After graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1987, Harry Archer sold newspaper ad space to pay the rent while he looked for his true calling. That’s how he met National Life affiliated general agent Brant Snavely.
Seeing ambition in the young man, Snavely recruited Archer to join his agency: “I was trained in the business by a lot of really good National Life people,” Archer reflects. “One thing I learned was that when you’re working with a client, looking at your compensation is the very last thing you do. You come up with a solution and you do the right thing, and the compensation will take care of itself.”
Archer took care of his clients and National Life took care of helping Archer grow his career — and eventually his own affiliated agency, Archer Insurance Services — for 20 years. In 2008, as the financial markets fell apart, however, his partnership with the company waned as well. He felt that changes at the company had made it misaligned with his market — and his values. So, he left National Life to become an independent broker, free to work with whichever insurance carrier he wanted.
“I WAS OUT THERE IN THE WILDERNESS,” HE SAID, AND WISHED HE HAD NEVER LEFT THE “MORE NURTURING ENVIRONMENT”
OF THE AFFILIATED AGENCY RELATIONSHIP WITH NATIONAL LIFE.
With that freedom, he learned, came a lack of support or a network of other purpose-driven professionals like himself. “I was out there in the wilderness,” he said, and wished he had never left the “more nurturing environment” of the affiliated agency relationship with National Life. More importantly, his wife Sally recognized the difference, noting that he was happiest in his career when he was with National Life.
In the spring of 2020, when many were reassessing their careers amid the turmoil of the pandemic, Harry decided to make a change as well and return to his roots. Even though COVID prevented travel and in-person meetings, current National Life general agents Todd Hearp and Randy Rainer orchestrated an effort to bring Harry back into the fold.
“I’m a really big-tent guy, and they have a tent a lot bigger than anybody around. They’ve made us feel welcome and the clients feel that they get value from their policies.” After a zoom meeting that included National Life Chairman, President and CEO Mehran Assadi, Harry told Hearp, “I’m in.”
Not only was he in, but was soon on top, finishing 2021 as leader of National Life’s #1 affiliated agency. “We were surprised and happy to be #1 with an old and respected company like National Life,” said Archer. Not only did Harry’s agency come out on top, they helped National Life clinch the #1 spot as a leader in indexed universal life insurance policy sales in 2021.
“IF YOU WORK HARD AND CALL ENOUGH PEOPLE AND DO THE RIGHT THING,
THE BUSINESS WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.”
His success is not an accident, though. When asked about how he made this possible, Harry said, “If you work hard and call enough people and do the right thing, the business will take care of itself.” He encourages agents to “be as transparent as you can. If you have good news, tell the client. If you have bad news, tell them quicker.” Most importantly, “advocate for the industry by servicing policies you didn’t sell and help people navigate companies who have not treated them right.”
As an experienced professional, Harry has seen the power for good that life insurance can have. “I’ve seen first-hand several times how policies have saved businesses, sent children to school, allowed a family to stay in their house when a spouse dies. There’s no product anything like it that can complete financial and lifestyle goals. I fully believe in it, 100%.”
Harry believes in the good we do and is such an evangelist that he was at the top of the list for Affiliated sales last year and is a life member of our President’s Club.
Not only has his belief in the industry built this “prodigal son’s” career, one of his own sons, Charlie, 29, is now a part of National Life as an affiliated agent as well.
Just as life insurance is important to protecting and nurturing families, the National Life family has provided for generations of agents.