To sell more life insurance, stop following the herd

By Lew Nason

Insurance Pro Shop


From the time we’re old enough to walk, we're told to work hard, think for ourselves and above all else, never succumb to peer pressure.

Yet, as we grow older and less confident in ourselves and our abilities, we find it's easier to simply follow along with what everyone else is doing — a phenomenon known as the “herd mentality.”

This herd mentality is obvious when it comes to the fashionable clothes we wear, the expensive cars we drive, the number of credit cards we use, the large homes we buy, and where and how we invest our money. Like clueless cows led to the slaughter, we simply follow what everyone else is doing. The result is that all of a sudden, we wake up one day to discover that we're in debt and broke.

The same phenomenon is also apparent in how we are building our life insurance sales practice. We are simply following what everyone else is doing — calling on our friends and family, cold calling businesses, running ads in the newspaper, using direct mail, purchasing leads, or learning the latest, hot new product or sales concept.

If these prospecting and sales ideas actually worked for most people, then why are 90 percent of today's agents, advisors and planners struggling year in and year out to make a mediocre living selling life insurance?

If you’re tired of struggling like the rest of the herd, then you must stop following the herd. You’re a unique individual. You have your own personal strengths and weaknesses. And, yes, I know it's scary to break away from the crowd and follow your own path. However, there are insider secrets and a few shortcuts that will help you create the life and sales career you want.

Instead of trying to learn how to “change your life in a day,” the most powerful and effective way to achieve ongoing, truly personal success is by:

• defining what you want for yourself
• determining what it will take to get there
• accessing the most effective resources
• harnessing the power of your thoughts to direct your actions and outcomes
• shortening your learning curve in developing the skills, habits, and beliefs required to become the person you dream of becoming

You need tools and education, and you need practical information and advice from those who have gone before you, blazing their trail of success. As the saying goes, success leaves clues.

However, there are so many sources of conflicting advice, it is difficult to know who to listen to. Each new piece of advice can be as convincing as the one that came before it. What should you do? How do you choose who to listen to?

Do you take the word of...

• the most influential?
• the most popular?
• the most convincing?
• the loudest?
• the most confident?
• someone you perceive to be the safest?

As coaches who give advice to agents, advisors and planners every day, we are as guilty as anyone out there who tries to offer opinions of what you “should” do.

The fact is, at worst, people do not have any idea what will work for you, and at best, they can only rely on their own experience. Certainly, we can give you the benefit of what we have learned through 28 years of experience working with some of the very best life insurance producers and trainers in this industry. But, you still have to work out what will work for you.

We are learning new things every day. Some of these things still take us by surprise. We believe you can learn something of value from every person you meet. Your job is not to blindly accept what you are told, but to gather it, sort it, study it and then apply it in your own unique way.

Work out the approaches that suit you best, that fit what you are trying to achieve and how you are trying to do it. Which ideas resonate with you and excite you? Separate out those ideas that leave you cold.

Your journey to success (or failure) is yours and yours alone. But, you can learn about possible potholes and obstacles to avoid from the people who have traveled a path similar to the one you are following.