We’re starting a new effort to bring time-tested sales and marketing advice to the attention of new readers in the life insurance, annuities and benefits markets.
The truth is that financial professionals have been doing a lot of what you’re doing, or trying to do, now since the days when Joseph persuaded the Egyptians to sock some grain away in preparation for hard times. We don’t happen to have any of the papyrus versions of Joseph’s sales manuals (or the knowledge of hieroglyphics to translate them), but we do have this great article, by John Chapin, about guiding principles for new agents.
We first ran this article on April 19, 2013. The main thing about the need for life insurance and annuities that has changed since then is, really: nothing. People are still about as unprotected and unprepared now as they were then. And figuring out how to go about meeting their needs is still daunting, and necessary….
Success in any venture begins with the proper mindset. As a new insurance agent, there are five key “truths” about the insurance industry and your role in it that will help ensure you have the correct mindset and the best chance at success.
Truth #1: You are a salesperson.
In order to be a successful insurance agent over the long haul, you have to accept your role as a salesperson and you need to be good at selling. No, sales does not mean selling someone something they do not need, or otherwise manipulating or taking advantage of someone. When you sell, your objectives are to help people, to be a trusted advisor, and to educate and lead people down the path they need to go. For example, if you are talking to a qualified prospect with a young family and you don’t convince that person to protect the family with life insurance and something bad happens, it’s your fault that person’s family is not protected. You did not do your job as a salesperson. The bottom line is: you need to get great at selling by both making sales a study and by finding out what the most successful agents do, and then doing the same things.
Truth #2: You are running a business.
You are self-employed in your own individual small business. You are your only job security. If you do your job well and generate sales and profit, you will have a job and a business, if you don’t generate enough sales and profit, you will be out of business looking for another job.
As a business, your highest priority is: making a profit and staying in business. There are only three activities that will ultimately make you money: prospecting, closing and servicing accounts. Those three activities are where most of, if not all of, your prime selling time should be spent. If you can’t pay someone to do the other non-profit-generating activities and thus have to do them yourself, you must do them off-hours, not during prime calling time.
Note: While your highest priority is making a profit and staying in business, this is never done at the expense of taking advantage of another person or doing something that is not in their best interest.