Jason Buchheit is bullish on what?s ahead for St. Louis Medicare agents, and for good reason.
At a moment of great uncertainty in insurance, Jason is waving the flag of opportunity for local insurance agents looking to get an edge in their business.
At least he sees an opportunity for those looking to grow their business (read more below).
Today, Jason leads a growing medicare and final expense agency in St. Louis, The Legacy Group. His varied background between the corporate world and several start-ups gives him a unique point of view on agent success.
Here?s a hint to his success. He?s using technology to break down an agent?s biggest barrier, getting in front of enough people every week to make sales. If you?re local to St. Louis and interested in getting introduced to Jason, let me know and I?ll connect you with him.
Q&A with Jason Buchheit, CEO of The Legacy Group
Below is a snap chat of my interview with Jason.
What are the biggest challenges your insurance agents face today?
Jason Buchheit: ?The biggest challenge is to get them to see the big picture. Some guys have a one-track mind and just want to sell Final Expense. And, that?s not a bad model. But, there is an opportunity in every home but it may not be at that moment. Some agents go into the home to make that one sale and count their dollars.
?I?m not asking them to rob Peter to pay Paul; they should get all they can. I?m saying don?t be immune to the fact there are other things the client needs whether they are willing to tell you or not. Forcing their hand on that one product might result in losing that business and then you?ve lost the opportunity to go back and provide value in future.?
What?s your view of where Health insurance is today and where it?s going?
Jason Buchheit: ?There?s a lot of uncertainty with Medicare. There are rumors out there that MA (Medicare Advantage) companies may be restricted from advancing or paying commissions prior to the beginning of the year, which would result in all of these sales folks not getting paid until January. A lot of these guys can?t do this, but I don?t know if it?s going to happen.
?Also, I?ve been told by a couple of our main carriers that their broker channel is going to be at some point their main distribution channel because it?s the most economical way to get product to market (versus hiring someone). One company told me that it costs $1,000 to get a product to market with a career MA company sales rep versus $350-$400 through the broker channel.
?I don?t know what?s going to happen to MA and Med Supps, but there?s still going to be a product and it will have to get to market. There?s a huge opportunity.?
What are the attributes of the best insurance agent?
Jason Buchheit: ?Somebody that?s driven and is committed to being successful. People sort of dipping their big toe in the water won?t make it. Those that have fire in their belly will find ways to make it happen.
?It?s not natural to be successful in general. If you have 10 people on the street and ask them if they want to be successful, nine would say yes. But the reason it?s not natural to be successful is because a high percentage of those nine won?t do what it takes to be successful. Some guys like to work 30-35 hours, maybe four days a week, and call it good. They have that mindset of ?I?ve earned my money for the week and I can step back to take personal time.? That?s time when you put the foot on the pedal.
?You?re unemployed when you?re not in front of somebody.?
Isn?t that really the hardest part about being an independent agent? keeping our bodies from overruling our minds?
Jason Buchheit: ?A good psychologist would do us well. I don?t mean that disrespectively. Most people look at this as a way to pay the bills rather than as a career. They haven?t been conditioned because of their experiences. We all become what our experiences are over time and that?s why it?s a psychological challenge.
?Everyone has their own self-limiting beliefs, but most people can do a heck of a lot more than what they are doing. Our only limitation is between the ears.?
What advice can you give new agents to achieve this?
Jason Buchheit: ?Start today and take advantage of the opportunity you will have in a couple of years with a residual stream of income. Your job is to keep your business on the books. Your earning opportunity over time is creating your own annuity. And, your clients are going to develop additional needs that you can help them with. That?s when it becomes more fun because you can go back to people you know and help them. It?s the value of a relationship over time.?
- Another story from one of our favorite sources??highlights the importance of a historically-important indicator of recessions. While we wouldn?t suggest dragging a client into a deep discussion about the Yield Curve, it?s important information for the back pocket as you discuss risk management with clients.
- You?ve probably seen those billboards along the highway that have the real time numbers of the national debt. Well, that information likely comes from . Glance through the numbers below?interesting and in some cases disturbing?and then check out the site. It?s mind blowing.
- US Federal spending: $5,000 per second (increasing)
- US Federal budget deficit: $5,000 per second (decreasing)
- US total debt: $50,000 per second (increasing)
- Medicare liability: $100,000 per second (increasing)
- U.S. unfunded liabilities: $180,000 per second (increasing)
- Total personal debt: $10,000 per second (increasing)
- Debt per taxpayer: $151,827
- And, it?s not just for the wealthy. Life insurance has long been a tool for tax planning for the wealthy, but there are many ways today to apply proceeds for charitable purposes. Thanks to Todd Williams for sending this our way.