Broker Words—September 2020

It probably won’t make the AP wire that the role of a monthly trade publication isn’t #breakingnews. There are a number of industry eZines that fill that role.

Over almost 38 years I’ve been blessed that God has placed in my path a true wealth of friends and industry experts to help achieve this publication’s mission to provide insight, motivation, encouragement, hopefully occasional entertainment, and in the end useful, actionable information.

Any list of Broker World contributors must start with “Dr. Bob” Goldstone, impaired risk sage, who recently penned his 350th column for Broker World! His columns form most if not all of my awareness of and dedication to the crucial role the brokerage business plays in finding coverage for those with less than Preferred health. A wealth of useful insight into the benefits spectrum was, until recently, provided by Jan LeTourneau and is now offered by her astute associate Jason Folks. We get great tech insight from Mike Bridges and Ken Leibow…who are good enough friends to be able to look past my predilection for technidiocy.

The DI world was served on these pages elegantly for many years by great friend and industry icon Harold Petersen, now expertly handled by two of my dearest friends, Eugene and Michael Cohen. Eugene has trained literally thousands of agents in the intricacies of disability sales and Michael now leads one of the country’s very best brokerage general agencies. (And Shirlee Cohen is one of the most awesome women I have ever met.)

I’m truly blessed to have met Dave Murphy at an NBA meeting 20+ years ago—Dave offers readers practical, insightful sales encouragement derived from basic human nature and enlightened spiritual principles. “New” friend (10 years out of 38 makes him still a relative freshman) Charlie Gipple is basically six foot six of extended cranium jam-packed with knowledge of indexed products and presentation techniques that he masterfully intertwines with personal experiences and metaphors drawn from his life.

And then there’s Hagelman. A self-proclaimed curmudgeon (that’s a fancy word for “cranky old fart”), Ron has truly and sincerely dedicated his life to developing, educating, motivating, and arming our industry’s consummate sales professionals to help mitigate the potentially devastating impact a long term care event can have on both patient and family. And, ever since I asked him to be best man at my wedding, he seems unabashedly able to ask for favors in return.

His current subtle yet transparent attempt at (worthwhile and welcome) emotional extortion takes the form of an industry wide collaboration on a National Advisor Survey: “What Is The New Normal In Long Term Care Planning?” The survey is sponsored by Oliver Wyman actuarial consulting and Ron along with partner Barry Fisher of Ice Floe Consulting. The project is being advised and supported by NAILBA, NAIFA, numerous traditional and combo carriers and key distribution friends. And me. This agent/advisor-focused sales analysis is designed specifically to help reveal the mysteries of the structure and motivations of buying behavior from those who make the sales happen. You.

I urge you, as caring industry professionals dedicated to helping consumers protect against all manner of potential health and financial crises, to allow 10 minutes of your doubtless busy schedules (not counting the hours it will take to type into your browser) to answer the survey. Even if you do not participate actively in long term care planning, please contribute your personal strictly confidential insights into “Who is selling What? To Whom? Why? And How?“ In return Ron and Barry will forward the complete research results from the largest survey of it’s kind to help you increase your own sales success. This represents an opportunity to better understand and improve your approach and own a valuable trove of in-depth actionable intelligence.

Further, I ask that you spread the word on your industry-focused social media accounts and share the survey link with your broker/advisor peers.

Our industry has many excellent sources of research data—LIMRA, The Society of Actuaries, Milliman (the source of Broker World’s annual LTCI product surveys along with Claude Thau), and new friend Sheryl Moore, Chief Storyteller at Wink, Inc., and Moore Market Intelligence—to name just a few. But to date none have undertaken a survey exploring this facet of the long term care expense abatement crisis that can only continue to become more crushing as Boomers age in. We need intel to achieve comprehensive understanding of the challenges and successes experienced and overcome by you—the active, caring insurance professional.

If you truly have the patience of a saint, please feel free to input into your browser. If today you find yourself somewhat short of that ideal, you can go to and click on the survey link there. [SPH]