After a year without business travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is refreshing to see our industry starting to have some in-person events again. On May 27, 2021, the Fraternal Societies of Greater Pittsburgh held an event at which our Managing Director Chris Conklin was a featured speaker.
Chris’ topic was a key one for both fraternal benefit societies and commercial insurers. To fulfill their mission, they are looking to grow their membership and their surplus. That requires growing sales. Chris focused on how product development can be the most powerful lever to do this.
During his presentation, Chris highlighted three different carriers where he has led the product development process and how those carriers customized their products in order to attract an agent force that previously had not sold for them. What the stories had in common is that the carrier took the effort to customize the product to the desired agent force’s preferences in order to attract them. In each case, the effort was successful, and sales volume increased substantially.
Chris particularly highlighted that thanks to recent regulatory developments explained here https://www.miller-newberg.com/index.php/important-life-insurance-tax-code-and-nonforfeiture-rate-changes, every society’s and carrier’s whole life and term products must be repriced, refiled, and ready to go by January 1, 2022, as their existing products likely do not comply.
Given that necessity, he left the audience with a key thought: Why not take this opportunity to design your life product portfolio in a way to attract new agents and grow your sales?
In other words, instead of just playing defense by only updating your existing products to comply, why not play offense, customizing your products to attract new distributors?