New Life Agent in NC - Major Anxiety

Mar 5, 2008

  1. newncagent
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    Hello everyone. I am a new life agent in eastern NC. I passed my exams a few days ago and am just waiting for all of the paperwork to be finalized to get my appointment with American General (a subsidiary of AIG).

    I am new to the field having worked in manufacturing management my entire career. It was simply fate that landed me here I suppose. I got an e-mail from the General Manager who liked my resume when he saw it on monster.com. He thought I would be a good fit, and after meeting with them a few times and researching the industry I felt like it would be something that I could do well and would enjoy.

    Part of American General's pre-employment process is to have a prospective candidate do what they call Market Surveys. Essentially some basic questions about the insurance industry and then explaining that I am considering a position with the company, and I ask the people I am surveying if they would allow me the courtesy of watching a 20 minute video presentation if I do start working with AG.

    I am new to the state and while I do have some family here, I don't know many people. I've joined a church and the Ruritans club trying to branch out and meet folks. I was told yesterday that my tentative start date will be March 17th and they want me to have 100 names to call the day I start. I did the 10 market surveys they gave me and I'll be able to come up with more names, but I'm not sure that I can come up with 100 names.

    So now I am suffering from some major anxiety.

    Let me say that this is something that I really want to do. I see it as an honorable profession and I love the idea that I will be providing product and services that help people. And the people at AG seem very knowledgeable and have been very nice to me. It seems to be a great working environment.

    I am really stuck on this 100 names thing though. And I fear that if this is a problem now, that I may have trouble with it in the future. Conversely, I know over time I will meet more people and it will be easier in that regard. For some reason it feels like it will be easier to prospect "strangers" or mild acquantances than family.

    So I guess I am wondering about a couple things:

    a. Is this a normal experience/feeling for someone new to the field?
    b. How can I come up with 100 names?
    1. I am considering going door-to-door this weekend and next doing the market surveys
    2. I am thinking of asking some people in church for help with this, but that seems desperate.
    3. Pardon my ignorance, but is cold-calling literally cold-calling strangers? Where do you start with something like that?

    I've also run into real reluctance from people when I ask if they can provide me with a few names of people to speak with. I know that's how it is supposed to work, but people just say "i can't think of anyone right now" or something along those lines.

    I really do want to do this as I said before. I hope this is not a sign that I'm not cut out for this industry. Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give!
     
  2. salpro22
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    Have you watched this video? What does the video illustrate in 20 minutes? As a business owner, if I want to watch a video I'll do that after work unless I see the VALUE in watching the video. What is your exact pitch from start to finish?

    Looks like you have 12 days to get 90 more names. If you don't know many people you need to go out and meet people. Average success rate with B2B is around 5%-8% depending upon numerous factors, while telemarketing is 2%-5%.

    Take the number of leads you need and divide by the aforementioned numbers (I'd use 2% since you're new) to get an estimate about how many people you need to see in person or talk to on the phone. Divide that number by 12 days to arrive at your minimum contact rate each day. Now you will have daily goals to hit!

    What specifically are you stuck on?

    I agree.


    Yes, and it's also a feeling that experienced sales pros experience.

    Sounds like a good idea. Do both.

    How would they help you? IF it's anything else besides helping you print out your surveys I'd stay away from doing this until you have more experience.

    Yes. Search this forum and you'll find at least 50 threads about where to start and how to do it. Then grab a list, write a script/outline, pick up the phone and call!

    That's because your were trained in sales techniques that were developed and used in the 1950's. Read my blog and go buy Question Based Selling!

    If you went out on one date with a woman and then at the end of the date you asked the women to marry you what do you think the success rate would be? I'm thinking less than 1%. In other words, you would have to date 100 women before she said yes. Same principle applies to sales techniques that are old and outdated. Pick up Bill Cates books and read them.

    What you're experiencing is a symptom that is treatable. The question is, will you do what is needed to succeed and complete the things that unsuccessful people won't do???? Start by reading the aforementioned books and this forum during the NIGHT!

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. moonlightandmargaritas
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    This is the kind of decades old crap that has led to a 98% failure rate among new life insurance agents.

    The reason they do this is because IT COSTS THEM NOTHING. They don't spend a penny in advertising and/or marketing to help a new agent get off the ground.

    Take and apply some of the things that JR (salpro) advises, or think about finding a different opportunity.
     
  4. newncagent
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    Thanks salpro. I appreciate the effort you took to answer my questions. Very thoughtful responses - thank you!

    And moonlight - i hear you loud and clear. I have every intention of investing in marketing once I get up and started, but it's a bit difficult right now as i don't even have my appointment or even business cards yet.

    My initial concern is coming up with those 100 names for the Project 100. It sounds like door to door introductions will help with that. As for cold calling, i did a search and found some threads, but I'm still not clear on exactly how to start that. I will be calling individuals initially - not businesses. Do I literally pick up the phone book and just start calling folks?
     
  5. moonlightandmargaritas
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    I used to have new agents break it down into a more managable chunk.
    I called it a "Project 10".

    Can you find 10 people who are willing/able to give you 10 names each?
     
  6. James
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    No, you have the whole DNC thing, you need to a list that is DNC compliance if calling individuals. Plus I do believe NC has its own list, as in a State List of Do Not Call. I would imagine that AG have list to work from, Survivor might be able to answer the question since he works for AG.
     
    James, Mar 5, 2008
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  7. newncagent
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    That's a good way to think of it moonlight, but I guess my problem so far has been that I haven't been able to find anyone other than my mother and sister that will give me any names at all.

    I know that my biggest problem is that I have no sales experience and have no idea how to "talk the talk". On the other hand, I know I will get good training in the future from the AGLA folks. So this initial difficulty is directly related to that. It shouldn't be an issue in the future.

    I found this forum last night and read posts for hours and started again this morning. It's been very educational and I know I will learn a lot here. And even more importantly, I know I have a lot to learn. I want to succeed and will do everything I can in order to succeed, but these first few steps (project 100 and referrals) are really a challenge for me and I simply just don't know what to do. I should get some names and some people that will let me present the video from doing the market surveys door to door, but I'd also like to work the phones. And of course, I'm open to any other suggestions anyone might have.

    I simply don't know how to best approach it right now.
     
  8. newncagent
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    Thanks James. That was my concern.
     
  9. James
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    Call businesses and sell individual plans to the owners.
     
    James, Mar 5, 2008
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  10. newncagent
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    Thanks again James. Again, pardon my ignorance but I am as new to all of this as one could possibly be. Could you elaborate a bit? Thank you!
     
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