Are You Missing The Boat!!! by:Lewis Nason
Most of the insurance agents who read this article won't want to hear what I'm about to say But they are missing the boat, big time! Most agents want to believe there is a 'Quick Solution' to being successful in insurance sales. They want to believe there are lead sources, or lead systems that will have people begging for an appointment and begging to be sold. They want to believe that if they have the best product, price and/or investment returns, then all they have to do is show up and they'll make a 'Bazillion Dollars!'
However, the actual evidence is 86% of the people who enter insurance sales are out of the industry within four years. And, the agents who do survive four years are making an average income of only $45,000 per year!
"According to the American Council for Life Insurance, the number of life insurance agents has shrunk by nearly 100,000 in recent years. For every 1,000 agents recruited, only 14% survive the first four (4) years. Surviving agents only produce an average of $45,000 of earnings in their fourth (4th) contract year."
I know that almost every recruiter and lead company is telling you that they have a great turnkey lead and sales system. And, if you follow their system, they'll guarantee you'll make a 'Bazillion Dollars!'
But, the actual facts state something entirely different. Only 'One Out Of Six' agents are surviving past 4 years. And, only 'One Out Of Ten' of the surviving agents are earning $100,000 or more per year. If you do the math, that means that out of 1000 agents hired this year, only 14 agents will earn $100,000 or more per year by year four. (860 agents will fail, 140 will survive)
Obviously, no matter what you are being told, or what you want to believe, the odds of you making a good living in insurance sales is only about 1.4 out of 100!
However, you can dramatically increase the odds of your survival, and be earning a consistent six-figure income with the right knowledge, training, coaching and mentoring. If you want to have your best chance of succeeding, then you can't just rely on what a recruiting organization, or a lead company tells you or gives you. As the President of a one of the largest IMOs in the country told me after reviewing one of our marketing and sales systems (He had called me and asked me to send him our system.)
"I glanced at the information you sent me and it would not fit our focus because of amount of time it takes to get the training done. Excellent material. Our training process is to get as many people as we can on the boat to find out who can write before we spend any time or money training them."
Unfortunately, I've gotten very similar responses from many of the large IMOs and many of the large career life insurance companies. It's cheaper for them to play the numbers game, than to spend their time and money training the agents. I was told the same things by upper management, when I was a Branch Manager for a Major Insurance Company.
The questions you should be asking are What does it take to succeed today in insurance sales? What training do I need? Where do I get the training?
What does it take to succeed today in insurance sales?
What the Leading Producers know, that you don't, is most people are looking for real help with their finances! People want to believe and know they can take back the control of their money. They want to know they can have a secure financial future. And, the best producers know that people will buy based on their set of beliefs, their energy and their enthusiasm.
If you want to succeed in insurance sales, then you must truly believe what you do really helps people! You must believe with all your heart and soul that what you do is valuable and important!
Your purpose is not to sell products, price or investment returns. Your mission is to show people how they can take control, and stay in control of their financial lives. Until you truly believe what you do matters, and until people believe that you believe, you'll have a tough time achieving the sales success you desire!
What training do I need?
To start off with there are no quick ways to achieve success in this, or any business. There are no shortcuts! You have to begin with the basics! And, that means learning the basics about marketing, prospecting, setting appointments, sales skills, fact-finding, product benefits, tax laws and how to really help people.
* If you are considering making a career change to insurance sales, then I highly recommend you learn everything you can about insurance marketing and sales before you leave your present job. And, then work part-time and actually make some sales before you make your change.
* If you are brand new and already working in insurance sales, and you haven't learned the basics, then I recommend you get with a career company for a couple of years Like Mass Mutual, Northwestern Mutual, The Guardian, New York Life, Met Life or Prudential.
* If you've been in the business for a while and you haven't mastered the basics, then start right now reading a minimum of an hour a day, each and everyday. Listen to tapes in your car. And, attend every industry course and training event you can find on the above topics. And, start focusing on really helping people, instead of products, price and investment returns.
Where do I get the training?
Today, with the Internet it's much easier to find Articles, Books, Videos, Audios, and Training Courses from the foremost experts in our industry. You can also ask the best producers in your area what books and whose newsletters they read? What tapes do they listen to? Look for the industry experts who have been successful working in your target market, and are focusing their message on really helping people
* Start by becoming a member of NAIFA (National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) They offer a local membership meeting each month, with guest speakers, CE Credits and an opportunity to meet with some of the most successful agents in your area.
* I highly recommend you participate in the basic Financial Services Specialist (FSS) designation from the American College. (Associated with NAIFA) Their courses are designed to provide insurance professionals with high-impact sales skills and introductory-level technical knowledge to help them get their careers off to a fast start.
* Look at the agent support web sites for the insurance companies you are contracted with. Many of them provide online basic training for products and sales ideas.
* Take a personal tax preparation course from Jackson Hewitt or H&R Block.
* Visit the Million Dollar Roundtable (MDRT) web site and invest in books, tapes and videos from the recognized Top Producers and Top Trainers in our industry.
* You should also obtain the accredited industry recognized RFC or RFA designation from the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants. (You can earn the designation through the IARFC, or by attending one of the Insurance Pro Shop's live two day training events)
* And, visit the Insurance Pro Shop. We have a discount bookstore. Plus, we offer audios, videos, and a membership to a private Marketing and Sales Resource Center (Mini University), along with specialized marketing and sales systems with personal coaching and mentoring.
You Have The Choice
You have the choice to be successful or unsuccessful. You're the only one who sets the limits on your income and your success! Your career in sales is a series of constant challenges. You must use those challenges to motivate and excite you! You must meet and beat those challenges to be successful in sales!
There are five basic challenges you face in sales:
- Marketing / Prospecting
- Making Contacts / Setting Appointments
- Qualification / Fact Finding
- Expert Knowledge / Overcoming Objections
- Helping People / Closing Sales
Most agents spend the majority of their time learning how to meet and beat one or two of the above challenges, and neglect the others. You will become a top salesperson - only if you continuously work on all five of the above challenges.
The choice is yours! Your insurance sales career is a constant learning experience, always presenting new and exciting challenges. When you stop learning you stop growing!
By Lew Nason
"The Nine Out Of Ten Guy"
About the author
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