Is It Possible to Be a P&C/Life/Registered Rep?

Aug 25, 2015

  1. Derrick
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    Derrick Super Genius

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    Hello,

    25 and I've been in the business for 1.5 years now. I'm currently at a captive agency that does exclusively life insurance, and investments. All that's in house through the life insurance company and it's subsidiary broker-dealer. It also allows us to have outside appointments to do a little bit of health insurance, disability insurance, and medicare supplement and all that stuff. Just to give you an idea of where I'm at now.

    I've recently talked to an independent insurance company that's owned by a small regional bank. They do everything from P&C, to life, to investments. And pretty much everything else.

    So my question is, is there a way I can take a multi-faceted approach to building my book of business? For instance, instead of having 300 P&C clients, I have, say, 150 clients that I have P&C (auto and home), life, and investments.

    So, for instance, say I have the Smith family. They would have:
    • ((2 vehicles)*($100/mo)*(12mo))*15% = $360/yr
    • ((1 house)*($1,000))*15% = $150/yr
    • ((2 term policies)*($650))*5% = $65/yr
    • (($300/mo dollar cost averaging)*(12))*4% = $144/yr

    Of course, those are very generic, and conservative numbers (I think), and that's just renewals and doesn't account for an initial commission on life, or any IRA rollovers. But that's $719/yr/client. Times that by 150 and you've got $107,850/yr. Of course that's before the agencies cut and taxes, but I could live with that I think.

    Any ways, if anyone has an insight on this, or has done it, please give me some advice. I'm stuck in a hard spot because although I want to continue to be in the life insurance industry, as I think it's VERY important, I just can't seem to get in front of people that want to talk about life insurance (including most friends and family) and I feel like I can help so much more by being that all-in-one guy.
     
    Derrick, Aug 25, 2015
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  2. sman
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    sman Guru

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    It's possible, but difficult. You can't be all things to all people. The most successful people in the insurance business find a niche and stick with it. Now, if you want to build an agency that has people who specialize in certain areas, that might work. For example, have an agency who does all the things you mention, but have one person handling the P&C, one handling investments, one handling life & health, etc. The challenge becomes can each person produce enough to make a living. There are certainly plenty of people who focus on each of those areas who make a nice living. But can you get them all in one agency?

    Your idea is being tried by every captive P&C company out there. They are having their agents get securities licensed and requiring a certain amount of life production. When I've talked to some of these captive P&C guys, their focus is P&C and they hate they have these other requirements now. My point being, they just want to do what they do best and that is focus on P&C.

    If you try to be all things to all people, one of two things will happen. You'll spread yourself too thin and not be of service to a larger portion of your book of business. Or, one area will start taking more and more of your time and you'll have to let the other areas go or service will lack in all areas.

    When I first went independent (mainly life), I then got my securities license. I was doing some seminars, but not having as much success as I wanted. But while building my life and securities business, I would have a client ask about something else, like health insurance. So I started adding health insurance to the mix. Finally around 2005 I decided I'm going to focus on investments and Medicare Supplement business. Once I stopped chasing after every piece of business my income skyrocketed. Now my main focus is Medicare business. I still write life insurance (but only when I'm asked), I still write health insurance (but only taking care of my existing clients and referrals) and I still do investments. But the Medicare side is my primary business and the one I focus on.

    I say all that to repeat what I said earlier. Don't try to be all things to all people. Find your niche and jump in with both feet.
     
    sman, Aug 25, 2015
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  3. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    P&C is very time consuming. Lots of little things all the time. Its not hard, but it makes it hard to combine all of this well. The best way around it is to have a good CSR that deals with the daily vehicle changes, payment reminder calls, proof of insurance requests, claims, escrow company demands and the 'what0if' calls from clients.

    That would leave you free to prospect for your households.

    The next step you find out is that the sales cycle and mentality is different. If you have an investment client, its probably easy to have a P&C conversation with them. If you have a P&C client, they may not want to talk investments.

    With that in mind, many P&C agents do exactly what you are talking about. A handful do it well, a lot struggle with the investment side. Its just hard to have time to do it all.

    Dan
     
    djs, Aug 25, 2015
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  4. Derrick
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    Derrick Super Genius

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    Thank you for your in-depth reply, and telling me your personal story. Gives me a lot to think about. To be quite frank, I want to be in the insurance and investment business but my bank account tells me I'm not suited for it. But again I know I want to be in the business and I know once I get going I'll be not only fine, but GREAT. If that makes sense. I feel like the captive to independent agency switch is a no-brainer. Then the next would be to get appointed with everyone and cast a broad net. From P&C, to life, to investments, to everything in between. Just a side note, I've noticed that not being able to sell P&C has closed a lot of doors for me where I could have sold them P&C and got in the door for other products like life and investments, etc. But then after I figure out what seems to be the majority of my business (my niche), then slowly start shedding off everything else and focus mainly on that niche.

    Does that sound about right?

    ----------

    Dan, thanks for the reply. It seems to be that time consumption is the biggest concern. The independent agency I'd work for has clerical, I'm just not sure what exactly their job duties are in terms of the P&C side. And I know for a fact there's a lot the clerical can't do in terms of investments with even basic information, so that'd be all on me, or a trusty sidekick I'd hire in the future, that would get registered, and would get paid to handle all that and my P&C.

    Again, I'm just throwing things out there. I'm young, dumb, and unexperienced but I do know I need to make a change. Just looking to brain storm. Thanks again!
     
    Derrick, Aug 25, 2015
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  5. cgreene
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    cgreene Guru

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    Find a few focus areas and then some areas where you don't focus as much. For example my areas are realtors, mortgage brokers, schools, dealerships, and churches. Then I do a little bit in commercial areas like workers comp for construction companies. While it's not my focus if my client wants it I offer it and it's additional revenue.
     
    cgreene, Aug 25, 2015
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  6. DHK
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    DHK "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

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    You only THINK that going in the P&C door will open the door for everything else. It's an easy way to think... but a no is still a no.

    You may need to learn some prospect positioning phrases to help you "get in the door". My litmus test for how effective your prospect is, is if they 'know what they are saying no' for.

    Just because you offer 'everything under the sun' doesn't mean your qualified and competent to do 'everything under the sun'.

    There is always a pain in switching. Even if there's a cost savings, there's still an element of pain in doing it.

    Here's my question: What additional value do YOU bring to the table? What is unique about working with YOU? This is not a product question, but a value and expertise question.

    Once you hone in on this, and build up your communication skills... things will get better for you.

    Also, the sooner you decide to focus on a specific PROFILE of a prospect, where you help this profile with their major (and common) concerns... the faster your business will grow.

    The Power of Profile
     
    DHK, Aug 25, 2015
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  7. Derrick
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    Derrick Super Genius

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    I agree with this. P&C won't be the be all, end all to my problems. And I need to get better at prospecting, and objections. But as a 25 year old, my friends are interested in lowering their car insurance and homeowners insurance, and not really too excited to talk about the benefits of life insurance, or investing. I could probably have 100 friends talk about auto/homeowners/renters before I could get 1 to talk about life insurance or investments.

    I agree with this, but I've already got life insurance and investments down (not saying I'm perfect, though). If I'm sticking to residential P&C, from what I've researched, it's pretty straight forward until you start doing commercial or specialty insurances. You're the guy who's done it a lot longer than I have so I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just trying to tell you how I see it from my POV.

    The additional value I bring to the table is the connections I've made with some of the people in the LOCAL area. I may have not sold as much life and investments to stay afloat, but I have met ALOT of people. Need a mortgage? I've got a guy. Need a real estate agent? I've got a guy. Need a caterer for your sons graduation party? I've got a guy. Need a divorce/real estate/contract/whatever you want lawyer? I've got a guy. I also know a lot of hands on people like repairmen, restoration companies, lawn maintenance companies/individuals. The list goes on.



    I've bookmarked that video for later, thanks. And as far as a specific profile of a prospect, yes I know I need to do that. I've thought about it off-handedly, but haven't just sat down and wrote it down like I should.
     
    Derrick, Aug 25, 2015
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  8. DHK
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    DHK "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

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    Your friends are probably NOT the best people to start building a clientele with. I don't care what some manager told you regarding project 100/200. You need to get with a better target profile and start marketing to that niche.

    Being well-connected in your community is a great additional value to add... but do your clients KNOW that? How do you let them know? Just because you have a value, if you can't communicate it, it isn't worth much. It's like winking at a girl in the dark. Only you know what you're doing, but no one else does.


    Once you've identified your profile, your next step is to define your process.

    This link may help:
    http://fsonline.com/Simpler_Way.pdf

    If you can INTEGRATE your process to offer P&C, Life, and Securities... you'll do a better job than someone who just "brings it up" in conversation. There are many ways to do this. I'd start by checking out the VSA (Virtual Sales Assistant) service for free for 30 days, then $23.95/month. That's the inexpensive route.

    The additional thing I'd highly recommend doing... is to learn how to do a great fact-find. IMO, you won't get any better training than what you can learn from the Insurance Pro Shop. You can subscribe to their online video training for only $25/month.

    http://www.insuranceproshop.com/insurancemarketing/insurancemarketing.html

    ----------

    As far as having "life insurance and investments down"... uh... no you don't.

    You won't like this, but those are BIG subjects. Perhaps I'm thinking on a larger scale than just a term life policy and a contributory brokerage account (based on your original post). Because of your current marketing demographic profile, that's probably true.

    Here's the thing: I *could* sell investments. I know how to SELL them. Do I know how to pick them? Well, I know how to do a risk tolerance analysis and put together a few mutual fund portfolios that would fit someone's risk tolerance based on past performance (which is no guarantee of future results). I know how to explain A, B, C shares. I know alpha, beta, sharpe, traynor, r2, standard deviation and other investment terms.

    I know a lot of stuff.

    At the same time, there's a ton that I DON'T know. There's a thread in the retirement planning forum that I'm almost completely lost on. It's on the current economy. You know what? I've never had a natural inclination to follow all that stuff. And when I try to, it just makes me nervous and uneasy. It's not the way I like to fill my time, nor use this in order to advise clients regarding investment portfolios.

    I try to follow Harry Dent who is an economist that follows demographic trends... and is generally right on his predictions. However, that doesn't mean that my opinion on where the market is headed means that's exactly what it's going to do.

    If it makes me nervous and uneasy... how well would this work to focus on all this stuff to make my CLIENTS possibly nervous and uneasy? Why would I want to promote this mentality to my clients?

    I've had nervous emails in 2007 & 2008. The problem with emails is in how you respond to them (always respond in the email that "I'll call you" and then follow through).

    When you're dealing with people's entire financial situation, how YOU respond to negative news will show clients how THEY should be responding. To me, it's one thing to invest my own money. It's quite another to advise someone else on their investments.


    Just because I *can* do something... doesn't mean I necessarily want to.


    With Life Insurance... there's still a few things I don't know yet. Some of the more specialized uses in a business context - such as split dollar strategies - I'm still kinda lost on. Yes, I just need to study up on it and how they'll work... but there's so much out there.


    I suppose what I'm saying is this: Everyone is at least a little 'green' in this business in various areas. If you try to fool yourself into thinking that "you've got this down"... you'll close yourself off to new learning opportunities.

    You don't need to learn everything now to be competent. You only need to learn how to best serve your ideal prospect profile and meet their needs. You can get information as you need it... not accumulate it for 'just in case'.
     
    DHK, Aug 25, 2015
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  9. plewi003
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    plewi003 Expert

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    I have an agency that offers all services. Lot of the folks on here are right. It took several years to make it all work, specialized staff, and I did not add all services at once. You need to become great at one niche, then possibly add more only when ready. You also need to be genuinely interested in the market you want to get into. Never decide on offering services because you think it will make you a lot of money. Do something that makes sense for you and the client, and then the money will start to show up!
     
    plewi003, Aug 25, 2015
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  10. fredwaller
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    fredwaller New Member

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    I have done taxes since 2000. Life and investments since 2007. Just started P and C in 2014. Inbox me and we can talk....
     
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