Rodrigo Menendez, MBA, CRPC, LACP, has been a NAIFA member since 2011. He began his career with State Farm in 2011, taking over a book of business from a retiring 30-year veteran of the insurance industry. He was recruited by a family friend who was looking for Spanish-speaking agents.
Early on, Menendez could tell it was the right fit for him. The most important thing in Menendez’s work, he says, is helping people. He builds relationships with his clients and their families that last years. “Being able to provide them some sense of relief, financially, in a situation when they’re grieving - I think that's one of the reasons we focus on life insurance so much in my agency,” he explains.
Rodrigo Menendez Insurance Agency’s three full-time, licensed team members are dedicated to educating their clients. “I feel like we are really good at educating customers to try to help them avoid making a mistake in the coverages.” While others in the industry prioritize profit over people, the agency’s mission is to act in the best interest of their clients. The agents put their clients’ needs first, providing information and helping them understand the complexities of insurance.
Menendez believes two key qualities make a successful agent: effort and attitude. He explains, “A lot of the traits and education and product knowledge can be taught, but effort and attitude are what I look for.”
Menendez joined NAIFA at the suggestion of more seasoned agents who were NAIFA members. They invited him to a NAIFA sales congress, and he was impressed with the speakers there. “I got involved with the state and learned a lot from the people that I was meeting,” he recalls. Menendez is now the committee chairman for The Insurance and Financial Advisors Political Action Committee (IFAPAC) and sits on the board of directors for NAIFA Illinois and NAIFA Chicagoland.
A graduate of the Leadership in Life Institute (LILI), Menendez also holds a Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) designation. Development, education, and learning from other agents have all contributed to Menendez’s success. “It's made me a better agent and a better advocate for my customers,” he says.
Menendez chose to become a NAIFA 100% Agency because of the value that NAIFA’s resources offer. “I think a lot of the communications, the opportunities to get continuing education, and the training that you can get on the website is pretty important.” Since he runs a small agency, virtual on-demand videos have been invaluable to his team and, as his agents were already NAIFA members, becoming a NAIFA 100% Agency officially was just a few extra steps.
He encourages his colleagues to become NAIFA members and to support IFAPAC. “We are in a profession that is constantly being attacked, or at least considered for opportunities,” he says, noting regulations, fees, and taxes. “As a business owner, I want to be at the table and not on the menu. I'd rather be involved at the beginning than find out at the end what the consequences are.”