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NAIFA Members Provide Financial Independence

Joey Davenport

Joey Davenport is the Co-founder and President of Hoopis Performance Network (HPN), a LIMRA strategic partner providing innovative, web-based sales training and leadership development learning solutions for financial professionals. Joey is responsible for leading all sales and marketing, enterprise client relationships, solutions development, and team development for the organization. He is the executive producer for HPN and serves as a speaker, coach, and consultant to HPN clients worldwide. He served as the President of NAIFA Chicagoland and is a graduate of NAIFA's Leadership in Life Institute.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Joey Davenport shares his professional background and his role at Hoopis Performance Network (HPN) 
  • Why HPN was readily embraced by the financial industry — and the foresight Joey had to incorporate digital content
  • How does video content play into an advisor’s professional development?
  • The emergence of digital content as a virtual recruiting strategy
  • Joey shares his thoughts on the future of career distribution 
  • The value of continued learning and its impact on your profession
  • How NAIFA has impacted Joey’s leadership 

In this episode…

The insurance and financial services industry is constantly evolving. Producers and advisors in the profession have learned how to adapt to continual changes. What resources are available to foster their self-development? 

The pandemic has transformed the way business is conducted. A willingness to learn and develop is a fundamental criterion for any business professional. Having been in the financial services space as an advisor, manager, and entrepreneur for over 25 years, Joey Davenport understands the necessity of pursuing self-improvement in an ever-evolving industry. Through digital learning, he shares how he provides world-class solutions to promote, uplift, and support the development of financial professionals. 

In this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with Joey Davenport, Co-founder and President of Hoopis Performance Network (HPN), to discuss the impact continual learning and self-development have on your professional life. Joey talks about HPN's introduction to the financial industry, the use of digital content as a recruiting strategy, and his thoughts on the future of career distribution.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Hoopis Performance Network.

For more than a decade, Hoopis Performance Network has been a global leader in providing digital sales and leadership development learning solutions. HPN’s digital resources are designed to increase productivity and retention. In addition, they are scalable and customizable, depending on your organization’s virtual learning and development needs. Visit us at:  www.hoopis.com.

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Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:20

Hi, everyone, this is Chris Gandy, one of your co-hosts for Advisor Today's podcast, with our wonderful cohost, Suzanne Carawan. Hi, Suzanne, how are you?

Suzanne Carawan 0:30 

I'm good, Chris, how are you?

Chris Gandy 0:31 

Good. Good. Today we got an industry Titan in so you'll hear some something from Joey Davenport. today. He's been very influential in the insurance and financial services industry. Many of you know his name. But you may not know Joey's story. So we look forward to hearing from Joey today. With that being said, before we get into having a conversation with Joey, Suzanne, who's our sponsor for today. And what does that look like?

Suzanne Carawan 1:04 

Yeah, so Chris, today, the sponsor is NAIFA's Talent Development Center, and specifically the NAIFA Quality Awards, the NAIFA Quality Awards are now open taking in people that are putting in their 2022 numbers into the 2023 to hopefully win that and earn that mark of distinction that will be doled out and awarded at our national leadership conference in December 3 through fifth this year in Washington, DC. So NAIFA's Quality Awards, tdc.naifa.org/nqa. And you can see all of the past award recipients that are out there, currently. And you can also find them on the consumer site on financialservicessecurity.org. So if you go there, and you look yourself up, and you don't have your NQA credential, you might want to look into getting that and letting consumers know that that is the mark of quality care. So with that, Chris, back to you.

Chris Gandy 1:53 

Wonderful. Thanks, Suzanne. So without further ado, we're very fortunate today, to have a guy who's been meaningful in my career. We've had a chance to work together, but I won't steal his thunder. So we want to welcome Joey Davenport. So Joey, good seeing you. You don't look a day over 25 You will never age. This industry keeps you young, I swear.

Joey Davenport 2:18 

Yeah, I appreciate. It's good to be with you and Suzanne, and I'm honored that you guys would invite me and hopefully I've got something to share that can make an impact today. But good to see you, man. We go back what, like 15 years, something like that, at least.

Chris Gandy 2:32 

I think almost longer than that.

Joey Davenport 2:35 

Yeah. I knew you when you're a pop man. I mean, you were like this tall.

Chris Gandy 2:42 

That was a long time ago. Right? So Joey, let's start off with, people know you in the industry, they know your name, they see your face. But tell us a little bit about who you are, what you do and the organization that you represent, and the organization can you share with us about that?

Joey Davenport 3:06 

Yeah, man. So I have been in the business almost 30 years, I came into business December of 1995. So it's kind of crazy. I'm going to turn 50 in August. And I've been in the business for 30 years. So I was hot off the college campus. And we'll probably talk a little bit more about that when I started in Nashville, Tennessee. But today, I've had a lot of different roles from adviser leader went into the home office in Northwestern Mutual for two and a half years. So I've seen that side of the world, join my business partner, Harry, who is here in Chicago going on 20 years, next year, which is kind of crazy. But basically, I'm President, co-founder of Hoopis Performance Network. And what we do is we're a strategic partner in the industry that provides digital learning, sales effectiveness and leadership development tools for organizations like in North America, we have a huge Latin America division we do a lot in Asia, I just got back from a two week trip to Asia. So we're blessed to have an impact not just domestically speaking here in North America, but all over the world and providing digital learning, sales effectiveness, leadership development today. So I'm considered I don't like this word, but I'm considered a vendor. My clients. I always laugh because at the enterprise level, I prefer to be called a strategic partner, but I guess, technically speaking, I'm a vendor so but I definitely have perspective from the advisor view, leadership view, home office, executive, etc. And now they build the vendor side.

Chris Gandy 4:35 

So Joey, I'm going to add some color to what you're saying though, but I think what you didn't add your title is coach, right. So those of you don't know. I started off my career at Northwestern Mutual and came in, I'll call it the draft and was sent to Chicago and just so happened, Joey was my sales manager at the time. And I remember meeting with him. And Joey, where are you from?

Joey Davenport 5:07 

I'm from Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

Chris Gandy 5:09 

Okay, so he hasn't lost the accent. So I remember sitting with this guy having a conversation saying was this, it was this guy get tell me that in management, he's that a producer I'm looking at, he's from Tennessee, right. And so, over the years, though, I've seen you not only grow and develop, but you are on the forefront. And I'm also going to call your coach, but I'm also going to call you an innovator because one of the things that you guys saw early enough on is that the development across the industry needed help. So share with us why Hoopis has been so well embraced by an industry that they needed evolution and change. Can you share with us your thoughts? And how did you have the mindset you had who here you might say, let's create something that's agnostic and plot right now to Northwestern Mutual? Let's create something that's unique? And how we're that foresight. So that's kind of a two-pronged question there.

Joey Davenport 6:12 

Yep. So man, first of all, when I came to Chicago, my plan was to always build an outside sales training leadership development company, which was complete blast my company at the time, right. And so it was a little bit of a black sheep along the way. And I joined Hoopis as an assistant managing partner. And we formed HPN. And early on, we wanted to create, for lack of better words, a consortium of experts like the top producers, the top leaders, where we would sort of pull them together live and in person. But as we started thinking through the vision for this would have been 2004, or five, six, right in there, video learning started coming on the forefront very early on. I used to deal with buffering, you say hit pause and wait like five minutes and hit play. So this was the early days. And so I said, I met this technology partner at an industry congress, they said, hey, we've got this platform, where if you have people with content or subject matter experts, you can film them and put them on this learning management system or content management system platform. So I said, okay, we've got a ton of content on our own. And so literally, we bought a video camera. And the first day, I'm in my office and put it in the corner, and I had a video guy, and he said, he goes, we will talk about it. Let's talk about prospecting this record, like am Joey Davenport, and I want to talk about XYZ. And long story short, we would bring in top advisors, we'd about 250 advisors here in Chicago, ran one of the top firms in the US. So we would bring in top subject matter experts, top advisors and say, hey, you mind if we film you, and if you give back to the industry, or it's kind of a content marketing play for subject matter experts, if you will, and they would film or we would have them in speak and film. And we started putting that on a platform, and we started marketing to our own company. And then we realized there's a bigger play for that, because not a lot of companies had digital learning at that time. And it's expensive to create it. So we're able to say, hey, look, you've got your producer, which is great. You need to train on your proprietary processes and products and things like that. But when it comes to sales, skill training, or practice management, we've identified who the best of the best are. And you can scale up, right, because you're able to bring in micro-learning video content from the get-go. We were focused on microlearning meaning back then it was 10 minutes, then it was seven minutes. Five minutes. We were like getting make it two minutes. But we've evolved over the years. But basically, that's what happened is we had this idea, breeding one spot, originally was going to be like kind of conference stuff live and in person, maybe audio calls. But then video technology came on the scene. And we were one of the I'd say forefront of filming content, making it available in streaming video and corporate. We've evolved a lot from there. But that's kind of the genesis of how HPN started back in the early days.

Chris Gandy 9:10 

It's interesting because it truly is, I would say an industry currently now content. Now content management now is like everybody's creating, right, so they're creating their own database. So the platform is unique. But I would say one location, I would say in one location. HPN is probably the single most dynamic platform out there for e-learning for the life insurance business of building growing, developing coaching, managing a practice. I haven't seen anyone yet that there's pieces right there's segments of people have specifically, like infinite banking or there's something that some people like they were doing financial planning online, there's just a platform, but as for how you want it started, build a practice, how do you get going? Motivation all in one spot, still to see any other any other platform that rivals the one that you guys are on. So kudos to you for being on the forefront of being proactive and thinking that this industry needed evolution. This is the industry that rides on a turtle, unfortunately. So it needs a little spring on it, you guys are on the forefront of that. So congratulations on that. But you've evolved, right? So how does that video play into the development of an advisor? How does that play in now?

Joey Davenport 10:48 

Man most learning and development producers are out and about, right. And so you have to have on the go learning for just-in-time learning. And so we have like a mobile app, most producers are consuming content when they're driving in the car or running on a treadmill. And so over time, making it available on a mobile device is really, really important. The other thing I would say is, from an advisor standpoint, today, you need learning paths for certain advisors, certain roles, certain disciplines, or whatever. But the thing I've been talking about is the YouTube of learning and development. I just got back I mentioned from Asia, big talk in Asia, we want to create the YouTube learning and development so that you can provide learning paths for people to follow. But if I'm a producer, if I'm an associate rep, and I want to go in and type in center of influence development, and it brings up every course or every video on that topic, that's just in time learning, you have to tag content NAIFA's deals with the same things right on content hubs, it's important to tag that content, because a producer might want just in time learning for what's on top of mind now. And so that's the now is learning curating learning paths is important. But having an open sea of content where people can easily find it by just like you would go into YouTube and, and searching in something to fix a cabinet or whatever it might be. It's the same thing on learning and development today, people want it, where they want it when they want it, how they want it. And so we've had to kind of cater to that. That's why now we have 75,000 subscribers or learners and 75 different companies or whatever. And it's interesting, I always tell companies, like look, you should focus on creating learning around your proprietary products and processes, but leverage an outside resource that's nimble, that can bring you these different perspectives from the industry, because a lot of times they don't have access to that unless they go to NAIFA, right, or the million dollar roundtable or something like that. And so we've kind of created that virtually, if you will. And the one of the things again, that when you're talking about evolving. So like last year, right after the pandemic, we had a smaller digital content competitor, financial services, education network, declares, company, we acquired that company. So now not only do we have like advisor development resources and leadership, but we have 500 videos for home office and field staff that field staff training has become a super-hot topic coming out. And we also have financial wellness content that's consumer-facing, which is a really hot topic these days coming out of the pandemic is just the lack of financial wellness and awareness in the marketplace. So that's been a really hot button for me and to be able to have content that can go down to the consumer level right. Now, you're bypassing our industry and we're actually going into other industries, because that's really industry agnostic around financial wellness for employees and things like that. So that's been an evolution for us that one of the things that we tell you is, luckily, we had filmed this before the pandemic, we had started filming, building a digital practice. And so we had come producers about virtual selling, and how do you engage in a virtual environment? And how do you build your practice virtually. And we'd film on David Fraser and Adam Holt and some names you might know in the business. So in the pandemic, it were like, oh, we can't film anybody. But we had a backlog of content on this building a digital practice. And of course, we've obviously focused on that now coming out of the pandemics, we had an entire section around that, which is hugely important, and at first people were just trying to figure out get my ring light, right? Balance here, and, but really talking about how do you engage people in a virtual environment, and etc. So anyway, that's one way to evolve. And luckily, we were out in front of that before the pandemic hit, which was a great thing. And we continue to focus on building a digital practice because, as you know better than anybody that's not going back to the quite the way it was before now that advisors have tasted the fact that they can be completely efficient. And meet twice as many people virtually in a day. I think that's been a revolution in our business.

Suzanne Carawan 14:55 

So I was gonna say, have you seen that it's also changing. What's your take? And what do you see about how it's changing, recruiting people into the industry? Since we're officially post-pandemic. Now? What do you see with that and kind of attracting them?

Joey Davenport 15:11

So it's a big challenge, right recruiting has been down the last couple of years significantly in the business. And so people have to get used to engaging virtually. And then even onboarding virtually now, you really want to get producers into the office, to have it face to face, especially newer producers that are fresh, you want to get them a taste of the culture. So the challenge is, you've got a veteran advisors that are hybrid are not in the office. And so whereas before, you'd want to give them a taste of the culture, that's a little bit more of a challenge, because not everybody's in the office, and every company deals with that differently. But it does allow you to interview more people more quickly. Maybe you have initial interviews that are not face-to-face, in person, but or virtually, so that you sort of screen them out before you commit time to having them come into the office, face to face. So I think it's created some efficiency from that standpoint, Suzanne, is that now we can have another step in the process, which is a quick virtual meeting after you jump through some hoops and testing or whatever it might be to determine is it even worth to have this person come into the office for a face to face meeting. So I think it's been good that way, because you can cast the net a little wider, maybe even have a recruiter for those managers that have a recruiter that can do that first step process so that by the time they come into the bricks and mortar office to meet with like a Chris Gandy who does a great job on the leadership side and the production side, it's a lot more efficient for managers, right, because they're not only spending time with people that are true candidates for the firm and for the business.

Chris Gandy 16:43 

Joey, I'll just give you my kind of thoughts on that. Also, you kind of gave it some color. But if you think about the industry for years and years and years, we've been stuck in a box of only thinking that we can only work in our quote-unquote, local markets, right, the pandemic forced us to start to realize that all the most successful people don't all live in one place, right. And so, old school ways we get on a plane, go see a potential, large client, and then fly back same day or the next day and sit down and have a meeting and chop it up. Now you can take that same beating, you can do it virtually, maybe for the first meeting, I still think there's something to be it personal interaction, right? That personal development, there's something to that. So you may still get on a plane, you just may not get on a plane, two or three times, right. So you're right on the efficiency side. But it's also allowed for us to expand our horizons and get outside the nine dots. So to give you an example is it's allowed for us to go out and partner with a firm in California, to bring them underneath the Midwest legacy umbrella, that traditionally I would have to go out for a week and maybe hey, get the whole team and go out and be with that big group for a week. But they came on 100% virtual, and now there's 12 of them, between California, Vegas and Atlanta, that have partnered with us, and they are part of our firm, and the legacy continues. So my point of that is that knowledge transcends our state boundaries, right. And so our ability to inspire and create synergy and opportunity doesn't just live at our quote-unquote, local market. So I think what it's done is allowed for us to kind of really expand and really expedite the growth of a firm like ours being in the industry where there's a huge Northwestern office here, or there's a huge MassMutual office here. And there's Morgan Stanley, and there's a lot of advisors kind of in one area, allow for us to be able to say, hey, look, we can go across the United States, and deliver a platform that's fantastic for people to partake and collaborate with, but it also Joey, one of the things you guys have done, which is interesting, is allowed for us to say, we don't got to go hire a trainer, we need to have somebody who can help facilitate it in house. So what's happened is, we can literally you guys have done a great job is putting together here's week one of training for an advisor like they need to get on they need to look at this and they did look at this. He looked at this and they need to have an accountability partner locally. Joe, the idea of looking at the business versus working in the business, right when you look at the business, our ability to use outside resources, because you know how it used to be Joey hey, go down to the third floor and talk to the trainer hey, the mother of development or the dad of development or the director of development, you go down and see these people and they sit in an office and you sit there you say, I got a question about how do I process this application, right? And now if you think about it, I'm not sure people are going to come back to the office the way they did in the past. So we have to embrace this virtual thing. And we need to be aware that it's here to stay. If you're going to be in the business, you've got to have an arm and you've got to have, some breath in that space. Would you agree?

Joey Davenport 20:29 

Totally. And again, just one more point to this man. Back in the day, pre-pandemic, home offices wouldn't even allow you talking about cross-state boundaries. They're, like, open to this now, even on the captive career side, like they work out deals when somebody's out California. I mean, that was unheard of going back in 2019. So companies are open to this cross-country networks of coming into firms. And then that alone shows you how far we've evolved since the pandemic, because that was a no no, in most distribution systems, at least on the career or cause that career captive side, right. So that when a home office changes their mind, so that, you know there's some big paradigm shifts going on, you know, with this whole virtual world we're living in.

Suzanne Carawan 21:16 

And it took that long, because like, if you work it all in like, I've spent a lot of time on long term care, and you get into the multigenerational zoom, you can get all the generations of the phone together, right? All tied, like all on Zoom, talking about the whole, which you're going to do the care plan, but they're all in different places. No one's all staying home in one spot anymore. So it's like finally the home offices caught up with the fact that if you just follow the network, right, of here comes all the clients that are all interconnected. It seems like it's taken. I mean, I know that you just called it press a turtle, but it's incredible to me. And my background is on software companies and globally. So to come into this industry and see this, the transformation is incredible. But there's so much more that can be done.

Joey Davenport 22:02 

A lot more to be done so. But fire in the industry, which is good. Yeah, expediting underwriting, thinking about how to use AI more efficiently now, like, you're reading stuff, I get this LIMRA newsletter that comes out twice a week, industry news you can use, it's like one of the best things I get, and constantly are talking to Kinsey's study this with this, and the industry is looking at expediting these things. So stuff that we'd still be talking 15 years from now, to your point, Chris at a turtle's pace, it's sped that stuff up like 10 years, which is good for us in the business.

Chris Gandy 22:37 

So Joey, let me just talk about AI. So there are people now looking at our industry, because our industry has evolved so slow. I remember, I think Amazon for a while we're looking at jumping in the insurance business because of all the clients because of all the people that had an access. So let's talk about where do you think and again, I know you don't have a crystal ball. But where do you think the industry is going? I'm going to ask this question. So what do you think the industry is going as one? And then here's the next question. Is the traditional career system, do you think it will survive for the next 20 years? Or do you think it's going to change? And if it changes, like kind of how do you see it? What are your thoughts around what it will look like in the future? Because that's what we're selling for career. Right. And then a career now we're selling more of come join us come partner with us be a part of this. Wait, here's what it might look like in the future because that's how you walk forward, right? But I want to get somebody who's in the digital space and virtual space who's been on the career side, complete career side, and now see that the evolution is happening like that, I just would love your kind of 25 cents on it.

Joey Davenport 24:03 

All right, I'll kind of park the technology side. I'll come back to the second just talk about distribution, by the way is a loaded question. You asked me about the distribution like I got a tight rope this one but man if you look at what happened in Europe, like there's no career distribution system in Europe, it was decimated by regulations and things right that's why it's so critically important is if you get too much regulation come in there is no career distribution in Europe anymore like Australia, forget about it that's been gone through federal regulation like long time so it typically goes from Europe will go to Canada will end up in the US so I've been doing business now for about 13 years in Canada. I have a lot of Canadian clients, but career shops in Canada. I won't mention the names that's been dying off for a number of years now. They have what's called MGAs in Canada, which are more like hybrid career shops. You know what I mean? Right, it's you get independence but then you also get learning and development and resources and things like that. So what will happen is and then you're gonna have consolidation that's going on up there. So there will eventually be four or five MGAs. It's probably like 20 or 30 now, alright, let's go to the US now, career distribution very expensive, tough to do. There's only a handful of companies that are still able to do it effectively. But what's going on in the IMO space with this, right? Well, you got a bunch of different IMOs or whatever, but there's consolidation. I won't mention names, you see it every week. Why? Because the carrier doesn't want to deal with 50 Different IMOs right, just like they didn't want to do these BGA eggs. And so all the BGA is will roll up under an IMO. And then eventually, there's only going to be a handful of IMO in my opinion, because carrier didn't want to deal with those. Now, where are we at the IMO side, their margin themselves out of the business, right. And so the bottom line is, you eventually after you recruit these independent producers, somebody somewhere is going to have to recruit green peas in the business, I don't care if you're on the career side, if you're an IMO, whatever, eventually, you run out of baby boomers, you know what I'm saying that you're going to be able to pull in from other companies or whatever. So even on that side, right, they're talking about recruiting green pea, so where it evolves is, it will come full circle, eventually, to where we're going to have to figure out and crack the code, whether you're on the career side, or whether you're on the independent side of recruiting green peas into the business and developing them. Now, we've talked before Gandy about succession planning, and all this. And this isn't rocket science. But I've always everybody talks about team selling, and yet nobody's cracked the code quite on this. And here we have an aging baby boomer population that are sitting on top advisors, 3000 clients, that they're I don't want to keep my clients and they're boring you even though they can't possibly meet with more than 150 of them or whatever the number would be. And then you have new people that come in the business with no market, no experience, yet could be plugged into that, to me, that is chocolate meets peanut butter, you know what I'm saying? It's a perfect balance of having succession planning for veteran producers and giving people a market the thing that's missing most of the time with recruiting Green peas, and some companies do better than others, this is giving them a market they can plug into well, then we've got a market of hundreds of 1000s of clients that nobody's servicing, that a decline to one of these advisors isn't a client right to somebody relatively new. So anyway, I don't want to get on a soapbox. But my point is...

Suzanne Carawan 27:32 

But when that makes sense, when that like radically increase the probability of staying in the business, too.

Joey Davenport 27:40 

It solves two issues. Right?

Suzanne Carawan 27:42 

Where does the two egos scale is that the issue?

Joey Davenport 27:45 

The one ego on the veteran producers, grown with these clients and things and I think their mindsets, changing their the multi-line space, you guys have a lot of multi-line, people in NAIFA's writes, I'll address this, the multilane. They're sitting on three 4000, multi-line agents, right, and just to be able to pivot and have the life insurance conversation, or to have a junior rep, come in and work with those multi-line clients, who, in most cases have no idea that the multilane agent even sells life insurance, think about that. It's just an awareness issue. So it's not that everybody's not thinking about these things. When you take a step back. It's sort of obvious with it, and then to go full circle Gandy. With your question, it's going to be interesting, because even in the independent space, eventually, you run out of people to poach or attract over. And somebody's got to train somebody new to join the business and teach them the business, whether that's called career or independent, and that time is coming man over the next five to 10 years, as more of these baby boomer producers are out. Now, there's innovative stuff going on, with certain firms. And we see some of these young producers in the independent space and the way they're getting clients and doing like, a lot of its content marketing and doing podcasts and stuff. I love the innovation that's going on up there. But we have to pay attention. And quite frankly, a lot of that's going on in the independent space because it's not allowed on the career side. So I think the career side needs to take a look around right and see what's going on with new people, the innovative stuff that they're doing in the independent space for business development, and to build their brand and credibility.

Chris Gandy 29:26 

 So Joey, I don't know if everybody likes chocolate and peanut butter.

Joey Davenport 29:33 

Raise Peanut Butter Cup. It's the best.

Chris Gandy 29:37 

I think it's yet to be seen. But we do know that it looks different. Right? We know it looks different than it did when I started. And we were running our client builder meeting in our in a room with the chocolate, right? I mean, it's changed. It's changed so much I know that we have a Darfur we have, our focus, you know is to a certain amount of new people a certain amount of what I would call people that haven't yet hit their stride. Or as you talked about getting get the airplane off the ground, right that they've been somewhere, but they've not been appreciated, or not been developed, take them from 75,000 to 750,000. Like those unique things that come after you've got the fundamentals in play that allow for you to really scale on process product and procedure, right. And then we're always looking for like-minded individual who has the same concept or thought process that we have. Because we believe that collectively, we're stronger than we are independently. So like, and as a team, together, we can accomplish more. So, thanks for that insight. I appreciate that. Truly, you mentioned something that, so Joey, I think so many times we've been in the industry so long. But I think we skipped over a lot of things that people are like, well, yeah, it works. So well. I'm gonna stop doing, you mentioned a newsletter you get from LIMRA. Right, and you get it every couple what's happening in the industry? How do you get that Joey? I mean, is it something that hey, I got to pay for what's the story? And how does that association, even come into the conversation about continued learning or being on top of your game and not missing some of the statistics, some of the stats that's happening in our industry, because we always have to be paid.

Joey Davenport 31:38 

Yep, men. So like on that I don't know who gets that everybody that's on here, that's a home office executive or in the home office would have access to this. It's called industry news you can use, I get it twice a week. But I comb through that thing, part of what I do, you got to appreciate this game, though. Part of what I do is see who got promoted in certain companies, or who left this company go with this company, because then I'm going ding, ding, ding from a business development enterprise standpoint. But man, it's always has something on AI, financial wellness, all this stuff. I literally comb through it, I get it on Monday and Thursday, and look good, man, and again, I will mention certain names because I don't know what would compete with NAIFA, all the great stuff when I get NAIFA's things. And I'm looking through there, man, when I see like statistics and data, I see how can I use that as language in the field? You know what I mean? Not just a data point, or whatever. And when people pass right through that, what is this saying about lack of knowledge in the marketplace about people being underinsured or not saving enough money? How can I use that as language that I'm going to use out in the marketplace? So whether I'm looking at MDRT stuff, or NAIFA magazines, I'm always kind of looking through it is how can I use this with me with advisors to use it with consumers or whatever, but many other things like McKinsey, I'm like on a thing that triggers me when McKinsey has an entire insurance division, and so I'm interested in post-pandemic of what's going on in the industry about one expediting, underwriting and things, I try to stay on top of that sort of stuff. Because I feel like that is a big thing that slows us down right in the business. And so there's just certain things that you've been plugged into with that, you know, whether it's McKinsey articles, or whether it's insurancenews.net, or the NAIFA's, magazines or whatever, I try to absorb enough of that stuff and take some time each week to read the latest of it, I'm probably looking at it through a different lens than other people just because of my role now. But still, as a producer, I would be looking through saying what are nuggets in here, I can pick up on what's data points and research stuff that's going to help me for business development. Man, I go to a bunch of conferences, you know, that I was just at the lamp conference, or whatever Ken Dyck Wald spoke at that. He's like, a generational list. And Suzanne, back to your point, he was showing a magazine article that had four generations from like, the great-grandchild to the great-grandparent, living in the same household or whatever with it. And he says, this is going to be going on over the next 30 years in the United States, that's going to be living to 100 years old, healthy. And so you're gonna have to do generational blending, and you better make sure that you have a relationship with the children, and then with the grandchildren, because that's who is going to be getting assets and things like that, but that's going to be commonplace. Where there's four generations that are possibly under one roof that you've got to be thinking about and doing planning for it creates a huge opportunity for our business and a lot of ways not only business development just but just from a planning standpoint. So anyway, I digress.

Suzanne Carawan 34:44 

Well, and I wanted to touch on one thing real quickly. And sieving has some advice from some of our listeners out there because you're already talking when you're talking about looking at lumber and looking at this, you're already you're looking at it from an industry that you understand you're part of that industry, you've gone up that's next level thinking right so how did you go from being producers are looking at what do I need to build my own book of business to kind of thinking, hey, I am in an industry and how do I capitalize on that long term? Because that's, I think, a pivotal breakthrough point. For a lot of producers, the ones that get to that industry level, sky's the limit.

Joey Davenport 35:15 

Yeah, one thing I would say on that is, first of all, study groups are important. You know, Harry, who busts everybody thinks Harry says this for years, because everybody thinks I'm a visionary, because I'm just well informed. That was one of the early things I learned from him before I even met Harry is he was in for industry study groups that his career two Northwestern Mutual ones. And he's still in two industry study groups, the two top industry study groups, the research agencies group that LIMRA sponsors has been around for 80-something years, it's like the top 20 managing partners, and then the gas group, the general agent symposium, so I kind of learned from him is to be in study groups that are people in the industry, right? Because all of a sudden, you go, oh, okay, that company is doing these things. And this company is doing it that way. And it's good to be knowledgeable, and around that go into industry conferences, when I go to NAIFA, I have all these industry, friends and things that are outside people, we're doing things differently, there's cross-pollination going on, because we get insulated a little bit, right. And so it's very easily to get myopic, and insulated, but you got to take your first of all, you got to get outside your own firm, right. And even in your company, I get to how many people are just in their firm, that never even really go outside of their, in their own company across country to see what's going on. So for anybody that's in a study group, that's cross country in the same company, that's one thing, but then getting involved with the industry, and seeing what's going on out there and in what other people are talking about, and what's the latest trends and things you just have to you don't have to be a visionary, you just have to be well informed, right? And keep your antenna up on those kinds of things. But that's what networking and going to industry events and kind of taking yourself out of that. And now with me Suzanne, I'm looking at what's McKinsey doing like this is maybe a little foreign to the listeners, but I mean, I get stuff on like the Asia marketplace, like what McKinsey's talking about what's the trends going on in Southeast Asia. And here's the one thing I want everybody to know, you'll it ain't that tough to all of a sudden have a macro view. Like if you ask me what's going on in Asia, macro view? I've got it, I can tell you it right. But it's just because I've chosen to kind of pay attention to that. But as you all know, really well, it's a small industry, man, okay, if you're in Asia, if you're here, if you're in the white, you whatever, the industry is pretty small, pretty fast if you just sort of pay attention, and you can keep a pulse on that stuff. And here's the last thing I'll say about it. Any other industry you go to, people are hoarding the ideas, and they don't want to share any ideas with anybody else. We are in the one industry, whether you're a leader or an advisor, where the top people are standing on stage and saying, this is what I do, then here's how I do it. Now the problem is only about 10% of the people, okay, no, go and do something about it afterwards. The other 90% Here, all the great ideas from the dot people, they go, oh, good idea, man. And then they go, they don't do anything about it, which drives me crazy. But the point is, it's not like we're in an industry that's hard, and all the good ideas. I mean, I've learned so much from Chris Gandy over 15 plus years, you know, what he's doing? I mean, he's an operator, man. And so I just whether it's Gandy, or who whoever else it might be, it's, you just pay attention and you become very curious and, and ask a lot of questions. So, I don't know if I answered your question. That's maybe a roundabout way, but that's how I keep a bead on it. And it's not that difficult once you start paying attention and doing some reading with the business gets pretty small out there.

Chris Gandy 38:48 

Well, I think Joey, one of the things that you've done is you're open to learning. I think when we stop and think about it, we are all a personalities because we've been able to do this business for a period of time where you come into this business because you think you can win, right? You come in you think I'm gonna rule the world, I'm gonna do a bunch of different things right? But you're open to and you buy understanding that you have to continuously learn. You mentioned some acronyms like become a sponge, and you're learning every day in the learning every week you're taking the best of the best of the best in the best and then cooking this cocktail or creating this concoction that then ultimately, as one of my mentors once told me he goes there's are no new ideas in this bro. Everything's just borrow, repurpose, and reuse. That's it. He goes, that was your own right so I would hear her saying a lot of the things I heard I use now come from the fact that I heard from somebody else and I just repurposed it and added some stuff to it right and something else.

Joey Davenport 39:50 

We're interpretive artists, my friend, we're just interpreting. Hey, Frank Sinatra never wrote a song man. He just like interpreted the songs right?

Suzanne Carawan 40:01 

R&D, you rinse and duplicate. That's what you do.

Joey Davenport 40:05 

I consider myself, an interpretive artists, for sure.

Chris Gandy 40:10 

I think you've said a lot that I think, thank you so much for your time and good effort. I just want to tap on one other thing though. I'm looking in your rearview mirror, and I see that that hammer or the gavel is there, which means that that is a NAIFA gavel. So share with us a little bit about what NAIFA has meant to you. And that means you served in some sort of leadership role. And why leadership, you know, volunteer is super important, and an industry that needs people to get back to.

Joey Davenport 40:44 

Yep. So man, I'm past president of NAIFA's, Chicago, and Steve Holter, who is a district agent here. And when I got to Chicago, he was like, why don't you come to a committee meeting here, you come into my office, we have a committee meeting going on, it's okay. Well, next thing you know, boom, that rolls man, it's like, a mini meeting leads to I'm going through your chairman of the committee, I'm on the board. Now I'm going through chairs. And so the point is, you got to ask somebody, right, you got to fill your shoes and get people involved, you know what I mean, to come in behind you. But that led to first of all, that was one of the first times in Chicago, but I know so many people in Chicago, I know, like all the leaders and much producers, because the NAIFA's. I mean, that was going back to the work that I did with NAIFA. And then you just take a lot of passion from it, you know, and it develops your leadership skills, whether you're a producer or a leader, and you're getting to solve problems. And I'll get to the advocacy in a second. But next thing you know, you look it up. And these are like lifelong relationships that you build even to this day, you know, whether it's with John Nichols, or with you, or just a number of people here in Chicago that I'm close with and nationally that I'm close with now going on the advocacy side of it, men their comment, I mean, if you were on the hill last year, these lawmakers have no idea what they're talking about around finances, man, I went to Mississippi, I look a funeral of an aunt that passed away this last weekend, I was on a flight from Charlotte. This lady was decked out on there. She's a little bit older, she sat next to me, I go, Where are you coming from? She was I'm with the Realtors Association. And I'm with our advocacy group. And we were just in DC. And we did a rally last night at the whatever the baseball team is there. Who was the senators, whatever it's called the Nationals. The NAIFA's people are gonna kill me for knowing that.

Suzanne Carawan 42:45 

I'm a Senator.

Joey Davenport 42:48 

She starts rapping about advocacy and the importance of advocacy. And I said they don't know anything, the politicians about our business she was they have no clue about real estate, right? And they just beat down this thing, the deal in the mortgages that they were about to do. So she was proud they were coming back. But we got to talking about how ignorant politicians are about the issues unless we get on the hill, or NAIFA on our behalf to actually educate and say, no, no, no, you can't punish people that have taken their own money to create financial security for themselves. Because that keeps it from falling on the backs of you all, but you know what I mean, the biggest financial safety net outside of Social Security is life insurance, death proceeds every year, right? Or every day. And so the point is, and I'm getting all fired up, but advocacy is everything that keeps the lights on for us to do what we do. And without us or NAIFA on the Hill in their ear saying this stuff, they would make really dumb decisions that would negatively impact millions of people right throughout the US. I mean, the secure act last year, right? That was huge. You know those things. And so NAIFA's meant a ton to me for that. I know that you guys have to legislation day coming up pretty soon, it's always great to be up there. I mean, how many opportunities do you get to go on the Hill to meet with senators and representatives on behalf your industry and for those of you that have never been and you might be nervous, and I don't really know anything, you will get partnered up with people that know Gandy and I run meetings together, right? Order people know and NAIFA will equip you with talking points and things and you're going to tell 100 times more than any politician you're sitting across from so don't be hesitant to go in. It's a amazing experience. If you want to know what it feels like to be in the industry. And at the highest level of making an impact on the industry. Get involved with NAIFA. Go to the hill. It's just exhilarating to be able to do that stuff and Gandy was great last year when you and I got to go in with a couple of meetings together. So it was you and me going in there. You hit him hard. I hit them low man.

Chris Gandy 45:05 

We hit him. Right. Yeah. So. So thanks so much, Joey. I mean, we could talk to you for days. But our time is limited. You are a leader in this industry. You've set some cornerstones, and you've added value, you continue to add value. So kudos to you. And thank you for all you do. We couldn't do it without thank you for your servant leadership. Being a part of NAIFA leading from the front, and then asking others to be part of the association. Super important. And my man hats off to you. Congratulations on your success so far. Where's the Joey dammit, we're book coming out from Tennessee. I mean, that's what I want to know. What was that? Was that coming out? Right now sometime soon, or what?

Joey Davenport 45:59 

I got to find time to write a book man. I got to slow down and in chronicle it. So we'll see. I'll keep you posted. I appreciate it, man. Appreciate y'all having me on. It's an honor to be on here. Appreciate the work that you all were doing. The stuff you've been doing the last few years on the diversity front Gandy, and just on the leadership with it. I just love watching it, you know, and a huge proponent. So appreciate y'all having me on. Hopefully, there's a little bit of value coming out of this philosophizing.

Chris Gandy 46:25 

Absolutely. So Joey we got the speed round, don't meet up. And you're right, we are on the precipice of congressional conference. It's coming up, Suzanne can comment on the dates. If you're not signed up, make sure you go sign up, make sure you come to the DEI symposium. We've got a phenomenal, a fantastic front side to congressional conference, where we're going to highlight some of the unique approaches to the industry and what's happening to better equipped your business to embrace diversity, acceptance, opportunity, and markets that quite frankly, you might not even be in that. But ultimately, you could tap into through some of the professionals that will be speaking at the conference. So Suzanne, do you have anything else before I go to Joey for the speed round?

Suzanne Carawan 47:15 

Now it's time for the speed round.

Chris Gandy 47:17 

All right, Joey if I had a graphic, it'd be like, like speed round. So the rules of the speed round was interesting, is I'm gonna ask you a couple of handful of questions. Whatever comes to mind first, that's what it is. Okay. You don't have to that a deep thought process. But it's quick. Okay. So we'll start out with something easy. Your favorite baseball team?

Joey Davenport 47:38 

Player baseball team, the Atlanta Braves.

Chris Gandy 47:41 

See how easy that was Joey? So definitely nothing? Nothing? Cubs,

Joey Davenport 47:44 

Oh, no, no, Chicago Cubs. Sorry. I was thinking growing up. I grew up in Nashville. We didn't have a baseball team. So Atlanta Braves but Chicago Cubs for sure.

Chris Gandy 47:53 

So okay, got it. All right. So Joey, I'm asking you these three questions, and we'll get into it. So the first question is, you answered the one what's your favorite food?

Joey Davenport 48:05 

My favorite food is mac and cheese.

Chris Gandy 48:09 

If you were in Chicago, and you wanted to get back at cheese at a restaurant, where would you take me?

Joey Davenport 48:13 

Man, I would go to a place called Smiley Brothers, which is in Evanston, which brings it out in like a little skillet pot, and it's got the gourmet mac and cheese with a little Parmesan crust thing on top.

Chris Gandy 48:29 

Got it? So Joey, if you were recruiting one of your kids into the business, what would you say to them to be get them interested in a business like?

Joey Davenport 48:41 

Man, the only way that you're going to make more impact, other than being a pastor, or maybe being a counselor or something and multi-generational impact is to come into this business. So if you want to see impact on a grand scale that goes beyond your lifetime, and others lifetimes, this is the business to get into.

Chris Gandy 49:01 

Joey, if you could go back in time and have dinner with any successful person. Whether they're here past or present. Who would it be and why?

Joey Davenport 49:13 

Mine would be Abraham Lincoln. So when I think about big Abraham Lincoln fan, when think about the stuff that he had to navigate with civil war, and just the Emancipation Proclamation, and just all the things coming at, and just doing it from what we can tell is just stoically right without your head popping off. I mean, those are some heavy-duty things for a leader to deal with and to be able to navigate and come through that on the other side. And I want to pick the brain about how you do that without just completely stressing out and staying cool and continue to lead people when it's a life or death is on the line.

Chris Gandy 49:50 

And then the last question, Joey, is if you were to go back, reflections always good. You were to go back and tell your 20-year-old self when you first came on to business, what would you tell yourself about coming into this industry? And what would you do differently?

Joey Davenport 50:06 

I'd say think bigger, be bolder, take more risks. That's exactly what I would do. You know, even if I look back, I feel like, you say I'd done this and that or whatever, but still a victim of kind of thinking too small. So just kind of think big. Sky's the limit, be bold, take bigger risks, things like that.

Chris Gandy 50:28 

Awesome. Joey. Thanks. We appreciate you. Again, I appreciate all you do. And leading from the front, guys like you, we need more guys like you continue to give back to the industry and care about the industry as a whole. So Suzanne, do you have anything else before we close it out?

Suzanne Carawan 50:48 

May 22 23rd, is congressional conference and DEI symposium. And then Happy birthday to you a couple of months in advance here, Joey? Because that's a big one. That's awesome.

Chris Gandy 50:58 

Big 50, Joey, do you have any closing comments before I wrap this up?

Joey Davenport 51:03 

No, I just would say thanks for all the work that NAIFA does. Advocacy is hugely important. I appreciate the leadership of YouTube on here, and I'm honored to be on this podcast and best of luck to both of you. Awesome. Thanks again.

Chris Gandy 51:16 

Thanks, Joey. All right. So everyone out there, tune into our next podcast. Thanks for being here at NAIFA Advisor Today, where we promote uplift and support the development of advisors. We look forward to seeing you at congressional conference, and with wonderful people that will be there where we can create camaraderie. And may you move forward and continue to learn about the business as a whole. Thanks, Joey. Thanks, Suzanne. We'll see you guys soon.

Outro 51:48 

Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes and if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know.



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