NAIFA, NAHU, SFSP, MDRT: Our industry has numerous membership-driven organizations. Many of these associations have a strong political component and purpose; others are focused on sales. I attend trade shows throughout the year sponsored by the organizations listed above, which are primarily producer-related, as well as others such as JHA Dynamics of Disability and LIMRA/LOMA Disability, both of which are designed for home office people.
Each of these organizations says it caters to the “industry.” Yet how can a group of producers consider themselves “the industry?” As field agents, we know sales, but we are often unable to see deep inside a company and grasp what makes it work. By the same token, those who are buffered by the walls of the home office sometimes have an inaccurate view of what happens on the street in the sales world.
The IDIS premise
The International DI Society was formed with a basic premise that the disability insurance industry must meet face-to-face to understand what is happening in each area of our business.
The industry is comprised of four key pillars:
- Producers (agents, BGAs, wholesalers, etc)
- Regulators (government and legal)
- Educators (associations and training organizations)
At one of the first IDIS meetings, there were three of us talking. Collectively, we represented producers and carriers. One of the producers stated, “Carriers have all the power since they have all the money.” It never dawned on him that the regulators could shut down a carrier with the stroke of a pen! So who has more power?
An open forum
IDIS creates a forum for all parts of the industry to interact. You might not agree with what you hear, but you will at least understand it.
IDIS is not intended to be a producers’ meeting, although a strong component of sales and marketing people attend. Like many conferences, what you gain from attending doesn’t come just from the speakers and workshops, but the interactions and relationships that you build.