Selling insurance today is definitely different than it was even 10 years ago. As we know, the “insurance professional” has morphed into now being called the “financial advisor” and this has presented challenges to our industry. I agree, advisors today have shifted from insurance to assets under management, but they have forgotten or moved away from the imminent need to incorporate insurance as a risk mitigation engine into the financial plan. As distributors, it is our job to educate these advisors on how our products meet this need. Unfortunately with the career systems on the decline the training grounds brokerage used to depend upon to feed distribution are drying up.
Brokerage today needs to shift their value proposition away from processing and contract access, and become business development experts. This takes time, money and trust. Those that can embrace this evolution, invest in the resources to realign their organizations as educators and development experts can expect to see tremendous success in the future. We need to shift our focus to alternative distribution in order to remain relevant and sell our products.
The best way I see this being done is for us, as brokerage professionals, to get closer to the sale. Learning the language, resources and appetite of the new insurance producer is the key to success and it can’t be done by offering back office support. We need to teach our future advisors how to sell our products. Education, being a thought leader and positioning yourself as a subject matter expert that can meet with advisors and their clients is imperative to our future. Point-of-sale will become more and more necessary for the success of brokerage organizations; we must be dedicated to cultivating an environment that positions the new BGA as a consultant, not a processor.