Aflac District Coordinator Terry Anderson's interest in the insurance industry started with a snowmobile accident that reinforced for him a fundamental truth about insurance—when people get hurt or sick, they still need money to pay the bills. Two years later, Anderson was talking with a customer in his store who was an Aflac agent. She told him that, when someone gets hurt or sick, Aflac pays the claim quickly and Anderson asked himself, “Why didn’t I know about this after my accident?” From that conversation, he decided to start his career in insurance.
Making a Difference
Because of his personal experience, Anderson developed a passion for educating people on disability and accident coverage. He says he’s motivated by the thrill of helping people and the thrill of sales. He’s able to help people through their toughest times and keeps his skills sharp with contests and competitions.
Authenticity and persistence are important qualities for any successful agent, says Anderson. “[Successful agents] talk about real-life experiences and try to be real with their clients. They talk to [clients] on their level while also being gently persistent,” he shares. “People are programmed to say ‘no,’ but when they're properly educated, that goes a long way.”
Another critical factor in success, Anderson says, is a dedication to lifelong learning. He believes that insurance professionals should always be trying to better themselves, whether through NAIFA programs and networking with other NAIFA members, or through carrier programs, sales training, and leadership classes.
The Importance of Political Advocacy
Anderson is a passionate supporter of advocating for the financial security of all Americans. "I believe that there's power in numbers,” he begins. “If we can collaborate together and make an impact together, we’ve got a much stronger voice.”
He talks about the impacts of legislation like the Affordable Care Act as well as the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) currently being considered by Minnesota lawmakers. “We’re able to talk with legislative teams on what we can do to make sure—if we're going to implement this—that it has some good common-sense features to it rather than just passing a bill.”
The Value of NAIFA Membership
When Anderson started out in the insurance industry, a neighbor and NAIFA member recommended that he join NAIFA for continuing education opportunities and to learn from other members in the area. Anderson says that advice is still true today. “Early in my career, I'm not sure how successful I would've been if I hadn't seen and heard from producers from other carriers.” He shares the value he’s found in the NAIFA community, saying, “I don't look at NAIFA as having competition. I look at it as having friends that are helping the community to be better protected for the right price, too.”
Anderson sums up his advice to industry professionals, saying, “Join NAIFA. It can be a game changer for you in your career.”
Outside of the Office
When he’s not working, Anderson stays involved in his community, participating in snowmobile rides for charity and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, and the Car Care Program in Alexandria, MN. He also volunteers at a local high school, teaching life skills like goal setting and interviewing, helping prepare students for their first job or for college. In his free time, Anderson loves being outdoors, snowmobiling, and spending time with his wife on the lake or riding side-by-sides.
Thank you, Terry, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.