8 Bad Sales Habits You Need To Quit

Posted on April 6, 2013 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

After working in Life Insurance Sales  for almost 10 years , I have noticed that  many of us have a number of bad habits we need to give up if we want to improve our results. Here are eight of them:

  • 1- Opening initial prospecting calls with “Hi, how are you?” This is a lame opening that does little to establish your credibility. It’s much more effective to immediately state the reason for your call than to waste time with this sort of opening.

  • 2 - Using too many filler words. It surprises me how many filler words get used in a sales call or presentation. Words or phrases such as “you know,” “basically,” “OK,” “as I mentioned,” plus the inevitable non-word fillers such as “uh” and “um.” This type of communication detracts from your message and reduces your credibility.

  • 3 - Spending too much time trying to establish rapport. Although it’s still important to develop rapport with prospects, your busy prospects have very little interest in spending five or 10 minutes of their valuable time engaging in small talk. It is better to focus on the reason for your call/meeting. This is often more effective in establishing rapport with a busy prospect.

  • 4 - Opening sales calls, demonstrations and presentations by talking about your company, clients, products, etc. Regardless of how important you think this is, your prospects don’t actually want to hear this type of information, at least not right away. What they really want to know is how you can help them find affordable life insurance to protect their family.

  • 5 - Talking about aspects of your company that have little or no relevance to your  client's needs Many agents — and their managers — feel compelled to discuss details about  life insurance  companies they represent and that simply bore their prospects. The fact that your company may be  a national leader in final expense sales  is irrelevant  to a senior on a fixed income, and it won't help you make a sale. 

  • 6 - Chasing a lead that has little possibility of turning into a sale. You only have a limited number of hours in a given day, week or month and spending them trying to close a deal when the other person lacks any buying interest or motivation is not the best use of your time.

  • 7 - Shooting from the hip. Practicing your sales call, presentation or demonstration is not a glamorous activity. However, a few verbal rehearsals or run-throughs of an important presentation can mean the difference between “Let’s do it!” and “Thanks, we’ll think about it.

  • 8 - ”Relying on closing a “whale.” Every salesperson wants to land a whale, a big  Sale that will ensure they meet their sales targets. While it’s a lofty target — and one that every salesperson should strive for — it’s a mistake to rely solely on closing that big deal, because it can lure you into a false sense of security. I have seen many big deals take a turn for the worse at the eleventh hour leaving a salesperson empty-handed at the end of the month or quarter. A big sale should be treated as a bonus in addition to your "normal sales" , not your main source of income.

Giving up these habits can be tough. After all, they’re habits, and habits develop gradually over time. They sneak up on you and take root almost without your noticing. However, if you want to achieve better results and increase your sales, you need to work steadily and diligently at giving up your bad habits.

Article originaly published by Kelly Robertson from Senior Market Advisor Magazine, March 13th 2013 and it has been modified  for insurance sales


What is Senior Life Insurance?

Posted on November 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (1)

What is Senior Life Insurance?

Senior Life Insurance is whole life insurance that is mostly purchased by seniors to cover the costs of funeral expenses, and other final expenses when they die. This type of life insurance is still commonly known as final expense life insurance or burial insurance, but “senior life insurance” is a more pleasant term to hear. A typical senior life insurance policy is from $10,000 to $20,000 of insurance protection. Smaller coverage amounts are also used to cover a lower cost cremation service.Consider a senior life insurance plan as a mini whole lifeinsurance policy with a specific purpose – covering final expenses. Therefore this type of insurance has the same benefits of a whole life insurance policy  1)  can keep the insurance your whole life  2) your policy builds cash value 3) you canborrow against the cash value if you need to if the cash value is large enoughand  4) the death benefit is paid out toyour beneficiary tax-free.

 Senior life insurance has gotten very popular since the widespread use of term life insurance. It used to be that young families would buy a large whole life insurance policy to cover their needs and then they kept it in force until they died. Whole life insurance was much cheaper at this time and so it was used in this way. Since the introduction of term life insurance,families have started buying term life insurance in their younger days to cover children, college expenses, mortgage, and other large expenses. Once the caregivers are older and their term policies have ended, they find a small Senior life insurance policy to cover their current needs. This is a muchbetter way to use life insurance because you are changing your life insuranc eas your needs change, so you are never over-insured, and it is less expensive.

Cost of Burial

Most advertising you see on television from insurance  companies like   Colonial Penn and  AARP or print materials will suggest the price of $6000 for the average cost of a funeral. The averagecost of a funeral, however, when all things are said and done is more like $10,000. This is because the price given in ads and sometimes from the funeral director does not include some hidden fees. The total cost of an average funeral can be broken down into 3 parts: the funeral director fees, the cemetery services, and the headstone. $6000 may cover the funeral director but between the cemetery and the headstone you may be looking at another $4000 dollars.

 Prepaid Burial Plans and Senior Life Insurance

There are advantages and disadvantages of using PrepaidBurial Plans over Senior Life Insurance in order to pay for your final expenses. A prepaid burial plan ensures that your wishes will be specificallylaid out on how you want your burial service to proceed. This allows your lovedones to be free of having to plan your service while they are grieving.However, if your burial plan is not fully paid for when you die, or the cost ofservices increased significantly there may be some overages that your lovedones would still have to pay. Also, if you move your burial plan may not betransferable. The cost of canceling your prepaid plan could be up to one thirdof the funeral service cost. A Senior life insurance policy can cover your final expensecosts from day one and gives you the flexibility you need for the changes inlife. It is important with a life insurance policy that you let your loved onesknow in your will what your wishes are concerning final wishes.  

 How much does Senior life insurance cost?

Senior life insurance can be very affordable. Of course, theyounger and healthier you are when you decide to purchase a policy the less youare going to pay. The cost of buying a Senior life insurance policy is lessthan getting a regular whole life insurance policy and selecting a low death benefitamount. To get a Senior life insurance quote click here.

 Do I have to qualify?

The short answer is yes. With all life insurance plans thereis always some level of qualification necessary to be issued a life insurancepolicy. With Senior life insurance you have the option to select a simplifiedissue Senior life insurance policy or a guaranteed issue Senior life insurancepolicy. Simplified issue Senior life insurance policies ask just a few medicalquestions to determine whether or not you will qualify and there is noparamedical (blood and urine)to be done. Guaranteed Issue Senior life insurance policies ask even less medical questions (usually 3 or 4) to determine if you qualify for a life insurance policy.If you are very healthy and take very little to nomedications, and you want to save money, your best choice would be to select a policy with paramedical underwriting. The more the insurance company is comfortable about your health outlook the lower your premiums are going to be.

This is the reason is important to buy Senior life Insurance from a Final Expense broker like You can  compare prices with over 20 companies and find the best rate for your age and health!


 If you don't want the hassle of going through medical underwriting or you may have a few health issues you feel the insurance company may pay attention to, your best bet may be a simplified issue life insurance policy. Just answer a few questions and the insurance company will take your answers, do a little searching on your medical history, and then give you ananswer “yes” or “no”, usually within 24 to 36 hours.Guaranteed issue is an option when there are major concerns about your health situation so the less questions the better. Usually, there are 4 questions to answer in the paperwork, and the insurance company againwill make a determination on whether you qualify or not based on your answersand medical history.




Posted on November 8, 2012 at 5:40 AM Comments comments (3)

I’ve been hearing a lot of rumblings recently about life insurance and annuity carriers implementing price increases or halting sales of certain products.From articles about many annuity products increasing costs and/or decreasing benefits in order to remain viable to countless product update notifications from life insurance carriers, it’s clear we are in the midst of a significant price and benefit adjustment cycle. While it’s bad news for consumers and the producers who sell these products to them, it seems like a necessary adjustment thanks to the continued low interest rate environment. Standing pat is unrealistic for the carriers, who continue to have trouble making money on the interest side of the equation as rates remain anemic. That leaves their options to increasing costs, decreasing benefits or exiting the market.

Guaranteed universal life products have experienced some of the most significant rate increases in the past couple of years as interest rates have remained low. Some carriers are  temporarily suspending  their Guaranteed UL products altogether.

How AG 38 Will Impact Your Book of Business

There is a firestorm of activity at the insurance carrier level that will undoubtedly have a substantial impact on your clients.

Actuarial Guideline 38 (aka AG 38) was originally created in2003, and enforces reserve requirements on universal life insurance products employing secondary guarantees. In response to regulators’ concerns regarding reserve calculations for recent product designs, AG 38 will be revised on January 1, 2013. The reserve requirement could increase as much as two to seven times the current level for carriers with a sizable existing book of shadow account based ULSG business.

As a result, some carriers are pulling their guaranteed ULproducts from the market; others are limiting the amount of 1035 exchange and lump sum value that will be accepted. And almost all carriers are going through MULTIPLE price increases between now and the end of the year.

As an insurance professional, you must be aware of these changes and take advantage of  the many opportunities  to help clients find the right insurance products with the least rate increases. Here are some examples of carriers making changes:

  • Protective Reprices SUL, Discontinues New Sales of UL Products

NOVEMBER 7, 2012 - Due to the upcoming change to AG 38, Protective will discontinue new sales of its Secure-T, Centennial G II, Centennial G II Plus, ModLife, OneStep Life universal life products, as well as reprice Protective Survivor UL (6/12), effective December 31, 2012. Inforce policies remain unchanged. 

Protective will release information on the new products it will introduce to address the revised guidelines in the near future.

Applications signed and received by December 31 will be accepted for the current products. Policies issued in 2013 will result in a choice for the applicant: Accept a policy backdated to December 28, 2012 by paying back premiums and signing a customer acknowledgment form to receive the old products; Switch to one of the new competitive products that will be available beginning January 1, 2013. All policies issued under the current product plans must be placed and in force by February 28, 2013.

  • United of Omaha Changes GUL Portfolio Due to AG 38

NOVEMBER 7, 2012 - Due to the revised AG 38, effective January 1, 2013, United of Omaha will adjust products to remain compliant with the guidelines. Information on the rates for applications dated in 2013 will be available in the coming weeks.

Of the four products in the GUL Solutions portfolio, the survivorship product will not be ready for sale on January 1, 2013. United of Omaha anticipates the GUL Survivor product will be AG 38 compliant and available for sale beginning again in February 2013. The GUL, GUL Plus and GULE 2013 policy forms will be ready for sale on January 1, 2013.

Applications for GUL, GUL Plus, GUL Survivor and GUL Express must be signed by December 31 to be eligible for the old rates. Applications for GUL, GUL Plus and GUL Express signed by January 1, 2013 or later will receive new rates.

GUL, GUL Plus, GUL Survivor, and GUL Express applications signed December 31, 2012 or earlier must be received in the Home Office by January 7, 2013 to be eligible for old rates. 

If GUL, GUL Plus, GUL Survivor and GUL Express apps signed December 31, 2012 or earlier are still pending by April 1, 2013, the policyowner will be contacted to determine whether processing should continue for old rates. 

If a policy eligible for old rates is approved by Underwriting in 2013, the issue date of the policy will be backdated to December 28, 2012. All back premiums will need to be collected.

  •  Genworth Launches New Term Product and Reprices GenGuard

ULOCTOBER 23, 2012 - Effective October 22, Genworth launched its new traditional term product, Colony Term 10, 15, and 20, to replace Colony Term UL, except in New York. It will also reprice and expand its GenGuard UL product on November 12.

The new GenGuard UL will combine features from Colony LifeLong UL and GenGuard UL into one comprehensive product, offering up to lifetime benefit coverage to age 121 for single, short and level-pay planned premiums. It will also serve as the new conversion product, replacing Lifetime Protector SG II in all states except New York effective December 7. 

Additionally, Genworth removed Colony Term UL NY from the marketplace as of October 22, and will remove GenGuard SUL, GenGuard SUL NY and GenGuard UL NY as of November 12. 

Applications received for Colony Term UL after November 9 will be processed as Colony Term and require an amendment on delivery. Applications received after November 9 for GenGuard UL old rates will be processed as with the new rates. Any applications received for Colony LifeLong UL after this date will also require an amendment on delivery.

  • ING Suspends No-Lapse UL Sales

OCTOBER 17, 2012 - ING has announced that will suspend sales of all fixed and indexed universal life products that offer a no-lapse guarantee.

Affected Products:ING Universal Life-Guaranteed Death Benefit (ING UL-GDB)ING Universal Life-Guaranteed Death Benefit NY (ING UL-GDB NY)ING Survivorship Universal Life-Guaranteed Death Benefit (ING SUL-GDB)ING Survivorship Universal Life-Guaranteed Death Benefit NY (ING SUL-GDB NY)ING Indexed Universal Life-Guaranteed Death Benefit (ING IUL-GDB)ING Indexed Universal Life-Guaranteed Death Benefit NY (ING IUL-GDB NY)

November 2 is the deadline for home office to receive formal applications for the above products. This deadline alos applies to applications that were previously submitted as informals; are for term conversions to the product; were previously closed; or will be owner by trusts that are not yet established.December 13 is the deadline for receiving all administrative and underwriting requirements in home office, including NY Reg 60 (November 16 is the deadline for receiving applications for NY Reg 60).

 All policies must be placed by December 31, including 1035 exchanges and NY Reg 60 cases. At least the Minimum Monthly Premium must be paid on 1035 exchanges by December 31, even if 1035 monies have not been received. Thereafter, at least the Minimum Monthly Premium must continue to be paid to keep the policy inforce until 1035 monies are received. All 1035 monies received will be addd to minimum premiums already paid. No previously paid premiums will be refunded.

 Applications, requirements or premiums received after these deadlines will require an amended application and appropriate paperwork for a product currently offered by the ING family of companies.


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Posted on November 6, 2012 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (1)

MetLife, Walmart and an iconic beagle with droopy ears have forged a partnership to sell life insurance to bargain-hunting shoppers.  The New York-based insurer now offers a prepaid life insurance policy in about 200 Walmart stores in Georgia and South Carolina. Packaging and promotional materials for the one-year policies, which start at $69 for $10,000 in death benefits for people ages 18 to 44, feature the puckish image of Snoopy, the "Peanuts" canine created by Charles Schulz.


The big-box chain store, headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., and recognized as the world's biggest retailer, follows in the steps of Costco, which began offering health insurance in nine states last April. Costco hooked up with Aetna in its insurance deal.

 Walmart's clout attracted the insurer

 Shane Winn, a MetLife spokesperson, said the joint venture with Walmart will provide the largest U.S. life insurer in the U.S. with access to the retailer's broad consumer base."With 84 percent of Americans having shopped there in the past year, Walmart provides the type of reach and scale that MetLife seeks, so we can bring this product to the widest possible audience," said Winn.Winn described the partnership as "a pilot program" with no immediate plans to offer policies beyond South Carolina and Georgia. But if sales are good in those states, he noted, it would make good business sense for MetLife to consider marketing to other regions.

 The policies vary according to age and how much coverage you want. People aged 60 to 65 pay $429 a year for $25,000 worth of coverage, while those 18 to 44 can get a one-year, $10,000 policy for $69.So how does the process work? Walmart shoppers buy cards equal to the policy's cost. From there, they'd call MetLife, which would ask questions about their health and, if approved, activate the policy. Those who don't qualify can get a refund at Walmart, Winn says.

 New life insurance trend: cutting out the middle-man (The Agent)

 MetLife has made it clear since its earnings report in May that it wants to cut expenses by $600 million by 2016. One of the ways to do this is to focus more on direct sales -- like selling insurance on the web or at Walmart. Direct sales of life insurance could climb to 13 percent of the nationwide life insurance market in 2016, up from the 8 percent in 2010, according to a company presentation following the report.

 But Winn stressed that the Walmart partnership is not about cost cutting; it's more about finding an untapped revenue stream in a new market.Sarah Spencer, a Walmart spokesperson, told Bloomberg news that this is the first time the retailer has sold insurance. She added that Walmart is trying to expand its financial services offerings and that it's too early to judge customers' response to MetLife's products.

courtesy of:

Key Person Insurance

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Definition: Life insurance on a key employee, partner or proprietor on whom the continued successful operation of a business depends. The business is the beneficiary under the policy.

Key person insurance is simply life insurance on the key person in a business. In a small business, this is usually the owner, the founders or perhaps a key employee or two. These are the people who are crucial to a business--the ones whose absence would sink the company. You definitely need to consider key person insurance on those people.

Here's how key person insurance works: A company purchases a life insurance policy on its key employee(s), pays the premiums and is the beneficiary of the policy. If that person unexpectedly dies, the company receives the insurance payoff. The reason this coverage is important is because the death of a key person in a small company can cause the immediate death of that company. The purpose of key person insurance is to help the company survive the blow of losing the person who makes the business work.

The company can use the insurance proceeds for expenses until it can find a replacement person, or, if necessary, pay off debts, distribute money to investors, pay severance to employees and close the business down in an orderly manner. In a tragic situation, key person insurance gives the company some options other than immediate bankruptcy.

If the company is a sole proprietorship and employs just you and no other employees or has no other people who depend on it, then key person insurance isn't as necessary. You'll notice we didn't mention your family--don't confuse key person insurance with personal life insurance. If you have a spouse and/or children who depend on your income, then you should have personal life insurance for that purpose.

How do you determine who needs this insurance? Look at your business and think about who is irreplaceable in the short term. In many small businesses, it's the owner who holds the company together--he may keep the books, manage the employees, handle the key customers and so on. If that person is gone, the business pretty much stops.

How much key person insurance do you need? That depends on your business, but in general, you should get as much as you can afford. Shop around and get rates from several different agents; most life insurance agents will sell you a key person policy. Be sure to ask for term insurance--many agents will push whole or variable life, which have much higher premiums and commissions but are unnecessary for a key man policy. Ask for quotes on $100,000, $250,000, $500,000, $750,000 and $1 million, and compare the costs of each. Then think of how much money your business would need to survive until it could replace the key person, come up to speed and get the business back on its feet. Buy a policy that fits into your budget and will address your short-term cash needs in case of

Insuring the employee with Indexed Universal Life Insurance.

It’s simple. The business purchases a policy on the key employee’s life, pays the premiums, and is the beneficiary of the policy. If the key employee dies while the policy is still in force, the company receives the death benefit proceeds to help cover financial losses resulting from the employee’s death.

These financial losses could include:

• Loss of managerial skill and experience   • A decrease in sales  • An adverse effect on production

• A restriction on credit to the company  • Expense of recruiting and training a replacement

The accumulated cash value of the Indexed Universal  insurance policy can also be used while the key employee is still alive. If, for example, the employee becomes disabled, is terminated, or leaves the company voluntarily, the owner of the policy (the business) could use the cash value to help with the financial impact of the situation. Placing a dollar value on a key employee’s worth to a company can be difficult. There are many things to consider, like the employee’s current salary, net business profits directly attributed to the key employee, and the employee’s future value to the company. Your North American agent can help you estimate how much life insurance is right for your company’s particular needs.