Monthly Archives: June 2012

AARP Study: Nearly Half of Workers Plan to Receive an Annuity at Retirement

AnnuitiesAccording to the Public Policy Institute of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), nearly 50 percent of workers plan to receive an annuity, either one purchased from a life insurer or through an employer-provided pension plan, while 38 percent expect to receive a life annuity.

The study, “Older Americans’ Ambivalence Toward Annuities,” also found that almost three in four workers (74 percent) are receiving or expect to receive income from an annuity; and six in 10 (63 percent) are receiving income from a life annuity.

Furthermore, three in 10 (30%) workers and four in 10 (41%) retires with a choice of options in income distribution intend to or already have chosen an annuity, the survey found.

For 82.3 percent of respondents, annuities are “very” or “somewhat” convincing options, due to its ability to “help you manager your budget because you get a predictable amount of money each month.”

In addition, 81.6 percent of respondents believe that annuities offer “peace of mind because payments will continue as long as you live, while 80 percent said annuities “ensure that your month income will not fall, even if there is a large drop in the market.”  Another 76.8 percent said annuities “can help you remain independent because the money will never run out” and 75.5 percent reported that it offers “certainty in respect to the rate of return.”

Annuities are proving to be a hot retirement option amongst workers and retirees. National Agents Alliance urges our insurance agents to ask their clients if annuities have ever been an option that they have considered. Because annuities are tax deferred, meaning that they don’t have to pay taxes money they accumulate until it is withdrawn in the future, it can be a huge benefit for our clients. Annuities also avoid the costs and delays of probate, which gives your loved ones access to the funds quickly.

If you are interested in a free quote or more information about purchasing an annuity, please visit http://www.naalife.com.


“Like” Your Way into Referrals and Leads with Facebook!

FacebookSocial media is a great way to advertise and market your life insurance sales business. National Agents Alliance Agency Managers can use Facebook as a means of creating new leads, boosting your agency’s visibility, and to get people talking about your business.

Facebook currently has more than 901 million users on its network, with 854 million monthly active users. The social media giant also produces 125 million impressions and 2.7 billion “Likes” by users every day.

With numbers like these, it’s foolish not to actively market your life insurance sales business on Facebook.   Building a Facebook business page and getting people to “Like” it is the basic method to doing this. If you have people who “Like” your Facebook business page, it will lend credibility to your company and provide an outlet for marketing and interacting with them. In fact, your “likes” are similar to a testimonial, an endorsement and a referral.

Think about it this way, if someone thought highly enough of you to “Like” your business page and connect with you, then they likely will think of you when they need to purchase life insurance products, or refer someone they know to you.

The task is in persuading people to “Like” your agency Facebook page. This can be accomplished through several different means. Certainly providing exceptional service with integrity is the foundation, but beyond that, online there are extra tactics. Posting articles and content about your products, what you do and how you can help people, and you can also post thought-provoking and question-related statuses—you want people to interact with your business and get people talking and sharing your posts.

The more content and information you provide your followers, the more they will engage with your business. This all builds credibility and positions you as an expert in the life insurance industry.  While it can be a great business booster, keep in mind that Facebook is a tool and a publicly facing outlet, and must be managed properly in terms of content, interaction and time!

So, NAA Agency Mangers it’s time jump on the Facebook bandwagon and get people talking about you!


The Life Insurance Questions You Should Be Asking

Ask those questions!Let’s face it. Life insurance is not the most upbeat topic to discuss with a client, or your family. Sometimes finding the words to say and questions to ask just becomes harder and harder, because you’re not sure how you should ask about such delicate and personal things.

Instead of beating around the bush, go straight to the basics; ask who, what, where, when and why questions — questions that make the clients think before they can answer.

For example when talking to your client about life insurance options, LifeHealthPro.com offered these questions to ask:

 

  • Most people do not seem to understand life insurance very well. Tell me, what do you know about life insurance?
  • What is your philosophy regarding life insurance?
  • What financial formula did you use to determine how much life insurance to buy?
  • What prompted your most recent purchase of life insurance?
  • How did you choose the company that you purchased life insurance from?
  • How did you select the agent?
  • What are your thoughts regarding term insurance and cash value life insurance?
  • If you were going to buy life insurance in the future, why would you buy it?
  • How do you feel about life insurance on your spouse?
  • How do you feel about life insurance on your children?

If you need to, National Agents Alliance encourages you to take these questions (or a list of your own tactical questions that work) with you to your next meeting and write your client’s response in. This will provide an outline of their needs, which will help you to find the policies that match.


Listening

Listen Up!Are you a good listener?  Do you really listen when others speak, or are you focusing on what you will say next?  Do you interrupt people in mid-sentence?

I think everyone can agree listening is a skill worth developing, and can be the difference between people who achieve and people who live average or less than average lives.  Isn’t it sad that students today can graduate from high school and college without having been taught success principles?  It’s a shame that 99 out of 100 people learn no goal-setting principles and drift through life and never realize their potential.

Talent, by itself, is not the key because we know the world is filled with talented people who never reach their potential.  We also know that a lot of average people achieve greatness.  Ultimately, your success will be determined by your attitude and the action you take over a long period of time.

Agents with National Agents Alliance know the importance of listening because it is one of Andy Albright’s 8 Steps to Success, and they learn that listening is crucial to an agent’s success.

To improve your listening skills learn and follow these five tenets that Andy stresses:

  1. Never interrupt.  Show respect to the speaker by letting them express their thoughts and ideas.
  2. Sit down and be still. Giving your full attention to the speaker lets him know you are really paying attention and care about what he has to say.
  3. Maintain eye contact.  In one-on-one, conversations making eye contact shows respect for the speaker and will help keep you focused on what is being said.  In a meeting or conference, where eye contact is more difficult, taking notes will show the speaker you are listening.
  4. Acknowledge what is being said.  Nod your head occasionally to show your engagement, or say, “Yes,” or “I understand.”
  5. Ask Open-ended questions. Asking questions that cannot be answered with a “Yes” or “No” improves the quality of the conversation.

Challenge yourself to improve your listening skills.  The top producers at National Agents Alliance have mastered listening skills and will tell you they now serve their clients better because they actually know what is important to the client.  The relationships built through this skill leads to more sales, more referrals and more repeat business.  It is a simple skill that you must master.


No Fear

No FearIt doesn’t take long in the business life of an agent with National Agents Alliance to find out who’s tough enough for the long run.  The novice agent often gives in quickly, misinterpreting rejection as a personal affront, when the prospective client is really saying “not now” or “I need more information.”  A more experienced agent is able to maintain a posture of confidence and competence by being prepared for any and all objections that prospects throw out.

This posture is what is responsible for the agent to turn “no’s” into “yes’s” and convert skeptics into clients.

Because of the professional training received through Rotation meetings, NAA University, Boot Camps and Andy Albright’s weekly TV show, agents develop the skills to handle anything thrown their way.  Through this training and experience, agents learn to “think on their feet,” to answer objections with ease.

With a little practice and experience, agents are able to anticipate almost any question the prospect may ask, confidently rebutting the objection and showing the client technical competence.  People love to do business with people they like and those who come across as competent in their delivery, and this positive posture leads the client one step closer to buying.

This anticipation is learned at the National Agents Alliance trainings listed above, and top producers will teach a new agent exactly what to say to every possible objection imaginable.  Through repetition and role-playing, every agent is prepared for every question, and will be able to perform in the same manner as the best-of-the-best at NAA.  The more practice, the more confidence.  The more confidence, the more success.

Agents have what clients need.  There can be no fear because it’s the agent’s job to protect the client’s family.  This business is a “contact sport” and not for the faint-at-heart. But if you learn and practice, the fear disappears.  It’s a great feeling to be prepared and to effectively listen through an objection or question that you have anticipated ahead of time and have your prospect respond positively to the way you honor their concern and offer a solution to their problem.  When you are prepared everyone wins.


LIMRA Report: Whole Life Policies See Growth in First Quarter of 2012

Life InsuranceIn the first quarter of 2012 total individual life insurance premium grew 3 percent when comparing to 2011’s numbers, and the overall policy count rose 5 percent in that same quarter, according to a new LIMRA report.

LIMRA researchers believe that the “biggest driver behind both total premium and policy count continues to be whole life.” In fact, analyst saw “growth in whole life sales across the industry.”

Researchers believe because whole life has the security of cash-value guarantees, in addition to lifetime coverage, has enticed consumers to purchase these policies, researchers believe.

The report also found:

  • Whole life premium increased 10% in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Whole life policy count improved 6% in the first quarter.
  • Half of all the individual life insurance policies issued in the first quarter were whole life products.
  • Lifetime-guarantee UL premium fell 12% in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Indexed UL (IUL) jumped 22% in the first quarter and IUL policy count grew 41%.
  • Variable UL (VUL) premium declined 1% in the first quarter.
  •  VUL policy count dropped 9%.
  •  New term life premium grew by 1% in the first quarter.

What seems to be performing best for your National Agents Alliance business?  Anything on the decline?


Write it Down!

It's a dream until you write it down, and then it's a goal.If you are prone to procrastinate, keeping an organized list helps you to develop much more clarity.  Too many people are scattered in all directions.  They are late for meetings; they’re late for the airport.  They forget appointments.  They can’t find their cell phone with all their contacts, or they experience all sorts of other things because of their disorganization.  Being organized is a skill and an important one if you want to be super successful.

Getting organized means keeping lists!  Not on a scrap of paper but with a good method, whether that means in a Day-Timer, online or in your smartphone. Successful people are creatures of habit and that includes keeping track of everything.

To become successful with National Agents Alliance, you must understand success principles and live the laws of success.  This means developing habits, routines, skills and a mindset that will allow you to do all the little things the winners do every day.  If you don’t develop a system, and write things down, it’s easy to become a procrastinator.

Step six in Andy Albright’s 8 Steps to Success is “Be Teachable.”  At NAA, the top producers do a great job of teaching new agents, and these big producers are all good at being super organized.  The new agent has to be willing to listen (Step 3 in the 8 Steps) and implement the strategies that have proven successful, and profitable.

Most of our top agents plan their day the night before, and those with assistants will even leave messages for them in the evening so they both start off each day with a blueprint to follow.  With things written down, and prioritized, important tasks never get delayed or forgotten.  Most often, National Agents Alliance’s leaders list and tackle the most difficult tasks first.  Following a prioritized list makes sense, it allows you to feel like your day is productive, and if something should not get completed it won’t be the most important task of the day.

So, to make the most of your National Agents Alliance business:  Listen, learn and write it down!


Father’s Day is Almost Here! Are You Truly Thinking About Your Dad?

Happy Father's DayAs Father’s Day approaches and we begin to celebrate our fathers and all of the sacrifices they have made, we also need to think about how you can protect him.

Typically, the dads are the ones purchasing the car, house, health and other insurance for his family. In doing so, they often forget to obtain insurance for themselves.  As the bread winner and the provider of the household, it would be financially disastrous if they were to be hurt on the job.

A misconception that many people have is that if you’re hurt, or sick on the job that their employer will cover them. This isn’t always the case. Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), fathers will only be protected for up to 12 weeks in a 12-month period; and at age 30, the odds of having a disability before age 65 that lasting three months or longer is around a whopping 40 percent, Insurancenewsnet.com reports.

If your disability leaves you out of work for more than three months, your only options are using your sick or vacation pay, unless your employer offers their employees a short-term disability plan. If you’ve used all your time off or need additional time to recover, you will likely go without a paycheck until you are well enough to go back to work.

This is a very real scenario that could happen to your family. Just think of the repercussions of your family’s sole breadwinner became disabled.

It’s a good idea to consider more than just a new tie or a gadget for Father’s Day this year, instead think about how you can protect your dad or husband and your family. A short-term disability protection policy is a great option to consider, because it pays a percentage of the wages while a person is unable to work.

“Paying a little extra for an individual disability policy gives a father the ability to take advantage of the coverage, when it’s needed most. Disability insurance coverage provides peace of mind, in the event an illness strikes or some accident occurs and the father is unable to do what he does best,” says insurance lawyer Frank Darras said to Insurancenewsnet.com.

At National Agents Alliance we offer various products that can help protect your family in several ways. Whether you need disability protection insurance, life insurance, spouse life insurance, final expense insurance or mortgage disability insurance, NAA has a solution for you. Just visit www.naalife.com or contact an NAA agent to get your free quote.


The Productivity Secret

Checking off the To-do ListFor some people it always seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get done everything on your to-do list. Productivity is an elusive thing for many people, who get wrapped up in personal obligations, extra-curricular activities or are just plain lazy.  Productivity has a tendency to slip through our fingers all the time, and as a sales professional with National Agents Alliance, this can wind up really hurting your bottom line.

According to TIME Business, truly productive people share these certain characteristics:

  • They have a life: The most creative and inventive people have a life outside of work. It helps to take their mind off of work and be able to just think about non-related things. According to academic research, external commitments are highly correlated with high achievement.
  • They take breaks: It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that if you work more you’ll get more done than if you stopped and took a break. Neuroscience has shown that we can easily become resource-depleted (tired), causing you to quickly become rigid and narrow minded (tunnel vision).  By taking a break and going to a short walk to reset and refresh your mind, you can solutions to problems that you would have never recognized behind the desk.
  • They have often worked in several different industries: This means that they regularly challenge orthodoxies because they’ve seen different frameworks and approaches. They may not take so much for granted, and have the experience to see the value in re-framing problems, TIME Business stated.
  • They have great outside collaborators: Sometimes these collaborators are formal, often not. But their sounding boards aren’t just immediate colleagues or clients. Their wide networks allow them to incorporate a wider range of thinking, contacts and information and they bring light and air into the business, TIME Business said.

If you can incorporate just one of these characteristics you will surely see an increase in your productivity. In fact, scientific research by the Ford Motor company in the 1900s has shown that 40 hours is the sweet spot for employee productivity. Working another 20 hours does provide a minor increase in productivity, but that increase only lasts for three to four weeks, and then turns negative. So keeping a life outside of work and actually keeping your work hours to 40 hours a week, you will see your productivity pick up.


6 Ways to Increase Your Energy

Pure Energy!Do you remember when you were younger you felt like you could do things forever?  You could stay out late and jump up and be to work on time?  And do it over and over again?  Then, when you started getting a little older, you found out that plan doesn’t work like it used to.

Here are a few things some top producers at National Agents Alliance do to re-charge the batteries and increase their energy.

  1. Garbage in, garbage out:  You probably can’t eat the way you used to, and you’ve realized that when you eat crummy food, you feel crummy.  When you eat better…healthy lean meats, veggies, fruits, more natural foods…you’ll look and feel much better.  Most people who rush through the drive-thru actually feel bad later in the day and get tired in the middle of the afternoon.  What you put in your body will determine how you feel!
  2. Get some exercise:  Just moving your body gives you energy.  It doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon; just get some light, regular exercise.  Cardio activities that get the blood flowing create endorphins and you’ll feel great.  This can really carry you through the lulls in the work day that once upon a time would make the day seem like it would never end.  Lots of options…walk, jog, bike, lift weights, play tennis…get a plan and be regular with it.
  3. Recharge with rest:  Not getting enough sleep can really throw you off…your body temperature is off, you tend to eat more than you need, and you tend to lose focus easily.  Mature adults need 7 or more hours of sleep to function optimally, and it too needs to be regular.  Four hours one night and nine the next does not work as well as a consistent sleep pattern.  Give your body a chance to regenerate.
  4. Control your thoughts, control your mood:  If you find yourself in a bad mood stop and check your thoughts.  You’ll soon see why your mood is bad.  Remember, thoughts are things, so you need to put good, positive thoughts into play.  You control your thoughts; you’re in charge, so replace negative thoughts with empowering and energy-creating positive thoughts.
  5. Make a to-do list:  Prioritize your list and tackle the most important items first.  Keeping track of all that needs to be done will keep the stress away.  Don’t make the list too long, but a little bit every day whittles the list down, and you’ll never have to worry about forgetting something important.
  6. Reach out and touch someone:  Like the old telephone commercial says, give someone a call, especially someone you have not spoken with for a long time.  Association is big in NAA, very important, and Andy Albright teaches this all the time.  Try to hang around with successful people, and remember it works both ways…so make the effort to keep in touch from your end.  You’ll get a charge out of it, just like when someone calls you out of the blue.

To reach the highest levels with National Agents Alliance, you need to be at your best all the time.  Use these tips to keep your energy at a high level and watch your business soar!


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