Question on Training

Discussion in 'General Insurance Agent Discussions' started by wolfe42, Apr 30, 2015.

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  1. wolfe42
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    wolfe42 Expert

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    Hello

    My goal is to become a independent agent here in a few months and had a question concerning training. I have spoke to a couple of local agents, and they suggested that I go with a captive agency first, to take advantage of the training offered.

    What kind of training does an agency cover, and is it really necessary?

    Thanks
    Wolfe42
     
  2. DHK
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    I've been meaning to amend my "Getting Started in Life Insurance" post with my own ideas on starting with an agency.

    Here's the problem: agency training from life agencies is horribly inconsistent or nonexistant.

    By reputation alone, I think NYL probably has the most regimented training program out there. Otherwise, it's all about your local agency and management.

    There is an alternative... one that I've been talking about for a while: the Insurance Pro Shop.

    For a small investment ($25/month and higher) you can get the tools, strategies, techniques... everything you need to be successful.

    Think about it this way: The Insurance Pro Shop is the training and "mentor" you need and you never have to split a case with them - ever!

    I would start here with their "Members Only" site for $25/month and watch the Trusted Advisor Success Training videos - especially on 5-minute presentations: IPS Insurance Marketing and Sales Resource Center

    Then I would obtain one of their systems:
    - Mortgage Insurance Tool Kit for newer agents who are developing their book and need a "door opener".

    - Found Money Management for more experienced producers who already have a developing book of business.

    - Advanced Fact-Finding Training or the member's only site will COMPLETE your package because without the fact-finding training, you'll only have HALF of a system.


    This method is FAR cheaper than splitting cases with more seasoned advisors in your office, and you'll have the foundational skills you need to develop your own methods and style.

    Once you have a resource for your training and methods on a regular basis, you won't need a local agency... unless you have other reasons to stay there.
     
  3. Agentguy5
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    As far as i'm concerned, the benefits with going to a captive LOCAL agency are HUGE, as long as they actually do daily training. When I first was recruited into the insurance business, it was mandatory to go to the office 5 days a week, work on the phones every day, and spend time in training with my manager, the other trainees, and the group as a whole. This atmosphere forced me to learn, learn, learn!

    If you can't get that, then I would recommend finding someone who has a sophisticated training system in place, like me. lol Unfortunately, my Niche market is Final Expense and unless you're ok with sitting in filthy homes, and dealing with people that are barely able to keep food on the table, then FE is not for you.

    I do like my six figure income though! :biggrin:
     
  4. Indiana_Adam
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    DHK, do you know or feel P&C guys would benefit from the Insurance Pro Shop training? It seems more geared toward Life, but didn't know if any P&C guys were finding the training to be of any value.
     
  5. DHK
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    P&C guys that want to do a better job of cross-selling life and annuities have benefited greatly from the systems and training. And I'm reasonably sure that EVERY captive P&C agent has to cross-sell a certain amount of life insurance. Independent P&C, obviously it depends on their personal business model.

    Jon Stewart's testimonial comes to mind:
    Insurance Pro Shop Success Stories, Testimonials & Reviews... Page 1

    His story was that he was nearly bankrupt when he went to the training. After his success he sold his agency and bought 3 more!

    But if you're asking if Lew and Jeremy can help you to sell more P&C policies... I'm not sure on that. My guess would be no... but they are very good in general marketing. It wouldn't hurt to give them a call and ask.
     
  6. wolfe42
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    Hello,

    Thanks for your responses....Can you tell me what kind of training is provided with most captive agencies when starting out? Marketing? Sales Presentations, ETC

    Thanks

    Wolfe42
     
  7. DHK
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    Let's see if I remember...

    - I got a small packet of scripts. One that said "Let's get together for 15 minutes so I can show you the kind of work I do"... but no mention of how to do that in 15 minutes.

    - We had a Monday morning "product training" class about what you can do with their insurance products... but no training on why and when you would want to design a product in a particular way.

    - We had a "sales training class" every Wednesday morning with outdated and methods of manipulation, such as "If what you knew to be true about money wasn't... when would you want to know?" Or "You know how most people's financial lives are like the junk drawer in the kitchen? Purchased by convenience, with little thought on how everything integrates together? Well what we do is organize, integrate, and coordinate your entire financial plan." (Sounds good, right? But you sound like a financial organizer rather than an advisor or even a life insurance agent. Also... what are the results of that kind of planning? Just because everything is "organized" doesn't mean you're better off. At least, that's what I would think if I were a prospective client.)

    Many agencies seem to rely on expensive 3rd party training firms, such as LEAP or MoneyTrax's Circle of Wealth.

    Most agencies will reimburse you for taking and completing LUTCF courses - which include some sales, marketing, and prospecting training.

    Agencies may offer a "prospecting campaign"... but make sure you ask how much it'll cost you.

    Mine had an expensive ($100) "marketing assessment" done to tell me which market I should pursue (instead of focusing on the market I have available to me). Here's a secret: There are only 3 markets: personal/family, retirees, and business owners. Everything else is a subsection of those 3 markets, such as ethnicity or profession.

    Of course, don't forget the "Project 200".
     
  8. 1963
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    1963 Super Genius

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    Hi Wolfe, you ask excellent questions! I started seventeen years ago with Liberty National. As a captive, my training consisted mainly of learning successful sales techniques, classroom training about the various life products offered, field work with a sales manager, prospecting, overcoming objections, closing the sale, and getting referrals. Marketing was handled by the home office, so the only marketing I did directly was purchasing personalized calendars that I distributed in prime areas with lots of folk that had brand-loyalty to Lib-Nat. However, veteran agents took a liking to me and graciously shared some of their wisdom with me. They showed me how you use techniques that garner more sales in certain situations. For example, Lib-Nat sells lots of small face value products. they are sold in bands of $50k, and there is an overlap. While $50,000 of coverage may cost $50.00, adding one dollar to the face value would reduce the cost of coverage to $35.00-40.00, only difference being having to take a paramed exam for the extra dollar. These are some of the positives working for a captive; they have served me well thus far.

    ----------

    Sorry, I forgot the negatives; they DO exist! At Lib-Nat, you get a book of business from the start. Theirs was a Project 100. The objective was to get field training in obtaining add-on sales. By the time you had seen 100 prospects, their formula said you should have had at least 40 interviews, and that should result in at least 10 sales. For lots of new agents, I have seen sales managers jump in and complete the agent's sales. While the sales manager is closer to meeting his sales quota, the agent has not learned the lesson that needed to be taught. Lots of new agents could not survive because a sales manager sacrificed a teaching opportunity for a sale that taught the agent nothing. Agents are expected to be on their own within six weeks. Some are ready, some are not, and some just need more relevant training. You can learn a script; it doesn't necessarily mean you can break the ice, find the facts, offer a solution, and close the deal!
     
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