Gerard Goulet has been named top specialist in the state of Minnesota by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, and has submitted well over $1 million worth of business through his BGA, Newman Long Term Care in Minnesota. Before becoming an LTCI specialist, Goulet worked in a Navy lab outside Philadelphia for 19 years; during President Reagan’s tenure as president, he worked for a Florida member of Congress for one year. He describes himself as an educator rather than a salesman, and provides detailed long term care education through community education programs for 13 school districts, teaching four nights a week in the spring and fall. He was also named among the top in the nation by John Hancock, and is a multi-year MDRT member based on his LTCI sales.
Q: How many phone calls do you make each week to set appointments?
Gerard Goulet: I don’t know the answer, because in many cases, people will call me after one of the classes that I give, or I’ll call them to thank them for taking the class. Community classes and word of mouth are my only prospecting activities.
Q: How old were you when you bought your own LTCI policy?
GG: My early 50s. I bought my first policy before I knew much about long term care – bought it because my mother was spending a lot of money on her own care. It was right around the time that HIPAA passed. A few years later, I was licensed to sell, knew a lot more, and realized that I didn’t have enough coverage.
Q: What’s your personal plan for long term care?
GG: I don’t plan on moving to an assisted living facility or CCRC. I plan on staying active in the community; interacting with the chamber of commerce, business leaders, education; and, if necessary, bringing care into my home.
Q: Which LTCI policy do you sell the most these days, and why?
GG: If we had spoken about a year ago, the answer would have been John Hancock because I like the product and the availability of CPI. I like their benefits for people younger than 65. I like the people that I met at the home office. Now, I am also selling Genworth Privileged Choice with 5 percent compound. With couples, it’s five years/five years shared, because I’m dealing with people here who work at the Mayo Clinic or IBM and have some assets to protect.
Q: How many claims have you seen?
GG: They are just starting, after 13 years in the business: less than five.
Q: Think back to when you graduated; what did you plan to be back then?
GG: My undergraduate degree was in electrical engineering. I planned to go into technical subjects involving computers; I worked for the Navy. We developed the software that the Navy used on its airplanes to detect, classify, and track Soviet submarines. One of my master’s degrees is in applied statistics, which comes in handy when I talk about LTCI. (His other master’s is in computer systems management.)
Q: What hobby do you most enjoy or would you like to try next?
GG: Traveling to places that I haven’t been. I’ve been to every state in the country, China, and most of Europe. I’d love to go to South America and Australia. I’m kind of an inveterate learner of things that are different that are not exactly comfortable.
Q: What is your favorite drink?
GG: Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi; I’m not a big drinker.
Q: What makes you happy?
GG: Making people laugh.
Q: Can you share a resource, service, program, or piece of software that has
been critical to your success?
GG: Excel spreadsheet software. Being a technical person, I designed my own LTCI cost-effectiveness spreadsheet. The engineers in my classes love it. One of the things I offer them is a customized spreadsheet, which answers the question, “Would you be better off investing the money or paying a premium?”
Q: BlackBerry, iPhone, or other?
GG: I don’t really use a cell phone or laptop – I use a desktop computer. And I sell exclusively in person, in peoples’ homes.
Q: How many more years do you see yourself doing this?
GG: Until I can’t climb a tree anymore! This career is a really, really good idea. I’m helping a lot of people, which is really, really good. I make a lot of people laugh, which is really good. I’m also a punster. I’m having fun, and I’m making some money. When I got into insurance, with my background in the corporate world, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as renewal commissions. I feel fortunate that I am helping people and get to help myself along the way. I’ve never set a specific yearly goal. I do my thing, and things work out OK – well, better than OK.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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