Getting Started In Life Insurance

life insurance agent on airplane

There are so many entities fighting for the attention of brand new licensed agents through the use of ads, cold calls, recruiting seminars, pictures of Ferrari’s, you name it.  If I could do it all over again and was within my first 6-12 months or so of obtaining my license, I would:

Trade comp for lead generation, mentorship, training, etc.  So many new agents get wrapped up in the idea of making 100-125% commission, but don’t see the bigger picture of the fact that unless you have a huge power base to sell to or thousands of dollars to generate your own leads, the comp, itself, is worthless.  Look for agencies/IMO’s/companies that have a strong training program, find an up-line that you vibe well with and trust, and search for comps between 50-80% with the opportunity to grow into larger contracts.

Not worry about recruiting…If you’ve found yourself looking at a company that relies heavily on recruiting other agents day 1, run away!  If you see yourself as more of a recruiter than a producer either get hired as one or go work for an MLM.  In this business it is my firm belief that you have to be able to do it yourself before you bring on other agents.  Seek out an up-line that has produced significantly in the past, or, better yet, still producing.  Managers that are out of the field for quite some time get disillusioned of what new agents face every day, so having one that actively produces will give you a much better training environment.  Look into actively producing yourself for at least 12-24 months before worrying about building a team!

SAVE MONEY…I’ve seen so many new agents come out of the gate swinging and blow all of their hard earned commission on a fancy ride, new watch, bottle services, etc, most of the time at the fault of their managers.  Don’t try to ‘keep up with the Joneses’… You need to remember that you are starting a business and as such you need to hang onto and reinvest capital into that business.  A solid rule of thumb is living off of 60% of your commission (50% if at all possible).  The other 40-50% will go to Uncle Sam, lead generation, supplies, marketing, etc.  If you need help responsibly saving (I know I did), take a 50-60% advance instead of 70-80% and when your release checks hit your account after every “cleared” policy, stick it in a separate account.  Do this with your renewal checks as well!  You’ll be pleasantly surprised how fast that account grows AND how easy it is to sell when you aren’t stressed about commission.

Not try to oversell “monster deals…” Many agents and recruiters think it’s extremely sexy to show off an MBD for $500, $1,000, or even $5,000, which in their defense is a great commission check regardless of your contract level; however, overselling a policy of that size to someone who may not be able to afford it can be catastrophic to your business if it falls off.  A nice rule to sell by is insuring your clients and keeping it comfortable between 2-6% of their gross income.  If that equals $1,500/month than great, but don’t push someone who can afford $200/month to $2,000/month!  Also, if you are going to sell larger deals, I would take them ‘paid as earned,’ limiting your overall exposure to a policy being cancelled.  

Get specialized!…I never wanted to have to say “no” to a qualified prospect, so I learned about all of them.  This was not the smartest approach starting out as I had word vomit in all of my sits trying to explain 10 different products with 5 separate pitches and I was confusing myself and the prospect.  Have a bit of knowledge about everything that you sell, but pick 1-2 specialties, whether it’s Final Expense, Mortgage Protection, Retirement Savings, Education Funding, etc.  This will give you a more streamlined approach in your sits and an easier way to get leads!

Purchase what you preach!…once you find your niche, invest in it!  If you sell mostly mortgage protection, you should have one to cover your own (maybe 2, one with ROP and one without).  It’s great to have for the obvious benefits, but it is also a nice thing to have your clients see that you believe in the product!  I don’t know how you shop, but I wouldn’t want to buy my BMW from a salesperson that drives a Mercedes.  They are both great products, but if you are constantly pushing Mortgage Protection and all you own is Whole Life, the client may question your motives.

Have more fun!…the field isn’t always an enjoyable experience as new agents receive twice as many “no’s” as “yes’s” on average.  Treat the overall experience as a game!  The more no’s received the closer you are to a yes, and the numbers will ALWAYS play out as long as you are consistent.  The more positive you are in the field, the faster you’ll become successful, and the quicker you’ll be to building out an agency!

Make today a positive one!