The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree for Chuck Layman. It never has. His daughter, Alicia Lewis, works with him in his firm, and Layman’s father was also in the insurance business. “He worked for Prudential and when I was a teenager I used to watch how the people in our community respected my dad,” Layman says. “We lived a comfortable lifestyle and took vacations when we wanted and I kind of liked that. It was around that time I made a decision to follow in my dad’s footsteps.”
Layman got his start in the business in 1976 after earning his life insurance license and says, even after 36 years he has no regrets. “It was the best thing I ever did. I totally love what I do. I doubt if I will ever completely retire because I love what I do.”
Mostly, he loves working with the people of his Northern Colorado town. He loves helping them solve financial problems and tamping down any fears or confusion they might have. “The two main things I hear from people is that they’re afraid of losing money in the market because of the volatility and they’re worried about outliving their income.”
While Layman provides annuities as a safeguard for the volatility, he’s not an annuity-only advisor. “I’m not saying that people should have all their money in an annuity, but I also believe that when you show people how it will fit into their planning process of giving them a complete diversified plan as a safety net, they love it.”
He loves to get in front of the clients as often as possible. One of his favorite ways to interact with prospects is through educational programs. Some people call them “seminars,” Layman says, but he looks at them as educational programs. “We do two every five weeks.” It’s a way for him to educate people and break down any myths or preconceived notions prospects might have heard about annuities and other safe products from the mainstream media.
Layman lives by the personal touch with clients. It’s not enough to just send out a reminder note a few times a year. He says that won’t do with the relationships he’s built up over the decades with these clients. He’s grown up with these people. They’ve formed bonds so when special occasions occur, Layman sends them that personal reminder: “Hey, happy anniversary,” or whatever the occasion might be.
And he’ll send a reminder about their finances as well, asking if they want to come into the office or have a telephone conference. He says it’s amazing how many people will walk through the door, people with long-standing relationships, and they’ll be looking for new products due to the seeds that Layman has planted.