Meeting The Expectations Of Todays Agent
Todays life insurance professional is being asked to bring more and more to the table. Take a securities license, for example. Five years ago it was mostly just a nice thing to have–today its practically a prerequisite for success.
Designations such as CLU, CFP, and ChFCor at the very least a verifiable effort to obtain them–are also becoming more important, as is getting licensed in more than one state.
Knowledge of equities, retirement plans, and the tax laws has become an expectation, as has proof that continuing education requirements are not only being met, but put into practice. And all of the above expectations are in addition to a working knowledge of the ever-changing market conduct rules and regulations.
But what about the agents needs and expectations?
All things being equal, what canindeed, what shouldan agent expect the companies that are clamoring for his or her business to bring to the table? When you actually sit down and think about it, the list is fairly substantial.
Product is usually the first item on an agents mind. Companies that expect to attract, retain, and motivate successful agents need to offer a broad portfolio of both insurance and equities-related products.
Whats more, they should give agents the ability to be licensed with a number of other carriers and, preferably, through a single clearing-house capable of handling both registered and non-registered products. Arrangements such as these not only reduce confusion and encourage consistency, but they can be factored into recognition and incentive programs as well.
An agent’s primary company should also be competitive in everything it manufactures. Simply having the best whole life, universal life, variable life, or term product isnt good enoughthe product wont always be number one, and no one product is ever the answer to every clients needs and objectives. Competitiveness across the board, however, allows agents to do what is truly in the best interests of their clients.
The primary company should also have a full-service broker/dealer with up-to-date platforms, technology, marketing, and a full array of proprietary and non-proprietary products and services.
The next expectation an agent should have is a strong marketing area. A company without strong marketing programs is unlikely to be much help in the way of putting agents in front of the people they need to be seeing to be successful. Toward that end, companies should market to their strengths, and not attempt to be all things to all people.
In addition, companies should offer more than just direct mail and they should have more than just one person assigned to answer the phone.