NAILBA Perspectives Perspectives Fall 2018 | Page 7

chairman’s corner Final Thoughts as Your 2018 Chairman I JEFFREY D. MOOERS NAILBA CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD ’m typing this on the airplane, flying back from Sea Island, Geor- gia, where I just attended the 20th Annual TYGERS meeting. TYGERS is the name of my Study Group. Twenty years ago, it stood for The Young Guns Early Retirement So- ciety. Today we might call ourselves TLMAIDWPAGAAS—The Largely Mid- dle-Aged Insurance Dudes Who Prob- ably Aren’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon—but that’s not a very cool name, is it? We’re a group of 12 BGA’s, all of whom are at least second generation. We meet twice a year—once at NAIL- BA—and we share everything; from sales to steak sauce, from brokerage to blankets. And we talk about the future. Some of our agencies have changed a great deal in the past 20 years, and will continue to do so. Others, like mine, really haven’t. We’re still a traditional (which might be anoth- er word for outdated) service mod- el—we process business, we manage cases, we service policies—all while trying to grow through reputation, referrals, and some marketing. Other models, ‘marketing models,’ are focused more on growth than on service, maybe. This is not to say one model is better than the other. Profit is still a fairly important statistic for most businesses. Either way, we’ve all adapted to remain relevant and provide value to our customers. We’d be gone if we didn’t. But this fall, I noticed some newer trends within our group, and I think within the BGA space in general. Some of them surprised me. Some I do my- self. I’m sure some are controversial or at least thought provoking… 1.  Money from Somewhere. There’s health insurance (I guess). There’s Long Term Care. Linked Benefits. I think I heard the phrase MedSupp about 37 times. So, everybody’s thinking outside the term/UL life box. That won’t change. 2.  Agency Structure. Satellite offic- es. Sub BGA’s. Roll-ups. Commis- sion deals. Exclusivity contracts with brokers. Point-of-sale. I do annuities through my Marketing Organization; I have a guy doing almost exclusively Linked Bene- fits who wants to go on the ap- plication with other brokers, train them, meet with their clients; I may sign up to allow an LTC shop to market to my brokers and split comp. It’s interesting, to say the least. 3.  The dreaded PP—Personal Pro- duction. Remember when this was absolutely taboo? Even orphan clients were sent to favorite bro- kers, or local brokers, or brokers who showed promise. But today, I bet most BGAs are keeping orphan cases internal. Many are directly competing with their own custom- ers, their brokers. The cases that my agency will write this year will probably put me in our Top 50 Bro- kers. That’s not saying a ton—it takes about 50 bucks in premium for you to be one of my hot shots-- but it’s different. 4. Life Settlements. As I live and breathe. For shame. But the truth is, these can be a great source of revenue, and there are occasions where it’s the best option for the client. And besides—with some of the recent carrier activity…..are they not, too, in the settlement business? ‘Exciting’ may be the word. ‘Frightening’ has a shot at being the word. ‘Intriguing’ and ‘Fascinating’ are the front runners for the word of the future. One thing I’ve learned for sure….. oh dear, I think I sound like Oprah… If I wait until the time is perfect, I missed the opportunity. It reminds me of the analogy I love to use about how I learned to water ski. Granted, everybody groans when I bring it up, but I like it, so there. I found that I’d get everything lined up perfectly in the water—arms straight, knees bent, ski balanced in the middle, rope in the right spot… and then yell “Hit it!” But in the cou- ple seconds before the boat pulled me, something had left the delicate balance, and I toppled over. But I discovered that if I yelled “Hit it” and then lined up everything in a panic, the timing worked, every- thing aligned right when I needed it to, and I popped right up. Now, the moral of the story is NOT to just randomly do stuff when you’re not ready. It’s more ‘make the deci- sion,’ go for it, and you’ll force your- self where you need to be. That was awful. It makes little sense. I apologize. It sounded good in my head. 7