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12 Questions for 1 Successful LTCI Agent: Sally Calef

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Sally CalefA Genworth agent in Sausalito, CA, Sally Calef is affiliated with Genworth’s Bay Area Office in Novato, CA, under the direction of general agent Ilene Schwerin. Calef has been a long term care insurance agent since 2002; prior to this, she earned a master’s degree in public health and worked in public policy in the California State Legislature and for a health care information company. She was motivated to become a long term care specialist by observing the care experiences of family members – both those who had long term care insurance and those who did not.

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

Sally Calef: I used to count; I don’t anymore. I call as much as I need to [in order to] fill up my calendar. I call as often and as much as I can to fill my calendar for two weeks. I find mornings between 8:30 and 10, afternoons 4 to 6, and evenings 7 to 8:30 are usually best. Sometimes noon is good because people have lunch in their office.

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

SC: 51

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

SC: I live in such a beautiful place and have such a wonderful community here. My plan is to live in my house forever. People ask, “Do you plan on relocating when you retire?” I say, “Are you kidding? I live in Sausalito!”

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

SC: Genworth Choice partnership, since I’m in California and we don’t have as many other policies to choose from as other states. I sell Genworth’s AARP policy if they want shared care and international coverage.

Q: How many claims have you seen?

SC: About 10, and they were for all ages. One was 82; the youngest was 52 with ALS [Lou Gehrig's disease]. The 82-year-old needed eight months of care; it was end-of-life care for COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]. That client said to me, “This was the best decision I made in the last part of my life; I am so grateful.” I had 55-year-old on claim with a bad back; she was flat on her back for six months. And a 59-year-old with a stroke – thank heavens he had a lifetime benefit policy.

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

SC: Dealing with public policy. Policy, not politics; I don’t have the stomach for politics.

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

SC: I’m not a hobby person. I spend time with friends and I love to go wine tasting; we have a little house in Napa. I do lots of volunteer work – I was president of the local chamber of commerce. I serve on the board of the Sausalito Arts Festival. I’ve also volunteered for a group called Homeless Prenatal.

Q: What is your favorite drink?

SC: Wine – Zinfandel, or Ketel One vodka over with lime.

Q: What makes you happy?

SC: I am really happy person. The people in my life give me joy. The peace of mind I have makes me happy. My elderly mom is well cared-for; she has 24/7 care. It gives me great peace of mind that my mother has loving, caring caregivers.

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

SC: Your Driscoll Drip! I honestly believe that an ongoing, in-front-of-people, drip marketing program is critical. It shows that I’m a professional, not a one-shot “I’m in front of you now and I’m gone” type of agent. Out of sight, out of mind. Either you’re a professional in your business, or an agent. With Driscoll Drip, I feel like I’m a professional. The second thing I count on is Stratecision. For me, it is a go-to resource.

Q: BlackBerry, iPhone, or other?

SC: BlackBerry

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

SC: I have seven years until my mortgages are paid off, so at a minimum, seven more years. That’s what’s so wonderful with this career – I can do it forever. From a financial point of view, I’ll be working another seven years, and then I’ll see.

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 [email protected].