols of freedom in America. Our profession has produced a great many highly successful individuals with certain traits in common that are worth learning. While many life producers enter our industry as agents representing a single company, by experience they soon learn the importance of broadening their initial decision. By choosing the talents and services of a suitable BGA who represents many companies, their ability to be fully responsive to the needs of their clients will be enhanced.
Needs and goals vary as life producers gradually determine the market and the clients they wish to serve. Through experience, many learn the value and benefits of choosing the best primary markets (both a core company and a BGA) for themselves and their clients.
While the choice of BGA affiliation may change over time, it is critical that your choice reflects all of your needs as your career develops. The most valuable lesson is often overlooked: The more effective you are with your clients, the more satisfied they will be. Although this may seem simplistic, the more satisfied your clients are, the more effortless your success will become. To a very large degree, using a BGA is the key to more stress-free success.
Independent BGAs continue to thrive only as long as they maintain a portfolio of the best alternative products and companies available. Not only do they need to remain knowledgeable about which products will best help fulfill their client’s needs, a good
BGA also needs to know why. Challenging cases are increasingly easy to underwrite only if BGAs continue to dedicate themselves to locating and developing relationships with companies that are interested in developing their own expertise with certain types of risks.
As a member of the life brokerage community, I am very proud of the many improvements you’ve seen in our profession over the last several decades as the result of the BGA community’s efforts. Among the products developed and introduced through the life brokerage channel have been universal life, term/UL blended products and, most recently, equity indexed life.
Further, payment of commissions on a “super-heaped” basis was originally introduced by brokerage companies as a method of providing significantly higher compensation. BGAs have also promoted many methods of streamlining case processing, such as tele-direct underwriting and simplified application processes.
To sum it up, we have all benefited from more products, more cost-effectiveness (through increased rate comparison), faster and easier case processing, and higher compensation than otherwise possible. Technology has crept so far into our everyday lives that it is hard to identify something that does not require a computer chip. In response to improved technology, a BGA must be much quicker to respond to the needs of a life producer than the insurance companies they represent! As a result, your BGA’s website must be more than just a way to quote term coverage. It must be fully interactive and responsive to your needs on a 24/7 basis. Having immediate access to every insurance carrier in your BGA’s portfolio can take the guesswork out of finding the best alternatives for your clients. As the demands of the marketplace continue to change, your BGA must be willing and able to adapt to meet these challenges.
After all, the “average” insurance prospect comes to you far more educated, thanks to the Internet as well as all forms of social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, etc.). The LIFE Foundation’s website is another great example. We are now in September and it is Life Insurance Awareness Month, which is part of LIFE’s outstanding campaign that promotes the importance of life insurance. The tools on their website (www.lifehappens.org)are designed to help you better advocate for clients as well as improve your performance while growing your business. For those who recognize the exciting opportunities that our profession has to offer, there can be no better career or time in which to be productive than right now!
Whether you’re an independent producer looking to expand into the life marketplace or a career life agent who wants to become
more independent, it is important to invest some time and effort when choosing your BGA!
Don’t forget that you are only as good as the solutions you’re able to provide. Therefore, your success will, ultimately, be
determined by those whom you choose and trust to be a part of your team!