Tag Archives: Selling

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!

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 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?

60 Percent of Adults with a High School Diploma or Less Don’t Have Life Insurance

Need Life Insurance?Sixty percent of adults with a high school diploma or less do not have any life insurance coverage, while only 44 percent of college educated adults have forgone life insurance, according to a new study published by Genworth Financial.

The study also found that college educated adults have 2.5 times the amount of life insurance coverage of adults who did not graduate high school or only received a high school diploma.

This is a significant gap that our life insurance agents at National Agents Alliance can target their efforts. Consumers often don’t realize the cost of life insurance is much lower than widely perceived. In fact, the cost of just a few cups of coffee a month is often the same cost of adding adequate life insurance coverage.

For those who are single, it would be wise to purchase a life insurance policy now in order to lock in the low and affordable rates that will only climb as you age.

It is important NAA life insurance agents show their clients that life insurance creates a safety net underneath their family, should the provider pass away. This is an investment that can secure a family’s financial future, in which just one single event could have potentially destroyed if they don’t have coverage.

Regardless if your client is college educated or has a high school diploma, everyone needs adequate life insurance.

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.

Gun Shy? 5 Tips on How to Make Better Decisions and Pull the Trigger

Decision makingOne of the requirements of being a leader and successful business owner at National Agents Alliance is being able to make decisions—some loathe this, others find it empowering and some just simply decide not to decide. No matter how you look at it you will have to make decisions at some point in order to become a leader and reach success.

While many decisions take time in order to come to an answer, but you won’t be allowed that luxury every time you need to come to a decision. Being able to make a decision at the drop of a dime is key to staying on top of your game.

Entrepreneur Magazine has released five tips on how to make quicker, more calculated decisions:

  1. Stop seeking perfection. Many great leaders would prefer a project or report be delivered only 80% complete a few hours early than 100% complete five minutes late. Moral of the story: Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Instead of seeking the impossible, efficient decision makers tend to leap without all the answers and trust that they’ll be able to build their wings on the way down.
  2. Be independent. Good decision makers are “collaboratively independent.” They tend to surround themselves with the best and brightest and ask pointed questions. For instance, in a discussion with subject-matter experts, they don’t ask: “What should I do?” Rather, their query is: “What’s your thinking on this?” Waiting for committees or an expansive chain of command to make decisions could take longer. Get your information from credible sources and then act, swiftly.
  3. Turn your brain off. Insight comes when you least expect it. Similar to suddenly remembering the name of an actor that you think you’d just plumb forgotten. The same happens when you’re trying to make a decision. By simply turning your mind off for a while or even switching to a different dilemma, you’ll give your brain the opportunity to scan its data bank for information that is already stored and waiting to be retrieved.
  4. Don’t problem solve, decide. A decision can solve a problem, but not every problem can be solved by making a decision. Instead, decision making often relies more on intuition than analysis. Deciding between vendors, for instance, requires examining historical data, references and prices. But the tipping point often rests with your gut. Which feels like the right choice?
  5. Admit your mistakes. If your feelings have steered you wrong, correct the error and fess up. Even making the wrong decision will garner more respect and loyalty when you admit you’ve made a mistake and resolve it than if you are habitually indecisive.

Single Families: The Forgotten Market for Life Insurance

Single FamiliesMarried couples and families are the first demographic to come to mind when we think of people who would buy life insurance. But, according to a Pew Research study, only 51 percent of American adults are married.

While that statistic doesn’t mention whether those singles have any dependents, it’s pretty safe to say that is a huge pool of customers that shouldn’t be ignored. Single individuals are people who still need National Agents Alliance’s help in understanding the importance of life insurance.

While some people are better off financially than others, and have the cash to cover final expenses and cover any debt that they may have; chances are that there are more people who don’t have that luxury.

In order to find out how you can help a single individual LifeHealthPro.com has revealed some questions that you can ask to in order to help provide life insurance protection:

  • Do you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings?
  • Do you have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely?
  • Did family members pay for your education?

If they answer yes to any of these questions, then life insurance is something they definitely should consider.  In the event of an untimely death, this will provide peace of mind knowing that their children’s tuition will still get paid, their elderly parents will still receive the nursing care that they require and their family will not be left with a pile of debt.

The economic climate has also made “permanent life insurance an attractive asset class for the purpose of building a secure long-term rate of return for safe money assets. Cash value in traditional life insurance may provide a 3 percent to 5 percent long-term rate of return over a 20-year period. This can provide singles with money for opportunities, emergencies and retirement,” LifeHealthPro.com reports.

Furthermore, it’s important to express that the cost of purchasing life insurance is lower at young ages, which also allows them to protect their insurability for the future.

These are all valid reasons you need to express to your clients as to why life insurance is something they should seriously consider and how National Agents Alliance can help them.  Now, as Andy Albright would say, “Hammer Down!”

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!

Persistency Should Never be Overlooked When it Comes to Selling Insurance

Barron’s Insurance Dictionary defines persistency as the “Percentage of life insurance or other insurance coverage remaining in force; percentage of policies which may have not lapsed. The larger the percentage, the wider the persistency.” It is a part of sales that is often overlooked. To be profitable in insurance, it isn’t enough just to sell your product to one person; you should also try to retain your customers.

Client SalesNow, think about persistency for a moment. What’s the very first thing that pops into your head? Most likely your answer would not be marriage.  I mean, what would persistency have to do with matrimony? They seem further in relation than your cousin and a kumquat.

But the relationship between a client and an agent is just that, a relationship. It takes courtship, compromise, and commitment for any contract to be signed.  Nevertheless, walking down the aisle and saying your “I dos” isn’t the end of the marriage. Marriage is really a commitment and, in several ways, same goes with a client. If the client doesn’t feel you care, there may be a rift … or maybe “divorce.” In the world of insurance sales, that means cancelled contracts, which may result in the dreaded charge back.

In order to have great persistency, then, you should treat your agent-client relationships with pride. Your customers trust you, they’ve created a resolve for persistency with you, and they anticipate being treated as such. Here are a few methods to keep them happy after the contract is signed.

Keep in contact. Communication is crucial to a good relationship. Keep that bond powerful by reaching out to your customers. Express care for them outside of the context of the company. A simple birthday card or phone call can do wonders. If you’re trying to find an automated answer, NAA’s KIT letters can go further toward showing your clients just how much you care.

Earn their loyalty. When you love someone, it’s usually not just for one reason. It would be their sense of humor, their personality, or their smile. In terms of your clients, the relationship also needs to be multi-tiered. Having multiple contracts with them is a wonderful approach to retain persistency. The more policies they through you, the more likely they are to retain their policies and ask you for advice about future investments. When you help a customer once, they are just a customer. Help them again and they become a valued client. Help them a third time and you have a client for life.

What do you do in the event that the passion of this relationship has cooled and you’ve recently been “divorced?” It is possible to still salvage your relationship by contacting the client and asking why they cancelled. A small reminder will help them remember why they signed up in the first place, or perhaps it will reveal different problems you could help them with. Rekindle that spark of passion and you might be able to save the relationship.

Remember; persistency is a lot like a marriage. You’ve already devoted to one another. Through any time to show your customers how much you care, and seek out opportunities to “romance” them further, you’ll have a lengthy, fruitful relationship together.

Effort is What Makes Salespeople Successful

Shaking HandsIn business selling talent matters much less than effort applied to learning and mastering the skills that lead to success. Those who succeed outwork those who don’t every single time. We can all be successful at sales because effort is a choice and who better to learn from than National Agents Alliance.

Practicing for hours is not always feasible, but you should make the commitment and get in the habit of practicing something every day. We are always offering training, pushing everyone to read and available when you have questions. When you practice, don’t just read or review training material in your mind, practice by saying it out loud or even on your friends and family. Learning is contextual, and what you learn by reading doesn’t really help your ability to use the information in a conversation and a potential sale.

Clients don’t care about your story they care about their issues and getting them resolved. They care about the objections they have when they consider purchasing your product.

The client will be thinking things like:

  • “Will this work for my situation?”
  • “What benefit will this have for my family?”
  • “How can I trust this person?”

It’s your job to anticipate their objections and use the training available to help the client understand you are here to help and answer any questions they have to make them feel comfortable with the product. After all helping the client is the main objective so be honest, helpful and let the client know you care about their situation no matter what it is.

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