Salt Lake City
“We wanted to do a better job of showing the value of being a member of NAIFA,” said Dennis Merideth, president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, in speaking about a slew of new member benefits at the opening session of the group’s annual convention.
Arthur Kraus, NAIFA’s executive vice president and CEO, explained the importance of adding value to membership. “People will always weigh the price and value,” he says, “and when the perception is that the value of NAIFA membership is greater than its price, more practitioners will join us.”
NAIFA’s membership has fallen in recent years from a high of about 140,000 members to its current 80,000.
At the conference here, Kraus discussed four new member benefits designed to increase the value of a NAIFA membership.
The first initiative, said Kraus, is to improve NAIFA meetings on the local level. “We can and will do better,” he said.
“Although there are many locals that provide meetings on a regular basis that are worthwhile, many of our locals dont have the wherewithal to provide excellence month after month,” Kraus said.
To improve these local meetings, NAIFA is making available to its local associations a new programming tool called programs in a box.
These programs include scripts, videos, flip charts and other presentation aids.
Also, NAIFA hopes to improve local meetings by adding educational programs for professional designations. NAIFA has worked with The American College on bringing designation courses in LUTC format to their local chapters.
“The locals provide the NAIFA experience to members,” continued Kraus, “but it is the program that must provide the practical, motivational, and bottom-line resources to members. Programs are what will make us the association of choice.”
Kraus stated, “Great programming with first-rate materials is value to membership, and value to that all-important return on investment is the key to rejuvenating our local meetings.
“But, great programming is only one ingredient to assisting members in a well rounded career,” he said.
The second new benefit added for NAIFA members is participation in the MDRT/GAMA mentoring program.
“The practical side of our business is usually learned from those who have successfully preceded us,” said Kraus, “so in addition to programs in a box we are piloting a program that has been very successful within many companies.”
Currently, local associations are teaming up with the Million Dollar Round Table to match MDRT qualifiers as mentors for NAIFA members, said Kraus. “We believe nothing is more valuable than learning from excellence.
“What new producer in our business would not want to join NAIFA if they got spectacular local programming and expert personal coaching?” asked Kraus.