Monthly Archives: March 2012

3 Easy Steps

National Agents AllianceAt National Agents Alliance, our newest agents have a good number of resources to learn sound sales techniques.  Every new agent has access to an experienced mentor, and that mentor has a real incentive to help that agent succeed so override income flows through the organization.

Through NAA University, the agent has a required course that prepares the new professional on all aspects of the business, especially in regards to techniques for the actual in-home presentation that leads to the sale and, hopefully, additional business through referrals and repeat business.

On top of those assets, the agent can count on the weekly Wednesday TV show with CEO, Andy Albright pouring out years and years of experience that teach invaluable lessons learned the hard way.  Then on Thursdays, Co-Founder, Barry Clarkson provides his insight on his weekly national training call.

As the new agent absorbs all the trainings offered, he or she begins to develop a style of their own and finds, through actual sales, which techniques work best within their own personality.  With time and repetition the new agent starts to become comfortable and confident.

In the process of learning, the agent should remember to not complicate the process, but strive to keep things simple.  A good way to do this is to think of the sales process as 3 easy steps:  Question – Transition – Benefit.  Ask the prospect a simple question that can be answered with a “yes,” create a transition statement, and then state the benefit the prospect will receive.

Here is a real simple example:  “Bob, do you agree that if something bad happened and you passed away unexpectedly, Sue and the kids would have to give up this beautiful home and move to another neighborhood, and the kids would have to leave their friends behind and go to a new school?”  Now, wait for an answer.  When Bob answers affirmatively move on to the Transition and Benefit.  “Bob, as a valued client with National Agents Alliance, for only $37 a month, Sue will own this house outright, the kids won’t have to give up their friends, and you’ll also have all their colleges expenses covered.”

This really stokes the prospect’s emotions and will definitely move them to take action.  Just keep simple, as easy as one, two, three:  Question – Transition – Benefit.

Little by Little

Build Little by LittleAt National Agents Alliance our top people know that success does not happen overnight, although some agents do grow their business quite fast.  It has to be understood that a strong work ethic is a staple at NAA and everyone learns that we can have huge success if we put in the work over a period of time.

The key phrase is: “over a period of time.”  Doing the right things and doing things right, little-by-little, every day, even the smallest, seemingly insignificant tasks, is the absolute necessity for success.  Not overnight success, but enduring success.

Here are a couple of examples of the “little-by-little” approach that make it understandable.  Suppose you want to lose weight and start an aggressive running program, and you run a mile every morning for a week, but on day eight you skip.  The next day you skip again.  The day after that you skip too.  Do you think you will lose weight? If you don’t see big results after the first seven days it can be easy to say, “Why bother?”   You have to do a little every day, just a little, but it has to be consistent, then over time, the weight starts coming off.

It’s amazing that you can get huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices.  It just takes time.  Here’s another example that you may have heard before that illustrates the concept well.  Suppose you were offered a choice of $3 Million dollars or a penny doubled every day for 31 days, what would you choose?  It’s easy to look real quick and take the $3 Million and run, but let’s dig a little deeper.  After 5 days the penny doubled would be 16 cents; after 10 days, $5.12; after 20 days $5,243, and with 11 days still to go in the month!  Now the compounding effect, the little-by-little, takes over in force.  After 31 days the penny doubled is worth $10,737,418.24, more than 3 times the $3 Million!

At National Agents Alliance we build our agencies over time, little-by-little, and pretty soon it compounds into a big business with those huge rewards that come with the small, consistent daily tasks that seem mundane and unimportant.  Looking at the amount of income being generated though, you will realize that all those little things paid off.  We can’t have the microwave mentality; we have to do it over time!

Think Young Professional

Looking for prospects with a need for insurance and the ability to afford coverage, agents at National Agents Alliance have found a huge pool of potential clients in young professionals. Many of these young professionals across the nation are skimping on life insurance to save money, and some of these young people without families may not now understand the need for a typical life insurance policy.  It is the responsibility of the agent to educate the young man or woman on how an insurance product should be a big part of their financial planning, especially in these economic times

Financial Planning, Start YoungWith financial markets struggling, many young professionals are afraid to invest. This is not uncommon, but should present opportunities for our agents. We must teach that investing for one’s future should start as soon as a steady income is earned, and one of the options we can offer is a whole life insurance policy that offers cash value that many of the young people are unaware of. This accumulation of money can be used in the future for a variety of purposes including paying off student loans, providing a down payment for a home, or building a cash reserve for retirement.

Top producers at National Agents Alliance must be proficient in educating the young professional that life insurance purchased while they are young helps their insurability in the future. And, while they may be single today, it doesn’t mean they won’t have a family in the near future, and locking in a whole life insurance policy now will last a lifetime. The cash value of the policy will grow indefinitely as long as premiums are paid. This remains true even if there is any change in the person’s health, an important fact that must be taught.

Helping the young professional establish a foundation for financial security at an early age is invaluable to them and puts you, the agent, in a great position for future business. One of Andy Albright’s 8 Steps to Success is to “Be Teachable,” so make sure you don’t overlook the opportunity this segment of the market provides.  Learn to work with the young professional and you will see your business explode!

Life Insurance for Seniors

Life Insurance for Seniors?A really good source of business for agents at National Agents Alliance is senior citizens. Around the age of 50, many people start to see their term life insurance policy come to an end. This is a great time for agents to do some teaching about how insurance will still be essential to the senior’s financial future. Should the senior renew their term life insurance policy, start a permanent policy, like whole life insurance, or should they skip life insurance altogether and focus on saving?

The answer to these questions will depend greatly on each person’s unique circumstance and what they desire for their financial future. This is where the NAA agent can deliver a great service to someone at the crossroads of their financial planning.  With the life expectancy of the average person being greater today and people carrying more bills than ever, it may make sense to keep a life insurance policy as long as they qualify.

Another term life insurance policy is definitely an option, but the senior would have to qualify for an affordable premium by being healthy and finding the right insurer. An additional consideration is that the client could likely come to the end of this term as well leaving this decision to be made again. So, many people will do best with traditional whole life, which has fixed premiums and lasts a lifetime. This type of policy will build cash value and the savings are backed by the insurance company’s high-grade bonds and mortgages and they accumulate interest and often have dividends. Whole life is among some of the few long term fixed income investments that keep up with increasing interest rates, paying 15 times more than a bank savings account. It may be more expensive though, so be sure to look at a client’s particular budget to see if it would work.

At National Agents Alliance, our agents are taught to reach these people before that term policy expires because most of those policies allow for conversion to a permanent policy without proof of insurability – an important issue for older clients.  When you do that you now have a client for life, one that probably has children and grandchildren who are all potential clients!

Overcoming Call Reluctance

Overcoming Call ReluctanceA big part of your success at National Agents Alliance is tied to setting appointments to protect families with life insurance and retirement products, and to recruit additional agents to build a strong, leveraged business.  Either type of appointment requires dialing prospects, usually to someone who has requested a call.  Even so, we all, at some point catch an affliction we name “call reluctance.”

As time goes on and you gain experience, this becomes less and less a problem, but until that day comes, we all go through the anxiety, or for some, the fear of picking up that phone.  After a number of consecutive rejections by prospects the phone can feel like it weighs a hundred pounds, but on the other hand, a couple successful calls in a row make you feel like you’re walking on air.

In Step 6 of CEO, Andy Albright’s 8 Steps To Success, agents are implored to “Be Teachable,” and every agent has a chance to learn from a mentor.  Observing an “expert” is a great start to learning, but part of being teachable is the willingness to practice, and dialing leads effectively takes a lot of practice.  Repetition is a great teacher.

Top income earners at National Agents Alliance have found a great way to overcome call reluctance AND teach new agents at the same time.  By gathering new agents in the same room, or by conference line, agents can make calls while the less-experienced people watch and listen.  What this does is force you to pick up the phone, to overcome the anxiety, and perform in front of others.  You are teaching and setting the example and have to make dial after dial no matter the results.  You force yourself to keep going where, if you were alone, you might stop if you were discouraged over any rejections.  Newer team members quickly learn the ups and downs, the do’s and don’ts, and find out that even with an unsuccessful call no one gets hurt, no one bleeds, and it’s ok to just keep dialing.  Pretty soon everyone’s skill level goes up, more appointments get set, confidence is gained, and that means more business gets written.  Try it…you will beat the fear!

Why Riders?

One of the biggest advantages that agents at National Agents Alliance have is the awesome working relationships we have with so many great insurance carriers.  When you are working with the giants of the industry, the 100+ year-old, top-rated companies with billions in assets, you have the ability to shop the clients’ needs to find the perfect fit of coverage and cost.

When our CEO, Andy Albright, talks about our motto of “Have fun, make money, and make a difference,” he is teaching agents not only a philosophy but an important sales technique.  It’s not rocket science to understand that when we “make a difference” for a family the other two parts of our motto fall right into place.

So, what is that sales technique that makes the difference?  At National Agents Alliance, our agents are taught to under-promise and over-deliver or, to put it another way, to always give more than we promise.  Doing this separates us from the competition.

Oh noes, Piggy!The insurance companies with whom we work provide us simple tools for providing extra benefits that clients have not thought about or even knew existed.  These tools are riders, some of which are free.

It is not difficult to show a client the need for the basic coverage to protect his family in the event of an untimely death, but when we can add extra benefits at a low or no cost, we stand out in the eyes of the client.  When we can offer something extra that the client did not expect, it helps build a strong relationship that leads to repeat business and strong referrals.  The client now feels you care and will be open to discussing annuities and/or policies for other family members.

An agent needs to learn all of the riders and extra benefits offered by each company, and then use that knowledge to provide that service that makes a difference.  When we over-deliver on our promises, we build the reputation of National Agents Alliance, and we see a long-term increase in income.

Goal Achieving

Goooooaaaaaallllll!At National Agents Alliance, when we teach goal-setting techniques, we often hear this question from the new and uninitiated agent:  “What do I need to do to accomplish this goal?” That, unfortunately, is not the right question to ask.

We know the goal should be specific, measureable, attainable, relevant and time-sensitive.  We also know the philosophy taught by the late Jim Rohn regarding achieving success and reaching all your goals: “Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue eludes you. Success is something you attract by the person you become. If you want to have more, you must become more.”

Let me give you an example.  Let’s say your goal is to earn extra $100,000 this year. Now we need to ask the question, ‘Who do you need to become to be an extra $100,000 valuable?’ Your answer might contain some attributes—stated in the positive, “I am”—such as:

  • I am a disciplined master of time efficiency.
  • I focus solely on high-payoff and high-productivity actions.
  • I wake up an hour earlier and review my priority objectives each morning.
  • I fuel my body properly and exercise four days a week.
  • I read positive books (found on CEO, Andy Albright’s Book of the Month list).
  • I surround myself with high achievers.
  • I am a smart, confident and effective leader.
  • I deliver excellence to my clients and continually find ways to ‘wow’ them, which brings repeat business and referrals.

Before you can have, you must do. And before you can do, you must become.

To achieve something you have never achieved before you must become someone you have never been.” —Les Brown

In order to achieve all that you desire, you need to determine the characteristics, behaviors and disciplines you need to adopt as well as the behaviors you need to expand on and maybe the ones you need to eliminate altogether. You will need to figure out how to become the person who would achieve your goals, and would deserve them.

Ask yourself:  “What are the top few ways I need to change or improve my behavior, habits or disciplines in order to achieve my goals?”  When you do these things, you will regularly find your name on the National Agents Alliance leader boards!

Recruiting Young Agents

Recruiting Young AgentsAt National Agents Alliance we recruit a lot of different age groups and we find successful people in all the different age levels.  However, there is a terrific target group that should not be overlooked.  I am talking about a group named Millennials, also known as Gen Y-ers (80 million, born between 1980 and 1995).  They were raised by overly doting parents who coddled their self-esteem like fragile eggs. They played in soccer leagues where the score wasn’t kept and where everyone was a winner and everyone got a trophy for just showing up.

Some companies have found this group to be lazy, undisciplined, unmotivated, over-entitled, with a short attention span.  However, when vetted properly, this group, ages 18 to 32, is found to be highly educated, caring and engaged in today’s high tech world – all qualities we love in our agents.

Having seen the talent, passion and capabilities of the millennials up-close, it is clear that they pose one of the greatest strategic opportunities for our company today… all we need to do is properly select and train them.

The millennials are the largest generation to hit the workforce since the baby boomers. They are taking over whether you like it or not, and we need to hire the best of the bunch.  They fit right into the motto espoused by CEO, Andy Albright which states that we like to “Have fun, make money and make a difference.”

Millennials like to be part of a team and be active members of a community, yet they still want to be valued as an individual. They probably have hundreds or thousands of friends on Facebook, and are comfortable with an iPhone and iPad.  They exhibit the individuality and leadership traits essential for success as an NAA agent.  They are not afraid to tackle the impossible; they think really big and like to get involved in “causes,” and love the way we help protect families with our products.

This group is so far ahead in the area of technology it embarrasses older agents, and they excel when presenting our products to our target market.  To grow a big, vibrant and growing organization in National Agents Alliance, it makes a lot of sense to specifically recruit this age group.  They will train quickly, get in the field fast, and make you look like a genius!

Decisions, Decisions

The Choice is YoursWe often see relatively new agents with National Agents Alliance who join the business with big goals and dreams but take a while to really start realizing the results they expected.  They want big things to happen but they begin a bit timidly, kind of feeling their way.  They pass NAA University, they attend all the rotation meetings, the boot camps and even the regional and national events and still their business is just treading water.

What they finally learn is that real success is a decision.  Wanting it isn’t enough.  The decision has to be made.  You may have heard the saying, “In the moment of decision your destiny is shaped.”

The top income earners here at National Agents Alliance confirm that this is true.  They went through the same learning process, knowing that success was out there where they thought it was, but they just couldn’t quite grab on to it.  Then, one day it was like a light bulb was blinking and pointing the way. They “got it.”  They had the vision of huge success, but on this day they made a decision that the lifestyle of their dreams was absolutely, without doubt, going to be theirs.  They made a decision to take the action steps that would lead to that success.  All this time they knew what to do, watched the most successful agents do it, but hesitated themselves.  Once the decision was made to take action, their work days became more organized and productive, and suddenly had clear direction and results became astounding.

New agents can speed up this process when they make the decision to apply the teachings of CEO, Andy Albright that are laid out in his 8 Steps to Success.  The new agent learns that the principles in this book are not theory, they are all about action.  Each of the eight steps requires action and action leads you step-by-step closer to your dreams.  So don’t wait around for something to happen; make a decision today.

Take the “IM” Off Impossible

Take the IM off ImpossibleI am sure you are familiar with the expression “Think Outside the Box.”  It has become pretty much over-used like many sayings, but there is still some validity to the concept.

Leaders at National Agents Alliance have learned, over time, to give up “habitual thinking” and open their minds to new possibilities.  When you are stuck in “stale” thought patterns and rituals you limit your future success.

Sometimes we do things because “that’s the way it’s always been done,” or “that’s the way my family has done it for four generations.”  Think about this:  Do you really want to do something because everyone else is doing it that way?  Maybe you should look at their bank account before you decide.

This is the 21st century, right?  You wouldn’t use a rotary dial phone, would you? Then why would you do things the same way broke people do?  We need to change our thinking to match the way our world is changing, like it is in the area of technology.

Through NAA University, top producers at National Agents Alliance have access to the newest and most dynamic sales techniques, lead generation and product training available on the planet.  It’s why we are growing so rapidly, and why so many agents are building large, profitable businesses.

Prosperity today requires innovation, which demands critical thinking and creativity.  So, we challenge agents to embrace the “new,” embrace “change.”  Don’t be afraid to try the difficult.  Keep your thinking fresh.  Don’t get in the rut of routine.  Drive home a different way; eat at a new restaurant; question what you do on a regular basis.  Be open to learning every day; never, ever stop learning.

Let nothing limit your dreams.  Create a huge vision of your future success and always think “possible” not “impossible.”

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