When a friend first approached Caldwell to become a life insurance agent, he wasn’t interested. He thought it would be too hard, but his friend encouraged him, saying, “You’ve got the gift of gab; you’re good at sales. Why not give it a try?” Caldwell agreed to enroll in an apprentice course and take the exam to become an insurance broker. He failed the exam on his first try, but that only fueled his determination. He kept studying and, the next time he took the test, he passed.
Making a Difference
Caldwell learned the importance of his work early on. His first client was his aunt. Two months after her life insurance policy was placed, she passed away but seeing how her family was protected reinforced for Caldwell the importance of life insurance. He asked, “How many more families are like that—with individuals passing away and [their families] don't have money for their final expenses, to pay off the mortgage, or to pay off student loan debt or any other debt?”
Knowing that he makes a meaningful difference in his clients’ lives is what motivates Caldwell. Because of him, families can be financially secure for decades; they can stay in their homes, pay off debt, and go to college without student loans.
Caldwell relates another experience when he used his expertise to help a client achieve financial security. His client didn’t know that his life insurance could benefit him while he was still alive. His client was offered a 401k match through his employer, but he wasn’t contributing to his retirement account. Caldwell recommended that he invest in his 401k and the two set up an indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policy to supplement his retirement savings, securing his financial future.
The Keys to Success
The most important thing for an agent or advisor to do is to learn the goals and objectives of their clients, says Caldwell. “You need to take yourself out of the equation and do what's right for the client.” He sums up the difference between clients and customers, saying, “Clients keep coming back; customers don’t."
The Value of NAIFA
When Caldwell talks about the benefits of NAIFA membership, he says the most important thing NAIFA does is political advocacy. He calls NAIFA “the elite of the elite” when it comes to advocacy and believes NAIFA is essential in advising legislators on how legislation affects Main Street USA. NAIFA also provides him with a competitive edge, he says. “[Prospects can] go to financialsecurity.org and see your name there as an advisor,” he begins. “It's a really good look because they'll have confidence in you.”
Outside of the Office
In his free time, Caldwell enjoys spending time with his family. He’s an avid reader and likes books about insurance and financial services, personal empowerment, and the psychology of successful people.
Thank you, Kameron, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.