Amplify Your Practice With
Advanced Sales Support
For independent brokers who arent already doing so, entering the advanced sales markets can give them the opportunity to expand their practice, work on more profitable cases and increase their bottom line.
In the third quarter of 2003 the average term case sold by brokerage agencies generated only $939 of premium, according to a recent LIMRA study. From my experience, this number differs dramatically from the premium for a policy used to fund an advanced sales strategy.
In many instances, using these strategies generates premium in the hundred thousand dollar range. The popular premium financing arrangement, for example, often generates annual premium in excess of $1 million.
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Brokerage agencies face the daily challenge of committing money and resources to recruiting top producers, paying a support staff and providing incentive payouts for producers to place business with the agency. Consequently, there is little or no money left in the budget to train new and existing producers. Despite these obstacles, brokerage firms must continue to be well positioned in promoting and closing advanced sales cases. This is often accomplished by forming close partnerships with carriers that are uniquely focused on serving them through superior products, competitive underwriting and responsive advanced sales support.
To exacerbate the problem, shrinking home office budgets have resulted in many career forces with little or no training in life insurance sales. When these former career agents decide to become independent, many look to the independent brokerage agency to “take up the training slack” and provide extensive training and support for high-end sales. It is therefore critical to work with a carrier that offers regional directors who can instruct producers on advanced sales concepts, as well as offer point-of-sale assistance.
In addition, carriers who offer turnkey marketing kits that include presentations, prospecting letters and producer guides will go a long way toward making sure 2004 is a great year for your agency.
The most important step in the process of providing valuable advanced sales support for producers is knowing where to find it. While this can come in many forms, the 2 most prevalent are working closely with a carriers regional directors and backroom advanced sales departments. Both offer unique advantages.
Regional directors can provide assistance to an independent brokerage agencys own backroom with illustrations, training and product support. They also can provide point-of-sale assistance on many advanced sales topics when the producer feels uncomfortable making the presentation to his or her client. Finally, most regional directors often are trained to give informative seminars on the latest advanced sales ideas. Often, these seminars include the coveted continuing education credit.
Advanced sales departments offer producers and independent brokerage agencies support in other ways. First, most departments offer extensive advanced sales case design and consultation over the phone. These calls can range from simple tax issues involving Section 1035 exchanges, to complex estate and business planning issues with many moving parts. This service provides peace of mind to many producers who know that answers to many of their questions are only a phone call away.