Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Feb 23, 2008

  1. vinnyfio
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    vinnyfio New Member

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    After you get appointed with NMFN what is the training and the ongoing expenses (cubicle, E&O, ETC). I am already licensed 6/63 Life, Accident and Heath.

    I am in the interview process and I would appreciate any advise.

    Thanks
     
    vinnyfio, Feb 23, 2008
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  2. Dave020
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    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's been a few years since I was with NMFN (NML still in my mind) but as I recall it is as follows.

    Initial training two weeks all-day training class to cover all areas including prospecting, sales, products, etc.

    Ongoing training classes are often available from senior agents through the GA (I think now they call them Managing Partners).

    Essentials of Life, DI, Variable, Annuities books if they still have those courses were required to be completed during or after the two week training to gain familiarization with those areas and products.

    Joint work is encouraged--I recommend finding a veteran agent who is successful and who you like and do joint work with that agent. It will really speed up your learning curve, especially on the sales subtleties.*

    Usually MP (GA) pays certain expenses for you in the initial phase (free cubicle, free copies and so on). Check with your MP about what he/she pays for you and how long (6 months, 1 year).

    E&O is paid through your 120 account. The 120 Account (if they still call it that) is the account where your costs are accrued and when your commission comes in the GA/MP zeroes your 120 account then pays you the remainder. All of your expenses are billed to the 120 account.

    Most MPs likely still practice a couple of rules esp. for new agents...

    1 - weekly "client builder" meetings every Monday morning. If you slacked you will get beat up (not literally of course), if you had a good week you will be in good shape.

    2 - 9AM to 10AM is "Golden Hour" - this time is never to be used on anything but calling on the phone. Do not schedule anything else in this time.

    3 - monthly "client builder" meeting--longer version of the Monday morning meeting and usually involves all newer agents including those not housed in the GA/MPs office space (the ones you don't see very often).

    4 - 10/3/1 - you will hear this a lot: 10 calls gets 3 appointments gets 1 sale. You should be able to average one sale for every three appointments. Your goal is supposed to be 25 set appts per week (5 per day)

    *with a company like NMFN, you have the ability to sell to a very high-end market. That is where really knowing the sales process comes in (you need to learn this from successful veteran agents). Classic example, my old GA told me a story how when he was new with NML, he and the vet were meeting with a Senior VP at Merrill Lynch. Vet lays the whole life proposal on the VPs desk and says nothing. VP looks at it and says nothing. This goes on for about 5 minutes. No one is talking. Finally my GA (newbie) can't take the pressure anymore, looks at the Merrill VP and says "if you don't do this, you're f**ked". Needless to say, they lost the sale. Lesson learned, first one to talk loses.

    Those are important techniques that you are going to want to learn with NMFN. This company is ok for mom and pop, but really is well-designed for a very high end market. Be sure to set your target prospects (the market you want to work in) accordingly.

    Dave
     
    Dave020, Feb 24, 2008
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  3. vinnyfio
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    vinnyfio New Member

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    Thank you very much for your response, I appreciate the time and effort. You gave me alot of advise and it is very appreciated.

    Vinny
     
    vinnyfio, Feb 24, 2008
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  4. Dave020
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    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

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    One other thing, I would strongly suggest that you invest a few bucks in one book that will help you enormously in life insurance (and all sales):

    "How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling"
    by Frank Bettger

    Amazon.com: How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling: Frank Bettger: Books

    This book did more to help me succeed in the insurance business than any other book/program out there. I think it was written 70 years ago or so but is still very relevant. Again, I recommend reading it.
     
    Dave020, Feb 24, 2008
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  5. JRoot
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    JRoot Guru

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    Everything Dave said is still spot on. I left them 2 years ago.

    I'll add what Dave didn't touch on...

    In my agency a cubicle was $300 a month and an office was anywhere from $700-$1200 a month. Your first year, the cubicle is free.

    Access to the printer, fax and other supplies are taken out of your 120 account. We had a code to type into the office equipment for use. In my agency, they took the first 10% of your commissions until you built up your account to $2000 to cover any charge backs from lapses. They will give that back to you after a certain production period if it hadn't been used toward charge backs.

    Training was mostly sales training. Not much product training. You'll do a presentation at the end of training in front of your managers detailing how you're going to do your "pacesetter first 40". That's 40 lives in the first 6 months.

    If you can, ask about your agencies "orphan" program. These are policies that have no agent (all policeis from agents who leave the business become orphans). They assign these orphans to agents. Ask what you need to do to take part in that program. It will be good practice in the beginning and can lead to many sales and referrals.

    You will have a ton of support at NMFN.

    Good luck!!
     
    JRoot, Feb 24, 2008
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  6. James
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    James Guru

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    I like that last line, the first one to talk loses!

    My first experience at sales was with Olan Mills working their Chuch Directory line years ago, in fact shortly after I left the military in the mid 80's. The Golden Rule, sell high (easier to go down then up) once the close is offered shut up! First one to talk loses.

    Yet, that is one of the hardest things to hammer in someones head or even to practice! I remember times when I thought I was going to explode in the silence, some people can go for some time without talking, most sales people are just to eager to talk.
     
    James, Feb 24, 2008
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  7. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Great post. Car sales 101 is "give the offer and shut up - first person to talk loses." And it's true.

    The hardest thing for me to learn in the sale biz before I actually started to make a living is "you can't listen when you're talking." People WILL close themselves....if you listen.
     
  8. Dave020
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    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

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    It is such an important part of business and, I think, so overlooked. Let the client sell themselves, it's much easier than you selling them.

    "This is the HSA plan we've discussed, it's $240 a month for your family, you pay deductible first except preventative care, deductible is equal to your out of pocket, you can fund the account and do a one-time rollover to fund it this year, and you can use that account for other expenses like chiro, vision and dental."

    [now, shut up until they talk]

    If they ask a question, answer it and restate the benefit then shut up again.

    99% of the time after that bit of uncomfortable silence where your mind is screaming "talk about something" and you don't, you get something like "ok, what do we need to do to get this going?"

    One thing NML related...go the the annual meeting in Milwaukee! It is a freaking blast!!!!!!! Lots of parties, events and generally a really good time.
     
    Dave020, Feb 24, 2008
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  9. hamben
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    hamben Super Genius

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    What a load of BS.


    If you are having to use that outdates closing BS on people then you are not doing what is in their best interest. Permanente life has it usefulness but not the way it is crammed down poor unsuspecting clients throats. Sometimes term is what the client needs.

    Hamben
     
    hamben, Feb 26, 2008
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  10. Dave020
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    Dave020 Super Moderator Moderator

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    The example I used dealt with business life insurance planning, not personal planning. Obviously you haven't been with NML, for if you had you'd know that by and large their experienced agents sell appropriate products to appropriate markets (there are exceptions,but those are usually rookie agents). I wrote a lot of term while with NML. Not to businesses usually. Most growing businesses are looking at advanced concept programs and funded exit strategies. Deferred comp, funded buy/sell, SERP, 419 plans and so on--term don't work with those programs. And I won't even get into estate planning.

    And, the "outdated" techniques still apply when you are sitting across the desk from some CFO/COO making a major purchasing decision. I would not consider someone of that status as a "poor, unsuspecting client".

    I have always found the concept that whole life insurance is inappropriate interesting considering all of the companies in the Fortune 500 have whole life insurance (or variable) listed in their annual reports.

    I've showed prospects side by side term and whole and business owners, once they look at it, have usually taken the term and thrown that proposal away. I have had more than one say to me (insisting on term going into the presentation) "who'd want to buy that crap?"

    Also, policies can be very creative and really benefit others besides business owners/execs. Did you know that you can (at NML) use a minimum mix ACL contract ($1,000 perm/$499,000 term) to get a $500k policy that is competitive with term rates. Difference is, the mix ratio will increase as the dividend pays on the whole life base in the mix and increase under the corridor effect. Works great for handling final expense needs down the road. Client dumps the term portion and takes a paid up whole portion say $25,000 (PAID UP just so I said it again) which has grown from that $1000 initial base. And, since the PAID UP whole portion is still earning a dividend, it continues to grow.
     
    Dave020, Feb 26, 2008
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