Ninety-Two Percent of All Agents Fail - Why?

Discussion in 'Getting Started Selling Insurance' started by JacquesWerth, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. JacquesWerth

    JacquesWerth Expert

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    Here are a few reasons that most agents fail. Feel free to add your own.

    Many agents think that they really are agents. Look up the legal definition of "agent." Then realize you are a “salesperson.” The only thing that you get paid to do is to sell.

    The way that most insurance companies and their agencies teach agents to sell benefits the companies and their managers far more than it benefits the agents.

    You frequently hear about top producers who earn huge commissions. What you are not told is that, with the exception of managers, the average gross earnings of all agents is about $45,000 per year. So, after struggling for four or five years it is unlikely that most agents that survive will be highly successful.

    You also are not told that most really successful agents have spent their own money on excellent sales training and have years of sales experience.

    Most agents who fail never learn a complete, modern sales process. So they get stuck doing ineffective things like cold-calling, need analyses, showing prospects their pain, preparing proposals, persuading, and convincing. All that, while trying to get poorly qualified prospects to buy.

    By the time most agents realize that they need sales training, they have no ability to pay for it.
  2. DT1970

    DT1970 Expert

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    I don't know if 92% is accurate. But I would imagine that most people fail in this particular industry because they cannot go without income for an extended period of time. Sales, whether it be in insurance, or just about anything, requires a ramp up period of learning the product, the market and how to find customers and sell to them. This takes time and most people don't have the cash reserves to give them the time.

    I think they also have unrealistic expectations as to how much work this career will involve and may not have the business acumen required.


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    92% seems accurate. Based on my observation, the common denominator is:

    * Not working hard enough
    * Making the same mistakes
    * Not understanding the product well enough
    * Not understanding the competition
    * Having an income requirement that is initially unattainable

    WebAgent was used in this post
    Sid Crosby is a bum
  4. djs

    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    I don't know about 92%. My experience is it has only been approximately 91.74% fail.

    Actually, fail is a harsh word. 91.74% seek other opportunities.

    Biggest problem I see is there is no system. Ironically, they listen to people who say "So they get stuck doing ineffective things like cold-calling, need analyses, showing prospects their pain, preparing proposals, persuading, and convincing", but don't understand the lesson that is learned from that statement.

    It's a little bit like 'Diets don't work', therefore the diet I'm going to sell you is the ony way to lose wait.

    Is a needs-analysis really a waste of time for sales? I assume not, but then, what do I know. Sorry, but I need to get back to wasting my time preparing a proposal for someone.

    The business is pretty simple, have a system, stick with it, but modify it as you learn more. Measure your results, know where your money goes. Talk with other agents, find out what works for them and what doesn't. See if the things that work for them will work for you (not everything will).

  5. Norwayguy

    Norwayguy Guru

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    Come on isn't this a thinly veiled attempt to get people to ask you about your High probability selling system....and after only 12 posts...imagine that...

    And I would say a lot of agents fail because they are not doing activities that put them in front of prospects....And most people treat this career as a job expecting people to flock to them to buy insurance....
  6. Mark

    Mark Guru

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    The problem is that new agents have no game plan. They just show up and want you to do everything for them.

    Example: Today I had an agent call me at a client’s house needing some help. The problem is that the agent waited until he got to the clients house, before he thought about learning the products or needing/doing a quote on anything. They guy didn't even know what a whole life was and he was out on an appointment and didn't have anything with him. He was just calling to see what he should sell to his client and what would the price be and if the client some how decided to use him, he needed some quotes.

    I think I hurt the guy’s feelings when I told him, that he would not last long in this business. I asked him is this a job or career to him? He said a job. That is the problem. This has to be a career and something you spend a lot of time on learning how to do what we do.

    You should never try to sell anything to someone that you know nothing about. 1st thing you do is learn your companies and your products. When you get a starter kit from your company, read every word of it. If you have questions, call the IMO, manager and ask questions until you learn everything about the product that you need to know.
    When you go out to an appointment have everything that will need. Be able to do quotes and have the applications with you. DON'T WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE AT A CLIENTS HOUSE BEFORE YOU DO YOUR WORK.

    Make sure you have a good message on your answering machine.

    Make sure you have some business cards.

    Own a suit and tie. Read as much as you can on everything having to do with insurance.

    Have a game plan. Don't just show up thinking this is easy and that someone is going to do all the work for you and pay you lots of money.

    I had another agent tell me that he just can't sell any insurance. So I ask him the following, how many prospects did you call this month? NONE. How many prospects did you ask do they need to buy insurance? NONE. How many mailers did you send out this month? NONE. How many leads did you buy. NONE. So my response was " How is that working for you". Duh!!!

    I told him it is like a garden. If you don't plant anything, nothing will come up.

    A big problem is that agent think that they don't have to ever prospect and can only buy leads forever. Prospecting is a big part of this business. So are referrals.

    The biggest thing is never give up. Don't be at home right now, not knowing what you are going to do for the rest of the week to sell some insurance. Have someone in your “prospecting book" that you are going to talk to about buying some insurance. If nothing else, go get the newspaper and go after people that just had a baby, or people that just lost someone they love. Newspapers are full of prospects. At least give out 10 business cards a day to someone. I don't care who. No one is ever going to know on your door wanting to buy insurance. You have to approach them. Cold calling sucks, but if you have nothing else to do, then call some business owners or someone. Doing something is better then doing nothing.

    There are a ton of resources out there for new agents and people willing to help you, if you are willing to do the work. No one is the world is going to make you a successful agent, if you are not willing to work.

    Sit down tonight and make a game plan.
    Example: Hmm. What if I placed plastic bags in people's driveways about insurance. Hmm it may or may not work, but I’m willing to try it.
    Example,I know there are a ton of business owners in the yellow pages, I think I will try to call some of them this week.
    Example, I'm going to spend some time on google looking for ways to sell more insurance or find list of prospects.
    Example, I will find someone to train and teach me this business.
    Come up with something. Write down everything that you can think of and you can then later mark off what you want to try.

    This is a career that you have to work you butt off doing. This is not for everyone. But for some of us, that learn the business, it is rewarding and we love it.

    Okay, I will shut up now before I write a book on this.
  7. moonlightandmargaritas

    moonlightandmargaritas Guru

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    An excellent, on-point post Mark. Very well done - bravo!
  8. Crabcake Johnny

    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    South Carolina
    Simple, their head's not in the game. Most became agents envisioning their phone ringing and writing deals.

    A lot don't even try:

    *using "[email protected] as their professional email
    *voice mail's not set up, box is full or no professional message
    *never answer their phone. After all, if it's important they'll leave a message
    *beaten down in life, just another thing that won't produce income so why try
  9. Newby

    Newby Guru

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    Excellent post!

    I've always felt like a lot of people get into sales because they don't want to work and they think we don't.
  10. xrac

    xrac Guru

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    Why is the failure rate so high? There are a lot of reasons but perhaps it has something to do with the barrier to entry being so low? Anyone or at least almost anyone can get some company appoint them to let them become an agent. I know a guy trying to sell AFLAC that I wouldn't hire to sell pencils. What does management care if he washes out. He may make 2-3 sales that they can hang on to and collect the renewals.

    Because there is no barrier to entry some that are unemployed say I will give it a try. That is all it is a try and there heart and committment aren't in it. When they find it is work and demanding guess what? They decide to do something else.

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