Ten-three-one. It takes 10 leads (suspects) to generate three prospects (who participate in full fact finding), and one of them will become a client. That’s the essence of the 10-3-1 ratio made famous by Al Granum, CLU, who passed away last week at the age of 91.
There may never have been a more influential person in the industry than Granum, whose groundbreaking sales principles have guided the careers of many thousands of agents and financial advisors. Upon news of his death, agents past and present lined up to present tributes to Granum and credit him with being instrumental in their successful careers. His ubiquitous One Card System for building a clientele remains ingrained in the industry.
To learn more about the man, his legacy, and how highly he is thought of throughout the industry, I recommend you read through my earlier article and also visit The American College’s “Remembering O. Alfred Granum, CLU” web page. With this blog, I want to explore the significance of Granum’s contributions, and specifically the One Card System and the 10-3-1 principle.
I had the good fortune to interview Al Granum back in 2009 for a cover story in Life Insurance Selling, and came away being amazed with how cordial, sharp and interesting he was. In talking about developing his famous system, the first step was identifying a need for a system to generate leads.
“I was uneasy during my years as an agent over the fact that everybody gave lip service to the desirability of getting referred leads, but there was no system for getting them,” Granum told me during that 2009 interview. “The best way to get someone to listen is through a referred lead. I could spend all the time in the world mastering a magnificent presentation, but I still need someone to talk to. It was on that basis that I put my foot down.”
Granum required agents he was working with to keep detailed records on referred leads (tracking cases opened, closed, and business submitted), compiled manually as computers for such tasks were still a long ways off. In the first 10 years, they were able to process good records on more than 50,000 referred leads. Research showed that every 10 leads processed would generate three prospects, and one of those would become a client. Analyzing more data compiled over the next 15 years – on 150,000 “suspects” – reaffirmed the 10-3-1 ratio. Also remarkable was that the ratio stayed the same no matter how experienced the agent became.