An Agent Writes About ‘The Most Valuable Sales Tool Of All’

To The Editor:

Twenty years ago as I began my “new life” as an insurance agent, a young colleague suggested I sell a $30 per month family health insurance plan. I asked an older, more experienced agent his opinion about this particular plan. The agent replied that I should stay far away from it, and to always remain very cautious about what I sell.

Thankfully, I listened. Within a month, that health insurance company selling the $30 per month plans was out of business, and my young colleague was in deep trouble.

Always remember that the best interest of your client comes first and foremost, far ahead of any consideration about sales commissions. Once you have lost the confidence of your clients, its almost impossible to recover.

People who build their businesses with integrity, and with the ultimate welfare of their clients as their first priority, will never face recrimination. Just ask the former executives of Enron, Arthur Anderson, Adelphia, and Tyco. In each of these cases, greed, short-sightedness, and the absence of ethics have led these once-powerful companies into tumultuous and compromising situations.

The fallout is steep. We now face a general decline in the stock market, partially due to foreign mistrust of many U.S. corporations. This market decline will ultimately affect us all. Our countrys economic advantage is at risk.

What can each of us do in this politically and economically unstable circumstance? We can focus on the future long-term satisfaction of our own clientele. We can offer only quality contracts from strong, committed, and experienced companies.

In an attempt to save money, my prospects sometimes request a less expensive, inferior contract they may have heard about through family or friends. If the plan is not in their best interest, I explain why. If they insist on a weak plan, I forgo the sale. Giving up a commission is a lot better investment than selling what I know to be an inferior product, often sold by an unstable or untested company.

Follow this principle, and you will never face angry or disappointed clients who watch aghast as their companies fail, and years of faithfully paid premiums go down the drain.

The key to long-term success for a new agent is to make the decision to sell with integrity, vision and courage. You will develop a valuable reputation and achieve the most advantageous sales tool of all . . .The crown of a good name.

Karen Shoff, MSW, MSG, LUTCF

shoffandshoff@earthlink.net


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, June 17, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.