Join the Idudes as they interview the remarkable Dax Cornelius, who shares his journey from being a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot to founding Bastion Agency USA which is nothing short of a compelling narrative that is filled with lessons about connectivity and relevance in this digital age! The conversation delves into the transformative impact of the pandemic on individuals and organizations, stressing the need for alignment in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Dax sheds light on the specific challenges faced by insurance agencies, navigating trends like usage-based insurance, on-demand insurance, and the integration of IoT. Crucially, he emphasizes the pivotal role of risk assessment, conversion, and effective communication in reshaping the insurance sector.
Drawing parallels between military principles and business operations, the discussion highlights the importance of clarity, empowerment, and mindset in fostering high-performing teams. Dax advocates for acknowledging imperfections, cultivating a growth mindset, and leveraging technology to enhance the overall customer journey.
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Craig Pretzinger & Jason Feltman
The Insurance Dudes
reconsider why you're doing what you're doing. If you're not all, if you don't really believe that that's your calling, and this is your talent, and this is your, your gift, go find what is because life's too short, insurance dudesCraig Pretzinger:
are on a mission to escape big hiccup by our agents.Jason Feltman:
How? by uncovering the secrets to creating a predictable, consistent, and profitable agency Sales Machine.Craig Pretzinger:
Hi, I'm Craig Pretzinger.Jason Feltman:
I am Jason Feldman. We are agents, we are insurances. If we're talking about the the end user, I think us as business owners need to understand that it's it, you know, we're thinking about that. So like communication is different in that. But like, also to your point with our teams and how things are changing so much. And it's just, we're just in this giant change that's happening. And I think that because of, you know, things moving so fast, there can be this instability element where we need to be incredibly stable with all these things. So I think for us to be really thinking about all this, of how do we leverage the technology? How do we do this with our team with our clients and stuff, but also like, being real cognizant of the fact that, hey, a lot of this stuff is new and intimidating to people. So like, we might not know a lot, and how are we going to communicate that to our team, to our clients and everything else? In a way? That's like, don't worry about it. Everything's cool. We got it. And, you know, keeping those two elements kind of separate almost. Yeah,Dax Cornelius:
no, I think you're spot on when you when you look at how this affects automation. how this affects insights, risk assessment, personalization, reduced operational costs, conversion rates, I think it's the effective integration of channels across internal ops, sales, marketing, that are all crucial. Yes, but they all also have a human factor to them that we all still drive towards, you know, are our brains that are, however, 1000s of years old, we still go to sleep at night telling ourselves stories, we we gravitate like moth to a flame to stories. Yeah. So with all of this digital tech, and it's confusion, and its chaos, and its fog and friction. Don't forget about the head and heart of human beings, and why we're doing what we're doing and why we're coming together. So whether you're in the leadership of the big insurance company trying to realign to your workforce, or whether you're just someone out there listening on this podcast that's trying to figure out what they're trying to do in life, or what insurance they're funding go with, for their for their car, or health insurance. You know, gravitate to a brand that that that gets you and and has, in the dense fog of this digital space has somehow reached out to you, in your space in your place in your time in your language. That's key. That's key. Yeah,Jason Feltman:
I love that. And then on the inverse of that, it's like how can we create those places? That has fame attraction?Dax Cornelius:
Yes, absolutely.Jason Feltman:
Super cool. Dude. I love I love you military dudes. It's so awesome. You're the way No, seriously, like some of the best insurance agents I've ever seen. And I noticed this we're ex military. It's just very, I mean, when the way you guys talk about teams and and leadership and how systemized things are, it's justCraig Pretzinger:
we modeled the things that we do in our agency after the way that military people do it. Because it's so systematized, right, like, it's the only way then then you don't have to it's not personalities, right. It's just like, hey, this is the way it works. If you don't if it doesn't work for you, that's cool. Just not gonna work here. Right? Like, yeah,Dax Cornelius:
well, that's the system that's that making the implicit explicit because as you know, kind of in the military things are very structured, right? What's good about that is it allows us foundation of clarity, and empowerment and mindset for all the other environmental issues that are ever ending and ever changing. So they can be hyper focused on doing their job right. And working very much in a collaborative team and in you know, that's the key because look, you guys know, and I know and all the listeners out there in the insurance industry, no matter what type of insurance you're selling, someone else is selling the same thing and it's probably pretty close to the same price. As a buyer from you, right? From your brand, or your organization, or you, those are the compelling questions that you have to ask yourself before you get out there and start, you know, being responsible for people's lives because they entrusted you with their insurance, you know, on their, you know, it's, I think we make a living by what we get, and we make a life by what we give. And that's, that's key that we should all be thinking about that every day. IJason Feltman:
love that. Yeah. It is crazy. Yeah, super, super good food for thought.Dax Cornelius:
It makes you it makes you pause. It may cause Yep. And I think to that point, like I said, we all came out of this pandemic, you know, clearly you can see, I'm, I lacked passion, and I'm quite introverted. But people have had two years to quantify what's important to them? Yes. And that is global. Right? That is really changing up things right now, you know, with the workforce, and with leadership, workforces expecting far more from their companies. And, frankly, companies, because the pace by which we're moving in a digital space, they expect far more from their workforce. So, you know, there's this constant tug and pull. And it's only the ones that are able to find alignment. In this digital space that you see that are really thriving in a lot of them, as we know, are starting to fail, you know, fragmenting brick by brick. It'sCraig Pretzinger:
almost like the the pandemic was this reset button, you know, yeah, it was like this. Stop everything right now. And we're gonna all freak out for a second, and then let's see who's gonna go for it? You know? Yeah. And a lot of people went for it. I mean, we went for it. A lot of people talked to and hid. And they're probably, they're way behind now. You know, and hopefully, they can catch back up. Yeah,Jason Feltman:
there was definitely opportunity. It was like the Maslow's hierarchy of need, like, people really became self actualized. Like, it started really looking within and like art does, like, what, what really matters, right? Like, everybody thinks that that's why, you know, we've had many discussions recently about just working remote versus working in the office, I think there's huge benefits to both I think that, you know, it no fault to anybody. But I mean, these are the questions that we have to ask now. And like, just people want different stuff, and, and we've been retrained and now it's like, okay, these are, these are the situations and experiences that we've all had. And now the old workforce is just not the same, and we need to evolve with it. I think that's why we're having a lot of these conversations.Dax Cornelius:
You're spot on, you know, Ken, I told you, we get the opportunity, whether it be in bash, and transform that's aligning, you know, heads of organizations in the workforce, or whether it be passion agency, in its totality that's aligning brands and their target audiences or consumers. You said something that I'm seeing it so clearly, is, you got many brands that have come out of this pandemic, and they're trying to point the finger at, we all need to get back in the office or note, we're 100% work from home or work right there. And the unfortunate part is, that's where they're trying to put the head on the platter and put the blame, when unfortunately, it's a far greater fundamental issue than that. It's a far greater issue from people to process to our intrinsic motivations to as I discuss clarity and empowerment and mindset. And as much as they sound simple, whole man, they are complicated. When you're talking about a complex organization with complex structures and with people with poorCraig Pretzinger:
mindset with people like shifting mindset is breaking cognitive dissonance, you know, like it's extremely difficult. AndDax Cornelius:
then you ask for bait that by taking people in workforces from different ideologies and different backgrounds and different experiences and different technical capabilities and emotional responsibilities. You are wow, you know, that it takes it takes a lot and, and I think to your guys's point, I'm forever grateful of maybe starting my leadership, my journey with leadership in the military because there's an organization that can take people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities and they don't care whether you're rich or poor, black or white. Catholic or Jew, who into that organization, and you would all die for each other and you all wear the color blue, you know it, or green or whatever branch that you're in. So it's it was it was I forever grateful for that opportunity then, but it's definitely set me up now to help organizations really recalibrate and realign in this fog and friction of no longer. Well, it's war, but it's it's digital war, you know 100%Jason Feltman:
Yeah. So let's, what are the probably the biggest problems that you're seeing across organizations as like trends, a couple of the biggest problems, and then a couple of the, you know, solutions of how, how they're making the biggest progress?Dax Cornelius:
Yeah, great question. So for me, you know, when you look at trends in the insurance space, specifically, that I think are shaping the need for a digital transformation, or insurance company, whether they're large or small, that haven't quite made that transformation, three key things are really kicking out number one is uses usage based insurance. That's kind of changing, changing the game on demand insurance, and integration of IoT, or for those out there who don't know, IoT Internet of Things. And, you know, McKenzie, put a stat out there. In 2008, there were more network devices than there were people. By 2010, consumers owned about 12 point 5 billion of network devices. And there was only about 6.8 billion people out there. And in 2025, you know, we arguably, you know, we're at about 8.18 point 2 million people, whatever it is, we're at about 50 billion in network devices. So the network devices are going categorically off the charts. And you know, that is the transfer that what that boils down to is it's the transfer of unquantifiable volumes of data. That is provided to third parties for real time analysis for triggers for insurance for providers to alter offerings or services. And that is unprecedented, you know, that that that is an that is a space we've never lived in or been in and I don't think everyone was really quite prepared for. So you know, as far as helping companies make informed decisions as it relates to trying to do transformations. I think, what a lot of companies will care about whether whether the listeners want to hear this or not. But you know, insurance companies is risk assessment, you know, what's the p&l? And what's the EBIT da, of the big insurance company who's who's underwriting all this from a risk assessment standpoint. And the other one is conversion, net new revenues, pricing, comps, coverage options. And lastly, communication and communication. What I mean by that is the omni channel communication with B to C, B to consumers, or B to P B to people, as far as communicating to them in their space in their place in their time, at the right moment when they need insurance. That man, what scientists do, you go get to help you figure that out, you know, it's all of us are trying to figure that out together. That's uncharted space. And but that's the space in which we're in and where we're going. And people can either, like I said, either choose to do something about it, or play the ostrich and watch the amount of turnover that they're going to have in their workforce. Because people, you know, employees of insurance companies are far too wise now of what they expect and what they want. They're very clear and speak with conviction, sitting at home for two years with a homework assignment on what's important to you.Jason Feltman:
Yeah, I think that I think it's interesting. I've been like one of the things that's been rattling upstairs over the last year is this whole, like, like the way things are going so fast with technology and AI and, and everything. It's giving the littler people the littler business, the smaller business owner that maybe even the solopreneur enough tools, where they can operate like a large company, but they're going to be a lot more closer to their clients, their products and everything else. So their decision making is going to be able to be quick, adaptable, and I just see so much leverage for the small small small business owner but on the opposite side of that. I see because of that you have these large As your corporations with multi layered management and stuff, I don't know how they're going to keep up in 10 years or even two years.Craig Pretzinger:
Interesting, like the solopreneur is going to be it could take down to likeJason Feltman:
100%. I think so? Well,Dax Cornelius:
I mean, I gave you some of those examples, you, you saw it, you saw it an Uber, you saw Netflix, and now they're becoming the the insurgent, an incumbent. But I think you're spot on brother that what is happening is it's it's fixing the competitive arena, for incumbents to actually have a chance, including poor customer engagement, limited growth. in mature markets, trends of digitization, automation, you know, a lot of the incumbents are insurgents, they didn't have the capability they couldn't, larger ones. And now there's that opportunity. And vice versa. You know, it's the David and Goliath. The bigger you are, the harder you fall if you don't start updating the systems. But I I continue to say if anyone out there listening gets one thing out of what's come out of my heart, mind and soul today, it's that is much as things changes as much as they stay the same. Yes, we can, we can go from manual and analog to automated. But unless you are still capturing the hearts of your workforce, or your consumer with some type of connectivity and relevance that hits an emotional impact, you can you can navigate the digital highways and retarget remarket somebody on their cell phone all day long to get your their insurance business. But if you don't have a compelling story as to why you're lost in the fog and friction of the chaos of all this, you know, there's another 50 coming right after it, you know, you've got about three seconds of their intention span, to make them raise their eyebrows and press pause on the smartphone and read a little more about you, or your service, or what you underwrite, or what, why your value is so much better. So there's got to be that human instinct that we can't forget about as we rocket launch into this digital space. I call it networks and narratives. You can't have one without the other the digital drug and the compelling story that makes us cry, or laugh or hug or embrace or have a cup of coffee together.Craig Pretzinger:
Yep, I love it. So if I need just a wealth of information to access, it's incredible. A lot. I think I have to listen to this like five times. As should all the listeners and yeah, just awesome. What's What's one thing that you would that you would drop as the as the mic drop for an insurance agent? That's, that's wondering, you know, what's one thing I should do right now, with all this crazy stuff that's going on the one thing to take action on?Dax Cornelius:
They're not gonna want to hear this. Any better reconsider? Why you're doing what you're doing? If you're not all, if you don't really believe that, that's your calling. And this is your talent. And this is your, your gift. Go find what is because life's too short.Craig Pretzinger:
I know that. You know, like I said, we make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give you guys did it. You know, you guys went out and started your podcast. Like, don't succumb to fear, just to pay the bills. If you stumped, I won. One of my mentors is one of the most. He is one of the most passionate guys that sells health insurance, or life insurance I've ever met my life. It's all I can talk about. It's all I can breathe. It's he believes he is helping legions of people. And that's great. And that's good. But I would just say to the listeners, if you're out there and like, you're just doing it to go through the paces, don't because you're doing yourself a disservice and you're doing your clients a disservice if you believe in it. If you believe in the gifts and what you're doing and how you're helping people you'll Thrive will just get a little smarter on what's going on with all the tech advancements and keep that same authenticity and passion. And you'll go far in the insurance space.Jason Feltman:
Yeah. Awesome. That's how can people get a hold of you? You canDax Cornelius:
reach me at doc see at Bastion agency.com. You can go to Bastion agency, Google it, you'll find our website, you can contact me they're very happy to have anybody reached out to me, or you can just google me on LinkedIn. There's my number. There's my email. I'm happy to speak to anybody.Jason Feltman:
And that's b a s t IO N. Yeah, agency.Dax Cornelius:
Yep, Bastion agency.Jason Feltman:
Cool, cool. Love it, man. Thank you so much. Hey Dan,Dax Cornelius:
thank you so much for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure. You are great brothers and I just wish all those listeners out there happy holidays. Replace one another and just enjoy some of this time ahead that we all we all desperately need.Craig Pretzinger:
Love and Love Again.Jason Feltman:
Thank you. We really appreciate it.Dax Cornelius:
Thanks, guys. Take care. Have a good one.Jason Feltman: