Understand the needs of the middle market. There are many common themes most
middle market consumers are interested in,
such as providing for family, paying for a
child’s education, comfortably covering living
expenses or retirement planning. However, you
will need to sharpen your focus, as the clients in the target
market you work in are likely to have unique needs and
priorities. Your goal should be to identify these needs and
match solutions to these needs. For example, life events
such as the birth of a child or the purchase of a new home
may prompt a prospect to identify that they need life insurance to protect their families. However, many prospects
may have life insurance through their employer and think
that it is enough should something happen to them. But, in
fact, that coverage may not be portable and also may not be
nearly enough to properly protect their family.
Fill the need for the short and long term.
As you evaluate the needs of your clients and
prospects, you will need to determine the right
mix of temporary and permanent life products
to meet their budget and their goals. This will
require that you have access to a comprehensive suite of products that allow you to customize solutions.
For example, a young family may not be able to afford a
large enough permanent policy to meet all their protection
needs due to the many other expenses they need to cover.
However, they still need protection. Your job is to identify
the right mix of temporary and permanent protection so that
they have affordable coverage today and can enjoy the living
benefits from a permanent policy in the future.
“It is important to
identify a target
market that you know
you have experience
with or can network
into through family
BY THE NUMBERS
U.S. households fall into the
middle market (household incomes
of them — or roughly 35 million
U.S. households — have no life
You are in a marathon, not a sprint. Make
sure you think of today and tomorrow. Growing
your middle market business requires that you
not only make sales today, but also have a good
understanding of how today’s sales and resulting relationships lead to long-term success. Developing a repeatable system within your target market and
having access to a diverse set of products to meet multiple
needs is critical. Your goal is to be seen as a trusted partner
who can provide flexible and customizable life insurance
solutions for today and tomorrow.
The middle market is a great opportunity for you to
build your business, while helping this market meet their
protection goals. Providing customized life insurance solutions to help middle market families can open up additional opportunities to expand your business and change
the market’s thinking about the value of life insurance for
Michael Lackey, CLU, ChFC, heads the Mass Market, Retirement Market and Life Operations group as a vice president at New York Life. He joined the company in 2005, managing the middle market initiative in the agency department. Lackey has 12 years of field sales
experience as an agent, partner and managing partner. Prior to his
career at New York Life, he spent two years with Capgemini/Ernst &
Young in their financial services management consulting practice.
Michael holds a bachelor’s in finance from Georgetown University
and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. He is a former officer
in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve.