Samuel Waxman is a Life Insurance and Living Benefits Advisor at Waxman Planning – a firm focused on bringing innovative and practical insurance and estate planning solutions for families and business owners. Samuel’s goal is to ensure that his clients’ insurance and estate plans help protect them, their families and their businesses even in the toughest of times. He does this by utilizing innovative and practical insurance and estate planning solutions.
In this edition of Advisor Spotlight, we speak with Samuel to learn more about him and his approach to being an Insurance Advisor.
What inspired you to become an advisor?
My dad suggested it would be a good idea. After graduating from university and failing my LSATs, I had no clue what to do next. My father had spent 45 years in the business as an insurance advisor and was ready to slow down. I decided to give the industry a try, and eleven years later, I have my CFP, CLU, CHS, and CEA and have never looked back.
What do you feel is your competitive advantage?
My youth and willingness to adapt. The average age of an insurance advisor is mid 60’s, and they live by the motto: “We have always done it this way.” I take the opposite approach to my business. As one of the few younger advisors in the insurance industry, I lean on my unique perspective and my belief that a strong technology deck will benefit my clients and me as well.
What is the biggest misconception clients have about the process of getting insured?
That it’s hard and tedious. While this may be the case if you are not working with the right advisor, this is more myth than fact. Insurance has been known to be a “dirty” word and not something people are excited about obtaining. However, it provides an immense amount of value to both the individual and their family. As long as they work with the right advisor who guides and assists them through every step of the process, getting insurance can be straightforward and enjoyable.
How do you think digitization will affect the future of the industry?
It will provide a smoother, less cumbersome process for consumers trying to obtain insurance. While the insurance industry has made leaps and bounds with digitization over the last few years, I like to joke and say we have only now reached the new millennium with insurance digitization. As soon as consumers, advisors and carriers can all get on the same page from a digitization standpoint, I believe strongly that the process of getting insurance will no longer be something people dread.
How do you stay up to date with industry trends?
Consume content constantly. Since growth in the insurance industry is slow, I do my best to know today what the average person will know 1-3 years from now. I do this by reading articles, listening to podcasts and most importantly, networking with individuals trying to disrupt the industry.
What’s something about being an advisor you wish you knew earlier in your career?
‘No’ today is not ‘no’ tomorrow. Following up is one of the easiest things to do to stay top of mind with your clients and prospects. Unfortunately, most people choose not to do this. The amount of business I have built and maintained just from the simple act of following up continues to amaze me.
What is the major takeaway you’d like to leave your clients with when choosing you for their insurance needs?
Work with someone you trust. While I hope to connect with an individual and they choose to work with me, I will always understand if not. Insurance planning is not supposed to be a transaction. The advisor you choose to work with should not only be there for you today, but they should be there to grow with you throughout your entire life and then for your family when you are no longer alive. That type of relationship should not be about the lowest price, easiest onboarding process or prettiest website. Instead, it should be based on trust and mutual respect.
What are some personality traits that make for a great advisor?
- Willingness to always learn and stay educated
- Ability to follow up with prospects and clients
- Desire to be great
- Leadership mindset
- The understanding that life changes, and just because “it was always done this way” doesn’t mean that’s the way to continue doing it
What was one of the most meaningful moments of your career?
Delivering my first death claim cheque. I thought about listing some of the different awards I have been fortunate to win over my career, but those are all personal wins and rewards only I benefit from. Delivering my first death claim during the first year of my career showed me how important the work we do as insurance advisors really is. Seeing the emotions of a widow receiving the death claim, understanding that money would not bring their loved one back, it would help their family maintain their standard of living in the absence of meaningful income. This solidified that random decision I made to listen to my dad years ago and made me realize that we are not just selling a product or a service. We are helping people when they need it the most.
What challenges and opportunities do you foresee for yourself and the industry as a whole in the next 10 years?
My biggest hope is that the industry evolves proactively by choice and not reactively because of increased competition from a big tech player (i.e. MAANG). The average age of insurance advisors continues to increase. In order to make sure our growing population is covered, we need to lean on technology to create efficiencies and provide a seamless experience for customers. The best way to do this is with assistance from the insurance carriers.
Samuel’s drive to keep learning and improving despite his extensive experience and his mission to ensure his clients are protected is an inspiring guide to successfully meeting your client’s needs.