By: Mark D. Milbrod, CLU , CLTC

To say this year has been challenging is probably the most gross understatement of all time.  We have all been living through not only the toughest year of our lives, but certainly the most challenging year of our careers.

But as we wind down 2020, I would like to first acknowledge all that have been personally affected by COVID.  If you have lost anyone close to you, I would like to express my deepest condolences.  As I put these thoughts to paper, the pandemic is still raging on.  That is something that I never would have thought when this started so many months ago.   When this is all said and done, I won’t miss hearing words like Pandemic, Unprecedented/Challenging times or my favorite, “We’re all in this together.”

It would be remiss of me to not mention a special thanks to all of the front line workers such as the Doctors, Nurses and First Responders who put US all first in the fight against COVID-19.    Add to that list the grocery store workers, truck drivers, delivery service personnel, restaurateurs, etc.  The gratitude for all of these individuals can’t be expressed enough.

But as we move forward, I must say that we have certainly evolved as an industry.  Yes, there were and still are challenges that remain as we face our day to day grind.  We have however, found a way to prosper through innovative delivery systems from our manufacturers that help us bring the much needed products and services that we provide to our clients.

Life Insurance, Annuities, Disability Income or Long Term Care products are probably more important than ever.  Prior to COVID, there was a vastly underserved market.  Now, that market has grown as we have found ourselves in front of a wider, more receptive audience, who are actually thinking about their mortality in a more serious manner.  Some of us still meet clients in person as well as through other means. We utilize services  such as Zoom, as a way of staying in front of current customers and to bring on new, prospective clients.

The carriers that we represent have developed unique ways of writing new business as a way of adapting to the pandemic.  A wide range of non-medical programs are available to apply for life, disability and long term care insurance.  Even Annuity products can be applied for via e-submissions.  In addition, a wide range of e-delivery options have been implemented.

In the end, we have so many options at our fingertips.  We have an important job to do and many options on how to do so (even through this pandemic).    As we navigate through this holiday season, albeit a strange one, we must look ahead to the future and welcome 2021 with a large amount of optimism.

We hopefully will see the virus abate sooner rather than later.  There are vaccines around the corner, which will offer additional promise,  speed up and control this virus to a point where we can get back to some degree of normalcy.

Several years ago, I came across the following quote by Wilbur Wright when my family and I visited the Wright Brothers Museum in Kitty Hawk, NC…

“…it is not really necessary to look far into the future; we see enough already to be certain it will be magnificent. Only let us hurry and open the roads.”

With that degree of optimism, I feel that this was representative of where we are today.  Brighter days are definitely ahead of us, both professionally as well as personally.

As your partner, we, at Agent Support Group will continue to bring you relevant and timely information about products and sales concepts.   And of most importance, we remain committed to assist you in any way possible and keep your success growing.

We appreciate your business and wish you and your families all the best for a Very Happy, Safe & Healthy Holiday Season.