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Are you knocking on the wrong doors?

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Normally, I hate it when strangers knock on my door. It usually means they’re going to try to sell me something, hand me pamphlets or ask to use my cell phone to call for pizza. (Yeah, that’s happened.)

But every Halloween, I buy loads of candy — the good stuff, no raisins or sugar-free gum here — and turn on my porch light to wait for kids to show up. Of course, they never come. I’ve spent the last few years living in apartments and condos, places not really renowned for excellent trick-or-treating. So my doorbell sits idle, and I do too, usually winding up in front of the TV with some fun-size Snickers.

While I was out picking up this year’s candy (just in case!), I started wondering how many other people were doing the same thing. What if there are all kinds of apartment buildings and condos and retirement communities bursting with unhanded-out candy, and all the trick-or-treaters are too busy concentrating on the single-home neighborhoods to know it?

Of course, maybe there aren’t. And there are a lot of skeevy apartment buildings out there that I wouldn’t dare to enter on my own, let alone with a little kid. So maybe the system works in this case, even if it means kids are leaving a lot of choice candy untouched.

But what about when it comes to life insurance? Agents aren’t that different from trick-or-treaters, spending their days ringing bells — doorbells, telephone bells, e-mail-notification bells — and hoping for the treat of a sale. How many potential premium dollars are sitting untouched in middle-market bank accounts because life agents are all focusing on the same affluent neighborhood?

In this case, we don’t have to guess. Study after study tells us that when it comes to the middle market, agents are leaving trillions worth of fun-size Snickers on the table.

Fortunately, unlike trick-or-treating kids, agents are quite capable of taking advantage of this opportunity. Of course, it means doing things differently than most agents these days — breaking with the pack headed for the mansions rumored to be handing out FULL-SIZE BARS to take your chances on some not-as-pretty areas of town. And it will likely take more work, as everyone knows you need about three or four fun-size bars to equal one full size.

But at the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather be the agent heading home with pillowcases full of small- to medium-sized cases instead of the one with a half-sack of big ones? Even better, your smaller cases have the potential to grow into bigger cases if you can keep those clients around as they get older and more successful. Full-size bar guy likely can’t say that.

Happy Halloween!

For more from Corey Dahl, see:

Time to get gloomy

Life insurance: Cause or product?

Is life insurance the next Big Bird?


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