Without quality training, success will never be within reach. That’s why it’s important to have a system in place that teaches our agents to deal with every aspect of final expense sales.
Our agents have access to every type of final expense lead imaginable. I personally prefer direct mail leads that mention affordable Life Insurance right on the card.
Our sales system and lead management is why I am one of the highest producing agents in the final expense industry. I truly enjoy working with agents that want to learn my system.
One of the best decisions I have ever made was to get into the Final Expense Sales Market.
On a daily basis, I speak with both licensed insurance agents and unlicensed people interested in final expense life insurance sales, and it’s apparent that everyone has their own opinion on the final expense market. It’s interesting how so many people, clients, and agents alike have no idea about the differences in burial plans and final expense life insurance.
There are lots and lots of retired seniors that are just barely getting by and are willing to figure out a way to use some of their social security moneys in order to fund a whole life insurance policy. For them, this is a big sacrifice that can make a big difference in their family’s life. Funeral costs are expensive and final expense insurance is the only that that these folks can afford to be buried. Unfortunately, because of the high cost of funerals, a lot of folks that do not believe in cremation are having to do it anyway. This is a terrible thing for a lot of folks to look forward to. It’s against a lot of basic American principles and religious beliefs.
If you’re thinking, “well, why didn’t they take care of this when they were younger?”, just understand that in life, things don’t always turn out the way we think they might. Yes, many retirees have a nice pension and don’t need to worry about life insurance to fund their funerals. These folks were able to save and do what they had to, and in most cases, they had to make a lot of sacrifices earlier on in life to do so. Not everyone lives their life like their neighbor.
A lot of unexpected things happen in life and the next thing you know, nothing turned out anywhere near the way it was supposed to. I hear stories from my clients all the time about what should have happened and what didn’t happen. I was writing up an application with a military retiree just the other day and he told me about how he always assumed he would have a pension only to end up on barely enough to get by. He was in the military half of his life but worked as a subcontractor for one of those big 3 initial agencies we always see in the movies and on television. What he didn’t know was that a subcontractor didn’t have the same benefits as a career military officer. When his health started going south, he found all of this out the hard way.
This is also why it’s important to sell life insurance as an independent life insurance agent. When you are captive, you are limited in products. My experience with captive agencies is that they tend to have over inflated costs built into their products and tend to offer products that really aren’t that competitive. This also goes hand in hand with products that don’t pay as well as other products. A captive agent may be on a 50% commission schedule or lower. This is terrible compared to what a true independent agent is paid.
As an independent insurance agent, contract levels are common around 110-120% and even higher for those with production proof. The difference in pay and product between independent agents and captive agents is night and day. There are several carriers that sell in the areas that we work in that tend to be extremely overpriced. These overpriced policies are just waiting for an independent agent like myself, to stop in and easily replace.
Unfortunately, a lot of these guys were recruited by managers that exaggerated the potential of how much they can make, in order to recruit them. These companies tend to recruit as many agents as possible, only to end up trying to keep the ones that actually are selling, around. Most of the agents that are recruited by these companies tend to stick around for a little while before they get tired of the learning curve and end up hitting the road. When they do make sales, they really don’t make enough money to justify sticking around to get through the learning curve.
It’s hard to survive on a couple sales a week when you are only making a few hundred dollars per sale. I was once a captive agent and I will say that the training I received at that agency was second to none. We had to be in the office daily for ongoing training and so that the manager could make sure we were doing what we were taught. This was great if you don’t mind being micro managed and if you want to learn at any cost. The interesting thing is that I was working very hard to make a living as a Hartford agent and was paying $30 Per Lead. My contract level was 60% so I was splitting my sales with the agency and paying full price for the leads. When all was said and done, I was only making around $50,000 a year and was grateful that I could make that. I definitely paid for my training.
Sadly, most insurance agents that go captive do not have the same experience that I had. A strong work ethic is necessary when you get into a new business and the only way for you to make it is to bust your butt and do whatever it takes. This attitude and willingness for success is why a captive agency can make or break an insurance agent. No matter how you look at it, it’s up to the individual to succeed. Anyone that has the work ethic and is willing to put everything they have into being a success, can be a success. It doesn’t matter if you are a captive agent or if you are an independent agent. The nice thing about being captive is that you have a manager that you can turn to. As a true independent you don’t have this. Either way, it does take a different mindset to be managed vs independent.
When it comes to working as a captive agent, the good always comes with the bad. Not that being managed or having to answer to someone is bad, it’s just not my preference. Unfortunately most agents don’t want to be micromanaged and are not willing to work 50 plus hours a week in order to be successful. They immediately start making excuses and have a hard time adjusting. Most captive agents tend to leave and start all over somewhere else. The messed up thing is that most of them end up hopping from captive agency to captive agency. This is a bad work habit that they tend to take with them from job to job. Then when they decide to work for themselves as an independent agent, they are all alone with only their poor work ethic and bad habits to keep them company.
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