The 2001 Lynette Owens & Associates Insurance Advisory Board gets down to business in the Sunshine State.
Meeting at two well-known Florida resorts — Ponte Vedra Inn & Club in Ponte Vedra Beach and Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa — members of the Lynette Owens Insurance Advisory Board discussed agent productivity and retention, challenged themselves during a daylong ropes course, experienced the Disney Institute at the Walt Disney World Resort, and put in a little time on some highly regarded Sunshine State golf courses.
“This was one of our best meetings,” says Owens.“We got to see two recently renovated properties, Ponte Vedra and Saddlebrook, that have become prime destinations for the financial services market. Not to mention the revitalization of downtown Tampa, which is incredible.”
The Next Great Wave
“Practice development” is the next great wave in financial services, executives at the Lynette Owens Advisory Board meeting were told by Norm Trainor, founder and principal of The Covenant Group in Toronto. Companies have spent millions on customer relationship management. CRM is critical, he says, but the links between the financial adviser, the financial institution, and CRM are facilitated through practice development systems. And because financial services companies now hire entrepreneurs rather than salespeople, practice development is so important.
“Practice development gives advisers the capabilities to build their businesses,” Trainor says. Those capabilities are in four areas: business management, marketing, relationship management, and resource management.
In the first stage (two to five years), marketing is most important. “The adviser must have a clear vision and business plan,” states Trainor. In the middle stage, relationship management is foremost — “not only getting a good yield but also increasing the client base through referrals,” he explains. In the mature stage, resource management becomes critical. “Not all clients are equal,” Trainor says. “Advisers in this stage need to delegate.”
Ideally, the Covenant Group develops a long-term relationship with a company, working with advisers through self-study, coaching, and workshops to help the company achieve two goals: adviser retention and increased productivity. One- or two-day business-planning workshops are available as well.
Learn by Doing
At the Disney Institute, the group split in two. Group one was given a shopping bag full of food and 45 minutes to cook a gourmet lunch. Chefs were on hand to help. Group two learned to be filmmakers: They did on-site interviews of guests at the resort and created a video called Making the News.
Lynette Owens has been named executive director of the Western Agency Officers Association. The mission of the WAOA is to provide a way for marketing officers of life insurance companies to exchange ideas, to provide a forum for discussion concerning areas of their responsibilities, and to further enhance the image of the life insurance industry. WAOA members are chief marketing officers, senior level officers, regional directors of agencies, and regional vice presidents of major U.S. life insurance and financial services organizations. She also has been named president of the Mission San Luis Rey Board of Directors, and is executive director of the Financial Services Marketing Association.
Newsflash: Stress Is Good for You
“People waste too much time seeking ways to reduce stress. I think people should seek more of it!” says Nick Hall, PhD, MD, a speaker and consultant, and director of the Executive Challenge Course and Wellness Center at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa. “Stress is a stimulus for growth.”
The problem, Hall says, is not that people have too much stress; it's that they have too little recovery.
Think of what happens to your muscles if you're in a cast. Free from stress, those muscles atrophy. “We all need a certain amount of emotional stimulation,” Hall says. “It not only keeps us going, it keeps us healthy.” When you experience stress repeatedly, he explains, your body learns to recover. Just as when you exercise regularly, your body is able to recover more efficiently as you get into better shape. “The more you push yourself, the more effective your body becomes at recovery.”
The question is how to expose yourself to stress on your own terms. One way is to participate in activities such as those in Saddlebrook's Executive Challenge Course, which Hall runs. Challenges such as the climbing wall and suspension bridges “allow people to experience emotional excitement that is very safe, but still stimulates their adrenaline.”
As for recovery techniques, Hall explains that different people recover in different ways. Some possibilities include deep breathing, imagery, meditation, or exercise.
LOA Member Properties
Current properties in the Lynette Owens Advisory Board portfolio: Boyne USA Resorts; Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, Calif.; Hapuna Beach Prince Resort, Island of Hawaii; Orient-Express Hotel Co.; Saddlebrook Resort, Tampa; Charleston Place, Charleston, S.C.; Windsor Court, New Orleans, La.; The Breakers, Palm Beach, Fla.; La Samanna, French West Indies; Halekulani Hotel, Oahu, Hawaii; Ponte Vedra Beach Resort, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Hilton Oceanfront, Hilton Head, S.C.; Mauna Lani Bay, The Big Island, Hawaii; Walt Disney World Resorts, Orlando; and Continental Airlines