I want to talk about something that I feel is fairly important to consider, especially more in the long run of being in the final expense life insurance business, and that is this - what are you paying for as an agent?
Now this post isn't about final expense leads or expenses, this really has to do with your commission level. Now I will say and be totally honest with you that in this business, it's not about what you make - it's about what you keep. Meaning it's not all about getting the highest commission level, but it's instead about having the resources available to maximize your income.
For example, having a solid final expense direct mail or telemarketing lead program, final expense training that actually works and is helpful that measurably improves your earning capability, and closing ratio, are all examples of how one can keep more of what they make selling final expense.
However, in the long run, as you become developed as a final expense agent, that's when this is the kind of video that you need to listen to. When you are an asset to any agency and you're wondering, "Well how do I make sure that I'm getting the best value out of my agency that I'm involved with?"
I want to be totally blunt here. As a burial insurance agent, are you concerned about having fifteen people above you in an office that they pay at least for two or three executives, business coaches, employees, assistants, so on and so forth? Now let me ask you this: don't you think that a portion of your commission is going towards paying those people? And more importantly, do you need these people to operate successfully in this business?
I would wager that if you are productive and you're doing ten to fifteen-thousand a month plus, the last thing that you need is to be really just investing your commissions involuntarily into a group that doesn't give you exchange in value. And so what I mean is this: a lot of final expense agents do well in these organizations that provide these extra layers of value, or at least perceived value. And in many times, it is valuable, especially in the beginning. You know, you've got resources, you've got people to talk to, to pick the phone up, you know, you're just kind of clueless getting started that you get all the help you can and that's a good thing.
But what happens as you develop and your skill develops, if you become more developed, the more money you leave on the table as a final expense agent and so it becomes imperative that if you don't need the training or if you don't need the final expense lead program or the offers or the coaches or the layers of fat, you need to do best by your family and contract to get you the best and the highest commissions that you can for your skill level.
Again, I'm speaking to these guys that are part of these large organizations that are productive, that know what they're doing, that have a grasp on the final expense business-- you are leaving money on the table if you're not shopping around to try and find a better deal. It is not that hard to find an agency that will point you in the right direction for the same thing you've got right now that you may have to coordinate yourself and may have to spend a little more out of pocket, but ultimately your bottom line will be much, much improved because now you're a totally independent agent and really operate more functionally as a business, versus as a sales person.
So let me give you a little example-- when I started in the business, I did the exact same thing. I worked for a extremely large organization, had a fixed price final expense lead program, I was on a pretty low contract level. I worked with them for about six or seven months, I was doing good-- I wasn't doing great, I wasn't doing bad, but it was obvious that I was paying two people above me, I wasn't getting the support, but most importantly my mailer lead program was starting to become inferior-- I just wasn't getting the results out of the lead program. Final expense leads are everything in the final expense business and so it was obvious that I had to start looking for other opportunities so I moved my production over to another marketing organization.
I got a commission-bump based on my experience. I got a better price on fixed price direct mail leads and I didn't need the support which I never requested, so I stayed there probably for about eighteen months. No problems, it worked fine. And then I realized that, ultimately, I now had several years of experience, I had production history and it was time for me to go totally independent and start carrying as many carriers as I could so that every time I was in a home, I was able to sell a policy-- make the most money, but also do something with every final expense mailer lead because I had, basically, every conceivable, effective final expense carrier.
I went totally independent, started buying my own final expense direct mail leads, and then moved my commission levels up after that and then did that again slightly the following year after I had more production history.
The point is is that when it comes to this business, you are paid what you are worth and truthfully, what you're worth is what you establish yourself as being worth. It's not all about the top-end commission level, but it is more so for the guy that is self-motivated, confident, and most importantly, very experienced in the final expense business, and just doesn't need the same layers of value or fat, if that's what it becomes, to bring down their comp level because the agency has to hit that fixed cost every month to make sure that those bills are paid.
And if you don't use that, you're wasting-- you're not putting money on your table where it should belong. So again ask yourself, when you get involved, the most important thing, in my opinion, is training; you need the sales training, you need the carrier training, you need the final expense lead-generation training, you need the whole system. You need to plug in the system that actually is duplicatable and works and is time-tested with a back-up of experience.
But what you don't want to stay there and continue to pay for the layers of fat if it doesn't provide ample value or it provides more value than what you give up in commission levels.