When you turn to page 7, you’ll see an article by Warren Hersch that reports on a LIMRA International survey about how remarkably optimistic life insurance agents are feeling about their business for 2005.
This optimism in itself is not surprising. What is a bit surprising is the extraordinary degree of it.
As LIMRA International’s President and CEO Robert Kerzner says, “Salespeople are optimistic by nature but this group seems to be very pumped up.”
Even among or, I should say, especially among those who said they had a “disappointing” year in 2004, the expectation of 60% is that 2005 would be “much better,” while 32% said it would be “somewhat better.”
The optimism holds true all across the country but is particularly strong in the South, where economic growth has been strong of late.
A salesperson who cannot see a better future for him or herself is really one with no place to go. Judging from the salespeople I’ve known, it’s generally a combination of hunger for the next sale and hope that that next sale will be a great one that drives salespeople and keeps them plunging back into what are often the cold waters of disappointment.
In a sense, salespeople not only have to manufacture but continually recharge by themselves the equivalent of motivational batteries. And let’s face it, nothing so recharges a waning internal battery as producing a winner in the form of a terrific sale.
If this is true of people who sell tangible things such as cars and electronics, how much more true is it of life insurance agents who have to convince people to part with their money for what many of these prospects see as an intangible product? And one they don’t want to think about and indeed hope never to have to use.