A year ago in this space, I wrote an article titled “Relax, Things Are Better Than You Think”. At first glance, it appears that didn’t age very well, coming at the dawn of a year that has challenged us more than any in recent memory. The phrase “famous last words” comes to mind. However, with the benefit of hindsight, a closer look tells a story that isn’t quite so discouraging. While 2020 has not been the year that any of us planned or hoped for, it has revealed the character and the significance of the industry in which we all work. Despite the myriad headwinds that we faced, we still kept our promises to those families that lost loved ones. We still provided funds to those that lost their jobs or saw their hours at work cut back. We founds ways to make it easier for prospective clients to purchase our products and get the protection that they need. I’ve never been prouder to be a part of our industry because this is what we do, no matter the challenge.
For Mutual Trust, the key to meeting that challenge as we look forward is a concept that we call Continuing Momentum. We chose it because the concepts of momentum and motion are almost universally recognized and also because it is an excellent metaphor for what we have done the last few years and what we will do going forward to make life easier for you and for your clients.
In physics, momentum is the quantity of motion of a moving object, its mass times velocity. What I want you to do is to think of that object as your business and remember that momentum can either be positive or negative. For a visual, think of a Newton’s Cradle, that device that you may have seen on someone’s desk with a number of spheres tied to strings that swing back and forth. Newton’s Cradle is the best physical representation of the conservation of momentum, which says that the total momentum of two objects before a collision equals the total momentum of the two objects after the collision. If you pull back one sphere and let it go, one sphere will shoot off the other side. If you pull two spheres back and let go, two spheres will shoot off the other side, and so on. For our purposes here, think of the cradle as your business and the spheres as the various components of your business.
The first sphere is prospecting and relationship building. This is what starts the process. The second sphere is product and the third sphere is new business and underwriting. This is the point where outside influences can start to have an effect because now your carrier partners have entered the picture. The next sphere is commissions. This is your top line revenue and your source of capital to invest in your business. The last two spheres are functions that are not thought of as often, but are equally important because they can have a dramatic influence on the direction and momentum of your business. Each of these components (spheres) relies upon the force and influence of the others. The positive momentum of excellent prospecting and sales skills can be tempered by poor new business and underwriting service. On the other hand, superb policyowner service by the agent and the carrier can generate positive momentum for prospecting. What all of them has in common is that none of these works without the initial action of you, the agent. As our Chairman often says, nothing happens at an insurance company until an agent submits an application.
So, what does Continuing Momentum mean to Mutual Trust? For us, it means continuous improvement. In a year that challenged the basics of our business, working to get a little bit better every day went a long way. We introduced our Tele-Med Underwriting program and remote application process in April. We rolled out The Time Is Now incentive to provide a revenue boost in lieu of our Summit Conference in the second half of the year. We increased the Tele-Med Underwriting limits to $500,000 in July and to $1,000,000 in December. We introduced our Agent Resource Center in October, putting all of our marketing materials, webinars and videos in one place—a one stop shop for everything that you need to market and sell Mutual Trust products.
As we move into 2021, we are Continuing Momentum with additions and improvements to our portfolio of riders. We will introduce our fully automated, end-to-end e-app process, easy-@pp, this spring and we will continue to look for ways to get better, every day. Because Continuing Momentum is not a destination, it’s an on-going journey. It’s about making it easier to do business, to minimize friction and keep your business in motion. It’s about help and support to maximize the positive momentum of your business. It’s about consistency, so that you can be confident that the expectations that you have and the expectations that you have set for your clients will be met.
Thank you to all of our valued distributors for your incredible efforts in an unprecedented year. We met challenges we could not imagine that we would face and made it through. Now, it’s time to look ahead. Throughout 2021, look for Newton’s Cradle and the Continuing Momentum banner to see what Mutual Trust is doing to get better and to make life easier for you and for your clients. [LC]