Tag Archives: Sales

Why the holidays are a great time to be in sales and recruiting

Thanksgiving is over and the turkey has all been gobbled up. You’ve made it through one of the three end-of-year holidays.

Many people consider this time of year to be a period when sales and recruiting experience a low point. Why do people think that way? Many assume that people are not looking for a new job because the season is so busy with gatherings and functions. This is just not the case.

People are always looking for a better opportunity. It doesn’t matter if Santa Claus is coming to town or not!

Smart sales people and recruiters flourish at this time of year. They know this is the time of year when you can separate yourself from being good to being great at what you do.

People are home more often during the holidays, which means you can get them on the phone or in person. People are out shopping and running errands all the time too. Just go to a local mall and start talking to people because they are out there. You will find people who are interested in what The Alliance does through insurance.

Don’t get sucked into the “go to every party” trap! But, if you do go to a party then talk to people about what you do and see if they are interested. If you are going to be at the party, you might as well make it productive.

The holidays are about spending time with those you care about, but that doesn’t mean you should take the month of December off from work. In sales and recruiting, you have to do it for 12 months a year to be truly successful. When you see other people wasting time, let that be a reminder to you that you need to get back on the phone and talk to people.

If you have to set a goal for each day or week, then do it. Make it fun. Make it like a game. Incentivize yourself to keep selling and recruiting. You can go from having a good year to a great year if you are committed to closing out the year strong. There are 365 days in a calendar year NOT 334! Make the most of all your days. It is OK to be merry and bright, but you will look a lot better if you have a “cash-flow glow” about you because you kept working to close out the year strong.

If you really need to be motivated, find an accountability partner who will help cheer you on. Maybe you even compete against them. Whatever it takes, do that!

Don’t underestimate the potential to hire a bunch of people at this time of year. Keep your activity on pace with what you did up to this point. It’s OK to take time off for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you don’t need to stop working all together.

Don’t let the holidays be the excuse for why you didn’t have the kind of year you wanted to have. You can enjoy family and friends and still keep your business on track. Somebody is waiting to hear from you, so stop postponing action and pick up the phone. Keep chopping wood and the tree will eventually fall down for you. Stay focused and consistent.

Think about the rewards you will enjoy down the road for the work you are doing now. If somebody is going to do the job, it might as well be you?

Be thankful for all your blessings at this time of year, show gratitude and appreciation to other people and keep doing the tasks that helped you become as successful as you are right now.

Once the year ends and you look back on the work you put in, you will be thankful you finished out the year with a bang!

How Do You Achieve Success? Just Ask!

What if Andy never asked Fitz to join the Alliance? What if no one ever asked you to join The Alliance?

Many people miss out on opportunities for success simply because they were afraid to ask someone a simple question. You’ve probably thought about asking your neighbor if they needed life insurance or if they need a job, but never asked because you were afraid they wouldn’t be interested. You can’t succeed if you don’t ask! Below are some questions you can ask to help others and become more successful.Don't be afraid to ask questions

Ask friends, family, and acquaintances
Whether you’re in a conversation with a good friend, your sister-in-law, or someone you just met, you can always slip a question into any conversation. Have you ever thought about life insurance? Do you have a retirement plan at work? Have you ever thought about trying a different career? Of course, you won’t ask all of those questions at once, but you if you politely slip them into your conversations you can show the other person that you care about them and their future. There’s always a chance that they could use your help or advice. If not, they might come to you if they think of someone else you could help.

Ask your manager
Some people feel like they’re bothering their manager if they ask questions, but that’s what your manager is there for – to help you succeed! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. How am I doing? What could I do to improve in this area? Do you have any advice about this? Your manager should be more than willing to answer your questions, or point you in a direction of someone else who can help you. If you find that your manager is unwilling to respond to you, don’t take that as a sign to stop asking – you need those answers! Ask other agents or our staff at headquarters where you can find answers to all of your questions.

Ask your team
Just as you are sometimes afraid to ask questions, your teammates might have the same fear. If you haven’t heard from some of your teammates in a while, don’t be afraid to make a quick phone call or email to ask how they’re doing or if there is anything you can do to help them. If they see that you’re willing to help them out, they’ll be happier to work with you and more likely to help you out when you need it.

By asking questions of others you can build relationships, help others, make more sales, build up your team and achieve the success you’ve always wanted. Don’t miss out on an opportunity just because you’re afraid to ask one little question. The answer you get may change your life and theirs!

The Alliance Can Help You Avoid 3 of the Worst Sales Mistakes

NAA Success TipsWhen you’re in sales, there are some mistakes that can not only cause you to lose the sale, but can also damage your reputation, NAA’s reputation, and the reputation of the carriers. That’s a terrifying thought, but you can easily avoid those mistakes. National Agents Alliance is here to tell you what some of those mistakes are and how you can avoid them.

  1. Putting your interests before the customer’s.
    As a salesperson, naturally you want to make the sale so that you can get your commission. But customers know when you’re putting your own interests before theirs. If you’re not genuinely putting your customer’s needs first, you won’t make the sale or get a referral and the customer could spread the word that they’re unhappy with your service and NAA’s. We sell life insurance because it’s an important product that protects families from future financial troubles, not just because we need to sell something. Make sure that you’re putting the customer’s needs first when you go in to their home. Ask a lot of questions to get a good understanding of what they need from an insurance policy and what they can afford. The customer will know that you care and will be more likely to give you a referral.
  2. Not honoring your commitments.
    There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than a salesperson who is late or misses an appointment. Customers remember if you promised to call them and never did. Mistakes like these are what lead to unhappy clients talking negatively about you to other potential customers. If you make a commitment to a customer, write it down so you won’t forget it and do everything you can to keep that commitment. Honoring your promises is a huge key to keeping customers happy. National Agents Alliance can help you with this through Keep In Touch (KIT) Marketing. When you sign up for KIT Marketing, we can send letters for you to your customers asking them if they’re still content with their policies.  This way, when you tell a client you’ll check in with them later, we’ll do it for you so you won’t risk disappointing them. We also provide other services to help you stay in touch with your clients.
  3. Blaming others when things go wrong.
    Although it’s tempting when dealing with an upset client to blame the Alliance or a carrier, it’s one of the biggest sales mistakes you can make. By blaming NAA or a carrier, you’re telling customers that you work for a company that you don’t stand by or that you’re selling products that you don’t believe in. This is where serious reputation damage can be done. To avoid all of this trouble, just try to keep the customer calm and assure them that you’ll do everything you can to fix the situation. Although it’s impossible to make everyone happy, they’ll be less likely to make things worse if you show them that you’re doing all that you can to help.

At National Agents Alliance, we’re dedicated to helping you improve your skills in any way that we can. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help! To view more sales tips, continue to follow this blog and see our posts “5 Easy Sales Tips from NAA” and “How to Use NAA’s Blogs to Make the Sale.”

Becoming More Persuasive

PersuadeWhat many salespeople don’t realize is that becoming more persuasive on sales calls has less to do with how hard they push and more to do with how compelling they are to their clients.

When selling to clients, it’s vital to remember that your clients would be doing you a favor by buying your National Agents Alliance product – however, it’s also important to remember that by making your product available to your clients, you are doing them a favor. It’s your job not to push them with sales jargon, but to show them through your words and your actions that they need what you are selling.

Clients often assume that salespeople are pushy and untrustworthy. Unfortunately, in some cases, this is true. It’s your job to disprove that stereotype from the beginning of the sales call. Show that you are trustworthy, not through just words, but through the way you use words and the information you share.

We’ve got a few simple tips to help you become more persuasive without being too pushy.

  1. Be honest– Remember that your goal is to gain your clients’ trust.  The best way to truly gain people’s trust is to be trustworthy and honest. Think of your sales tactics as if you were the client – what would you think of the way you treat people? Would you want the salesperson to be honest with you about the service or product? Would you trust just any salesperson? What qualities make you trust others? Consider all of these things when going on sales calls. As an agent for National Agents Alliance, you are working for the greater good. You are not just working to get a paycheck – you are working to make a difference. It’s your job to make sure people get the coverage they need to protect their families – be truthful about the coverage your clients need and be genuine in your efforts to help. Your honesty will shine and people will trust you. Being trustworthy in itself makes you more persuasive in your efforts to sell.
  2. Be appropriate– When selling, it’s important to think like your audience. Instead of focusing on how to “trick” people into buying what you sell, simply try thinking like your clients. Do you have a family? Tell your clients how life insurance can protect their families from financial stresses if they pass away. Was there something about insurance that you didn’t understand before you went through agent training? Be honest and clear with your clients, anticipating questions and concerns so you will be prepared to answer them. Thinking like your audience will help you be more helpful to your clients. Keep in mind that you are representing National Agents Alliance when you go on sales calls – another reason to be truthful and appropriate. Keep your audience’s perspective in mind, being constantly aware of what you say and how you say it. Rehearse your general sales script to make sure that you know what you want to say and how you want to say it.

Applying these tips to your sales mindset and behavior will help you to be more persuasive – naturally – at your sales calls. If you focus on helping your clients instead of getting as much money out of them as possible, you will see that you are working toward the greater good and making a difference by meeting your clients’ needs. Your clients will see that you are genuine and will be more likely to purchase coverage from you. Your attitude says more about you and what you are selling than your “pushy persuasiveness” does. These tips will help you be naturally persuasive, improving your skills and furthering you on your road to success with National Agents Alliance.

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.

Life Insurance a Hot Financial Planning Tool?

Piggy BankIs life insurance becoming a hot financial planning tool? According to new research from Northwestern Mutual, that seems to be the case. Americans are obtaining life insurance to help secure their financial future and are incorporating into their financial plans.

Because of marriages, growing families and a looming retirement, the flexibility that life insurance products offer are attractive to those who are seeking to maintain a peace of mind no matter what life may throw at them.

According to the research:

  • Twenty-three percent of Americans ages 18-34, are the most likely demographic to purchase life insurance because of a birth.
  • Thirty-six percent of Americans age 55 or older and 39 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds were prompted to buy life insurance because of a marriage.
  • Thirty-one percent of Americans age 55 and older bought it as part of their retirement plan, while 25 percent of 45 to 54-year-olds did the same.
  • Twenty-five percent states home ownership among Americans 45 to 54-year-olds.
  • Thirty-five 18 – 34-year-olds are significantly more likely than those ages 35-54 to have peace of mind as a result of knowing all their debts are paid.
  • Both 35 – 44 (34 percent) year olds and 45 – 54 (36 percent) years olds derive the greatest peace of mind knowing that their family will be provided for in the event of their unexpected death, and those aged 18-34 (68 percent) and 45-54 (58 percent) who have life insurance were significantly more likely to have been motivated to purchase life insurance in order to provide for their loved ones.

Motor Vehicle Records to be Used by Life Insurers?

Filing Cabinet of RecordsIf you tend to have a lead foot and have a passion for the “fast lane” it may be time that you slow down and play safe while behind the wheel, as a new study has found that your driving history can be used as a predictor of an individual’s lifespan, the Insurance Journal reports.

Just like car insurance companies, life insurance companies could begin using motor vehicle driving records to predict an individual’s life span, which could affect your life insurance policy premiums.

A LexisNexis study, “The Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Mortality Study,” found that motor vehicle driving records are a predictive data source of an individual’s all-cause mortality, which is an individual’s overall likelihood of dying in general.

“Our research shows that motor vehicle records can be a reliable indicator of lifestyle risk for insurance applicants,” explained Elliott Wallace, vice president, life insurance, LexisNexis. “For consumers, this study offers insight into how lifestyle impacts risk and the considerations they need to make for life insurance. By examining the severity and number of violations on an applicant’s MVRs, a life insurer can make more accurate pricing decisions, improve risk posture and improve underwriting efficiency.”

Alcohol-relation infractions and excessive speeding caused all-cause mortality rates to soar to 70 percent higher than individuals who don’t participate in such infractions; while six or more driving violations raised an individual’s all-cause mortality rate by 80 percent.

The study identified the trend across all age groups and genders, with women typically having lower incidences of adverse driving records.

For insurers, LexisNexis researchers note:

  • In cases where underwriters are striving to improve the customer experience by ordering fewer reports, MVRs offer excellent protective value because they offer insights into an applicant’s lifestyle risk.
  • MVRs are one of the more affordable data sources available for insurers and are non-intrusive for customers – a benefit when applicant retention is an issue for most carriers.
  • MVRs can help insurers improve efficiency – real-time availability of MVR data means that insurers can streamline their processes and reduce cycle times.

So what does this mean to you? Some life insurance companies could begin using your motor vehicle driving records to get a better look at your lifestyle, which can affect the cost of owning a life insurance policy.

In closing, it’s best to drive safe and to understand that bad choices on the road can end up affecting more than your driving privileges.  National Agents Alliance team members, another important tidbit to be aware of!

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 Coverage on a Broke Man’s Budget

Shrinking Piggy BanksTimes are tough for many Americans, as the job market and the country’s economy hit a major slump. Many Americans are left living paycheck to paycheck and scraping together change to make it from one week to the next. Because of our current economic situation, the thought of purchasing life insurance has often been put on the back burner.

It is widely believed by most consumers that life insurance policies are expensive, when in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a LIMRA report found that consumers inaccurately believe that life insurance costs nearly three times the actual price. For instance, a healthy 30-year-old consumer, who wants a 20-year, $250,000 term life policy can expect to pay only an average annual cost of $150.

As National Agents Alliance team members, you have no doubt had enough exposure those struggling in with the current economic state to know that even with a low average annual premium, many policies may still be too high of a cost for a lot of families.  However, there are some options available that you can advise a client that could help them get coverage they can afford:

  • Purchase only as much term life insurance that you can afford right now:  Term life insurance covers a fixed period of time, like 10, 20, or 30 years, and pays a death benefit if you pass away while the policy is active. The premiums are lower the younger and healthier you are, which is beneficial to those who are on a shoe string budget and are young and healthy. But, the older you get, means the premiums also raise.
  • Annual renewable term life:  Annual renewable term life guarantees your insurability for a set period of time. However the premium increases each year during the term, based on your age. With level-premium term life, the premium stays the same for the entire term. In the early years of the policy, premiums for annual renewable term life are less expensive than those for a comparable level-term life policy, Nasdaq reports.
  • Compare: Don’t be afraid to comparison shop and compare policies and prices to one another.
  • Don’t just look for the best price: Sometimes the best price doesn’t means it’s the best policy. You should always shop for quality. What’s the point of having a life insurance policy that doesn’t cover anything, or makes you jump through hoops when trying to file a claim?

Need More Annuity Sales? Compare it to Social Security!

Annuities for Your Nest EggFor many older Americans, Social Security immediately comes to mind when they think of retirement benefits. That sense of security and monthly income puts them at ease when entering their “Golden Years.” But by explaining annuities and their benefits the same way retirees understand and view Social Security, you could see your National Agents Alliance annuity sales increase dramatically.

The problem is, most Americans don’t understand annuities and believe it’s just another expense. But, when you break it down like Social Security they can better understand how annuities can help them during retirement.

LifeHealthPro.com has broken down how retirees view and what they don’t consider when it comes to Social Security:

How retirees view Social Security:

  • They view Social Security as a monthly income plan.
  • They can tell you exactly what they will receive in benefits at a given age, because of the certainty it provides.
  • They understand that the longer they wait to take income the more income they will receive.
  • The income is actually increased by 4 percent to 8percent per year as they wait to start taking it. A boomer gets a whopping 8 percent increase each year they delay the income.
  • These benefits are viewed as stable, predictable and backed by the government.

What retirees don’t consider when it comes to Social Security:

  • “How much money did I have to put into Social Security to get this monthly income?”
  • “What rate of return did I make on my money that I’ve paid into Social Security?”
  • “What is my account balance on my Social Security account for lump-sum withdrawal?”

By challenging your clients to consider those questions when talking about annuities and Social Security, it will get them to think about and really consider other retirement planning options. It is very seldom that Social Security can cover your basic needs and live a comfortable lifestyle and as an agent with National Agents Alliance, it is important to make your clients aware of the options they have to supplement it.  By talking about how annuities can help to fill that gap, you can continue to assist your clients with leading a more comfortable retirement.

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