What sales figures from LIMRA tell us about the state of the industry

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop

"Steepest Six-Month Drop in Individual Life Insurance Sales In Almost 70 Years..."

The above headline is taken directly from a recent 2009 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Report from LIMRA. This timely LIMRA report clearly shows that in the past year, because of the overall U.S. economy, there has been a dramatic decrease in life insurance sales for our industry as a whole. Couple that information with the fact that there has been a 49-year decline in household ownership of individual life insurance coverage, and you can begin to see why so many agents, advisors and planners are constantly struggling to make enough money just to pay their bills. And, why so many of them are giving up and leaving this great profession.

*Note: In a 2004 LIMRA survey, only 50 percent of the households surveyed owned some individual life insurance, the same as in the survey in 1998, but that is far less than the 72 percent recorded in 1960. That is a whopping 44 percent fewer households that owned individual life insurance in 2004, versus 1960.

However, if you get back to the real marketing and sales basics, you don't have to struggle with selling life insurance. And, you learn how to consistently attract and be in front of the right prospects -- help those prospects to identify and establish their financial priorities, and then help them to find the money to fund those priorities.

Here is what John Stewart, a 16-year veteran of the insurance industry, wrote in an e-mail to me on 9/16/09.
    "Hey guys, Just a note to tell you that my sales are up! I now have 10 life sales in the hopper (underwriting). I have one more sale to do this week, as well as two more first appointments. I'm looking forward to getting paid on some of these! Yesterday, I had a first time appointment with a couple that wanted a small term life sale. They have already committed to a $287 month UL now, and another one in six months! If you can't tell, I'm pumped!
    Thanks again for all your help. John Stewart
    P.S. ...go get em!"
Here is another recent success story from a financial advisor who has gotten back to the basics during this past summer:
    "Lew, we have put together our two most successful months in a row! I took your advice and focused solely on the things that would bring revenue into my business and cut all of the things that were distracting me from that core focus. For me, that effort is primarily speaking to groups of people. We have put together back to back $30k months (commissions) and are speaking two to four audiences per month. The beautiful thing is the more people we help, the more referrals and momentum we build. I'm on track to finish the year two months ahead of my personal goals."
    Beau Henderson, RFC - GA, Sept. 2009
While there is no question consumers across the U.S. are on a tighter budget, life insurance still remains the foundation of most financial plans. Without adequate life insurance, an unexpected death can create a financial disaster for the average household. Life insurance is still the only effective way to provide the financial safety net all families need to get from point A to point B.

It's up to you. You can continue to believe and follow the typical, misleading and outdated "quick fix" marketing and sales hype that have resulted in a 49-year decline in individual life insurance ownership, or you can get back to the real basics and become a full time student of marketing and sales.

Get the tools and training you need to truly make a positive difference in people's lives, instead of just making a sale and you can turn your life insurance sales around starting right now.

*For further information, or to contact this author, please leave a comment and your e-mail address in the forum below.