At one point, Lincoln Benefit Life was poised to take the plunge into the world of Social Media by starting with a blog. The site was designed. Writers had been appointed. Articles had been written. Then…not so much. Life insurance is a very conservative industry, and our compliance department killed the project at the 11th hour. Some of the articles found life elsewhere. Others died on the vine.

Here are the articles I wrote. Click on the links to read the full article.

Help Customers Realize Their Bucket List

About 10 years ago, I took a challenging bicycle ride through some rural wilderness with a stud-rider friend. At the bottom of our first hill was a tight turn with a big tree looming. Naturally, I feared hitting the tree as I approached, and sure enough, I wiped out — barely missing the massive trunk.

With a smile, my friend came back to help me up and offered me this advice: “Watch where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.” I got up, dusted myself off and finished the ride following his advice.

Here’s the thing…that advice works for just about everything, including retirement planning.

Read the full article…

Why Doesn’t The Industry Sell More Indexed UL? (Part I)

If you were in a five mile drag race and had the choice between Car A, which has an unpredictable engine that could break down or reach 80mph, or Car B, which never stalls but has a top speed of 35mph, which would you choose?

This example illustrates the current state of life insurance sales following the economic downturn that began in 2008. In a flash – or crash – variable insurance (Car A) customers who had purchased policies based on illustrations projecting 12% gains were brought down to earth. As a result, the pendulum swung from high-risk products to policies offering guarantees (Car B).

What if you could drive Car C, which never stalls when driven between 30-60 mph? Now which car would you pick?

Read the full article…

Why Doesn’t The Industry Sell More Indexed UL? (Part II)

Some financial experts have warned us we’re halfway through a “lost decade.” Because of the volatility we’ve experienced, investors are basically at the same place financially as they were five years ago. Indexed UL, with its guarantees and upside potential, could be a bright spot for our industry, but we seem to be ignoring this innovative product.

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The Challenge of Differentiation

It’s becoming harder for producers to differentiate themselves in today’s competitive market. All marketing organizations and producers are looking for the same thing: what can I bring to the table that will give me an edge?

Previously, producers could differentiate themselves by offering a unique product. Then came the wave of multiple carrier affiliations which leveled the playing field because all producers had access to the same types of products. Then producers looked to separate themselves by offering excellent service. But customers now demand that…so what’s next?

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Electronic Applications and the UL Market

Electronic applications have been used in the annuity market for years. Recently, universal life and term have been gaining momentum behind vendors such as iPipeline, Ebix, Aplifi and other non-proprietary solutions.

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Security: Why is it a Big Deal?

Surely you’ve seen the commercials about identity theft. I especially like the CapitolOne ads where the victims are basically the puppets speaking the perpetrators words. But this makes a humorous point about something that isn’t a laughing matter.

Recently, hackers got thousands of credit card numbers by hacking into the PlayStation system. In restitution, PlayStation had to pay for a year of identity theft insurance for each person whose information got stolen. At $150 per person, that racks up in a hurry.

Keeping customer’s information secure isn’t just the carrier’s job…it’s yours, too. If client information is taken from your computer, phone or emails, you could be held legally liable for any crimes committed with that information (depending on your states’ laws).

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