Greg Ayers, CLTC, RICP, is a New York Life Insurance Company agent and advisor committed to serving Main Street USA through education and political advocacy.
Ayers got a later start in his insurance and financial services career than most. He has always been interested in finance and had two career paths to choose from when he graduated from college. He was offered a financial services position, but it was an intimidating prospect. At the same time, he received a job offer for a banking position. He chose the banking job. While he gained valuable experience, he eventually got discouraged because of the lack of opportunity for upward movement. When he started looking for other options, he found his true passion as an insurance agent.
Making a Difference
Ayers enjoys working with anyone and offers life insurance, annuities, long-term care insurance, and investment and retirement planning. He talks about his passion for helping people, saying, “I get up every day knowing there’s someone I can help. I love getting to work every day and I hate leaving work at the end of the day.”
Agents should be excellent listeners and educators, says Ayers. “You've got to listen to your clients,” he begins. “This is not all about selling. I look at my role in my practice, at least in part, as an educator.” Over the years, he found that not everyone followed his guidance, and it took him a long time to get over that hurdle, he says. “You just do your best and listen to their needs. If you're listening, they're telling you what they want.”
Ayers talks about an experience that changed his life and career. Five years ago, he lost his best friend to a heart attack. The hardest day of his career was calling in the claim, but he took solace in knowing that his friend had a plan to protect his family. “When I saw the work we had done and the impact that it had on [his wife], that was my starting point in my career.” His friend’s widow was able to retire and stay in her home with peace of mind knowing she wouldn’t have to worry about her financial security.
The Power of Political Advocacy
Two years ago, Ayers was asked to become a political involvement leader for his local New York Life general office. Last year, he attended NAIFA’s Annual Congressional Conference and was blown away. He met other South Carolinian agents and had the opportunity to discuss with his Congresspeople how legislation agents, their businesses, and—most importantly—the Main Street Americans they serve. “I came back and was just enthralled by how powerful and organized NAIFA is,” he recalls, adding, “[NAIFA’s advocacy] is the lifeblood of our industry.”
The Benefits of NAIFA
Ayers takes advantage of all that NAIFA has to offer. He enjoys meeting and sharing ideas with other industry professionals at NAIFA events. He subscribes to NAIFA’s Advisor Today blog and gleans valuable insight from the articles in NAIFA’s Advisor Today magazine. He also makes use of NAIFA’s support materials and opportunities for continuing education.
Ayers believes that all insurance and financial service professionals should be members of NAIFA. “[NAIFA is] the backbone of our industry,” he begins. “They are constantly doing things to protect us as individuals and our practices and the companies that we represent.”
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Ayers stays involved in his community and participates in community food drives with his New York Life office. He’s an avid tennis player and fisher and is learning to play acoustic guitar.
Thank you, Greg, for your service to your community and our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to have you as a part of our NAIFA family.