A partner at Newman LTC in Bloomington, MN, Lynn Devitt has been a top-producing professional partner agent at the agency for many years. In 2004, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) recognized her as the nation’s No. 1 LTCI producer. Both Devitt and the agents and advisors with whom she partners understand the magic of leveraging and transferring the client’s trust to Devitt.

Here’s how she makes it all work.

Q: How many phone calls do you make each week to set appointments?
Lynn Devitt:
Most of my prospecting calls are to professional referral sources. Sometimes I’m calling someone who has agreed to be a referral source but has not moved forward with referrals, and I’m calling to help figure out how make it work for them. My other calls are to the clients who have been referred to me by their advisor, specifically to look at LTCI as part of their financial plan.

Q: How old were you when you bought your own LTCI policy?
LD:
55

Q: What’s your personal plan for long term care?
LD:
Those two children I gave birth to. I think six months with each will be fine each year, especially since I own LTCI.

Q: Which LTCI policy do you sell the most these days, and why?
LD:
Right now, because of the clients that I’m getting now, it’s John Hancock Custom Care II or Leading Edge. If there’s not a health issue, I lead with the one that’s least expensive. I insist on a calendar-day elimination period.

Q: How many claims have you seen?
LD:
I have had a lot of people on claim, and a number right now. When I started selling in 1997, most of the clients we worked with were older. Claims have not been an issue for me with any of my clients, which has to do with the quality of company we deal with.

Q: Think back to when you graduated; what did you plan to be back then?
LD:
When I graduated from high school, my intent was to be a veterinarian, which wasn’t easy for a female. Instead, I went into education and got a master’s in counseling. I worked in public education for 28 years before becoming an LTCI specialist.

Q: What hobby do you most enjoy or would you like to try next?
LD:
I have so many of them! I love the outdoors; I love riding horseback, and golfing, and travel. Every year, with a friend I taught school with, I try to create something that at that time I have no skill in. So last year, I made a sugar spoon from a flat piece of silver. This year, I went back to the same program and made a day knife with a wood handle and a leather sheaf. I love to find something that I have no skill in and learn that skill. When I travelled to Norway, I saw antique spoons that looked just like the one I made. Next up is painting.

Q: What is your favorite drink?
LD:
Ice water.

Q: What makes you happy?
LD:
I have the neatest family. My granddaughter Ashley Kate is one of the funniest 10-year-olds on the earth. I have two really neat, business-savvy kids who are good people.

Q: Can you share a resource, service, program, or piece of software that has been critical to your success?
LD:
The greatest resource that I have is [the producer] Deb Newman and the knowledge that she had about the long term care industry. When I first got in the business, I literally followed her around. That’s how I learned how to get around objections.

Another great thing is the carriers who come out to tell us new things and give us a heads up. They seem to be out here a lot. It’s a great aspect of the agency.

My smart phone has made a world of difference. The ability to have my calendar and see emails on my phone, away from the office, has been tremendous.

We just added SmartOffice, which is a management tool from EZ Data. It’s paperless, and I think it’s going to be great for us.

Q: BlackBerry, iPhone, or other?
LD:
Other (smart Samsung phone).

Q: How many more years do you see yourself doing this?
LD:
I’m very lucky because my daughter Robin has joined me in the business. She’s great at client relationships and a successful businessperson in her own right. I look at LTCI as something that I can do for a long time. Now, if I want to go to Florida for a month or Norway for three weeks, with Robin I can still serve my advisor referral source seamlessly. As long as I like what I’m doing, I’m going to keep doing it!