Final Expense Telesales – The Basics
Final Expense Telesales isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you!
If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re considering whether to get into final expense telesales or not. Maybe you just want a different perspective from what you’re currently experiencing. There are a lot of good reasons to sell final expense over the phone. The trick is to have the right combination of carriers, leads, and work ethic. It doesn’t hurt to have a proven sales system, and a little bit of talent either. With final expense telesales, there are some basic things that you’ll need to know. We’ll be going over that and a whole lot more. The good news is, you do not have to sell your soul to a call center. However, it will take a lot of persistency and determination, along with a strong work ethic! At United Final Expense Services, we suggest making a 90 day commitment to a 45 hour work week.
By making the 90 day commitment, you’ll be able to make a six-figure income at final expense telesales. We know that failure could put you in a truly bad place, financially. Let me be clear! Selling final expense over the phone from your own home is doable for the right person, with the right work ethic. You can make a lot of money doing it and it doesn’t take a genius either. You must have plenty of patience and some skill, along with a good, working, final expense telesales program. Did I mention discipline? Yeah, you’ll need plenty of that too! Here’s an outline of the topics that we’ll be touching on throughout this article. I hope you’ll find the information below helpful and insightful. If so, feel free to comment at the bottom of the blog page.
Final Expense Telesales Topics
The top final expense telesales carrier products
Fair commission levels
Discipline during the learning curve
A proven final expense telesales system
Work ethic and determination
Sales skill and talent
The right final expense telesales script
Beware of non-compete agreements
Final expense call centers
Hard Selling vs Soft Selling
Final Expense Carrier Products
There are several final expense products that can be sold over the phone. As an independent life insurance agent, you’ll need most of them. I look at the price for the client and the ease of underwriting first. Then I look at the commission levels the product offers the agent. The trick is to place each prospect with the best product, based on their underwriting criteria. Everyone has different health issues and is on different medication. The final expense telesales carriers all have different health criteria that they underwrite. With a good cheat sheet, you’ll be able to give most of your clients first day coverage. Here are my top 5 favorite carriers for final expense telesales. This short list is based on the criteria mentioned above, therefore you have best products for each situation.
Liberty Bankers Life
Final Expense Telesales Carrier Niches
By having these 5 carriers in your bag, you’ll be able to give first day coverage to most of your clients. Here are some of the niches. Foresters doesn’t care about Multiple Sclerosis. The Royal Neighbors application does not ask about Neuropathy. Americo is fine with AFIB. Liberty Bankers Life will give first day coverage to folks with COPD. American Amicable is probably the toughest with their underwriting, but they do one thing the other carriers will not do. They have what I call True Social Security Billing. That means they will draft the payment on the day the prospect gets their social security money deposited into their checking account. Let me take a minute to explain exactly what I mean and why this is important.
Let’s say they get their money on the 3rd of each month. The 3rd will fall on a weekend or holiday on some months. When this happens, the prospect will get their moneys on the week day before the 3rd occurs. All the final expense telesales carriers except for American Amicable, will wait until Monday or the next business day. AmAm will draft on the day their SS benefit is deposited into their bank account. So just to be clear, if the 3rd falls on a Saturday, American Amicable will draft on the Friday before, when the prospect gets paid. This makes the life insurance payment a priority and increases the chances for the money to be there for the bank draft. Our fixed income prospects often have a hard time financially, so this type of billing is important in our industry.
Fair Commissions for Final Expense Telesales – Don’t Get Ripped Off
You will hear many different opinions about what is fair and what is not fair. When it comes to final expense sales, the placement and persistency levels are a lot lower than with traditional life insurance products. Advancing 9 months on these products is not something that most IMO’s want to do. They have no choice as this is the norm for life insurance sales and everyone advances 9 months. These are all things that the IMO’s and insurance agencies must take into mind. Understand, the IMO is basically co-signing on a loan when you receive unearned moneys. Here’s what I am getting at. The risk of having money roll up to an IMO is a lot higher with final expense sales, than with other products. We see more agents go in and out of final expense sales, than with term life and universal life sales.
When you add in the fact that final expense telesales persistency and placement is even lower than face to face, most IMO’s won’t want to offer 100% first year commissions. They will often have you paying full price for leads and getting around 80% first year commission, or even less. This is considered fair with this type of sale. There are companies that will have a sales program all set up with online training and free leads. They might start your commission as low as 35%. This is justifiable if you are not willing to invest into your own leads and sales ability. If you are the type of person that is willing to learn on your own, you can shop contracts and receive 100-120% without even having any proof of production. The IMO’s that give you this will likely have not training, not even a telephone sales script!
The Learning Curve
When it comes to final expense telesales, the learning curve can be brutal. It will be easier if you have some type of true telesales experience, before you even consider selling final expense over the phone. If you have sold final expense, face to face, you’ll even do better when switching over to final expense telesales. You see, it’s one thing selling face to face. But selling over the phone is a whole different story. While you’re sitting with the prospect, you can easily keep them entertained while doing the underwriting. It’s also easier to build rapport during a belly to belly sale too! Don’t forget about the close. Do you think it’s easier closing someone face to face, or on the phone? I would rather overcome objections in the prospects living room, than over the phone.
When it comes to learning how to sell final expense, it’s a lot easier to get through the learning curve selling face to face. As with any sale, even face to face can take several months to learn. My experience with training agents has taught me that our product isn’t easy for most. It’s nothing like selling cable tv or home improvements. You will need to learn how each carrier works and views the underwriting. The applications are all different. You must know how to overcome objections and be able to make a strong presentation. With final expense telesales there is even more to learn. You’re doing this over the phone. There is also a 3 way call that must be done. With some carriers, you’ll have to record a voice signature. Then there is the point of sales interview!
Work Ethic and Discipline
A strong work ethic is 100% absolutely necessary, to learn our business, especially for final expense telesales. You have to put in long hours while learning and calling. If you only put in part time hours, you’ll never get through the learning curve. At least, it will take a lot longer than if you are putting in long 50-60hour work weeks. If you’re a workaholic who enjoys selling over the phone, final expense telesales can be very lucrative. Even if it’s new to you, with the right personality, you can still earn six figures. It will take lots of discipline and determination. Talent makes a difference too. I believe that anyone can be successful, even if they lack natural sales talent. I’m not just talking about final expense telesales. If you work hard, you can accomplish success in any industry, especially in final expense sales.
A Proven Final Expense Telesales System Using Leads
If you are only marketing one final expense telesales product, you’re doing your prospects a disservice. As an independent agent, by using the carriers I mentioned earlier, you can offer more competitive products. In the long run, this makes it easier for you to make more sales. When you add this to our higher commissions, between 100% and 120%, it’s easier to have a lucrative career in final expense telesales. Over the years, I was able to create an original script so that it’s even easier for our agents to sell final expense over the phone. Sometimes we had to take a step backwards, in order to make 2 steps forwards. Through trial and error, we have a very successful and proven final expense telesales system. You’ll be able to make several sales a week and quickly cut through the learning curve.
You will also need the right leads. These are nothing like mortgage protection leads. This is where most independent agents have the biggest problem. They either can’t afford leads or won’t learn how to work leads effectively. There are a lot of different leads for final expense telesales. Television commercial leads are great. I’m talking about the ones where the client calls in and you answer the phone! They cost around $35 each and you need to work with other agents in order to receive them. Final Expense FaceBook Leads are excellent. We can teach you how to generate them yourself. They can also be purchased for around $20 each. Telemarket leads also work well for final expense telesales. You can buy a good quality TM lead for around $15- $20 each. We offer our contracted agents high quality TM leads for $9 each.
When it comes to final expense telesales, building rapport is very important. You need to spend as much time as humanly possible, warming up your prospect. We want to get them to know us and feel comfortable sharing. Think about it. You are going to be asking them for their SS number and banking information. This is where the follow up comes in. Most final expense telesales call centers do a hard close. Because of this, there really isn’t any follow up. I believe it’s a good idea to push your prospect but not too far. You want to build a relationship with them and this doesn’t always work on the first call. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in a one close sale but there are lots of agents that close about a third of their final expense sales on the second and third call.
Here’s a small section from our final expense telesales presentation. It’s simply used to guide and direct agents for build rapport. Notice we bring up 3 topics that can easily be expanded upon. This is not like selling final expense or even mortgage protection, face to face. When doing mortgage insurance sales or FE on a face to face sale, we usually build rapport on what we can see. During final expense telesales it’s totally different.
Building Rapport Conversational Section for Final Expense Telesales
During this part of the presentation, your goal is to spend 10-15 minutes building rapport. Anything short of this, and you will have issues when it comes time to close.This must be conversational and can not come off like an interrogation.
- So, what part of (State) do you live in? Do you have family nearby? Do you get to see them often? “Share something about yourself, just a few sentences”
- Are you able to get out and do some type of exercise on a regular basis? What kind of exercise? What did you do when you were younger? “Share your exercise/sports story” Get them to open up!
- What kind of hobbies do you do?
MEN-Ever do any fishing or hunting?
Women-Ever get into crochet or knitting?
“Share your hobby” Relate!
Call Centers and Non-Compete Agreements
As far as I’m concerned, the best way to learn final expense telesales is through a good call center. A lot of call centers will teach you unethical sales techniques and methods. They might also have you sign a non-compete agreement. Trust me, you do not want to sign anything that prevents you from going somewhere else to sell final expense. Especially if you decide to build your own telesales agency! Unfortunately, this is exactly what most of these agreements state. There are also call centers that don’t really teach you how to sell properly. Interesting enough, the bigger companies that you see advertising on TV are the ones that usually have the weakest training. They tend to pay their employees a salary and then a bonus for their sales. If you get fired from one of these companies, you probably have no idea how to sell correctly.
Some companies teach a hard close and others teach a soft sale. I believe the most successful agents are able to do something in between. This is what we teach our agents. If you push too hard, the client will likely cancel, even if they initially purchase the insurance. The trick is to build lots of rapport, find an even middle ground, and offer something that your prospect can actually afford. When it comes to final expense sales, affordability is always a consideration. I can close people all day long, however, if they can’t afford it, they will cancel. This is why I believe the hard close is not the way to go, with final expense telesales. The soft sale is better, but you still have to be strong on the phone. When I say strong, I mean be firm, and make your presentation with conviction.
The Formula/Summary for a Six Figure Income
If you’re serious, you have a good chance at making it at final expense sales. First off, you need the work ethic. Add that to determination and commitment! Make sure you have leads. Yes, I suggest you work no less than 50 leads a week. They can be Facebook or Telemarketing leads. Make the 90-day, 45-hour week commitment, and stick to it. Force yourself to push through the pain and you will be rewarded. Cut corners and back out of the 90-day commitment and you will most likely fail. Work a strong script like the one we use and build lots of rapport with the prospect. Have multiple carriers available and do a mock sale with each one. You want to do this before calling your leads as this will help you to be prepared, for a real final expense telesales.
Be patient with yourself. You will make mistakes and things will come up that you don’t know how to deal with. Remember, there is a learning curve involved. This is nothing like mortgage insurance sales. Call the carriers and ask questions when you don’t know something. If you have a mentor or manager, give him/her a call for help. Our agents have direct access to their manager or me. I believe in answering the phone, especially when I know it’s a contracted agent calling. Anyone can be successful at final expense telesales. Our goal at UFES, is for you to accomplish 3 important things.
- Make as many sales as possible
- Make the highest commission possible per sale
- Sell the most competitive products in the industry
We do this by
- Teaching a simplified, proven sales system so you know how to sell final expense insurance
- Having multiple affordable lead programs
- Giving you access to competitive products and commissions