On Monday of this week, we had our annual disability insurance sales meeting at our office in Coral Gables, FL, at which all of our sales partners from around the country gather to hear presentations, to share ideas, and to reconnect with our excellent support staff. Eight of our partners attended this year: Michele Friedlander (Broward and Miami-Dade County), Tim Murray (Central Florida area); Clarke Morris (Southeast States); Todd Forney (Midwest States), Ed Morrison (Northeast States); Michael Tyler (Palm Beach and South FL), Brendhan Crowley (PA & NJ), and Juan Comendeiro (Miami-Dade). Charlie Blomme (MN & WI) called in.
The meeting actually started Sunday evening at Caffe Abbracci (one of our favorite restaurants and Horatio our favorite server did his usual amazing job of taking care of us). We had a fabulous dinner sponsored by the Principal Financial Group—thank you to Candy Bidler and Bob Herman for making the trip and for sponsoring the dinner. Gabriela Trench of Global Mind, a digital marketing company, also joined us.
We continued the next morning at Graziano’s Market over their great empanadas and coffee. Mark Heintzman, our MetLife GSI rep, met with us and updated us on the news from MetLife (we missed you Dan Van).
Back at our office, we began with a presentation from Stuart who is with Objective Management Group on segmenting your clients and overcoming internal resistances to selling.
Then we had an excellent presentation from Doug Waters and Jill Frohardt of The Standard. They focused on The Standard’s new product, Platinum Advantage, which they hope will launch in most of the country early next year—perhaps even January 1st (Florida, California and New York are expected to come later-not a surprise). With the launch of their new product, The Standard is returning to a more flexible platform (the own occupation definition is no longer built-in for example) and will move to a new purchase option design that will help to reduce the premium. And they expect to be competitive premium-wise with physicians again.
The Standard provides us with some marketing dollars every year (based on our production), which we put toward this meeting—and they bought breakfast. Many thanks for the support and for making the trip (all the way from Omaha for Jill).
Bob Herum of Ameritas came next. Although we have been doing business with Ameritas for a number of years, they were never a top three carrier for us in terms of our production for a variety of reasons, including their own focus on developing their in-house DI Centers. Bob made it very clear that he wants to partner with us (as we do with Ameritas) to grow our business with them in the coming years. Ameritas has an excellent DI product and Bob is helping us to navigate the various rules and programs they offer.
Last, but not least, we were able to spend time getting caught up with the Principal folks, Candy Bidler and Bob Herman. Principal is our longest standing relationship, going back about 20 years now, and remains an essential part of our business. We have led Principal in production for many years now, we hope to continue to do so.
DIBroker East-Eskra has had an excellent year so far, with the summer resident season being especially busy. We look forward to continued growth over the coming 12 months.