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Being of Service with Troy Korsgaden

George Grombacher April 20, 2023

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Being of Service with Troy Korsgaden

LifeBlood: We talked about being of service, the ongoing transformation of the financial services industry, how to evaluate priorities and take constructive action, and how to meet the customer where they are, with Troy Korsgaden, financial services expert, consultant, speaker, and author.   

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You can learn more about Troy at Korsgaden.com, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Troy Korsgaden

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:01
Well, why plus George G and the time is right welcome today’s guest struggle powerful Troy Coors garden. Troy, you’re ready to do this?

Troy Korsgaden 0:08
Ready to Rock, George.

george grombacher 0:09
All right, let’s go. Troy is a sought after insurance and financial services consultant speaker, the author of seven books, he’s working to help the industry and representatives wake up to the radical transformation that is taking place. Troy, I’m excited to have you on tell us a little about your personal life more about your work and why you do what you do.

Troy Korsgaden 0:29
Wow, man, I can talk all day about that. So thanks for having me on. I’m excited to be here with you and your audience. I’m from a town called Visalia, California. It’s in central California. agricultural area. If you’ve heard of Sun Maid, raisins were 15 minutes from their Sunkist growers, diamond walnut growers, I mean just a little bit of everything. Great community right at the foothills of the giant sequoia. So we’re two hours away from Yosemite, the giant sequoia is two hours away from the Central Coast Morro Bay, three hours from LA four hours from San Francisco. So dead center. My family is here. I’ve got three children, couple of step kids to live out in Mississippi. But my kids are 3636 35 and 15. My wife and I reside here and love it here. But we do a lot of traveling. And my purpose is my family. My purpose is just as you stated as you opened up here. So I’ll tell you a little bit more as we get going.

george grombacher 1:35
I love it. You bet. So I am old enough to remember the California Raisins. Troy? Are they still hanging around Visalia?

Unknown Speaker 1:42
They aren’t they’re not they don’t use that as their marketing pitch anymore. But they’re there. They’re there. They’re in Selma, which is 15 minutes away. So yeah, okay.

george grombacher 1:51
Love it. So when you were when you were a teenager, Troy did you think one day I’m gonna grow up and and change the financial services industry that that is that what you thought was gonna happen?

Unknown Speaker 2:06
You’re already scoring points with me, I thought I would be a rock star, I write music, and I play the guitar and the piano. Not that good. Otherwise, I would be on a different podcast today with the Rolling Stones or whatever. But now I thought I’d be a rock star. And quickly found out after I went down to LA, I wasn’t gonna make it there were a lot of people with more talent than me. And I lucked out. And I got into the insurance and financial services industry. And it’s just been a great ride ever since.

george grombacher 2:37
And so talking about this transformation that is taking place radical transformation, a little bit about that.

Unknown Speaker 2:45
Yeah, I started in 1983. As a practitioner, I started right here in my town, I like to kid that I got a big old book and business when I first started called the phonebook. And so I scratched out in agency for those that have read my books and know my story, what not perfect, but I’ve had a great ride in the business. And so I just, I really still relate to the practitioners, although I work with carriers at a very high level, and work in distribution, marketing, technology, all the things that support the care and feeding of the advisor, whether they’re in Independence, whether they’re exclusive, tired, like I started out, whether they’re in a call center, we work with a lot of call center people to you know, it’s just really just, it’s just been a great industry to be in, I can’t wait to tell you more about it.

george grombacher 3:37
So what what is happening is transformation. Has it been a slow moving one is it hastened?

Unknown Speaker 3:45
Yeah, it’s hasent. I will tell you that when I started in 1983, it really was, it was slow. I mean, it just as slow as molasses. And there’s still parts of the industry that are. But I think right now, we’ve really hit the inflection point where it’s just really taken off. And it’s daily, the changes, and there’s a lot of challenges, but the technology has sped things up. The companies used to tell us when to buy, what to buy, how to buy, and now the customer has the keys to the kingdom. They say when and what and how they want to buy because they’re emboldened by the Amazon effect, by the Internet of Things, whether it’s Facebook, whether it’s, you know, holograms in the future, man, people are just like they’re looking for the next best thing and they want it now. And they want it their way. So I you know, daily, literally all day long. I’ve been having conversations with carrier leaders, and all the things that they’ve got to do to keep up with the pace of change to meet the customer where they want to be met, and to connect with the customer the way they want to connect.

george grombacher 4:55
And how do carriers receive that?

Unknown Speaker 4:59
So You know, I’m reading into your question a little bit, because we go back to the past, they didn’t receive it very well at all. Today, they know that they have to change. And there’s, as you alluded to, it’s, it’s moving so fast. So the conversations are just nonstop every day. Because it’s not just money, technology and speed. There’s a money component to it. But it’s really a capacity a time issue for carriers. So they’re way more open, because you can get money back, if you make a mistake, you can’t get your time back, right. And so if you’re a market leader, you want to maintain that market, and then you want to improve it, right? That whole idea is to grow. And to grow, you’ve got to do what you do really well. But you got to stand up new capability. So I would say the answer your question, in the past very slow, started speeding up a couple of years ago, and now it’s at a fever pitch. I mean, they all know, it’s a nuclear arms race to get to the future as fast as possible.

george grombacher 6:12
It’s fascinating. So when we’re talking about carriers, are we talking about? Are we talking about life insurance companies? What are we talking about?

Unknown Speaker 6:22
So all of the above when you look at insurance and financial services, so for me, if you had to boil it down and say, Troy, what’s your practice? My practice predominantly has been multi line carriers. And when we say multi line, we’re talking about property and casualty, and we’re talking about financial services. But really, we’re all in multi line, whether you sell multi property and casualty doesn’t matter, you might not have a solution, something to provide them, but you got to know how to talk about it. You might be in property and casualty and not sell financial services. I’ve got big carriers that don’t offer the financial services. Most do by the way. But for the ones who don’t, they still have to have their advisors understand what’s in the best interest for the consumer, for the customer, the client. So for that reason, I appeal as a consultant, because my background and the people that I work with, it’s it’s life and financial services, and its property casualty, or its shops that do everything. And I think as we carry on with the conversation, I’ll connect a dot there that will start to make sense to your listeners.

george grombacher 7:37
So when when you sit down with with with these carriers, what how do we start the conversation? Is it let’s figure out what what the customer avatar is? And how they’re looking to consume or what walk me through that.

Unknown Speaker 7:57
That’s a piece of it. So look, it’s like any business, the advisors that are listening, right? You’ve got a client or a customer that has lots of needs. But it’s prioritization, right? I need more life insurance, I need that now. It’s we need to do some planning. But today, I’ve got a need. I just bought a business and there’s a building and there’s mortgage on that building, or we just formed a new business, and we need buy. So whatever the issue is, right now, we got to take care of it. But we can’t just be transactional. And in the past, life insurance companies, financial services companies, multi line carriers that offer it all, really were transactional, the last 10 years, here’s your coverage, here’s your price, do you want it and it wasn’t built as a long term relationship the way it should have been? It’s really what does the customer want, need and have every right to expect? And some of it, we sell something and we make money, some of it, we don’t ever and 10 years ago, it was the same. It’s just that people always looked at the transaction advisors, and said, I’m going to make a commission here and this is what I’m going to work on. You really got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, you got to be able to build their needs with solutions that you provide. And then also really flip the model upside down from what it’s been transactions and flip it to, I want to give you great service, I want to give you great advice. And then I want to earn the right to offer you a product solution, a financial services, product, a life product, a home a business policy, whatever it is, but up until now, everybody’s been trying to get the transaction first and then give them great service and then give them great advice. He just out of the chute. You got to flip it around because people they’ll do business with you because they know and trust you. But they want you to serve them first. They don’t want you to sell on them. First they want a discussion partner, they don’t want a salesperson and a discussion partner doesn’t sell you, they don’t tell you, they just give you great service give you great advice, and then you make the decision that’s best for you and your family or your business. That’s the model for the future. So carriers now have to retool their cultures. And and so that might be the starting point. The starting point might be product specific, the starting point with a carrier with us could be their systems and their processes all the workflows with with a customer, and all the onboarding of a customer. But, you know, not all the time does a carrier come and go, Hey, we need to look at the whole thing. It’s generally I’m looking at the whole thing. But I’m solving what their their need is right now, while we’re looking at the bigger picture and the bigger picture, man, it’s it’s long term, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

george grombacher 11:00
Yeah, I have to imagine that when you’re going into these massive companies that have been doing business with massive amounts of people for a massive number of years. It’s like turning a battleship.

Unknown Speaker 11:11
That’s right. That’s right. But it can be, it can be done. It’s just it’s really the leadership’s focus and what they want to do today and in the future,

george grombacher 11:23
and innovate or go extinct.

Unknown Speaker 11:26
You’re 100%, right. And it’s not the flavor of the month. You know, innovation, it’s really got to be thought out. And, you know, ideas, as they say, and I didn’t coin this ideas are a dime a dozen, you know, if you want to be truly successful, it’s all about execution. So if you’re a listener, and you’re a practitioner, and you’re in a local community, and it’s you and one other person, or you and five people are you and 50 people, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about execution. So you just need to learn that skill of getting the right idea, and then executing it and refining it continuous improvement all the time. And I tell you, this is the best time to be in our business, whether you’re an advisor, whether you’re working for an advisor, whether you’re a leader, a manager, a field leader, or whether you’re an executive that has a 20 $30 billion company, I can’t think of a better time to be in our business, even though there’s a lot of disruption.

george grombacher 12:28
I love the term you use discussion partner. Yeah. And I imagine you didn’t come upon that. Those two words. Easily or lightly. So why discussion? Why partner?

Unknown Speaker 12:42
Yeah, so I wrote a book a couple years ago. And when I wrote it, it was the precursor to a book I wrote called inflection point. And so the people that I depend on to give me advice, said, like, you can’t release inflection point without really prep the people prep the patient. And so I believe there’s four segments of customers when you deal with them. And I’ve done a lot of research on I’ve done a lot of work. I’ve been in the business since 1983. So I’ve seen a lot, my good fortune, is that I’ve been behind the curtain to get to see all the new stuff that all the carriers are doing, whether I’m deeply integrated with them or not, I get to see everything. And so I formed a point of view on a lot of different things, but nothing more than the customer. I believe the customer is the apex, it’s everything. You know, if you’re thinking about the commission, before you’re thinking about the customer, you’re not going to be a long term success, you’re gonna hit a brick wall and not be able to move forward. So those four segments discussion partner, it’s the fastest growing today. It’s not the biggest, but it’s the fastest growing and it will be the biggest and I’ll explain why here in a second. The relationship customer is the one that most of our listeners that are listening to us grew up on whether you’ve been in the business as long as me 10 years, 15 years, people buy from people they know and trust. Now a more to be with you. You just got to give them enough reasons. And, and so there’s a big swath of customers in property and casualty and financial advisors. There’s a big swath of them, they grew up with you, they went to high school with you, they went to college with you, they were in club with you. They go to worship with you wherever you worship. Your kids play sports with them, and they just they like you and they trust you to give them some good advice because it’s all confusing. So it’s the biggest but it will always be a big group of people we do business with but discussion partner will overtake it now connect that dot the third group is really the kids of the relationships. And in the old days when I first started they say my daddy was withdrawn. His daddy was withdrawn his daddy’s Daddy was withdrawn. Okay. And, and they just were creatures of habit. But the insurance industry, both financial services, property casualty, really lost sight of something really important. They didn’t see that the kids just quit come coming over, it’s just it happened over a period of time, it didn’t happen overnight. But a lot of it had to do with the internet, because kids can not as brand loyal as we were when we grew up, and they want to know, and that’s a good thing they want to know. And so they use the internet for information not not just to buy, but to inform them to educate them. Hence, a lot of these children of relationships can fit into discussion partner, it’s not their college education, it’s just their, their thinkers. And so they go, I’m not going to just do it, because somebody else did. And so you got to get to that group, before they get the money, that job the opportunity, you got to really form a relationship with those folks. The fourth group, price shoppers, and they’re just transactional, there’s a place for transactions, all carriers have a transactional component, right? Because there’s some people believe just in Customer Self Service, they don’t want to talk to anybody, they’re a hermit, you know, that’s okay. But if all they want is price, if you live by price, you’ll die by price. We all know that’s true. And if it’s true, you’ve really got to look at group number four and go I want some of them. I just don’t want all on. And that I could get into the reasons for that. But go back to the discussion partner piece. My book discussion partner now sounds more than it did two years ago, because the marketplace came to it. So So wasn’t where the puck was, as they say it’s where the puck was going. And so now it’s there. And so now inflection point really makes sense to people because they’re going, Hey, I can’t keep doing it the same way I got, I’ve got to create a new model. And I got to use different language, right? Language is important. And I’ve got to present a different way. And so I’m not going to have technology replace me, but I gotta be an expert on it. So I can give the customer when, where how they want in that ecosystem, and they want to do business and not the one I’m selling.

george grombacher 17:22
That makes all the sense in the world. And when when when you’re in boardrooms, and you see people nod their head, and then all of a sudden that kind of stopped. Do you realize what what what kind of goes through your head?

Unknown Speaker 17:39
So if you’re referring to somebody on that, I want to do that, then that’s one answer. There’s another one, which is just man. I mean, there’s so much going on in property and casualty is an example. There’s rate action, right? There’s a lot of issues going on, because of inflation, because of, you know, lots of different things that are happening with weather and things like that. And it’s a perfect storm. And so they’re just trying to deal with that. How do we deal with inflation keep all I guess, when you go to life and financial services, we’ve got economic problems in this world. And so that’s a risk when you’re, you’re looking at your customer base, and, and so all these are issues. So what I found is, I’m a real gnat, okay, they’re, they’re big firms that come in, I’m just a boutique firm. And so not everybody’s gonna want to do my ideas, but I will tell you this, they all will start focusing more on the customer and not just using it as a slogan. And so they may stop, and they’re not nodding their heads anymore. Usually, when they stop nodding their head, it’s like, Okay, how are we going to do this? How are we going to fit this in? Because it’s an idea whose time is here. But how are we going to execute it. And that’s, that’s really where I come in, as I understand your audience. We need to help the people that are helping the customer to understand the why, and how to understand how they can execute, because I gotta tell you, a lot of people said the agent would be dead, they said that the advisor would be dead. They said that people will do on things, you know, just through technology, like artificial intelligence, is going to really make a lot of things obsolete. A lot of things. Not the relationship, man. You know, people still want somebody to hold their hand through the maze of madness. And people want to know where to go. So one of the reasons they keep nodding their head with me is I understand the agent I’ve been when I talk to him every day, even people that don’t pay me, I talk to him because I want to know, and then I can have a point of view that helps to communicate the why. And if we can do that, everybody listening here can tell Both sides have their book of business, whatever it is, in less than 18 months, everyone listening here. But it’s do you have the right plan? Do you have the right model? And then do you have the execution strategy to keep it, do the right things, have the right activities, have the right follow up, have all the fundamentals in place, and then whatever your goals are doubling, it just even right now, with all this disruption in the world, every time I look back at my personal production growth, it was always when things were the most screwed up all the disruption, I can point to it, I can prove it analytically to you.

george grombacher 20:40
Love it. Will try thank you so much for coming on. So discussion partners, the book, this is something that, that everybody can benefit from, if I’m building a clientele if I’m a carrier. There’s something in it for me.

Unknown Speaker 20:55
Without a doubt, and you can reach us of course, garden.com Look, as the great Jim Rohn used to say the book you don’t read, can’t help you. If you don’t have time to read, they’re an audio book you can get out of them. But look at I mean, there’s a lot of great books out there. I’m an avid reader, but I would read discussion part or you can read it in a night. I write them so you can digest them and start to execute a little bit.

george grombacher 21:23
Well, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you in general, and tell us again, where they can get their copies of discussion partners, as well as inflection point and the other five books that you have been so gracious to create?

Unknown Speaker 21:36
You bet. Of course, God not com, the third book, I’d say because you mentioned the two biggies are the biggies, I just released a book called net game growth that just came out. And it’s more how to execute. It’s the language to use. And even for the folks that just sell financial services and life insurance. It’s all applicable. So anyway, of course gotten.com And then you can reach me personally, I’m gonna give you my private email address. If any of your listeners want to get a hold of me. It’s Troy at horse gotten.com Troy Of course gotten.com

george grombacher 22:11
Excellent. If you enjoyed as much as I did, show your appreciation and share today share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to korsgaard and.com. That’s korsgadn.com Shoot Troy message Troy at Coors garden.com. Pick up your copies of his newest net gain growth, as well as discussion partners and inflection point. And stay ahead of that transformation. Because otherwise Troy it will run right over you or something.

Unknown Speaker 22:46
Thanks, George. I appreciate it.

george grombacher 22:48
Thank you again until next time, remember to your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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