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The times are a changing. If you don’t change with it your ability to connect with prospects in a meaningful way will suffer. Know your market; be up-to-date on current events that are impacting your potential clients.

If you are working mortgage protection; how was the area you are working affected from the housing debacle of 2008? A basic fear is losing what they have spent time building up again. Should they suffer an unplanned event (either passing away prematurely or a catastrophic illness) how will their surviving families keep their home?

If you are working final expense; do their surviving families have the expendable income and savings, they once did? Can they afford to pay for funerals or even cremations when, not if, they pass away? Today’s economic climate takes every penny earned just to get by and in most every case that’s two incomes. Having a savings account is now a luxury not a given.

According to a 2016 GOBankingRates survey, 35 percent of all adults in the U.S. have only several hundred dollars in their savings accounts and 34 percent have zero. Only 15 percent have over $10,000 stashed away. Can your prospects afford not to have a life insurance policy?

As we reviewed our prospecting from last year we also need to review our presentation. Prospecting is about connecting you with potential clients. After that connection is made your “presentation” begins.

You’ve heard me say that the most successful presentations are conversations not a pre-scripted format that does not allow for your prospect to “feel” the need they’re trying to fill. Conversations that are relevant are meaningful.

Having meaningful conversations separate you from the order-takers. Order-takers are those agents that think lead generation from a lead vendor should be lay-down sales. Too many other big groups say about their leads “…people are waiting for you to call and sell them a policy!” We’ve all heard this, a lot of us have fallen into this trap, only to find it’s BS.

Lead generation is a method of prospecting, nothing more nothing less. Have you seen the latest television commercial from TD Ameritrade with the bearded advisor sitting with prospects and talking to them about what they want and give them what they need to fill that want? This is the best example of what we do and how we should do it.

The very best conversations have three basic components: be kind, respectful and confident. Being kind and respectful implies you are “actively” listening. Actively listening means you are asking exploratory questions based on what you “hear” your prospect saying…your ability to hear between the lines and ask the right questions.

Confidence comes from knowing not only your product, but also knowing which product they will qualify for. At the end of the day you are a field underwriter. Those agents that properly field underwrite place policies and fulfill their clients wants and needs. Those that don’t see too many declines getting upset with the insurance carrier instead of improving their field underwriting.

Knowledge projects confidence; confidence builds a reputation; reputations get you referrals. Confidence then is reflected in your posture and the “air” about you. Prospects can feel this; they recognize the difference between an agent who is pushing them into a sale versus the agent who knows what they’re talking about.

Remember this adage: People want to buy, they do not want to be sold. As you review your presentation, ask yourself if you are having the right kind of conversation or are you an order-taker? Are you actively listening or bull-dogging your way to the close? Do you know how to field underwrite or are you shooting from the hip?

Successful agents never shoot from the hip. They have a plan; a plan born from knowing. Knowing their market; the economic impact their prospects have gone through and are currently experiencing; product and underwriting.

In the fully underwritten market is only 50% of the applications submitted actually will issue. Do you find this unacceptable? I do! Why is this the case? Because agents want to make a sale and do not take the time to educate their prospect; they don’t dive deep enough into the field underwriting.

They don’t ask who all their doctors are beyond their primary, why they see or saw them and when. Fully underwritten cases almost always APS every doctor they’ve seen. Providing contact information and the when and way that doctor was consulted saves time in placing your case.

It will also further tell you if your carrier and product of choice is still the right one. In the mortgage protection market the product of choice is term insurance. Not everyone will qualify for either fully underwritten or simple issue term but, may very well qualify for simple issue whole life. Do you have a plan to pivot your presentation to that type coverage?

Closing more sales as a life insurance agent is about being kind and respectful actively listening asking the right questions of your potential clients. Confidence born from knowledge of product and underwriting will place more policies. Placing policies is how we get paid not from just selling and submitting an application.

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Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
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