“There has long been a demand for and interest in this project, and we are gratified to finally make these courses available at the Guam Real Estate Academy
As a life insurance agent, what memories stand out?
QUESTION — As a life insurance agent, what memories stand out?
ANSWER — After a 47-year career, there are so many memories I could write a book! Having served that long as an agent (I started at 29 on 11/01/69), I wrote “Developing Change(TM)” which is the 1st in a series of five. It’s about the life insurance industry. Expect it by Christmas.
IMPORTANT NOTE–This answer will include a series of simple, proven, field-tested steps to generate a respectable level of Life and Disability Income earnings within a reasonable period of time (a calendar quarter). TEN STEPS appear last. Read this introduction first.
GIVING BACK—Life’s been good to me! And so as I see it, capturing some memories is a way to reciprocate. And since life insurance is not very well understood, that’s a good reason to write.
MEMORIES STAND OUT–Especially vivid is the rookie agent’s experience (described herein). It helped develop high personal and professional standards. It demanded those standards which prevail to this day.
I ENDURED BECAUSE AN AGENT’S LIFE GAVE me the opportunity to do what I most enjoy: teaching KNOWLEDGE / training SKILLS / and focusing on LISTENING to learn.
I DISCOVERED THAT VERY MANY, EVEN THOSE well-educated, don’t grasp how Training and Education (T&E) differ.
PATIENCE CREATED LISTENING EVENTS FROM which to learn. Learning enabled readiness for “Teaching a Nation to Save(TM,” a mission which commands my full attention!
MY OWN CASH FLOW ANNOYED ME. PATIENCE eventually paid off with a (visual-based) personal economics-based patent. Success resulted from an intense focus on preparing people to buy. I learned to prepare by teaching. In the process, I discovered how to better communicate—verbally, visually, written, and all three combined. Clients taught me new lessons because “The Teacher Always Learns More Than the Student(TM).” Preparing to help people buy Life Insurance helped me discover that it’s the ONLY product EVER designed for BUYERS, not SELLERS. Think about that. You’ll get it.
I HOPE MY BOOK SELLS WELL—If the initial 5,000 move quickly which I expect (200 will be in each of 25 BN stores), my publisher will supply all BN stores in America (there are about 600) with 200 each. If the 120,000 move quickly, then we’ll have a best-seller on our hands. We’ll soon know!
LIFE INSURANCE–As an industry, Life Insurance has been in a state of decline since 1992. WOW! It just occurred to me that that’s 1/4th of 100 years—a decline spanning a Quarter Century!
WHY THE DECLINE? —Looking back, the scenario that gradually evolved is complex. But I am 100% convinced it would NEVER have happened had Bill Clinton not signed the bill that repealed a big chunk of a law called “Glass-Steagall.” I am not blaming Clinton. BUT I AM BLAMING his Council of Economic Advisors who failed America by not asking America’s top “Personal Economic Agents of Change(TM)”—my euphemism for career life insurance agents—if it made sense to rescind Glass-Steagall. To a man and woman we’d have said, “No! Please don’t do that. You’ll destroy our industry.” Sadly, that’s happening. Can we turn it around? Yes! Can we get America out of debt? Yes. Both National and Consumer? Yes! Am I naive? No! I’m well-prepared to turn both around!
GOOD AND BAD TIMES—NUMBERS of AGENTS: As law of the land for sixty long years (1932 to 1992), Glass-Steagall kept productive activities not only separate, bu highly focused. That focus generated what I call “the halcyon years.” Those were the good times—calm and peaceful for the Life Insurance Industry. They were good because although we DO have our faults and failings (one of the worst is our “LIMRA Four-Year New Agent Retention Rate” for decade holding at fifteen (15) percent, tragically it’s even lower now. In the mid-to-late 20th Century and early 21st, we were very stable. Now we’re not. Our numbers are going down. They’re going WAY down! This is bad for America!By that I mean WE REPLACED THOSE WE LOST. We were able to do that because Glass-Steagall kept three HUGE industries from doing what they should not do. By that I mean they should not go into one another’s business! The three industries are banking, investments, insurance (the 3 green circles on my patent’s Worksheet “B”). But when President Clinton’s signature rescinded that necessary separation, my immediate reaction was, “Uh Oh! This is bad. This is VERY bad. Who’s gonna train tomorrow’s great life insurance agent
THE ANSWER?–I DIDN’T HAVE ONE! AND I know why: no one, and I mean NO ONE could quickly design a simple, effective business model for T&E (Training and Education) for the three industries that came crashing together!
OUR 4-YEAR NEW AGENT RETENTION RATE IS no longer 15%. According to Prof. Boseman at The American College, as of the time he and I last spoke (2007), our agent retention rate was 9%. My informed estimate is that it’s now under 8%. This trend spells DANGER for America! It’s dangerous because our economic survival, prosperity and growth are inextricably aligned. Hear me on this: our independence will unravel without the sale and service of Life. And what’s going on now is “The DEATH of Life(TM).” No WONDER the politicians anger me! And the one the top? I STRONGLY suspect he embraces a Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels philosophy which I’d bet has been brewing in his mind ever since his Columbia undergraduate years. Will he release his academic records? No! DId he major in Political Science? It appears so. Did he study “The Communist Manifesto?” I’d bet yes. Did he study “The American Political Tradition” by Richard Hofstadter? I’d bet no. Why? Because that’s the political, economic, philosophical antithesis of Marx/Engels. Are the 75.4 million “Millennials” aware of the difference? No. Have they overtaken the Baby Boomers as America’s largest living generation? Yes. How old are they?They’re 18 to 34. Which of the two philosophies (Hofstadter or Marx/Engels) are the Millennials more likely to embrace? You tell me! But before doing so, Google “The New World Order in Bible Prophecy—Jeremiah Project.” I think you will understand my fear!
HOW CAN THE MILLENNIALS UNDERSTAND? In other words, what can we do to help them with instant access to compelling, interesting, meaningful information in which they have a current vested interest?
IF THEY COULD, WOULD THEY CHOOSE TO LIVE DEBT-FREE? Or would they prefer their habit of always paying interest monthly for life? Do they like living “paycheck to paycheck?” Or would they like to turn that around? Might they find what I do to be attractive? Will they help? You tell me! But before answering, consider my dream. It’s my company’s, Common Sense Money(R)’s, Mission.
Our MISSION is training 60,000 two-person teams of recent college graduates how to “Get Out of Debt and Save Money(TM).” Each team will train 2,000 American households to do the same. Our GOAL is 120,000,000 by 11/28/20.
AFTER HELPING THEM, CAN THEY GROW WITH ME? Yes. Am I a politician? No. I’m a business owner. Do I know, understand and conduct my business well, ethically and profitably? Yes. Can they earn a good income working with me? Yes. Will they be looking for government handouts? No. Will they be more inclined to embrace Marx/Engels? Hofstadter? (or Coyle?) Hey, I’m 76 next month, God willing, and blessed with twice the energy of two guys half my age! I have a lot to offer young people. I enjoy working with them. And I’m a good trainer. And I mean a REALLY good trainer! So with difficult challenges facing America — VERY difficult challenges like 19 trillion dollars of NATIONAL DEBT, and 32 trillion dollars of CONSUMER DEBT, and those two absurdly obscene numbers don’t include America’s UNFUNDED LIABILITIES (Social Security / Medicare / Government Employee Pensions — WE NEED AN ARMY of well-trained “Personal Economic Agents of Change(TM)” to deal with THIS HORRIBLE DEBT NONSENSE!
EMPLOYED WITH ME, AMERICA CAN BENEFIT. The Common Sense Money(R) ARMY is what my writing’s all about. REALITY to some is percep-tion. Things seem OK. So they’re OK. There’s a word for that thinking: BALONEY!
THE REALITY—Today it’s like some clowns at the top are trying to do what they simply cannot do. And there’s a kid’s knockin’ at the door of a life insurance company’s local office. As a recent college graduate, all the eager young lady wants is to DO WHAT HER FATHER DID before he died when she was just a little girl.
THE YOUNG LADY’S DREAM—What he did was sell life insurance. She wants to do THAT and ONLY that because she remembers how excited her father was when he came home at the end of the day after making a sale or two. And she wants to be VERY well-trained to do the same. She, too, wants to help families and businesses, just like her father did.
DEATH KILLED HER TEACHER—But that tragic car accident when she was so young never gave her the chance to learn from the only person in the whole wide world who could, and would, in a heartbeat, TEACH and TRAIN her the way that she, and he, would both want.
SO SHE ASKS THE IMPORTANT QUESTION. She politely asks, “Sir, who will train me?” And the stupid-idiot-clown of a jerk responds with a haze of confusing words that instantly prompt HER UNSPOKEN QUESTION— ”Sir, you’re not answering my question. I want to excel at selling life, just like my father. Who’s in charge of life training? Are you dumb? Answer me!”
STUPID HAS NO CURE!—Knowing his verbose nonsense would only continue, she politely excuses herself, turns around, and walks out!
EXAGGERATION?—Sadly, not at all. In fact, what’s even more depressing is to look back at what it was like in Life when I was growing up in the 40’s and 50’s. (I was born in 1940).
25 YEARS AGO vs TODAY–This is hard to believe, but in the early ‘90’s, we had 145,000 agents who were members of our National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors (“NAIFA” began in 1890 as “NALU” for National Association of Life Underwriters). NAIFA is extremely important. It is because it helps us agents continually maintain contact with Members of Congress and the Senate advocating for “Ma & Pa America’s” best interest. Having been to a number of those one-on-one meetings in DC, I’m very impressed with how warmly we’re greeted. We are because they know we are America! It’s not like we’re lobbyists for a big company. No. We’re it! We’re the real deal. We NAIFA menbers are “Ma & Pa America.” And they get it, quickly! Time and again we hear, “How can I help? What you do is very important. Is there legislation pending, or legislation that you want? Who do you want me to talk to?” Amazing!
REPEATEDLY, WE URGE THE PREVENTION OF the taxation of policy death benefits and the taxation of the internal build-up of policy cash values). Yeah, THE CLOWNS — the dumb ones down there — not the ones we talk to — want to overpend. So they brazenly come to America’s kitchen table for a free lunch! But here’s what’s REALLY shocking: our NAIFA membership is now down under 35,000 (from 145,000 at our peak). That’s a HUGE drop! And we Americans cannot afford that. Our injury cannot be treated with a Band-Aid. We need major surgery! And we need it NOW! That’s what I’m workin’ on.
ANOTHER INDUSTRY DECLINE INDICATOR: Not many years ago, we had about 25,000 members of the Million Dollar Round Table (the MDRT) here in America and 10,000 overseas. Today we have about 10,000 here and 25,000 overseas. Something’s gone terribly wrong! And because I LOVE my industry, those NAIFA and MDRT membership facts are on my mind all the time!
ONE MORE STUNNING DECLINE INDICATOR–When I was a kid growing up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, “Snoopy & the Gang” weren’t around. But “Mother Met” (Met-Life) was always there. Was there any life insurance company out there in the universe with more agents than The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company of America, “The Light That Never Fails?” Nope!
WHAT ARE MOTHER MET’S AGENT NUMBERS NOW? Mother Met ain’t motherin’ anymore! The number of agents is Zero, Zip, Zilch, ZeeRow, Empty, Nada, None! To me, that’s “THE DEATH OF LIFE!” And it ANGERS me to a level of intense hatred of stupid (supposed) “leaders” that I want to SCREAM bad words to Met’s Senior Management:
“WHY DID YOU FIRE ALL YOUR AGENTS? You were the largest life insurnce company that ever existed. And you FIRED your FIELD FORCE! Are you not STUPID? You ARE! And I have no kind words for destructive creeps, cowards, morons, idiots, imbiciles, dolts, jerks!”
“WHY DID YOU NOT ASK, LISTEN, THINK, CREATE, LEAD? Goethe said, “All wealth is created in the mind!” Other than my writing bad words about brain-dead executives, what do we do about all that wealth you destroyed, the lives you hurt, the STABILITY for which you have no respect?” Obviously I’m venting. But at least I care. I care because stability in life is important!
STABILITY–One of the really good, stable, fun sales and service jobs in life insurance was called “The Debit.” Whether it was Prudential, Met, John Hancock, Equitable or some other giant that had “the debit system” (as opposed to “ordinary”), the debit was an agent’s assigned geographic territory near (or not far from) the agent’s home.
THE AGENT’S JOB WAS TO COLLECT nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars (and sometimes dollars) every week from (mostly blue collar, lower income) families who wanted to pay WEEKLY and didn’t want to pay (by checking) once a year, 2X, 4X or 12X. In fact, according to an interesting website I recently discovered,, it wasn’t until the 70’s when ACM (Automated Clearing House) began that checking accounts were FAR FEWER compared with today. So the debit made PREMIUM COLLECTING SENSE
But it also made GOOD SOCIAL SENSE because the agent saw people so often that it was like being part of the family. I mean it wasn’t just collecting coins. It was coffee, conversation about the kids, and sometimes lunch!
And it made GOOD SALES SENSE because if Ma’s expecting, who’s she gonna tell? The agent! Why? To update her’s and Pa’s beneficiary when she delivers—and insure the kid! And get more on Pa and Ma, too!
And it made GOOD REPEAT BUSINESS SENSE. That was high on the debit.. And policies didn’t lapse, at least not near the average rate.
ARE BANKS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE IN LIFE?Theoretically, because people go to the bank all the time, the bank rep (hired and licensed to sell life insurance and securities products) would seem to have the upper hand. Not so! In spite of advertising, people don’t go to the bank to buy life or a fund. They go to the bank for banking! For funds, they go to their investment guy, Merrill-Lynch. Whoever. For life, they go to their life guy.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN I BEGAN MY CAREER as a Life Insurance Agent in the early 1970’s? It was really, Really, REALLY simple: just sell life insurance! That’s it! Uncomplicated. My company, The Connecticut Mutual Life, offered three products: term, whole life, and fixed annuities (“fixed” as opposed to “variable” which are securities products). Did I become good? Yes. Overnight? No. Did I learn my stuff? Yes. As a Chartered Life Underwriter, my knowledge is wide and deep. Did I make the MDRT quickly? No. It took me eight long years before I qualified for membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table. But once there, I kept repeating to the point when I received a great big beautuful blue and silver plaque with the Round Table logo at the top. The plaque says, “Member, MDRT, Quarter Century, 25 Years of Membership, Robert L Coyle, CLU, LUTCF.” Signed, “Philip E. Harriman, CLU, ChFC, President.” And it says, “The Premier Association of Financial Professionals(R)” Nice!
WHAT WERE MY ROOKIE MEMORIES? FOCUS! An intense focus on life insurance—a great product to buy and a great product to sell.
WHAT WERE MY BEST MEMORIES?—Every single time that I returned to a family for a life review, my clients greeted me warmly. They greeted me so kindly because they knew “Bob is our life insurance agent.” They greeted me like I was a member of the family. A Life Insurance Agent’s relationships are strong. They’re strong because life matters. And it’s THAT which is the center of our conversations. Prople don’t buy life insurance because they’re going to die. People buy life insurance because someone’s going to go on living! This is what a FAMILY is all about! It’s all about values. It’s all about life’s most important realities: “Love, Life, and Life Insurance(TM).”
TODAY’S ROOKIE EXPERIENCE–Put yourself in the shoes of a kid fresh out if college. Eager for work, you go to a large life insurance company’s local office and apply for work as an agent.
TESTS, TESTS AND MORE TESTS—You answer a series of questions called “The LIMRA Aptitude Test” and score 18 out of a possible 20. That’s high. That’s VERY high. You’re bright (3.7 GPA). You like people and get along well with everyone. Pru likes you. So you begin.
PRE-CONTRACT TRAINING TESTS include passing a securities exam so you can be a “Series Six Registered Representative.” That means you can offer mutual funds and variable annuities which you really enjoyed learning. Good stuff! Popular with the public!
PRE-CONTRACT TRAINING also includes an extremely helpful marketing effort that’s called PROJECT 100. It’s simple, but not all that easy. The project asks you to list one hundred (100) people you know, including their contact data. Since it’s for YOUR use, not the company’s, that make perfectly good business sense. It makes good sense because that’s how you get started. In business terms, People-To-Help are matched with Products-To-Offer so you can help get clients through life’s EVENTS (Death / Disability / Need Money / Retirement).
TODAY THAT’S CALLED “FINANCIAL PLANNING” which, when all’s said and done, is helping lives and their loved ones with products that make sense (Term Life / Whole Life / Disability Income / Long Term Care / Fixed Annuities / Mutual Funds / Variable Annuities) within a cash flow plan so the agent and client both know it’ll fly.
PROJECT 100—Without it, rookies would stumble around tryin’ to figure out who to go see and with whom to make sales. It’s great having all those names. But what does a really smart kid with a mind LOADED with INFORMATION but with little or no life EXPERIENCE do?
SMARTS ALONE CAN’T CUT THE MUSTARD! But smarts, EXPERIENCE and a planning SYSTEM CAN! So the kid’s been grilled on an elegant system, which is fine. There are some really great systems out there. (I even created, extensively field-tested and patented one myself). But I don’t care HOW good a planning system is. In a rookie’s inexperienced hands, it’s weak!
THE ROOKIE PROBLEM IS WHAT TO SAY when seeing the people! By that I mean what’s the kid gonna say? “I’m here to plan your future.” Is that realistic for a 23-year old a year out of college?
PRESSURE MAKES IT WORSE! THE KID’S TOLD: “Get your LADS, lads & lassies!” What are LADS?
LIFE / ANNUITIES / DISABILITY / SECURITIES: And the kid’s got BILLS to pay and the company’s weekly ALLOWANCE to justify. So is “the hard sale” on the rookie’s mind? Or “the easy sale?”
MY MEMORY OF JOHN SAVAGE IS VIVID — widely considered as one of the greatest life insurance agents who ever lived, John’s first of four books — “THE EASY SALE” — was about selling life lnsurance. So was his 2nd — ”It’s Getting Easier” — So was his 3rd — “High Touch Selling” — So was his 4th — “Savage On Selling.”
I SPENT 3 DAYS IN TOLEDO WITH 75 SEASONED life insurance veterans learning from the great legend, JOHN SAVAGE. That was late Novenber, 1991 just before Thanksgiving. With a terminal metabolic condition at the time (“Light Chain Deposition”), he was symptom free but knew he’d not last much longer (John died early Feb.1993).
NOW HERE’S AN AMAZING MEMORY — Knowing what was brewing in Congress as well as the trend of the Life Insurance companies to move toward “financial planning,” JOHN WARNED US that life insurance sales for all rookies with companies having securities affiliates would become more and more difficult. That was 1991.
IN 1992 CLINTON SIGNED THE BILL rescinding the big chunk of Glass-Steagall.
In 1993 JOHN DIED. And I’ll never forget the look on his face way back in late Nov 1991 when I (very politely) challenged one of his premises. All I said was, “John, your diagram — it makes sense. It’s simple. But something’s missing. I don’t know what it is. All I know is something’s missing.
HIS REACTION WAS INTELLECTUALLY VIOLENT! To state it another way, I pissed him off. And I mean I REALLY pissed him off! Man, he flew down the aisle, stood right in front of me and said, no he yelled, “What’s your name?” Not playing his game (when annoyed or pissed off at anyone in class, he’d yell the same thing, “What’s your name?” and every single time whoever it was who pissed him off would say his full name at which he’d do a derogatory take-off on the person’s last name). Not very kind. But that’s how he’d vent his impatience.
I QUIETLY SAID—“Bob.” And that seemed to have pissed him off even more! Not knowing what to say, he stormed back up the aisle to resume his instruction. Halfway up to the front he said, “Don’t be a like a hungry dog in a meat house.” To which I said to myself, “Whah?” Interesting interaction!
IN 1994 HIS 4TH BOOK (COMPLETED IN 1993 when he was VERY tired from his rare terminal condition)—was not published until 1994. Having read it several times, including recently, it clearly communicates that his aggregate observations exhibited an unsurpassed intellectual brilliance. It’s as if he saw the future! I am VERY grateful to have been there with so many other veterans. Though not always kind and patient with agents, he was always truthful.
WANTING TO VISIT HIS OFFICE, MEET HIS TWO secretaries, and see where he conducted his meetings with clients and prospective clients, the morning after his interaction with me, at a break I politely approached him with a request, “John, may I briefly visit your office over the lunch hour so I can see your work area?” I was stunned when John not only didn’t answer, he abruptly turned his back on me and started up a conversation with another agent. Undeterred, at the next break I (meekly) asked again. With an even tone (and apparently impressed at my persistence) he said, “Yeah, go ahead!” To this day I consider that a sale well made!
BACK TO THE ROOKIE AND PRE-CONTRACT TRAINING. That extensive preparation also includes a state mandated forty-hour course with THE SCHOOL’S EXAM at the end of the 40 hours so you can THEN qualify to sit for THE STATE EXAM. Successfully enduring a buncha hurdles, you’re now itchin’ to make sales ‘cuz you won’t earn a dime until you’re out selling.
WHEN SELLING BEGINS, THE AGENT’S company (all companies work this way), pays the agent an “allowance” which is an even amount, A LIVABLE WEEKLY WAGE justified by ongoing, regular sales. Not too demanding at the outset, the hill gets steeper over time (most commonly three years). And because the whole picture as I’ve accurately portryed makes sound personal economic sense, you’re on board. And you should be, if you’ve got TWENTY YEARS of experience and can handle that big giant stew!
REALITY CHECK–YOU GOTTA MAKE SALES! And if you don’t, you’re out! End of job. Failure to meet your contractual provisions. Failure to make life insurance commission-based sales.
CAN YOU MAKE SALES? SURE! WHICH ONES? Easy or hard? What’s easy? Mutual Funds and Variable Annuities. What’s hard? Term, Whole Life, Disability Income, Long Term Care. So YOU MAKE MONEY MAKING EASY SALES. TIME goes by. You’re aware of your contract. But you don’t want to think about it. ‘Cuz you’re productive.
BUT THE BIG BOSS CALLS YOU INTO THE BIG office. “Uh, Freddie, your L-A-D-S are lookin’ real good for “S.” So talk to me about L, A & D.” You stammer, hem and haw. Big boss says, “Freddie, here’s watcha gotta do. Generate $____ with “L.” You’re OK with “A.” Generate $____ with “D.” Do that for “L” and “D” in the next three months and you’ll get back on track.”
BIG BOSS CONTINUES, “People need Life and Disability Income. You know that. Of course you do. And your prospects do, too. It’s just that you’ve been focusing on the easy sales: mutual funds and VA’s. We’re not pressing you on Long Term Care. Just focus on Life and DI. You’re a bright young man, Freddie. Everyone here wants you to succeed. And you will. You will because you have what it takes. I don’t know any young agent with greater potential. So go do whatcha gotta do. Don’t forget your memorized sales track. Pack your days with appointments. You’ll get back on track, Freddie. I know you will.”
BIG BOSS CONTINUES—”Freddie, I’m so glad we met this afternoon. Do yourself a favor: go home and relax. Get a good night’s sleep. But before we adjourn, take a look at your calendar. What’s the date three months out from today?” (You look and say it’s ______ ) BIG BOSS then ends with two really good, true stories about tragedy that struck a family with young kids. The terrible loss of their mother to cancer. And a second story about a totally disabled young father with ALS. Listening to an old pro speak with conviction is a moving experience. Unfortunatey, that and fifty cents won’t buy coffee these days! You need something more. Stories are nice. But THERE’S SOMETHING MISSING. And it’s been bothering you for months not knowing what it is. And the BIG BOSS is right. You’re bright. You are VERY bright! And Goethe’s words keep ringin’ in your ears, “ As soon as you trust yourself, you will learn to be free!”
SO YOU THANK BIG BOSS FOR THE MEETING and go home resolved to just get the job done!
BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP THAT NIGHT, YOU read what Jim Rohn said about leadership. And you KNOW it applies to you leading yourself back onto the track BIG BOSS so kindly developed. And big boss WAS kind, for which you’re grateful. Jim said, “Leaders, whether in the family, in business, in government, or in education, must not allow themselves to mistake intentions for accomplishments.”
INTENTIONS / SALES TRACKS / PRODUCTS / PRODUCT PEDDLING / BINGO! That’s what’s buggin’ you! When you wake up in the morning, do whatever your head and gut tell you to do.
YOU WAKE UP WITH THESE WORDS—”Don’t peddle product. Serve people. Product sales will follow.” NINE WORDS. YOUR MANTRA. Over breakfast, you repeat them over and over. They makes sense. Find out what people want. Help them get it. And they’ll buy. And BIG BOSS taught you something. With that good meeting in mind and your plan which is about to come together, thirteen weeks will fly. And because you trust yourself to develop a really good plan, you’ll get back on track.
- MARKETING–Project 100 is OK IF the names represent your market. But they don’t. You need another list. To get it, reference librarians can help. Go see one.
- SALES–A generic book that’s NOT industry specific.The book you want will NOT tell you how to sell life insurance. The book you want WILL tell you how to be effective. It’s about “people skills!”
- DEMOGRAPHIC–Owners of companies with 20 to 1,000 employees. You want the names and addresses of the companies AND their CEO’s.
- TERRITORY—With your ZIP code as ground zero, you want a circle with a radius twenty miles out—more if needed.
- LIST BROKER–A good list broker. A VERY good list broker. Find one!
- LAWYER–An estate and business continuation planning lawyer highly regarded by experienced life insurance agents in your community.
- APPROACH–A simple, straightforward question that’ll get the CEO’s attention.
- LIFE INSURANCE SELLING BOOKS—written by some of the the best producer(s) in the business.
- DISABILITY INCOME BOOK(S)—written by some of the best producer(s) in the business.
- YOU’RE PREPARING TO BLOW THE DOORS OFF your allowance schedule. Maybe you’ll even lead all the company’s first year agents! You’re smart. So why not? Step 10 is a bit lengthy. So read it, take notes, and collaborate with a friend.
10) PREPARE—Working backwards, your time PREPARING will require the first 2 weeks staying home reading, thinking, planning, wondering. Read. Read. Read. Read like you’ve never read before. That’ll leave eleven weeks to see CEO’s, lots and lots of CEO’s. WHY THE LAWYER? Here’s why: once CEOs understand the high cost of dying, the sale is a large permanent (whole life) policy owned by a triple tax exempt estate conservation trust. A qualified attorney creates that trust. At the businessowner’s DEATH, the TRUST (the trustee) HAS money (POLICY death PROCEEDS). The ESTATE executor NEEDS MONEY to pay the estate TAX. Without the trust and the money, the executor would have no choice but to sell assets to pay the tax. Forced liquidation of assets may get only 25¢ cents on the dollar. Making it worse, the CEO’s dead; so his salary stops; and the family is SOL. (That’s a legal term. Ask any lawyer what SOL means). CONVINCING / SELLING / COMMUNICATING / DISTURBING / MOTIVATING — call it whatever you prefer. But to be effective, it’s necessary to disturb minds! Which minds? The business owner’s mind. The business owner’s wife’s mind, or businessowner’s husband’s mind. You don’t need too many tools. I STRONGLY recommend three: A) Good questions. B) The Form 706 and C) Pictures of famous people who died with the amount of taxes due because they died. To get that (it’s VERY interesting and VERY convincing), call the MDRT. Ask to speak with the bookstore’s coordinator. Mention you’re not an MDRT member, but you’re working to increase your production so you CAN be a member! Mention you’d like those pictures and those tax amounts. That’ll help build a VERY compelling presentation!
9) DI BOOK: “Disability Income Insurance, A How To Guide” by Allan B. Checkoway.
8) LIFE BOOKS: “The Broad Concept Approach” by Harold Zlotnik, CLU / “The Millionaire Next Door—The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy,” by Thos J. Stanley, Ph.D. and Wm D. Danko, Ph.D. / “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. / Any two of John Savage’s four books: “The Easy Sale” / “It’s Getting Easier” / “High Touch Selling” / “Savage On Selling” / “The Feldman Method” by Andrew H. Thomson / “A Man on a Mission” by Marv Feldman (Ben’s son). Google each. Check out the content. Superb sales resources!
7) APPROACH—“Would you be interested in selling your business?” / THINK, THINK ,THINK how to handle the CEO’s reaction—no matter what it may be! / ”Your Uncle may force its sale at your death.” / (Uncle Sam). If the CEO employs hundreds, estate settlement expenses can be HUGE. Go to the IRS office nearest you. Ask for a Form 706 (Estate Tax Return). After the CEO sees your approach is dead serious, ask: / “Have you ever seen this IRS Form 706?” / CEO REACTION, REACTION / “May I come back by appointment so we can talk more?”
6) LAWYER—Talk to the lawyer about your approach. Ask how s/he would structure your follow-up appointment’s conversation to get the CEO to agree to take the next step. Very many seasoned life insurance agents have arranged appointments in the CEO’s attorney’s office. TWO CAUTIONS: FIRST, don’t steer legal work away from the CEO’s attorney. SECOND, the CEO’s attorney might be a lightweight in the estate planning/trust arena. If so, and if the attorney is humble, there’s a chance you just might hear something like this: “This trust that you’re recommending is beyond my ability to create. We should get someone who does this kind of legal work all the time.” And be sure to read Harold Zlotnik’s “Broad Concept.”
5) LIST BROKER—Call Marcia Glasser. Her website is. Great lady!
4) 3) TERRITORY & DEMOGRAPHIC—Buy 1,000. Cost roughly $200
2) SELLING—Read the best book on selling in my library (and maybe the best book on selling ever published) — “Selling is a Woman’s Game” by Nicki Joy with Susan Kane-Benson. A gem!
1) MARKETING—Your local reference librarian may or may not be able to help with library resources to find or create what Marcia sells. (See point 5). Consider splitting the cost with a friend interested in working on this CEO Target Marketing project. It’s good to learn together!
1 ) MARKETING–”Selling The Dream, How to Promote Your Product, Company or Ideas and Make a Difference Using Everyday Evangelism” by Guy Kiyosaki (endorsed by Steve Jobs!)
1) MARKETING—“Cold Calling For Cowards–Hot Tips On Cold Calling” by Jerry Hocutt. Privately published. You won’t find this little gem in a book store. Googling may or may not help. Contact Hocutt & Associates, Inc., 24933-132nd Place S.E., Kent, WA 98042 (253) 639–0744