When the two of us met a few years ago and began talking about marketing strategies, leadership styles, and our approaches as to how to foster growth in our individual agent’s practices, we would have wonderful conversations leaving us wanting more.
While we would not often engage in conversations at home in our respective agencies, whenever we met again in subsequent conferences and company meetings, we would pick up almost exactly where we left off.
Because of the speed with which our industry is changing, and our company’s response to these changes as an industry leader, we determined that rather than paying an exorbitant fee to a professional business coach who would coach us in generalities, we would begin to coach one another on a weekly basis, focusing these sessions on the specific challenges that we faced as General Agents. These 60 to 90 minute long sessions were designed to allow us to speak freely, share concerns, problems, best practices, and to truly serve as sounding boards to one another. While we both engage in a study group and participate in other group calls, this is solely our time. After several months we fell into a very comfortable rhythm on these calls, often sending one another e-mails containing formal agendas chocked full of points to ponder and to provide the framework for meaningful discussion. Through these calls it occurred to us, that perhaps we should be sharing this firsthand knowledge with others. Thus the book began.
Don’s background is that of an attorney and military officer before becoming a sales leader in the insurance industry. Todd has had a highly successful career in sales and management over the past 34 years in insurance, investments and financial planning. We grew up in different places with different academic careers. So how did two guys with such divergent backgrounds come together to write this book? It is because of our passion as servant leaders for supporting our agents and helping them grow their businesses by expanding their spheres of influence to include working with other financial and legal professionals with client books of business. We find great self-actualization in watching agents, both new and veteran, attain new heights in professional achievement. We fervently believe that the key to solving the long term care crisis facing the American public, particularly the Baby Boomer generation, is to reach as many people as possible with a holistic approach that hopefully will keep individuals from outliving their money and/or enduring the ravages of long term care expenses. With the obsolescence of direct mail and the abundance of other less efficient methodologies, we believe the key to reaching these people rests in the development of strategic alliances and professional partnerships with other professionals who enjoy a fiduciary relationship with their clients.
The methodologies that we will discuss are far beyond theory as both of us have lived them and established them as tried and true practices that are replicable by those who are willing to leave their comfort zone and embrace the concept of being a little uncomfortable.
So thank you for the confidence and/or curiosity that led to you to pick up this book. A number of you have been asking us to reduce these thoughts to paper, so with further ado, here it is. It is our hope that you will find it packed with proven best practices that you can embrace and start using today to recruit more qualified professional partners and to seamlessly mesh with other organizations to build mutually profitable relationships. This IS the future delivery mechanism for the services we have to offer to our clients.
As Dhirubhai Ambani summed it up, “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire
you to build theirs.”