Monthly Archives: September 2010

National Agents Alliance Top Agency Manager on Traveling for Leads

Are you looking to cast your National Agents Alliance net further than your back yard? Many Sales experts are eager to go out into the frontiers in order to meet with families who have never spoken with a mortgage protection specialist.

However, out-of-state leads need to be approached in a smart way or you could end up in the hole. We recently spoke with Alex Fitzgerald of National Agents Alliance, one of the top Agency Managers in the business.

For a little background, Alex Fitzgerald is one of National Agents Alliance’s brightest and most enduring stars. As a self-employed salesman he sold coupon books, LTC insurance, and just about anything else they could find with his good friend Andy Albright. One day, Andy informed Alex that he and two of their other friends had decided to start their own business and invited him to become one of the first members. Alex decided to rely on his long-term trust of Andy and joined National Agents Alliance in its infancy. Alex and his team made over $9 million in issued premium in 2008, and is still growing strong today. This is especially impressive considering he was once $60,000 in debt.

Because he started from the bottom and worked his way up we knew he’d give us great perspective on how traveling for business works. We weren’t disappointed; Alex gave us a plethora of travel tips, as well as many pitfalls agents fall into during, or even before setting out.

If you’re one of those intrepid NAA agents that are ready to saddle up their wagon and travel to other states for sales, pay close attention to the following guidelines Alex gave us.

Perfect your sales ability locally first.

It may seem like an obvious tip, but many agents strike out and travel for sales when they haven’t gotten down the ABC’s of making a sale.

“I don’t encourage someone to travel until they’ve got the basics of the Sales System down in their local area.”

It’s better to hone your skills locally where you can cut back your travel expenses than trying to cut your teeth two states over.

There’s no real measuring stick to when you’ll be ready to travel, but ask the advice of your managers or other traveling agents.

Make your appointments no longer than 24-48 hours out.

Alex also pointed out that the short time frame on local leads applies to non-local leads as well.

“Our agents that travel get their leads right before a trip and call like heck for two days before traveling. Don’t book farther out than 24-48 hours.”

Even before you travel, you need to sign up your potential client for an appointment two days at the most. Anything beyond this point in time and you’re more and more likely to knock on empty houses doors or encounter clients with a change of heart.

Also, give them a follow-up call the day before or day of your appointment; it may seem like overkill to be so persistent, but it’s not; your chances of a successful appointments increases substantially the closer the appointment is to the initial call, and the more frequently you keep in touch. If you’re going to take a bigger risk by traveling outside your local area, this should be an even higher priority to ensure a better chance of success.

Premium leads don’t always equal premium applications.

An insurance sales agent with National Agents Alliance should not have a false sense of security just because he bought premium travel leads; premium leads are not the end-all solution to booking appointments, and can actually end up taking a bigger bite out of your budget.

When we asked Alex about it, he told us that agents who cherry pick premium leads often burn through money much faster.

Try working with discounted leads. They will keep costs way down while increasing your sales way up.”

He also questioned agents who had difficulty booking appointments on premium leads:

“Clearly they need more training on making phone calls to potential clients.”

This goes hand-in-hand with our earlier advice to perfect your sales skills before venturing out.

Understand how traveling sales is different.

Finally, an agent should consider the fact that travelling for sales is just plain different than local sales. We don’t mean the people are different, but planning for how a trip will factor into your production certainly is.

Alex explained it this way:

“I always viewed traveling to run production as a chance to get a month’s worth of production in a weekend. If an agent is getting 10 premium leads a week, the absolute minimum he should write is $12K in a month… and just like minimum wage, that’s not great. That’s 40 leads a month. If you take 40 leads in a weekend, we are finding that the agent would run similar (usually better) production as if he had taken them over 4 weeks.”

Traveling isn’t for everyone, but it’s highly lucrative if you follow all the guidelines above! But wait…what about getting there, and what pitfalls do agents fall into during and after the sale? Believe us, there are some, and we’ll tell you what they are in our next post!

By the way, have you been reading the NAA Newsroom? The Newsroom has important news and announcements about National Agents Alliance. If you want to be “in the know,” you know you should be reading the NAA Newsroom! Subscribe now!

3 Questions about Annuities That National Agents Alliance Agents Should Answer

Annuities can intimidate some insurance agents; it’s not part of insurance sales 101, but it can be a great add-on to your sale, as well as helping protect your client’s retirement assets. The best thing to do is to study up on the basics and understand how an annuity will satisfy your National Agents Alliance client’s needs concerning a savings plan.

But let’s start with the basics first…

What is an Annuity?

An annuity retirement product that allows you to save for your future on an tax-deferred basis and then allows you to choose a payout option that best meets your need for income when you retire—lump sum, income for life, or income for a certain period of time.

What are the Types of Annuities?

Below are the most common types of annuities that you should be familiar with.

  • Fixed Annuity -An annuity contract in which the premiums you pay are credited with a fixed rate of return by the life insurance company, and the company guarantees a fixed payout every month.
  • Deferred Annuity – A contract in which annuity payouts begin at a future date.

The above annuities are those that can be sold with a standard life license.

At National Agents Alliance, we understand how important annuities can be in adding extra value to a client’s policy, as well as extra sales for you.  Our resident annuity sales guru, Gina Hawks talks about three crucial questions that you must answer to make the sale and protect your clients’ accounts for many years to come.

“Is my money safe?”

Question number one asks you to prove that the client’s accounts are in a safe place.  Because annuities are not often discussed as a primary means of savings, many people don’t know the answer to this question.  Here’s the answer:

Annuities are as safe as banks, but there are further advantages than banks. Recently several banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have gone bankrupt, however stayed in business. Because all reputable banks must file with FDIC and make a payment into the system, this allowed them to ensure a certain amount of money

Just as banks are supported by the Federal Reserve System, insurance companies run under the Legal Reserve System.  Each state has a State Insurance Department that requires Insurance companies operating in their state to file reports proving they have money to cover policies with their clients. Insurance is a highly regulated industry.

The bottom line is annuities are 100% safe, dating back to the Roman soldiers. No one’s ever lost money with annuities.

“Can I get my money if I need It?”

Annuities are not 100% “liquid”, meaning they cannot withdraw money at any time and at any amount.  However, in order to ensure stability and safety of their savings, this may be a worthy exchange. Make sure that your client has the amount of liquidity you’re providing is enough. It’s called “being suitable,” and it is part of being a responsible mortgage protection specialist.

“Can your National Agents Alliance client compromise with access to about 10% free withdrawal every year? Can you qualify that by 10 percent access is enough for them?”

If the answer is yes for both you and your client, an annuity may be a good idea.

“Am I going to get a fair return?”

People want a floor with no ceiling: 100% upside potential with no downside risk. The biggest thing that annuities have going for them is the great amount of growth with minimal interference from tax deductions.

Annuities offer the strongest guarantees on principal and interest.  Unlike a 401k, no matter how volatile the market is, your annuity will stay at the original principal amount you invested, unless withdrawals are taken. It can only go up! Considering the economic climate this is a huge selling point.

With annuities through National Agents Alliance, you’ll can earn a bonus on your initial premium. Some carriers have annuity products that offer a 10% bonus, your client may move $10,000 into and annuity and have the value of his/her annuity immediately rise to $11,000. If they Move $75,000 in, add 10% and it becomes $82,500.


Like any sales, the important thing to remember about an annuity sale is to highlight the benefits, but also to make sure your client is going to receive the correct type of savings plan that will lend itself to their lifestyle and needs. If you do this, the annuity sale can become an additional thousand or so payment to your policy. Remember, this is Commission on top of your insurance sale!

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