Lessons in Learning

Dear Editor:
Your May/June Editor's Note, “Educate to Motivate,” has hit the nail squarely on the head. I'm a commission salesman with 45 years' experience. Top financial salespeople don't need paid vacations, expensive gifts, or trophies. I can pay for all of those things myself. Savvy planners understand this. The best gift you can give to a producer is a skills enhancement meeting. If you help me to make more money, you will benefit in both the short run and the long term. When a vacation is over, it's over. Skills are a gift that will benefit my family and me for the rest of my life.

Compelling content is exactly what we want. The “peer-to-peer” part of a meeting is basically a forum for face-to-face best practices. Producer-to-executive interaction is very important to us, because we're usually so deep in our own silos, selling, we have no clear idea of where the execs are taking our company and our industry.

I read Financial & Insurance Meetings because I want to know what's happening down the road. Planners and producers don't work closely enough. FIM helps me to understand how difficult the planner's job is.
Gary Wollin
San Francisco

Dear Editor:
Many thanks for featuring Berkshire Life's talented meeting team of Mark Haydon and FICP President-Elect Sharon Chapman on your cover. I have the privilege of working closely with these two consummate professionals on one of the annual meetings described in the article, and their instincts about what will resonate with our group are always right on. Not only has the article created a lot of buzz among Mark's and Sharon's peers in the industry, but a surprising number of producers from our parent company, Guardian, have commented on it as well. (These are the same producers who must meet strict qualifying requirements to earn an invitation to our education-only, nonincentive meeting.)

We also played up the article in our internal employee newsletter to enhance our 400-plus associates' appreciation for what — and who — makes Berkshire Life field meetings unique in the industry.
Wendy Webster Coakley
Manager of Corporate Communications & PR Berkshire Life Insurance Co. of America Pittsfield, Mass.