The LIFE Foundation and Producers eSource teamed up on a series of interviews with top advisors and brokers. The purpose is to glean good information from those who are successful in today’s marketplace.
This month’s interview is with Clarke Langrall Jr., CEPA – President of Forecast Strategic Advisors located in Towson, Maryland.
In your opinion, what most challenges the advisor/producer today?
Producers are challenged by the “commoditization” of the life ins product that has diluted the impact of a professional assessing needs and instead find themselves in a universe of “price” only.
Awareness of the importance of having a “focused” professional life insurance advisor is one way of notifying the public that “you do not ask a plumber to do an electrician’s job,” even though both on are in the construction business.
A CPA or Banker is not a “focused” professional who prides themselves understanding the importance of assessing needs, etc. and, instead, are in many respects order takers.
Thus commoditization drives the market. In the end the client/consumer is the one that is punished.
From the challenges, what do you see as opportunities and why?
Consumer awareness of having real professional advise is missing and the insurance companies have done a miserable job, as they see the world as a place to sell “stuff” and whatever channel gets the most, let alone, the multiple channels they exploit. In the end the insurance carrier is getting what they want but the consumer likely is not (see answer to first question above).
What do you think is important for a new advisor/producer entering into the financial/insurance industry?
Newbies need a market – know it, own it, become the expert and do not deviate.
Generalist, just like in medicine never make the kind of income “specialist” do. Thus do Doctors only, Architects only , small business owners in agriculture, etc, etc, etc.
Can you share personal lessons that have helped propel you to success?
Owning a market so to speak provides the producer the confidence that they know all there is to know compared to the generalist attorney, accountant, banker or investment broker and by knowing the answers and specific solutions allows the individual to rise above anyone who plays the game of “we can do that for you and for less.” Price of life insurance has no correlation to value.
How do you see the industry taking shape the next five to ten years?
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