The best final expense agent will EMBRACE being a replacement artist. Don't listen to half-wit captive agencies working for "the company named after a President," force-feeding Kool-Aid down your throat. Discover how to improve the life insurance situation of your clients and become a final expense replacement specialist.
When a final expense agent gets called a "replacement artist," typically it is referenced as a slur. Most captive agencies trying to feed the Kool-aide to their sales force call us independent agents "replacement artists" in a negative fashion. They do this to brainwash them from going independent. These captive agencies don't want agents seeing that actively seeking to make replacements where appropriate is actually a good thing!
The reason for this article is that I had a comment pulled off of one of my videos called 'The Truth About the Final Expense Business.' It's my most popular YouTube videos for learning about the final expense industry. I think every final expense agent should invest time listening to the audio, as it gives important insight to how the final expense business REALLY works.
Unfortunately, captive agents like the one who commented on my YouTube video don't always agree. Before it was pulled, the comment said, "Replacement is such bullshit. 78 million baby booms-- it's enough business out there for all companies. Only replacement artists and people with no place to go worry about replacement, it's not enough."
Seeing this post, the first thing I thought was, "This sounds like one of these captive final expense agent companies." I commonly "call out" these captive final expense agent companies, commonly mentioning the most notorious of them, which is "the company that's named after an American president"
To my chagrin, in just two minutes of research, this crybaby commenter turns out to work for the company named after an American president. Needless to say I wasn't surprised!
Why wasn't I surprised? First of all, these captive final expense agent companies usually are "one trick ponies." They present to Mildred and present a life insurance product notoriously known as the most overpriced product on the market amongst agents. They use sales gimmicks to convince the prospect their product is different in order to attain the sale.
As an experienced final expense agent, if you only have one product to sell, you will eventually not
offer the best value-product to your client. This begs the question. If a final expense agent replaces an overpriced product with a better priced product, how could you rationally dispute her decision to better her life insurance situation?
The truth is the final expense agent that works at "the company named after a President" has to concoct some sales bull to pitch their garbage. And understandably they get upset. That's why they call us replacement artists! Because they are upset they are losing the sale.
There is a correct way to sell as a final expense agent. And while it does sucks to get replaced,
every final expense agent gets replaced eventually. It's part of this business.
The reason you MUST to be a final expense agent replacement artist is:
1) There are many final expense carriers, and the product mix shifts every 3-6 months. Back in 2013, 5-Star Life Insurance was the "cat's meow" - it was a perfect final expense product. Then the Home Office tightened up tremendously on underwriting and raised prices. As a final expense agent, if you were pigeonholed into that one product, your business would have most definitely been adversely affected.
You do NOT want to be caught in the middle of your only carrier increasing pricing, tightening underwriting, or short-changing you on its new commission structure. If you only have a hammer to screw something into the wall, well, you're screwed, aren't you? This is why being an independent final expense agent, having access to multiple carriers is how you get the job done most efficiently and the most effectively.
In the final expense business, when somebody force-feeds an inferior product on a prospect, in the form of unnecessarily high pricing or poor value of coverage - don't be shocked and made when the "replacement artist" comes in and replaces your policy.
There is always a final expense agent that will replace their own Grandma's coverage for something worse off, and so it can't be understated that everybody that replaces isn't necessarily ethical. But that DOESN'T mean everybody selling for captive organizations is ethical, either. Just because you're replacing doesn't mean you're a bad guy. If you go into it, though, and you do lead with the concept of wanting to get your client the best option for their bottom dollar, that is what the client will appreciate.
Why do they appreciate a final expense agent for replacing their coverage? Because all we deal with are people on a fixed income. Most of our final expense leads make as little as $700-$800, and as much as $1,100-$1,200 a month. If you can save them $10-$15 a month, or $150-$250 a year, OR if you can get your client $8,000 for the same price they got through the captive agent for $5,000 in coverage, I am doing something better than what the last guy did. There's nothing scandalous about that.
Everyone wants the best deal on what they are buying - life insurance, a printer, a computer, a house.
If we have our own self-interest in mind, we're prefer working with the company that will do that. That's why it's dangerous working for these captive companies as a final expense agent. You will be replaced when a half-decent agent comes behind you.
If Mildred has her car break down 6 months from now and that guy that walks in at the right time and she needs to save money, I guarantee you-- it doesn't matter how great of a final expense agent you are, 9 out of 10 times the new guy is going to replace you, especially if you took advantage of a situation where you sold a rip-off product.
I'm glad to be a final expense agent that values being a replacement artist. If you're an independent agent, you should be too. It's all about doing the right job for the customer. It's all about getting them the best value and the best price.
And remember it's not always about price that causes replacement. Many times policies are replaced due to giving immediate coverage where the captive company final expense agent could only provide a modified two-year waiting period policy.
When you see an obvious opportunity to improve the client's situation, what are I supposed to do? Not give this person a better deal like the commenter said? Or at least show them the other side of the coin? This is why any final expense agent manager that suggests replacement is for fools KNOW their company's inherent weakness. What they are doing is trying to pass the blame versus figuring out a strategy to improve.