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Brokers in Cars Getting Coffee: David Smith

Jun 12, 2020

Ready for a few minutes of wit and wisdom from David Smith? Here's a bit of what you'll get...

  • What specific kinds of innovations will be hot in the next 5 years?
  • What do you learn from teaching a class that also applies to the client sales discovery process?
  • Why do brokers drink together?

Who's the Guest?

David is from Durham, NC and he’s the VP of Compliance & Risk Management at EbenConcepts. I met him many years ago at one of the NAHU National Conventions. Then we started bumping into each other at different conferences all over the country where one or both of us were speaking. 

He’s a prolific trainer, and always gets fantastic reviews because of his dry sense of humor and desire to truly see lightbulbs come on for students - oh, and because he’s brilliant. In 2018 he was awarded NAHU’s highest honor – the Harold R. Gordon Memorial Award, which recognizes the insurance industry’s “person of the year.”

The Setting

For our inaugural episode, I caught up with David C. Smith while we were both lobbying in Washington DC at the National Association of Health Underwriter’s (NAHU) Capitol Conference. We rented an Uber Black, hooked up a camera, and caught some of his thoughts while touring The National Mall.

The Episode

Brokers are smart and they have a lot to say. My favorite comedian inspired me to capture broker insights in a fun way to share with you. With that, we created Brokers In Cars Getting Coffee. Sometimes we’re in cars. Most of the time there’ll be coffee. But we always have great insights about the employee benefits industry!

The Cutting Room Floor

What wisdom was (sadly) left on the cutting room floor? I couldn't leave them there...

On healthcare complexity... 
“People talk about healthcare like the problem can be described as if you’re playing checkers. But healthcare is 4-dimensional chess.”

On teaching the value of our time... 
The transition from earning commissions to charging fees (when possible) takes time with a team. Part of this is to get everyone comfortable talking about money.

David shared how he continually tried to teach his kids that an hour of their time is worth $1,000. He wanted to grow the mentality that their time is not “free.” Although not everyone's going to pay them that $1,000, they won't hesitate to say, “This is what I'm worth, and this is what I will do for you to earn this high of a price.”

On movies in DC... 
We were driving down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Capitol Building, and we got excited talking about how many movies have been shot from that one perspective. David brought up Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard in which the villains tried to incite nationwide panic by posting a fake video of the Capitol Building blowing up - from our exact viewpoint. 

What are your favorite ideas from the interview? Who else should I interview? Email me at


Reid has a passion for helping brokers & employers strategize fresh approaches to benefit plans that contain costs and increase access to care - helping employers & employees control their healthcare dime, time, and peace of mind. He writes & speaks around the country and is the Co-Founder & CEO of freshbenies.

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President of Tanya Boyd & Associates

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