This week, our hosts spoke to Executive Field Chairman Bridget Biermann, who works alongside Mark Biermann as one-half of the fastest growing EFC team in the history of First Financial Security, Inc. We talked to Bridget about her experience bundling policies into benefits packages, how to anticipate her clients’ needs, and how she helps her team overcome challenges in the field.
See below for an excerpt of our conversation — you can listen to the full episode here.
Can you remind us a little of what you were doing before you joined FFS?
When Mark was originally approached to join FFS, we were consulting business owners. That has always been our passion: to help business owners who could be cutting costs, cutting overhead and looking at how they are spending. Business owners are phenomenal at what they do — if that is the plumbing industry, they are good at plumbing — but not necessarily looking at their books, or the getting the best rates, or marketing themselves.
So, we were consulting up until the point of when FFS was introduced to us. One of Mark’s mentors, Charlie Lind, said, “Mark, you love helping people, you should really take a look at this.” Being perfectly honest, I thought, “Insurance? White-haired, older men are the only ones who do that.” That was the stereotype I had. I thought, “I will support you in whatever you do, but I don’t really think that’s my cup of tea.”
My previous life was as a nurse — that finally impacted my decision to join FFS, in all actuality. When I was a nurse, I worked in the hospice department. I saw firsthand the power of these living benefits. I saw it again in the building industry where people were losing their homes because they became ill or injured. We knew what we had our hands on, and we knew we could help those families and those business owners.
When I was a nurse, I worked in the hospice department. I saw firsthand the power of these living benefits.
What were some challenges you faced when joining FFS?
Once you transfer your license or you move from one company to another, for six months you are not really allowed to sell the same products. The company that I left had one of the many that we offer to our consumers, so I was not able to sell their products. It wasn’t a big problem because we have so many options with FFS — I was able to introduce clients to the other products until those six months were up, so it didn’t really hurt me. That, I think, was the only real challenge.
The company I came from was pushing only one product, but I am not here just for me — in both industries, real estate and financial services, I am here for the consumers. Whatever I can do to fit their needs, even if I don’t get paid, I have to provide it for them. So, my heart was not aligned with my old company. It was going in a different direction. I will never be satisfied if I do not get to offer what my clients are really looking for.
Our duty to our clients is to offer everything, show them the differences between products, and let them see which one really gives them the most benefits. They are here to duplicate their money. They are here to grow their money. We want to secure their financial future.
How do you grow such a strong team and get others interested in our opportunity?
Find out what your team members love to do. What are they comfortable doing? If Jeff does not like presenting, putting him as a presenter is not a good idea. He is going to be very uncomfortable. He will be a fish out of water.
So, we say, “Jeff, where are you comfortable?” He might say, “You know what? I’m really great at app writing,” or, “I am really good at making sure that that policy pushes through.” Great! We have a role that he can excel in. That is how we build a team: we find out your strengths. If you are very comfortable and love what you’re doing, you are going to be better off.
That is how we build a team: we find out your strengths. If you are very comfortable and love what you’re doing, you are going to be better off.
How have you achieved such impressive growth over the years?
There are so many business owners that have group policies from agents they see when they sign on the dotted line and then they never see again. Employees run into issues all the time: what if they need to file a claim and they cannot even get a hold of the agent? That is one of the reasons Mark and I stand out: we tell an employer, “We are going to be back every year,” and we follow through on our annual reviews.
When we do our reviews, we encourage the current employees to bring in their binder, and then we sit down with them and show them their projected growth. When they walk out of the break room, they are high fiving the next guy or gal walking in! Everybody is looking at hiring, and they cannot find quality people. Our products make employers stand out from their competition.
Everybody is looking at hiring, and they cannot find quality people. Our products make employers stand out from their competition.
Listen to our full conversation with Bridget Biermann for more valuable insight into running your own business.
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