Monthly Archives: February 2012

Getting Started Right

At National Agents Alliance, everyone works hard to create a clear path for agents to run on.  It’s up to the new agent to follow the path that leads to massive success.

After licensing and contracting comes learning from your mentor exactly how top producers do the job.  Learning the products, learning the successful sales system, and practicing the scripts for appointment setting are definite first steps to success.

Ready, fire, aim!Watching and learning from your manager is important but you will also need to practice creating illustrations using the carrier software until you are confident that while in a client’s home, you can present options, overcome obstacles and successfully fill their needs.

You can’t learn to swim standing on the side of the pool, so it’s time to jump in and get your feet wet.  Without worrying about being perfect, the new agent needs to make some dials, set some appointments, sit with clients, protect that family and get paid!

Don’t be concerned if you make some mistakes; keep going and do it again and again.  As CEO Andy Albright says, “Once you have sold one policy, you know exactly what it takes to make as much money as you want, just keep doin’ it!”

Creating a work schedule for yourself can be a tremendous asset in getting started right also.

The most profitable agents use their time on the right activities and take time to plan their weekly, monthly and annual activities.

It doesn’t matter if you are a part-time or full-time agent, you MUST allocate definite hours of operation for your business. One of the biggest challenges of working independently from home is the lack of structure and time management.

You need to schedule adequate time to:

  • Participate in Corporate Training calls
  • Participate in Corporate Events
  • Participate in Team Training calls
  • Make your dials for Appointments
  • Study to expand your Product Knowledge
  • Work on Personal Development (Read, Listen)

The business system at National Agents Alliance is simple, but YOU have to do the activity.  Remember that there are no shortcuts to success.  Get leads, set appointments, sit with clients, submit applications and receive commissions from carriers.  Do it again. Follow the system!


Math Matters

Recently there was an article published that discussed the poor performance by American students in mathematics compared to students in other countries.

Only 32 percent of students in the USA tested at the “proficient” level while in Shanghai the number is 75 percent.  When it comes to advanced levels of math proficiency the scores are USA with 7 percent and 45 percent of students from Shanghai scoring at the advanced level.

Why is this important?  Mathematical ability helps provide the disciplined structure that helps people to think, speak and write more clearly, all of which are attributes that top agents at National Agents Alliance possess.

Since our agents’ success depends on their ability to communicate clearly and professionally with a variety of people, the training which comes from mathematics can dramatically improve the performance that leads directly to increased commissions.  An analytical mind is a tremendous asset when an agent is sitting in the home discussing the many options available to a client in terms of insurance protection and retirement planning.  The ability to “think on your feet” comes in handy when you are presented with a scenario you hadn’t planned on.

Our agents obviously work with numbers when analyzing face amounts, premiums, return of premium options, monthly vs quarterly payments, return on investment, and on and on.  Understanding all of the options and being able to explain them to the client is crucial.

To agents, numbers are also important in another way:  tracking activity and results is a primary duty for every agent, and the most successful agents at National Agents Alliance are diligent in the very simple but import task.

CEO Andy Albright explains the skill best whenever he lectures on the use of the NAActivity Book that was designed explicitly for field agents to track their number of dials, contacts, appointments set, and the resulting sales from those appointments.  Understanding the connection between those categories is the key to improvement, the key to success.

You have heard that the “cream rises to the top.” This is certainly true at National Agents Alliance and the leaders will attest that use of the NAActivity Book separates the “cream” and proves that “Math Matters!”


What’s in Your Wallet?

What's in Your WalletAmong the main things that we offer our clients everyday are financial security and peace of mind. But let me ask you…do you have that for yourself?

Agents join National Agents Alliance for a variety of reasons, but one common denominator is for the incredible income we are able to provide for ourselves and our family. But income and financial security are not one and the same thing. What does that mean? That means that someone earning $50,000 can be financially secure, while another person earning $250,000 can be absolutely broke. We all know someone who fits both of those profiles.

There are two simple and powerful practices that are the foundation of all financial security. You can read every financial expert and they will teach you these principles. The first principle is to pay yourself first. This is not negotiable and will make or break your financial future. Ten percent of every penny that walks in your door should be put away in a safe place, and allowed to accumulate. Some of you will say, I can’t live on what I’m making now…the creditors are calling…I’m behind on everything. Until you embrace this practice, you will remain behind on everything. Yes it’s difficult to save in this situation, but the blunt truth is that your creditors will still be calling, you will still be behind for a short period of time, but you will be creating a reserve for yourself that will attract more financial success faster than anything else. (Read “Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason).

The second and equally essential step to achieving financial security is to give 10% of your income away. Giving away money to a deserving cause (consider NAA’s project, Goad Ministries) sends a powerful signal that you have plenty and that you know that plenty more is coming. This ability to be a conduit for money and wealth is a hallmark of all successful people. Look at our own Andy Albright, he is the biggest giver in all of National Agents Alliance. Paul J Meyer, one of the great success stories in the life insurance industry, was able to give away $440,000,000 in his lifetime.

In order to be a successful agent you have to have the financial security and peace of mind that we talked about. If you’re in a client’s home and worrying about a creditor calling or an unpaid bill, you will not get the result you seek. Pick an expert, whether it’s David Bach, Suze Orman, or countless others and follow the plan. Your wallet will be glad you did.


Posture

Confident PostureHave you ever wondered why some agents with National Agents Alliance are so successful on the phone while others act like the phone weighs 30 pounds and dread their calling sessions?

It is vitally important during your phone calls to prospects that you display an air of confidence and speak enthusiastically without sounding out of control. There is an important distinction between projecting a confident, authentic, and enthusiastic demeanor and an over-exaggerated, slick and hype-filled pitch that will turn off most prospects.  The person at the other end of that call can “feel” the difference.

Many of the top agents in National Agents Alliance naturally possess the authentic, believable, and confident posture that makes prospects sit up and take notice.  For most agents, though, learning that skill takes a lot of practice, but there is no doubt that anyone can learn to have a strong “posture.”  The beginning agent needs to listen to and watch the more experienced agent do calls and notice his body language.  Smiling, sitting up straight in your chair, standing or even walking around the office actually comes across positively to the prospect who can’t even see the speaker.

Even though we get to work from home, it is a good idea to dress as though you are in the corporate office rather than be sloppy and sit with your feet up on the desk.  Again, the prospect can feel the lack of “posture.”  Your office environment needs to be neat and professional…no TV or radio on, no dogs barking or kids screaming.  Any audible distractions will come across as unprofessional.

Having a confident posture requires a total belief in yourself and a total belief in your business opportunity.  The business part should be easy…you know that National Agents Alliance is the leader in the industry.  Belief in yourself comes from hard work and diligent practice.  Before beginning your calling session, sit quietly and visualize a successful session.

In time, you will have no fear of the phone and a strong, confident posture will come across loud and clear!


Building a List

You learn quickly that you can earn a great income doing everything yourself, but you’re limited to how many hours you can work.  The way to overcome this is to use some leverage and build your own agency.  The first step in building your National Agents Alliance business is to create a list.

Most folks will know at least 200 people, which is a great starting point to develop a huge list.  Start with your cell phone contacts, then go to your Facebook friends, and watch your list grow and grow.

listWhen you hire a new agent, in addition to gaining a new business partner, you also got another list of at least 200 new prospects!  Sort the list and help the new agent contact his/her top picks.  Remember not to pre-judge anyone; it’s hard to know who will be interested or which person could end up being a super-star in National Agents Alliance.  These “stars” come from all walks of life and we can’t tell from appearances what they have on the inside in terms of work ethic and desire.

Inevitably, you will hire someone who appears to be a great partner but later discover that, for whatever reason, they just aren’t the right fit.  Even so, there are still 200 other prospects from their list of names that could be potential superstars in your team!  That list might give you the one with the qualities that successful people share.

Here are some suggestions for adding to your list:

  • Ask everyone you meet for a business card.  They might not be your next business partner but they know 200 people.
  • Attend meetings of the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, etc.  All those businessmen know 200 people.
  • Be a great listener.  Ask open-ended questions, not questions that can be answered with a yes or a no.  Listen for phrases like “I want,” “I need,” “I wish I could…”
  • Don’t rush into telling someone everything about your business in 30 seconds as if you’re spraying them with a fire hose.  Focus on building a relationship first; later you can introduce your business to them.
  • Don’t rule out anyone because you “think” they’ll say no — you can’t make their decision for them.
  • When you get a negative response, ask for a referral.  Remember, they know 200 people!

To build a huge National Agents Alliance business, start with your list, then use other people’s lists, and finally keep adding to your list and you’ll have an endless supply of prospects.


Creating Leaders

leadersAs an agent in National Agents Alliance you probably want to build your own agency so you can leverage your way to a bigger income without having to produce every dollar yourself.

Here are some tips that may help you to build a big, strong and long-lasting agency:

1.    Do It For Them

Perform the task while understudies watch and learn.  Whether it’s making phone calls, assisting in making a list, showing the plan or doing a follow-up, leading by example will show them the right way to do it.  Repetition is very helpful, and about 6 to 10 live demonstrations should solidify the methodology.

  1. 2.    Let Them Do It With Your Supervision

Watch, evaluate and make suggestions to your pupils for improvement.  Help them gain confidence so they will be able to perform highly even without you.

  1. 3.    They Do It On Their Own

Turn over the responsibility for everything in their business to them.  Follow up with them regularly for reports, and to assist in areas where questions, concerns, or difficulties have arisen.

  1. 4.    Help That Agent Train a New Agent

Now the leverage really kicks in!  When you train your new agents properly you will begin to see real duplication occurring.  This is an important step.  Give plenty of support here and your business will grow exponentially.

  1. 5.    Get The New Agent Involved in a Personal Development Program

Developing leaders is a process that is difficult to do on your own, especially when your agency begins generating new hires every week!  Provide access to training materials, and encourage the new agents to read, listen to positive MP3’s, maintain a positive attitude, and utilize all the resources that National Agents Alliance provides.  Remember to also develop their motivation for creating massive goals and a process to achieve them!

  1. 6.    Become Their Mentor, Friend, Business Partner and Biggest Supporter

At this point you will be building a great relationship with your new leaders.  This relationship is at the core of long-term business success.

Empower each team member to be the leader of their own agency.  Be sure to recognize them for their accomplishments.  Allow them to have center stage without stealing the spotlight.  Get to know their family and include them in the business.  Help them set higher and higher goals and challenge them to reach for the stars.  Have regular strategy sessions to set the course for the future.

These are just a few of many possible guidelines and paths that can help to develop a leader.  As ever, National Agents Alliance wants you to keep in mind that a great leader is continually developing and ever evolving personally as well:  So in your quest to build others, be open to the ever present work of building yourselves also.  Your newly minted leaders will notice it, learn from it, and grow into great leaders also.  Once you’ve got that character built…let them run!


Developing Your Style

Developing Your StyleAre you aggressive enough in your sales approach?  Some of National Agents Alliance’s top sales producers use a very bold approach and month after month post huge numbers in sales of life insurance and annuities.  There is no way that they could succeed being a timid, wall-flower.

On the other end of the spectrum, other top producers employ a softer technique, you might say, “kinder and gentler.”  For them, this method works, and there is no way they could operate using the bold, aggressive approach.

Since both styles, at opposite ends of the scale, work for certain people, and all sorts of techniques in between do too, it begs the question: “Where are you and have you determined the best method for you?”

Admittedly, not everyone has the personality to use the in-your-face, aggressive style, but those who have mastered the technique claim it saves time.  No beating around the bush, get to the point, tell it like it is.

National Agents Alliance’s client-prospects need what you have, no doubt.  They have agreed to the appointment because they realize they need the protection for their family, but many of them still need convincing.  By being very direct, the client is shaken by the reality of the situation: “I should do this for my family.  I have to figure out how to make it work.”

Here is the story of how one salesman motivated the customer into action.  In 1953, Paul J. Meyer, at the age of 24, was the number one life insurance salesman in the United States.  That year, he earned $820,000 and he did it by using an aggressive style.

Meyer’s words evoked emotion in the client and targeted the spouse, too.  He didn’t spend time saying, “In the event this happens, or that happens your family would be left without their main income…blah, blah,blah.”  He would just boldly say, “You need this coverage.  You are going to be graveyard dead, six feet under with grass growing above and a stone on your head.”  Then, looking at the spouse, he would say, “Did you hear what I just said?  And you have no idea when that’s going to happen.”

It worked for him!  How about you?  Have you thought about your approach and how you might try different styles until you’re sure it’s right for you?  Learn from the masters and work to develop your own style and watch your production soar with National Agents Alliance!


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