A well-oiled insurance agent machine
By Larry Klein
In a simple manufacturing business, there is a machine that is at the heart of the business. If that machine stops running or runs erratically or improperly, it could threaten or even bankrupt the business. So the business owner does everything to keep the machine in top condition and meticulously investigates any cause that may prevent the machine from running at 100 percent.
In your business, you are the machine. "Yes," you say, "That's obvious." But I assert that you do not act accordingly. I assert that you commit most of your time to issues other than the machine, such as gaining clients, hunting for products that will win over prospects, attending product presentations, reading the Wall Street Journal, etc. You do all of these activities while the machine gets increasingly out of alignment and further from operating at 100 percent. True?
The sad part is you believe that the machine is in top-working condition. But it is not. Here are a few examples.
There is an 82 percent chance that you have never taken any formal sales training. By formal, I mean a sales training that spans at least 10 weeks where you have homework and learn skills that build on each other. The training you get from an insurance company is product training, not sales training.
You may think that after 20 years, you really know how to sell. That is not accurate. You likely have one year of learning that you have repeated 20 times. The best thing you can do is enroll yourself in formal sales training and realize that sales has nothing to do with persuading (hint: It's about enrolling).
I recently read an article that focused on copywriting. Most agents have never read even one book on writing copy and yet wonder why the response to their direct mail is so low or the attendance at their seminar is so poor. Writing copy, the ability to use the written word to motivate action, is fundamental for any marketer. If you cannot motivate action with the written word or the spoken word (sales), you likely have a machine that is in desperate need of repair.
Then, of course we have all the other aspects of caring for the machine:
- Do you feed it healthy food?
- Do you exercise it regularly?
- Do you allocate time to have it work on the business and not just in the business?
- Do you allocate time for spiritual pursuit or meditation?