“No one gets into the insurance business because they want to,” says DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen in his trademark tongue-in-cheek fashion.
Cohen had aspirations of being an entertainment attorney and then honed his craft of writing and producing while attending Boston University, which led him to performing stand-up comedy. He now combines all these talents, and more, as the leader of the largest niche insurance wholesaler in the Northeast.
Mike’s father, DBL Center Founder David Cohen, was driving to his dental school interview at Stony Brook University when he got into a car accident with a life insurance representative, who coerced him into joining Canada Life as a salesman instead of going into dentistry.
Simon Klarides, one of ShelterPoint’s most familiar faces, thought he was applying for a job as a financial trader when he wound up in the Claims department at Prudential. A
And Louis Ortiz of Principal Financial Group turned down a job as a morning anchor at an ABC affiliate to work in insurance. He says, in part three of our Rep Roundtable, that when he realized what was in front of him, he was scared to life about what he was about to take on.
While all three men in this edition of our Rep Roundtable reminisce about “roads not taken,” none regret entering the insurance industry. The work merges their talents for entertainment, sales, and—perhaps most importantly—finding the stories amidst the data.
“If you like working with people, and you like the educational process, the solving-the-problem process, I think it’s a great business,” Klarides says.
Work-Life Balance in the Mobile Age
At the 3:30 mark of the video, Cohen, Klarides and Ortiz talk about the effects of mobile technology on work/life balance and the growth of the insurance industry. Like so many professionals today, they find it hard to shut down when they leave the office due to always-on mobile technology.
And although sales have increased with more ways than ever to connect with potential customers, they haven’t grown at the rate you may expect. In fact, Klarides attributes growth to the sale of ancillary benefits to statutory DBL customers. “That’s where a lot of our business has grown over the years – getting our brokers to shift gears and teach their clients about a new product – dental, vision.”
Ortiz adds that technology, such as DBL Center’s proprietary Broker Dashboard comes into play to increase efficiencies and workflow, giving brokers 24/7 access to the data that affects their business.
“You can access the broker dashboard from so many multiple points: laptop, desktop computer, your phone. Having that access facilitates positive change because you’re having these fluid, real-time conversations. It just helps you to have a better business discussion when you’re trying to grow your book of business.”
“The data tells a story,” Cohen agrees. “I say the biggest goal, and what the Broker Dashboard really highlights, is retention. At the end of the day, it’s not what you earn, it’s what you keep.”
For more wisdom from Cohen, Klarides, and Ortiz, make sure to watch the video to the end. Cheers!
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