12 Questions for 1 Successful LTCI Agent: Richard Wierman

LTCI Producer Richard Wierman

Richard Wierman works and lives 20 miles out of Washington D.C., and has consistently been the to LTCI producer at Long Term Care Associates in Bellevue, WA since becoming one of their producers in 2003. Wierman entered the world of LTCI sales in 2002 after years as a mechanical engineer. Three years ago, he made the decision to learn online selling, now conducting even local interviews online and over the phone. This change allowed him to relocate cross-country to be near his daughter and her family, without missing a beat professionally.

Q: How many phone calls do you make each week to set appointments?

Richard Wierman: I don't count the calls -- I call as much as I can to fill my calendar and focus on the people I need to get back in touch with. I try to focus my best times of the day on efforts that will do the most good, and I try not to focus on anything that might discourage me. Of course, I know that most of my efforts won't appear worthwhile to me, but the information I share may help prospects make good decisions with someone else. And that's OK -- what goes around comes around. My goal is to treat everybody with their best interests in mind and build a good reputation for myself and the industry. I realize that building trust with my clients is necessary in earning their business.

Q: How old were you when you bought your own LTCI policy?

RM: 52

Q: What's your personal plan for long term care?

RM: Like everyone, I plan to take care of myself and never need long term care. But, I also realize that long term care [events] can happen to anyone outside of their control, even to the healthiest of people. My wife, Maureen, and I want to protect our family -- and we have been caregivers and have watched lifetime fortunes lost, family relationships get destroyed, and positive legacies end in disdain and sadness. So, our policies have unlimited, lifetime benefits to protect against the worst, and we live our lives planning for the best. Plus, we sleep well.

Q: Which LTCI policy do you sell the most these days, and why?

RM: With the help and expertise of my BGA (Long Term Care Associates), I have specialized in LTCI only and sold policies from many companies, depending on the best available opportunities for my clients at the time. Today, for healthy couples, I write most of my business with Genworth -- and with the industry changing and new benefits becoming available, we will see what happens in the future. I do appreciate Genworth's policies and benefit structure, as well as their great reputation for how they have handled claims and previous clients. In today's information world, a great company reputation is especially important to our prospects.

Q: How many claims have you seen?

RM: I believe fewer than 10. Most of the claims have been due to unexpected illnesses, such as cancer.

Q: Think back to when you graduated; what did you plan to be back then?

RM: I have always wanted to be an owner of my own business with control of my time, efforts, and financial rewards. I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and went on to get my professional license, but never found the independence I was looking for in the corporate world. I tried a few different businesses, and found that the key to my success has been through having coaches and mentors. In this industry, Gary, Steve, and Frank Forman [at Long Term Care Associates], with their extensive histories and expert knowledge, have been totally invaluable in helping me develop my skills and my continued growth. I will always appreciate their leadership, honesty, and integrity in building a great business.

Q: What hobby do you most enjoy or would you like to try next?

RM: I like the outdoors and enjoying experiences with my friends and family. As a grandfather now, my goal is to plan what is next, versus telling what I did growing up. I want to include others in the new stories and memories. Today, I enjoy fishing and hunting, as well as exploring new places. Maureen and I like to bike for exercise and sight-seeing. Now that we have transplanted ourselves from the northwest to the Washington, D.C. area, we are finding many new places to visit and things to do, and finding very interesting histories to learn. So, I have many things I want to experience - there is a whole world out there!

Q: What is your favorite drink?

RM: Liquid. Usually not alcoholic, but a glass of wine with dinner is nice, and so is a beer on a hot day.

Q: What makes you happy?

RM: Me. Happiness is a decision, and I try to find happiness in everything I do and in all experiences. I try to learn from others in how they make good choices. It's all about my attitude, and the things I dwell on and allow to affect me. I do find personal rewards in finding and recognizing the good in people, their values and experiences, and their needs. And I love my wife, family, and grandkids, of course!

Q: Can you share a resource, service, program, or piece of software that has
been critical to your success?

RM: The great depth of knowledge of the management at Long Term Care Associates has been invaluable to me, along with their patience -- after all, who really wants to work with an engineer? Personally, the many books I have read specializing on success principles and people skills have helped me change. Fundamental books by Dale Carnegie and the new leadership books by John C. Maxwell have been life-changing. Technically, the Internet and the ability to do online meetings (I use www.glance.net) have been very valuable, as well as the quoting software (LTC Quote) and the many company software programs.

Q: BlackBerry, iPhone, or other?

RM: The iPhone -- I love the maps, guidance, and searches, especially as I am learning the D.C. area.

Q: How many more years do you see yourself doing this?

RM: As long as I want while remaining productive. Here, being over 50 is an asset. The freedom to do business wherever I am and whenever I want is a great benefit to what we do. And I want to be available should a previous client have a question or a referral.

Marilee Driscoll is a speaker, writer, consultant, and creator of the Driscoll Drip ghostwritten LTCI article program. She can be reached at 508-830-9975 or web@marileedriscoll.com.

For more exclusive LTCI coverage, visit ASJ's LTCI Resource Center.

Past LTCI stories from ASJonline.com:

MetLife to Exit LTCI Market: What Now?

Funding Long Term Care with Life Insurance: Trend Catches On

Rewriting the Book On LTCI

The New Directions of Long Term Care Insurance

Why This Long Term Care Insurance Agent Loves Her Job

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