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Making final expense more profitable

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When I first got my start in the business in 2003, I began selling final expense insurance for American Income.

Out of college, I loved the idea of earning unlimited income while selling life insurance. At this company, I would run about 25-30 appointments a week. It was all about hard work and activity.

I still clearly remember one day in the beginning that was almost my breaking point. I had driven down to my territory in Trenton, N.J. It took me an hour each way to get there. I was pumped up, had my typical eight appointments scheduled, and was ready for a great day! Long story short, I drove around all day getting no-showed, doing some door knocking….and nothing.

I was sitting in my car in a park and had an emotional breakdown. I pounded my steering wheel with both fists and had some tears. I didn’t get it. I was broke. I had just spent money on gas driving all around, spent the night before scheduling appointments, and worked a whole day doing what I was supposed to do, with no results.

Now, when I look back at that time, I smile. I learned how to work really hard, and that’s great … but I can tell you now, there is a better way.

Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of developing a relationship with David and Vince, the owners of eFund Insurance. These gentlemen are at the cutting edge of the final expense marketplace. They believe the traditional ways of selling final expense are of the past. It’s not that they don’t work; they’re just not profitable enough to sustain.

See also: Final expense policies spring to life

In 2012, eFund Insurance ended the year up, with about 15 life insurance agents selling almost $1.8 million in final expense premium. The company also has a 70 percent placement ratio, high 13th month persistency, and a lead source that can’t be exhausted. By the end of 2013, eFund will have around 40 agents and is projected to do about $3 million in premium.

I asked Vince what the key to the business was. “It is quite simple,” he said. “We have built a system to track and monitor our business flow, and we are constantly training our agents.”

The most remarkable thing about their business is the fact that their agents never leave the office. They do 100 percent of the sales right over the phone! This is a new trend, and few insurance carriers can fully support it.

Vince and David conduct two sales training meetings a day with their team and are constantly monitoring calls for quality. They believe in building the skills of their people, which is rare in our industry.

They have a retention specialist whose primary role is to keep the business on the books. This is ideal for the insurance carriers.

More than half of their agents will be traveling to Hawaii in a couple of months for a production trip they won.

E-apps and telephone voice signatures are catching on. This technology can really change our industry if more carriers will embrace it. This is what will make these policies more profitable for an agent to sell.

Like I once did, agents often spend a lot of time and money sending out mailers to get leads and driving around on appointments, which means they have to sell a higher volume of final expense to recapture their costs. Companies like eFund are showing that there’s a more efficient, and profitable, way out there.

For more on final expense, see:

Final flight with final expense

Dancing with the Star of Final Expense

Insider secrets of a final expense specialist