YES! Selling final expense insurance CAN be a lucrative and rewarding career. However, choosing the WRONG final expense agency can be hazardous to your financial and personal well-being. Discover how to find the best final expense agency to sell for, and learn the common pitfalls many new final expense agents find themselves in.
Greetings! My name is David Duford. I am the the owner of Final Expense Agent Mentor, specializing in training aspiring agents and people like yourself into successfully selling final expense insurance.
Most likely you're here because you read a Craigslist job posting of mine that listed this free message. And at this point in your search for a final expense agency to call home, you've seen dozens of final expense career options on a variety of job boards.
Maybe you've already talked to agency managers about opportunities for selling final expense insurance, or received information about different final expense programs.
You might already be a final expense producer looking for a better agency to work with. You may be a life insurance producer from another market. Or you might be looking to get licensed as a life insurance agent, and you're attracted to the part-time income that you can make from a career in selling final expense insurance.
If you're like I was when I first started in this business, you have a base level of skepticism on which final expense career route is the best to follow. Heaven knows there are a ton of options! And many you review will sound good. But it becomes a little difficult to choose which is the best final expense job route.
The purpose of this recording is to identify the questions all people interested in selling final expense insurance need to know the answers to. Most importantly, the purpose of this recording is to make you aware of the long-term consequences you will experience if you select the wrong final expense agency to partner with, with an added effort to help you find the best final expense sales opportunity best suited for your personal goals.
While I am an agency owner and trainer, as a producing agent, I can candidly relate with these potential long-term consequences. I made the same mistakes mentioned in this recording. I learned through trial and error. I've been at the top, AND at the bottom of the final expense business.
As an agent selling final expense insurance, I average around $5,000 in new business weekly. I work four days a week, and enjoy the benefits of being a final expense agent. As an independent final expense agent, I have many more opportunities and freedom to run my business the way I please that I never would have had, hadn't I experienced going through the thick of it.
That's the reason I'm recording this important educational audio on the truth about selling final expense insurance. Once you finish, you'll understand how the final expense business really works. And you'll understand which career direction to take, and which career direction to avoid.
The ultimate goal is this. I want to empower you to make an informed decision on which final expense agency to partner with, based on what's best for YOUR family, and not for the agency recruiting you.
Before covering the six fundamental questions to ask before joining an agency selling final expense insurance, I want to lay some groundwork on the fundamentals.
A top-gun agent once said, "Final expense is a simple business, but it ain't easy." Selling final expense insurance can give you a great opportunity to succeed very well financially. I've known agents making between $200,000 to $300,000 a year. And they only work four or five days a week in the field. Plus every agent builds renewal income streams on existing business.
So how do you succeed in selling final expense insurance? First, you MUST get out and sell! Let me be clear: a final expense career is a career in sales. You are not a grocery clerk. You MUST "see these people," meaning you've got to go talk to them. You've got to get to know them. And you've got to show them why your final expense solution is better than the rest. Then you have to ask for their business.
All of this activity is a daily, on-going process you will do for the rest of your career.
Selling final expense insurance is not about "elephant hunting." In many life insurance lines, there are opportunities to score five and six-figure deals. That doesn't happen in the final expense business. You're target market is fixed-income seniors on small $35 to $55 per month average premium policies. Selling final expense is "in-the-trenches" constant work, constantly selling, constantly closing, and about knowing the the true numbers behind successfully learning how to sell final expense.
That's why I say you must commit to seeing the people. A successful career in final expense requires you to constantly write business on new people, which is why it's important to be completely committed to this business.
What's equally important to selling final expense insurance successfully is to have the right "tools" available to you. Not only must you have the passion to win, you must also have the best final expense carrier selection.
Additionally as important, you need to partner with the best final expense agency in the very beginning, as it's fundamental to develop skills as a final expense sales person.
You have to have the best final expense training. Final expense training needs to be focused. Final expense training needs to be comprehensive. You need both to succeed in this business.
Luckily, I had access to good training when I first started selling final expense insurance. In some ways the training could have been better as I wouldn't have made a few costly mistakes early on. But having the right final expense sales training in the beginning and partnering with someone to guide and show you how to succeed is paramount to success.
With that said, I would be lying if I said good final expense training guarantees your success in this business. Remember, while selling final expense insurance is simple, it definitely isn't easy! Any marketer or organization saying you're guaranteed to make money is full of bullshit. Beyond your commitment and willpower to succeed, you need proper coaching and mentoring. You also need correct product selection.
With major shifts in other insurance niches such as healthcare and the mortgage protection market, otherwise successful agents have been forced to seek out new products to sell. Many choose selling final expense insurance. Last year we saw a 20% increase in the sale of final expense products as an industry. The conclusion is that there are both more people buying final expense insurance, AND more agents selling it. This means you must be prepared with the best final expense carrier selection to sell the most insurance (and keep your insurance products on the books longer).
All of the above is why if you don't have the right final expense prospecting, sales training, and carrier selection system, you're going to lose out to other agents and not make nearly as much money as you otherwise would.
There are many final expense agents that are more tenured, more skilled, and more flexible than an agent married to one company, who isn't independent. You'll find that your business as a "captive" agent will get replaced, you advanced commissions will be required to be sent back, you'll be in debt. That's when you really suffer in this business.
With that said, let's jump in with the six things you need to know to selling final expense insurance successfully.
First Truism: Avoid Agencies Focusing FIRST On Recruiting, And Second On Selling Final Expense Insurance Successfully.
Most final expense agencies and recruiters are going to sell you what I call "blue sky." They're going to tell you, "Hey listen dude, the sky's the limit in this organization. There's nothing in your way. All you do is you buy leads, you just see the people, and then poof-- instantly you're making $100,000-- $200,000-- even more, maybe even on a part-time basis. It's so easy, everybody's doing it."
Now if you hear this stuff, be wary. More likely than not, you're hearing a marketing pitch to get you in the door versus having an honest conversation that you MUST work hard in this business to succeed. That you have to dedicate yourself to this business.
So how do you find out which final expense agency is the best to partner with? First, talk to successful final expense PRODUCERS, not successful final expense agency marketers. As quickly as possible, you need to figure out whether or not this marketer has sold final expense at one point in his career. You also need to figure out if he's a guy that came on board to be the next multi-level marketing recruiter?
We've all seen those people. The ones that pitch their vitamins, coffee, and that kind of stuff. And selling final expense insurance is no stranger to the same type of set-up. In fact, it predominates most of the new agent recruiting opportunities.
The takeaway point with recruiters is this: he's focused on producing AGENTS, not producing final expense business. His goal is to do whatever it takes to sell you on the opportunity. Does he have your best interest in mind? I doubt it.
Always get references from other agents that the marketer or the agency has dealt with. You want to be able to sniff out the bad apples from the beginning. I can see from a mile away when I read these job postings on Craig's List and other job boards who's who and what's what.
You want to know how this agency is going to develop you as a final expense agent from the very beginning. Do they have comprehensive final expense training? What are you going to do more than just send me a couple of audio recordings to help me be successful? Are you going to take me on field rides? Do you have a delineated schedule of final expense training? Of ways to improve? Of how to get better? What are you going to do to make me successful? Do they have proof in the pudding that makes them successful?
You really want to see how these people will treat you as an agent. Asking these series of questions helps identify whether or not these are serious people to work with. Any organization you go with, whether you work with me or somebody else, will take a cut of every deal that you make. That's the nature of selling final expense insurance. You want your final expense upline (is what we call them) to EARN that cut. That's why getting a pitch to join the organization without any indication the agency is committing to EARNING your production over the long run has severe, long-term consequences.
If you get the blue sky pitch, you're missing out on fundamental final expense training, like when somebody sits down with you in person, has one-on-one consults with you and takes you on ride-alongs to learn the final expense business. You just won't get the same level of learning about selling final expense insurance. Not having access to that will have a negative effect on your development as a final expense agent.
Second Truism: Poor Final Expense Carrier Selection Leads To Poor Results Selling Final Expense Insurance
I hinted on this in the beginning. This business is totally unlike most life insurance sales opportunities. Most agents from traditional life markets can successfully sell for one company. They can make a lot of money selling one company's products every year, and have loyal clientele that really aren't privy to being replaced based on price. And still, this is true to some extent in final expense sales. You have to sell yourself. You've got to be likable and trustable. And you have some authority to help your clients buy from you.
However, what you really need in selling final expense insurance the best way is product selection flexibility in order to sell the right product at the best price every time. The reason this business is so competitive is there is both a lot of agents, and a variety of prospects with different health conditions.
Each final expense carrier has different underwriting requirements for each health condition. You can't do a one-stop-shop selection for everybody, force-feeding the same higher-priced, poorer-coverage product on everybody you see. Because if you do, you get final expense agents like me that will come behind and replace your deal.
Most people you'll present to are getting solicitations over the phone, in person, and maybe some send direct mail back. Rest assured that multiple agents will call on them. That's why it's vital to make sure the insurance policy sold sticks. Because if the policy lapses, you will owe your commission back. Too many "charge backs" as they are called can ruin your final expense career in a heart beat.
What will happen? You'll end up in debt. Worst-case you'll have negative marks against your credit.
Delving more into this issue, there is one particular company severely guilty of this. They're huge. They recruit heavily. And quite honestly they're probably the largest final expense sales organization. Now, while I won't use their name, but here is a hint. The final expense carrier's name is based off of one of our Presidents' last name. This company offers only one insurance product to sell. They'll sell you the moon. And they'll tell you, "This one product fits every situation."
Now here's the truth. When an agent selling final expense insurance like me conducts a sales call with a person who has this particular carrier as their current insurer, it's an almost guaranteed sale. It's free money! It's lying there, waiting to be picked up! And 9 out of 10 times, because this company's insurance product is so extremely overpriced, we replace them.
The agent that selling the insurance product named after a President loses part of his commission. We effectively put him out of business.
And while the company named after an American president will tell you its prices are fair, experienced and independent agents know this company has highest premiums in the business for final expense. Even beginning agents with little no skill can easily replace this company's coverage. You as a final expense agent with this company named after an American president, are going to be out of money. You're going to owe it back. And you're in a viscous cycle known as "charge-back hell."
What's the solution to this? My recommendation is to NEVER sign up with a final expense agency that ONLY offers one particular company. It simply fails to work in the final expense business. I've seen it tried and tried again. You NEED to have access to multiple carriers. And that means you MUST to be an independent final expense agent.
At any time, I have between ten to fifteen carriers I work with. Around 90% of the time, I write with only three to five of those final expense carriers. Your prospect's varying health issues require multiple carrier options. Different carriers have different underwriting requirements for prescription drug usage and health issues. You need to have the know-how and the flexibility to match the BEST carrier with the prospect's health. This is what gives you the best price and coverage advantages, DRASTICALLY reducing the risk of being replaced.
I cannot express how important this is to your longevity in this career. And as much as I'd like to have more people selling final expense insurance with this particular company in my area to fuel my replacement sales, I have passion and empathy for the new final expense agent like yourself.
Do yourself a favor. Don't get involved with selling final expense life insurance with this company. Look for an independent agency with multiple carriers. This will give you the best chance to keep yourself in business, sell more final expense insurance, and keep the business on the books you sell.
Third Truism: Watch Out For Low Final Expense Commissions And Low Commission Ceilings
I began in a situation like this. Most new final expense agents do not understand that many agencies are sold on recruiting others. In insurance sales lingo we call that a "down line." If you think of multi-level marketing sales, new reps are sold not only on selling the product, but also recruiting their entire social circle. This process continues on until you are recruited, and the further on down you are in the pyramid, the less money you can hope to make. And many times, this is exactly what happens to the unsuspecting life insurance agent.
How do you know if you are getting a bad deal? If you're final expense commissions below 70% AND you are expected to pay full price for your leads, you're getting ripped off horribly.
Starting "first-year commission" without any sort of final expense sales training or support is between 105 and 115%. Anything in that range is pretty good. But understand in many cases you are NOT going to get any high-level mentoring, training, and marketing access to help develop you as an agent selling final expense insurance.
However, If you receive both subsidized final expense leads and final expense training, 80% to 90% first-year commission is a pretty good deal.
Personally, if I were selecting an agency that provides training and select lead programs, I would never go with anything below 80%. I just think it's a bad deal. I=f you're not maximizing your final expense commissions, taking into the account the people that cancel their policies, and things that happen with the low first-year commission rate, you will endlessly struggle.
And ones with low starting commissions have low max commission ceilings in many cases. For example, you may do well and are rewarded with a move from 70% to 80% commission. However, if this is the maxed-out commission you can receive, you'll be leaving a tremendous amount of commission on the table when you shouldn't have to. This tip alone will earn you you tens of thousands of dollars extra in commissions when selling final expense insurance.
Fourth Truism: Selling Final Expense Insurance Successfully Requires LEADS!
The final expense business is predominantly prospected via final expense direct mail. Some agents use final expense telemarketed leads, a few still do cold calling in person or over the phone. With that said , 90% of selling final expense insurance is prospected through direct mail leads.
However, there is a dirty side to sourcing final expense leads. I've been a part of final expense sales organizations where my direct mail leads were unknowingly double-dealing them behind my back. It wasn't until I kept running into the same agent, and all the prospects saying they sent in ONE card did it dawn on my I was getting screwed!
When I did was effectively put a middleman in the way of my leads. And middle men are historically known to raise your costs. And when you end up in a bad situation with zero control over your final expense leads, you're in trouble.
In many cases, the "freshness" factor of the leads reduces because they sit in inventory for weeks, even months. Sometimes there is zero proof whether or not the leads new, weeks, months, or even years old. And what happens with many agents new to selling final expense insurance is this: upon getting the leads and prospecting them, you discover they're not really all that interested. Sometimes they're even dead! And they're definitely NOT a fresh lead. Thus, the process becomes more like cold calling versus presenting to interested prospects.
How do you find out if you're getting double-dealed? It's hard to say for sure. First, you want the company to tell you in writing that you'll receive fresh final expense leads. And you want to do business with a lead house that is not tied directly in with your agency.
Partnering with a third-part lead house vendor gives you options. You tell them where to drop mail, what income demographics to set up. Your lead turn-around is faster, meaning you sell and see people quicker. And just as important, the leads are fresher, meaning you'll make more sales selling final expense insurance.
While buying final expense direct mail leads is the most expensive route, it's the most effective route. Yes, the price IS higher. But the long-term benefits are demonstrably better when buying your own final expense mailers and utilizing a third-party lead vendor. Don't get duped by people pushing final expense leads with no record of legitimacy.
Fifth Truism: When Selling Final Expense Insurance, ONLY Work With Agencies Who Will Honor A "Release!"
What exactly is a "release?" When you contract with a final expense agency, you are contracted through the agency to the insurance carriers. However, unbeknownst to you, when you sign the producer agreement, you've effectively agreed to stay contracted with the carriers through that agency. And the only way to move your contracts to a different agency is through either getting a release, or NOT selling final expense insurance with that carrier for six months.
The reason behind this is that to understand how life insurance works. When you make a sale, you are loaned nine months of premiums multiplied by your commission rate. If the policy is worth $1,000 over payments of a year's time and you are paid a 100% first year commission, you get $750.
However, KEEPING this advanced commission is contingent of keeping the policy on the books. Every month a premium is collected, you "earn" the commissionable amount of that payment. However, if the policy lapses in the first week, you owe that $750 back. You don't keep it because the company gave you a loan contingent upon the policy staying on the books.
We call that "advancing" your final expense commissions. It allows for agents to stay in business selling final expense insurance, but there's an inherent financial risk. If the agent has lots of lapses, you are required to pay the advance back.
This is the explanation why they don't release your carriers. It protects them from bad charge back advance write offs. And there is truth to that.
But the thing is this. Let's say you've done your part as an insurance agent. The company's final expense lead flow is bad. And they're not treating you right. In my opinion, you have every right to take those carrier contracts, regardless of the situation, move them over to the agency that will do you right.
I was in a similar situation as an agent selling final expense insurance. I wasn't released from a few core final expense carriers. And while the company not releasing me was NOT giving me consistent final expense leads, and not doing what they promised to do, I had to sit out from these core companies for six months, and not produce before I could migrate them.
Now why is this a problem? It comes back to the competitive fundamentals of selling final expense life insurance. Yes, you can sell other final expense carriers while your contract is tied up. But having access to those competitive carriers makes a dramatic difference in winning and keeping business.
Now imagine if all you had access to for six months were the higher-priced carriers with tougher underwriting. Image if an agent selling final expense insurance like me with access to most competitive carriers coming behind a deal you recently closed. Wouldn't it frustrate you if I replaced what you just sold, causing you to lose out on those commissions?
Always ask each final expense agency you are considering a relationship, "Do you offer upfront release? If I don't like the way things are going, will you release me?"
Make sure you always get a release in writing. This shows you whether or not they're committed to their word. Or if they're trying to sign you up without regard to their investment in you selling final expense successfully.
Sixth Truism: Selling Final Expense Life Insurance Should ALWAYS Be Vested 100% From Day 1!
This is huge! For example, the company with the last name of the president, has its producers transfer ALL future commissions to their managers upon termination within the first two years of the producer contracting with the company.
Renewals are a huge part of this business. Sixty percent of your total income in the first year with renewal streams accounting for the remaining 40% of your income. Renewals are fantastic because it allows you to make money when you're not working.
Vested contracts force agents selling final expense insurance to stay with this particular company for two years before even thinking about leaving and taking renewals your renewals.
Think. If your future income is held hostage at your employment, you can't help to think, "What if something happens in the 23rd month of my contract and they let me go?" All that hard work, and all that income you've rightfully worked for is now plundered and given to the company. This is why you should never, ever, sign up with a company that does not vest you immediately from the first day.
To me, it's immoral to work for a final expense company that says that your work now belongs to someone else. I talk about this and other final expense agency scams in another article of mine. Selling final expense insurance shouldn't be that way, but it is at these companies.
To summarize the six points all agents selling final expense need to know:
1) Look hard for an agency passionate about agent development.
2) Partner with an agency that has carrier product variety.
3) Get the best first-year commissions and renewal streams, not getting stuck in a situation with low first-year and renewal commission.
4) Make sure lead-development is done using fresh final expense leads using a well-vetted lead house.
5) Don't work with a final expense agency that refuses to release you.
6) NEVER work with a final expense agency that does not vest you 100% from the first day.
Hopefully you found this recording beneficial in your search for an agency selling final expense insurance. Taking heed to the six truisms above will make all the difference. Many agents selling final expense learn these lessons through trial and error. I've gone through most of these mistakes myself.
To conclude, I want to share with you how my agency operates. At Final Expense Agent Mentor, I focus on developing new agents selling final expense to become financial successful agents.
The reason final expense agents like yourself work with me is pretty simple. I'm not a traditional "blue-sky" marketer. I'm straight-forward and plain-spoken. And after seeing so many agents get screwed by these companies, I am committed to offering a final expense training solution above the competition.
Here's how my Mentorship program works:
1)My focus is on developing agents comprehensively in a hands-on basis,
2) I release offer releases to all my Mentees in writing, and
3) Agents selling final expense in my agency are vested 100% immediately.
While much of my final expense training takes place over the phone and through email, I avail myself in a face-to-face training environment. All of my Final Expense Agent Mentor agents are free to train with me in person. I coach you through problems that you run into in the field. I let you work my final expense leads for free to get a feel for how the business works. And I let you get real-life final expense training before working your fresh leads with a vendor I help you get started with.
I'm going to show you how to prospect your final expense leads. I'm going to show you what and how to set appointments on the phone. I'm going to show you door knock your final expense leads. I'm going to show you where you get the best leads from, not just direct mail, but other sources of leads, too.
I'm going to show you how to talk to your leads. You'll learn what scripts to use in front of your prospects and, how to get in the door more frequently. I'm going to show you how to use and teach you my low-pressure presentation from the opening, to the introduction, to the pre-qualification, the close and then to the warm-down. This is vital. You have to know how to sell final expense, and I'm going to teach you every last bit of how I do it so that you can, too.
All these things I teach in-person and develop with you. We work on it. We have weekly meetings. We review the business that's submitted and sold. We review final expense appointments that went well. We review appointments that didn't go well and how we can improve.
The whole intent of the Final Expense Agent Mentor program is to help you to become successful faster selling final expense insurance.
As far as I go, I'm a teacher at heart. I love to sell. But I also love to teach my agents how they can duplicate my efforts selling final expense insurance and experience the same level of success I have. I produce and sell final expense daily. That means my final expense training is based on real-world results, not stuff in a book. Like I said, I like the hands-on, more personal training approach to this business. I want to take the most optimal applicants I've discovered and take them and develop them, that's really where I get the most of my pleasure from.
So if sincerely interested in selling final expense and believe both intense training and learning a duplicable sales/marketing model is paramount to your success, go to the top of this page and click on the 'Contact' page, fill out the contact box information, send it off and then within the next couple of days I'll reach out to you and we'll set an appointment to discuss the opportunity further.