With a degree in communications under her belt and years of experience both as a teacher and in the financial industry, Amy Sherrer has everything she needs to work with her life insurance clients: strong communication skills, a wealth of knowledge, and a desire to reach out and help others. In her position as vice-President of Butler Associates Financial Planners Inc., Amy has built her financial planning practice through seminars and personal speaking engagements. She has been a featured speaker at various regional and national meetings for a wide range of organizations. Now, hear her story and learn what’s made her successful.

ASJ: Tell us about yourself. How did you get involved in insurance? What did you do before that?

Amy Sherrer: I was working as a middle school teacher, and I had several classes, including two classes of gifted children for a communications course call “Argumentation in Logic,” a middle school pre-law and debate class. Through one of the parents, I was introduced to a former teacher who had joined the insurance/financial planning business.

ASJ: It seems like your business has ended up being mostly one niche group. How did you end up focusing on that market?

AS: I don’t believe I decided to go niche. I decided that I would present seminars to just about any group that would allow me to speak. I did not send invitations etc., but instead contacted all sorts of professional organizations – teachers, engineers, nurses, dry cleaner owners, interior decorators, realtors, etc., and offered to speak at one of their meetings. These meetings were mostly in the evenings. So my clientele is now largely retirees, pre-retirees, and a number of small business owners.

ASJ: What do you think the biggest challenge facing life insurance agents is right now?

AS: The biggest challenge is keeping up with the ever-changing compliance rules and balancing focus on this along with spending time actually serving current clients and generating new clients.

ASJ: What is the one tech tool, resource, or program that you could not work without?

AS: I have access to many technology programs and software. The one thing I could not work without is a fully licensed, highly qualified person to assist me in my practice.

ASJ: What advice do you have for other life insurance agents?

AS: Someone entering the insurance or financial planning business must either have access to a clientele by working with a long-term agent, or have a natural market of people to prospect, or figure out HOW she is going to prospect for quality clients. You can have all the product and tax knowledge in the world, but if you don’t have a prospect, you don’t get paid.