Tag Archives: Resources

How to Kick Up Your Referrals Up a Notch

Sometimes doing what you’re supposed to do isn’t enough, especially when you’re hoping your client will refer you to their friends, family and co-workers.

If you’ve been doing exactly what you’re supposed to do and meeting your clients’ needs, but still aren’t getting the influx of referrals you’d hoped for doing a job well done, then you need to kick your customer service up a notch.

While there is nothing wrong with doing everything that you promised your client, it may not be enough to inspire them to share your contact information with their loved ones.

It’s the above and beyond things that you do for your clients that makes you stand out from the rest and prompt your clients to share their experience with you to others, who are looking for the services that you’re providing.  There is still something to be said about handwritten notes, asking about their loved ones are doing and knowing a little bit about their life that you can chat with them about; calling to wish them a happy birthday, and just calling to check in with them from time to time.

In the end if you go above and beyond, and establish a good relationship you will begin to see more referrals coming your way!

Life Insurance Industry Changes To Watch For In 2013

Change AheadThe New Year is upon us and as everyone is set to begin making changes in their personal and professional lives for 2013, the life insurance industry is also getting ready for some possible changes .

Life Health Pro has released the five things to expect for life insurance in 2013:


  1. The tax-favored status of life insurance products:  While industry watchers don’t believe that life insurance products will lose their tax-favored status as a result of the fiscal cliff and other reforms, everything is on that table and the COLI and BOLI product tax status can change.
  2. Evolving to respond to the changing consumer: The way consumers shop for life insurance may begin to evolve in 2013. Social media, digital marketing, and mobile distribution strategies could become the new way to purchase life insurance.
  3. Remaining Relevant:  Rebranding may become a priority in the New Year as many young people are not aware that life insurance can be used as an investment vehicle. According to an Ernst & Young report, the average household expenditure on life insurance has declined by 50 percent over the last decade.
  4. Entering developing markets:  International markets are being eyed as the next big opportunity, but with that there are a whole new set of cultural and political barriers you need to overcome.
  5. Awareness of international and domestic regulatory issues: Some of the largest carriers, such as AIG, Prudential and MetLife may soon be designated as systemically significant (SIFI) and they will have to get used to federal regulation and higher capital standards. Of course, SIFI designation has been on the horizon for these firms for the better part of a year, so they should be prepared for it already. The question is what happens if SIFI designation drops on a company not expecting it, LifeHealthPro.com reported.

Motivation Burn Out? 8 Ways to You Can Stay Motivated to Reach Your Goals

imagesCAUAQV1PWhenever you first set out to accomplish a goal, you typically have the “pedal to the metal” and are in high gear. But after a few days, you often can notice yourself down shifting and slowing down as you begin to run out of gas.

Achieving a goal is not always easily accomplished. Sometimes it can take months or even years to reach, but not before you have overcome obstacles along the way.

Here at National Agents Alliance, we know that one of the keys in achieving any goal is to stay motivated. Often times, motivation begins to wear off to due to a “burn out” or a loss of focus. Soon you’ll think of excuses, let procrastination set in and before you know it, a year has passed by and you’re still standing in the same spot.

If you’re ready to tackle a goal you’ve had your sights set on, Dale Carnegie has a few tips on how to maintain motivation to work towards achieving your goal:

  • Talk: Talk to people you respect and trust to get their opinion and positive reinforcement. Also, just talking aloud about your concerns and obstacles can help you overcome them and move forward.
  • Train:  Fear of failure, especially when you feel unprepared or untrained for a certain task, can quickly overwhelm you. The easiest way to overcome this to obtain training, skills and the education you need. Plus, the added confidence will motivate you to work harder towards the end goal.
  • Visualize:  You should always visualize you goal, what needs to be done, and what you have to do to get there. By thinking it through step-by-step and imagining yourself completing it, you will be able to tackle even the most difficult task.
  • Understand what is at stake: Having a complete picture of what is at stake can keep you motivated. What you will lose if you do not reach your goal? Will you face disappointment? Will you miss out on something great?  Will you feel regretful?
  • Get Inspired: Get around people, places and things that inspire you to work towards your goal.  Keep yourself in an environment where you are happy and positive, and keep successful, self-motivated people around you. Remember, if you stay by the fire, you’ll stay warm.
  • Get engaged: Don’t get complacent with where you are after achieving some progress. Always be thinking about what needs to be done next, and set continuous deadlines and goals to ensure you stay on track.
  • Push yourself: You must learn to push yourself. Always remind yourself that the end result will be well worth the work, and challenge yourself to be better than you knew you could be.

Recruiting Tips: How To Find Top Performing Agents

Finding Good RecruitsIf you’re ready to kick your recruiting into high gear, especially as National Agents Alliance reaches the end of its November Recruiting Contest, we have some tips that will help you find new, quality agents.

As you know, finding good people to help you with your business isn’t as easy you’d think. For every five people you hire, one or two may be worth the time to spend shaping them into a leader in their own right.

But INC. Magazine has released four cheap and effective ways you can find good salespeople:

  1. Referrals from friends and colleagues: The recommendations from people you love and trust are the best way to finding high performers. Your friends and colleagues won’t recommend someone who is unqualified, because it would reflect poorly on them.
  2. Ask your customers: Good salespeople bond with their clients, and in turn, it builds a relationship. Because of this relationship, your clients will want the best for you. These clients will often know when their rep is hiring people to join their team, and because they only want to deal with good salespeople, they’ll recommend quality people.
  3. Use social media: LinkedIn is a powerful recruiting tool because you can directly advertise for salespeople, and browse a candidate’s qualifications, specialties, and recommendations. Plus, sites like LinkedIn and Facebook have groups in which you can join to meet and talk to top salespeople in your field.
  4. Be sociable: In the grocery store, the doctor’s office waiting room, or standing in line at the bank, are all opportunities to fine quality prospects. “A leader should always be looking for great salespeople, especially outside of the work environment. Wherever you go, keep a lookout for people who look like they might fit your business, and when you see them, engage them in a discussion. You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain,” INC. Magazine advises.

The hunt is always on for top performing people, who could become an asset for your business. So keep your eyes peeled and employ these techniques and you can build a powerhouse team before you know it.

Consumers are Turning to the Web for Insurance and Annuity Information

Information on the InternetThe number of consumers who are researching individual insurance and annuity products over the Web has increase by 61 percent since 2006, but nearly the same amount consumers are still turning to agents, brokers and advisors for information, according to new research by LIMRA.

According to LIMRA’s report, this is an increase from the 38 percent of consumers in 2006, who turned to the Web to educate themselves about individual insurance and annuity products.

But, still nearly 7 in 10 consumers (69 percent) still turn to agents, brokers and advisors for information because they are “often viewed as the most valuable and influential information sources,” says Mart Art, a LIMRA research director.

The report found the three reasons consumers are turning to the Internet to find information, which apply to all age-groups and income levels:

  1. Research companies and product offerings
  2. Seek general product information
  3. Compare prices

The report also found that:

  • Men and younger, higher-income, higher-educated consumers look on the Internet more often than other demographic groups.
  • Sixty-five percent of men use the Internet for research, compared with just 58 percent of women.
  • Seventy-three percent of Gen Y consumers seeking information online more than Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers.
  • Gen Y consumers are also more likely to rate online sources as their most valuable information avenue for online recommendations of companies and to use agent locators.

How to Calculate Persistency and Placement

In the life insurance industry and at National Agents Alliance, we use placement and persistency to measure the quality of your performance. The concept is very simple. If you can’t get policies placed or keep policies on the books your persistency, placement and income falls with it. Whereas, if you can get policies placed and remain on the books, your persistency and placement rises along with your income and recognition within NAA.

To get a better understanding we will break down how to find your placement and persistency:

How to calculate placement rate:

First it is important to understand that quantity does not equal quality.

If you submit 10 cases but only eight cases have been placed and made it past the Free Look period (typically 30 days, but some states and products may vary), you take the number of placed cases over the number of submitted cases and divide.

Placement Calculation

Let’s remember that quantity doesn’t equal quality. For example, you increased the number of cases submitted to 100, but for one reason or another 30 cases were not placed. When you put 70 placed cases over 100 submitted cases your placement rate is only 70 percent, which is not better than only submitting 10 cases and placing eight.

Quantity vs Quality

The only way to increase your placement rate is to increase the number of placed cases over the number of submitted cases.

How to calculate 4 month persistency:

To calculate persistency you start with placed cases (not submitted business), which has made it through the Free Look period and are active with premiums paid to date.  If you placed 10 cases and only seven cases earned four months of premium then you have a 70 percent 4-month persistency. You must collect premium for all four months on all 10 cases in order to have 100 percent 4-month persistency.

Persistency Calculation

How to calculate 13-month persistency:

Take one month’s worth of business that has gone through the Free Look period and has stayed on the books.  If all of your cases have stayed on the books and premiums have been paid every month up to 13 months, then you have 100 percent persistency.

For example, if in January you placed 10 cases and in 13 months all 10 cases are still on the books, then you have a 100 percent persistency.

Persistency Calculation 2

You cannot determine your persistency in the 12th month, because you need to ensure that premiums have been met for the 12th month in order to calculate your persistency for that year. The same goes for business written in the second month; you have to wait until 13 months later to calculate that persistency for the second block. At the end of 25 months, you then can calculate your persistency for the whole years’ worth of business.

LIMRA report for Sept. 2012

Bad Economy SignThe shaky economy has left families scraping to survive. According to the latest LIMRA study, Americans are more concerned with paying their mortgage and bills than they were a year ago.  Here is some information that National Agents Alliance team members should find interesting and potentially helpful.

Identifying those at risk.

The numbers: Three in 10 households, roughly 35 million, are uninsured and half say they need more life insurance.

More than half of Gen X and Y homes, 30 million people, need MORE life insurance.

The middle market represents the largest segment of uninsured households, with 36 million – half – admitting they need more coverage.

Seven in 10 women agree that life insurance is a necessity and all people should have it – only 62 percent of males believe this to be true.

One-third of wives own no life insurance at all – despite the fact that seven in 10 homes are dual-income households, and nearly 30 percent of wives earn more than their spouse.

Why aren’t people buying?

The LIMRA study found the top two reasons people don’t buy life insurance are competing financial priorities or because they think they cannot afford coverage.

Another recent LIMRA study discovered that consumers overestimate the cost of life insurance by as much as 3 times the actual cost.

Shockingly, six in 10 consumers don’t recall being approached to buy life insurance in the last 24 months. Further, 35 percent of shoppers who met with an agent did not buy life insurance and said that the agent never followed up with them.

Another factor in play is the clients’ lack of knowledge about life insurance. This held people back from buying for the following reasons: 12 percent couldn’t decide what type was needed or how much to buy, 10 percent were afraid of making the wrong decision and eight percent did not know enough about life insurance.

What’s the motivation?

41 percent of potential clients said LIFE EVENTS – getting married, having a child or buying a home – prompted them to shop for life insurance.

One quarter of possible clients were looking for coverage because their financial advisor or agent initiated contact or suggested the need for life insurance.

25 percent of life insurance shoppers looked at buying coverage because they thought they might need more and wanted to review their coverage.

One in eight shoppers said a friend or family member recommended a sales rep or financial advisor, prompting them to shop for life insurance.

From window shopping to buying!

78 percent of shoppers with previous relationships with an agent bought life insurance – almost 10 percent higher than shoppers who had no prior relationship with their agent.

Providing a needs-based outlook for customers helps them see how insurance can work for them and their families. 75 percent of shoppers who received a needs-based analysis bought insurance, compared to less than half of those who didn’t have an analysis.

Agents should also recommend an amount to buy for their clients. LIMRA’s study found shoppers are more likely to buy insurance – and larger policies – after getting a recommendation from their agent.

Following up is critical for agents to provide coverage to clients. 35 percent of non-buying prospects said they were still shopping and agents never followed up with them. Additionally, a third more were still making a decision about life insurance.

Big Picture

Americans value life insurance. Eight in 10 consumers say they’ve had a positive experience with life insurance and add that the industry is critical should a loved one pass away. Nearly 67 percent of all Americans feel life insurance gives people peace of mind.

The top financial concern for half of consumers is having enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Almost a third of consumers are most worried about paying their mortgage or rent – 31 percent are extremely or very concerned.

Lead Certification class sells out at Raleigh LeadCon

NAA's Lead Performance Team Banner

The Lead Performance Team held a sold-out lead certification class prior to National Agents Alliance’s Leadership Conference in Raleigh, N.C. on July 12, training 250 people on NAA’s most powerful recruiting tool: the lead system.

Participants included people from new agents to administrative staff, and even some of the more experienced managers at National Agents Alliance. The goal of the class is to teach people something they can apply toward their role or position immediately to help their business and to answer any questions they might have.

The class takes you through the process – from collection of data to the creation of all lead types – and offers tips on how to fully use the OASys system. The LPT of Sandra Sheckells, Wendy Brunick, Hunter Tickle and Samantha Osborne taught everything possible to make sure agents get the best return on their investment. This class is one of the important steps to check off your list when it comes to becoming Lead Purchase Authorized, which allows you the ability to purchase your own leads for you and your team.

The next series of lead certification classes will be held at each of NAA’s four Fall Forward events this October in Atlanta, Ga.; Burlington, N.C.; Los Angeles, Calif, and Dallas Texas. The course costs $29 or $49 if you want a box lunch included.

The Lead Performance Team

Upcoming Classes:

2012 Fall Forward-Atlanta, GA: October 5, 2012
2012 Fall Forward-Burlington, NC: October 12, 2012
2012 Fall Forward-Los Angeles, CA: October 19, 2012
2012 Fall Forward-Dallas, TX: October 26, 2012

Lead Certification Class (8:30am-12:00pm)

MIB Life Index: Life Insurance Applications See Increases for June

Thumbs up!According to a new report by MIB Life Index, underwritten life insurance application activity in the U.S. increased 2.1 percent in June, for all ages combined year-over-year.

The report also revealed that the Index has posted positive numbers in eight of the last nine months, however quarterly numbers show easing growth — up +1.3% Q2 2012/2011, up +4.2% Q1 2012/2011. In the first six months of 2012, the MIB Life Index increased +2.8% year-to-date (YTD), compared to the same six months last year. June’s numbers were also up +2.2% from those of May.

U.S. application activity also increased across all three age groups for the second consecutive month: ages 0-44, up +2.0%; ages 45-59, up +0.7%; and ages 60+, up +4.5%, year-over-year. Mid-year, ages 0-44 are up +1.9% YTD; ages 45-59 are up +2.0% YTD; and ages 60+are up +7.3% YTD versus same period last year, the report found.

Things are looking good out there for the National Agents Alliance team, go get you some!

Life Insurance Sales Tips: Top 7 Ways You Could Be Turning Off Your Customer

For the Customer!People are generally a little leery of sales people, no matter which type of sales people you encounter. While National Agents Alliance has many highly trained and top performing sales people who know how to work with clients, there are things that many sales people do that rub customers the wrong way.

LifeHealthPro.com has revealed the top ways sales people can turn off their prospects:

  1. Being late for appointments: This sends a huge red flag to your prospect. Not only is it not professional, they begin to lose confidence in you. Make sure when you book appointments that you allow for a small delay because of traffic or an overly talkative customer.
  2. Talking too much: You’ll never make a sale if you’re talking too much. If you’re talking too much that means you’re not really listening and helping your clients.
  3. Interrupting your customers:  This is not only rude, it’ll turn your client off immediately.
  4.  Going too far into detail about your product or solutions:  This is the fastest way to give your client information overload. This is only going to confuse them and put off their buying decision in order to filter through the mass amount of information you gave them.
  5. Failing to follow through:  If you said you were going to send the client information or look into something further for them—then do it! This just sends the signal that you’re unreliable.
  6. Pitch your offering before determining if a need exists: If you going to pitch a product that your client doesn’t need or isn’t interest in, they will tune you out instantly and your sale will quickly head south. After all, you’re there to help them.
  7. Not updating your product knowledge:  Products change every year and if you’re going to sell them, you need to know their ins and outs.

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