BGAs And IMOs Are Growing Producer Ranks, Selling More, Survey Finds
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they expect an increase in 2021 sales over 2020, according to a joint study by two industry trade associations.
The survey of brokerage-general agencies and independent marketing organizations found that 63% of the respondents that expect to increase sales say they expect to see at least a 10% rise in sales. Twenty-six percent expect sales growth of at least 25%, said Dave Levenson, CEO of LIMRA.
"That's exceptional," he said.
LIMRA partnered with the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies on the study, which Levenson presented during NAILBA's virtual annual meeting.
"Our teams surveyed 60 BGA and IMO firms and 210 life producers connected with these organizations," Levenson explained. "We also conducted in-person interviews to expand on the information we received. All information was collected in September, so results are very current."
Grow Advisor Force
The survey results paint a picture of an industry in expansion-and-sales mode. The top two "business priorities" respondents listed are to grow advisor network and to increase sales.
Of course, the industry is eager to get younger, and respondents report success adding millennial advisors. Nearly 60% of respondents say they have at least been "moderately successful" adding advisors under age 40.
"In order to keep up with the growth that many of you are predicting you will need more employees," Levenson noted. "This is becoming a real challenge for our industry across all roles -- entry level to executive."
More than 80% of the firms surveyed said that they are looking for a different profile of producer because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Levenson noted.
"When asked how the profile would change, almost all answers connected back to the capacity of producers to use technology with limited help and support from the phones," he said. "You are clearly looking for producers who are comfortable working with clients in a virtual environment."
Products Are King
When decisions are made whether or not to work with a carrier, the product selection is by far the biggest factor, the survey revealed. BGAs and IMOs were not shy about initiating, or ending, relationships with insurers, as the survey showed.
And while there are many different products, and bells and whistles to go with them, life insurance remains king.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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