The “Secret Sauce” of the Life Insurance Business

As our world inches a little bit more back to normal each day, I suspect you may be feeling the same sense of renewal that I’m feeling.  There are lots of great things about our lives that we have been missing, and there are lots of awesome things about this business that we may have been taking for granted.

Two recent online events have reminded me of one of the best things about this business.  The first is NAILBA’s own 2021 Summer Symposium: Innovations in Sales & Underwriting which is complementary to industry professionals.  The other is the MDRT Annual Meeting, which was held virtually again this year.

These are unique events serving different segments of the life insurance distribution system, of course, but they share a common thread:  That thread is the willingness of top professionals throughout this business to share the ideas and approaches that have worked for them and to offer practical ideas and insights that will help other professionals who are trying to grow.

Having been a part of this business since the early 1980s, the willingness for others to help others be successful was one of the big surprises for me as I began to get to know the life insurance business and those who were most successful in it.  I came in expecting the best in the business to be a hard-nosed sales bunch who were pretty much in it for themselves.  This was a tough way to earn a living, I’d heard, so certainly the cream of the tough crop would have to be competitive, win-at-all-cost personalities, right? 


There is no doubt that the best in this business, whether at the wholesale level or the advisor level, are competitive.  I don’t think you can succeed unless you are.  But being competitive does not mean winning at all costs, and it certainly doesn’t mean you care only for your own results.

The “secret sauce” in this business is that, in order to be successful, you have to have a burning love for the business itself.  And for the most successful people, that burning love is a reflection of their belief in the product and the value it brings to both the families and businesses they serve.  Life insurance is unique in solving the problem of dying too soon.  The best wholesalers and advisors know that in their heads and most importantly in their hearts.  They also have the somewhat evangelical drive to share that knowledge with millions of people who can benefit from it.

I know a lot of top producers and wholesalers alike who feel blessed by being able to help people in that way.  And I know many who look to the people who went before them – their managers, general agents, mentors, and sales trainers – as the reason they’ve had such a rewarding career. 

This combination of having a mastery of what our unique product does and having respect and appreciation for those who’ve laid the groundwork may be the reason so many top advisors, wholesalers, and other life insurance pros continue to want to give back. 

The two recent events mentioned at the beginning of this article are a pleasant reminder to me of how so many of the top pros in our business not only give back, but clearly enjoy doing so.  The content in both was terrific, and panelists and speakers alike were willing to share insights and tips that have real world impact.

The willingness to share is refreshing and encouraging to see, and it’s a good reminder that we’re getting back to normal. Indeed, the Inter-Company Marketing Group has even held a face-to-face event already! And NAILBA’s 40th Annual Meeting is scheduled to be both in-person and online this November in Orlando.

No matter what career stage you’re in – beginning, well-established, or veteran – I urge you to help keep the generous nature of this business alive. Learn from others and share your ideas.  There is plenty of success available to everyone.

Charles K. Hirsch, CLU, is the president of Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC, a communications consulting operation in Florissant, MO. For many years, Chuck was the editor and publisher of Life Insurance Selling magazine, and has published several of the leading life insurance industry magazines. Chuck continues to contribute articles on a regular basis to industry publications, in addition to providing a wide range of writing, editing, content development, and marketing services through his firm. He is a regular contributor to NAILBA Now e-Newsletter as well as to Perspectives magazine.