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12 Questions for 1 Successful LTCI Agent: Brian Johnson

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Brian Johnson is a personal producer who is also director of business development at National LTC Brokers in Clifton Park, New York. In this role, he helps producers all over the country open and establish their own association endorsements. With all these commitments, his sales remain impressive: Brian is a member of MDRT, qualifying almost solely on basis of LTCI production.

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

BJ: Probably 50-100. My phone calls aren’t cold calls, they are to targeted people who have shown interest in LTCI. Generating warm leads is what my marketing activities are focused on. So, on one hand, I’m calling primarily members of professional associations and labor unions with whom I have an endorsed relationship. Members respond to association email blasts solely about LTCI, or direct mail or in response to my speaking to a group. The other calls are to centers of influence such as estate planning attorneys, elderlaw attorneys and financial planners. I do a lot of joint work with other professionals as a product specialist. As those relationships progress, they become stronger and more profitable. So, I make very targeted phone calls.

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

BJ: 27.

Q: What’s YOUR LTC plan?

BJ: Down the road, if I needed care, I guess like most people that I’d like to stay home as long as possible. Or live in assisted living or another similar setting.

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

BJ: Probably two: MedAmerica Simplicity 2 and Mutual of Omaha/United of Omaha Mutual Care My Way. Why is easy — the flexibility of the contracts. I Own MedAmerica Simplicity 1, and since I’m only 32, I have a very generous cash LTC policy. Who knows what the future of care looks like, even 20 years down the road. This policy will cover whatever I need, because it’s cash. Mutual’s Care My Way — the elements of policy design are great. So many inflation options, and 0 day home care, which I love.

I’m doing a ton of limited pay now. I didn’t used to sell this option, but while people are younger and working I’m finding they want to get the premium behind them. A policy with a 10-pay is a lot more attractive, especially if they don’t want to worry about future rate increases. We’re doing 5-6 limited pay policies a month, especially with business owners.

Q: How many claims have you seen?

BJ: One. My grandfather. I’ve been in the business just over five years, and he’s the only claim I’ve seen. I’ve had two clients die, and one of their spouses took advantage of the survivorship rider, and so has a paid-up policy.

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

BJ: I was in sports and entertainment marketing; I worked for ESPN for a few years. I enjoyed it, but I wanted more control over my earnings potential, more latitude creatively, the ability to influence things and work with people more directly. National LTC Brokers has given me the ability to do that.

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

BJ: Since I live in upstate New York, I enjoy skiing in winter — mostly local mountains in New York and Vermont. In the summer I fish — usually bass fishing, and golf. I’d love to do more leisure travel.

Q: What is your favorite drink?

BJ: Water because I spend a lot of time presenting, and I need to quench my thirst. When not involved with work, a cold Heineken.

Q: What makes you happy?

BJ: As I’ve gotten a little older, growing up with all my cousins, they’re all around my age, and I have a lot of them. Reconnecting and visiting with them, a large Italian family — that makes me happy.

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

BJ: I have a few things that I use. First is a turnkey association marketing program from my BGA, National LTC Brokers. Replying to warm leads instead of cold calls has dramatically changed my business. I couldn’t do it without the association marketing program.

Another big thing is screen sharing. GoToMeeting is something I use every single day. It has allowed me to meet with a lot more people than I used to be able to in a single block of time. People are busy and don’t have the time to sit down with an agent in their home after work. For me to schedule a 20-minute presentation, and customize coverage for them in that conversation is huge. GoToMeeting has expanded my reach — New York is a big state — and even to out-of-state. People are purchasing almost everything else via the web — wills, cars, etc. Now they purchase LTCI. Utilizing the fact that I have an association relationship with them, they are more than willing to work this way.

Once we’re screen-sharing, I’ll use Stratecision to quote real time with them. They like the transparency of that. They have a say in the design and the carriers. Under my guidance, they structure the contract. At the end of the day, people want what they want. If they had a parent in a nursing home for $350/day for five years, that’s what they want, while someone else without that experience wants a smaller policy.

Before I quote the insurance, I go through a basic consumer LTC PowerPoint presentation that is provided by National LTC Brokers. This ensures they have 20-30 min of education and a basic understanding before we start quoting.

Q: Blackberry, iPhone or other?

BJ: Other. Droid and Xoom Tablet.

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

BJ: Hey, I’m 32hopefully a long, long, time!

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].

For more exclusive LTCI coverage, visit ASJ’s LTCI Resource Center.

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