executive vice president and
CEO of Southern Farm Bureau
Life Insurance Company
John Joseph Stroble,
“Agents need to realize the importance of the job they
have in society. Serving others
is the highest calling one can have. ”
insight than most heads of life insurance companies.
Also, when hurricanes Katrina and
Rita devastated the Gulf Coast a few years
ago, our agents worked day and night to
help our policy holders. This showed me
what the insurance business is all about
from a sales/service standpoint.
NAIFA: You consider yourself a
“servant of the agency force.” Is this
part of your philosophy as it relates to
sales and service?
Stroble: Yes. We consider our
agency force our customer and we put
them first. This emphasis resonates
throughout our organization and
begins at the top.
NAIFA: How are today’s trends shap-
ing the industry’s products?
Stroble: The term market is extremely
competitive and we expect that to
continue. A number of companies are
announcing they are re-pricing their
term portfolio and increasing rates.
We expect more companies to follow
suit. Our agency force are true multiline producers, and we strive to keep
our portfolio relatively simple. There will
always be a strong need for whole life
insurance, and many Baby Boomers,
including myself, clearly see the need
for long-term-care insurance. Product
design has always been important but
will have greater significance in the
coming years. Companies must have
strong risk-management programs in
place. We are in the risk business, so
this is certainly nothing new.
STROBLE’S STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
■ Realize the importance of the job you have in society.
■ Remember that you are selling a promise and you have
to deliver on that promise.
■ Have a passion for what you do.
■ Know your products and recommend what is
appropriate to your clients.
■ Put your clients’ interests above your own.
NAIFA: How do you as EVP and CEO
of Southern Farm Bureau balance
Stroble: We focus on our mission, which
is to serve the members of Farm Bureau.
So whenever we are required to make an
important decision, one of the questions
we ask ourselves is: “Is this contrary to
our mission?” and we always move to the
side of caution and conservatism.
NAIFA: In your lobby, there is a flat
panel monitor with a series of metrics