A recent survey of over 3,000 agents and advisors from across the country were asked, “What is it that keeps you up at night?” The majority (57 percent) responded with “prospecting to those that have a need and the money to solve that need.”
Unfortunately, the industry has allowed the life insurance sale to become a commodity (transaction) sale. In the many cases, prospects research products on the Internet, then informs the agent how much, and the type, of coverage they want to purchase.
But life insurance is not a commodity and successful agents do a good job demonstrating the problem that life insurance can solve.
Making the transition
How can you be as successful as they are?
Start by changing your marketing and prospecting to focus on a specific market where you can gain access to those with a need and the money to solve the need. Examples: individuals with estate and business planning needs.
There are, however, barriers to entry that keep most agents from being successful in these markets. Among them:
- Access to the high net worth prospect for estate planning;
- Access to the business owner for the various types of business planning;
- A CPA, attorney or other advisor is already established with the prospect.
How can you eliminate these and other challenges and set the stage for success? One way is through “differentiation” distinguishing yourself from other life insurance and financial service professionals. By that I mean you’re not going to chase the same prospects in the same way others are chasing them.
Consider a market opportunity that is large and growing: The 10,000 baby boomers who daily are turning age 65. These boomers are being chased by advisors pitching, estate planning, annuities, long term care, etc. Yet, the majority in this demographic is totally ignorant of IRS rules governing qualified plans, including required minimum distributions (RMD) rules. While a good percentage of the boomers will need income from their qualified plan, the more affluent boomers will not. Since the more affluent have been successful creating other sources of income, typically their plan is (or was) to leave the qualified plan to the kids, grand kids, church or charity.
You will be amazed by the number of affluent boomers who are not aware of government RMD rules. When you educate these boomers about the rules and the various solutions available to them, you position yourself to solve a problem that other advisors are not informing them about.