NAILBA Perspectives Spring 2019 - Page 10

COVER STORY Question & Answer Positive momentum Varying adjustments When asked how the first part of 2019 was tracking, the group shared an optimistic perspective. Looking at what adjustments or strategies are being considered at mid-year, the answers varied from one leader to another. Bosnack: “Actually, there has been a surprise, albeit a positive one. Last year was a difficult year, but we are off to a nice start this year.” Hannam: “We experienced an interesting fourth quarter in 2018, with the last couple months ramping up for a strong finish. This has allowed us to roll into 2019 with nice growth. Our agency is not expecting any big surprises or major changes despite the changes in regulations in carrier products this year.” Phillips: “We are having a tremendous year. It’s coming from any number of different directions and product lines. I can’t say that I’m overly surprised, as our marketing efforts continue to pay dividends.” Wong: “Our sales goal didn’t yield any surprises to what was expected back in Nov/Dec. We are above target for Annuities and Linked Benefits. Our Life insurance sales are slightly below target; however, our inventory and current momentum is expected to bring sales back in line with full year expectations.” Bosnack: “Predictability in this business is seemingly more elusive every year, so I try to stay out of the prediction biz. As noted, though, we are off to a decent start. I am going to try to keep things moving forward with hopes of capitalizing on the momentum.” Hannam: “We will continue to work hard to monitor the pulse of the industry, to listen to our advisors, and to pay attention to insurance carrier behavior and changes within our own agency. If we need to be nimble and make changes along the way, we want to ensure that we are mentally and physically prepared to do so.” Phillips: “We’ll continue to do what we always do which is market, market, market. If things continue as they have, our mid-year plans will likely involve bringing in more staff to help us address the additional opportunities. I don’t think we’re a typical BGA in that we are adept at multiple product lines. We have deep rooted knowledge in those lines and that has served us well as markets ebb and flow.” Wong: “To stay on course, we are putting additional focus on having more face-to-face (or FaceTime live feeds) interactions with our existing relationships and prospects to share our role with them in their value chain. I’m really energized by the results from our key relationships and their success. After spending several days with our very best distribution folks, I am confident in our team’s ability to hit our goals for the year.” Be nimble. ses. Streamline carrier proces mmunicate co Rethink the methods to with the market. with advisors Emphasize engagement and consumers. ket some more. Market, market, and mar panel the views provided by a These are just some of e rspectives magazine. Th of industry leaders for Pe red g sized agencies sha four leaders from varyin ges t, the trends and challen thoughts on the marke the o es as they head int impacting their business second half of 2019. Those surveyed were Joe Bosnack, Jr., President, Katz Nassau Agency, Inc.; along with Debbie Hannam, President, Brokers Clearing House, Ltd.; Raymond Phillips, President, The Brokers Source, Ltd. and James Wong, Area Executive Vice President, Partners Advantage Insurance Services, LLC. Independent agents are looking to grow 70 % 14 % Reduce 33 No action % 22 % Aggressively growing 7 % Moderately growing Not growing 53 % Expand Source: Independent Agent Business Placement Preferences Survey, LIMRA, 2019. 53% are looking at increases in both types of products and numbers of products. All things considered, which of the following best describes your practice’s current stage of growth? 10 Perspectives Q2 2019 www.nailba.org 11