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Will You Survive The Bad Publicity In Our Industry!

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By Lew Nason

Regardless of whether or not we like or agree with the recent criticism of our insurance sales industry, we are getting a lot of bad press. Weve been getting it for years. And, its likely to get even worse, before it gets better. Some of the criticism were getting is just sensationalistic journalism. Controversy increases ratings and sells advertising space! Some of its from well meaning people who have no idea of the genuine value of the products and services we provide. Some of its coming from the conflicting advice being given from people within our own industry. Much of the criticism of our industry is coming from our competition. Unfortunately, whether all of the criticism is justified or not, its going to make setting appointments and closing sales a lot harder. And, coupled with a struggling economy, its likely to force a lot of agents out of the business.

The sad truth is that most of the bad publicity our industry receives is highly deserved! There are a lot of less than ethical tactics being taught and used out there to market and sell insurance and annuities products.

One of the reasons for our problems is the less than ethical sales practices of a few of the financial services companies: Investment Houses, Insurance Companies, Brokerage Firms, Banks, etc. who are primarily concerned about making the quickest and largest profits they can today. They are developing products that suit their best interests first. These products are designed to make them huge profits with a multitude of hidden fees, tiered payouts, smoke and mirrors, and bait and switch tactics.

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However, the main problem we have today is Poorly Trained Insurance Agents, Financial Advisors and Financial Planners. For the past 30 years, there has been a very serious breakdown of the training provided by our insurance companies and the agent support organizations. The insurance industry, as a whole, is doing a very poor job of training Insurance Agents, Financial Advisors and Financial Planners. Insurance companies and recruiting organizations are no longer willing to spend their time or money teaching agents how to ethically market their services, generate sales and really help people. And, they arent actively promoting the long established and recognized industry leading support organizations, associations and training groups as they have in the past. This lack of training has resulted in a lot of agents who are absolutely desperate to make money, just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. When people are desperate enough, theyll say and do almost anything to close a sale to make money.

Unfortunately, where there is desperation, there are always going to be a few people who will take full advantage of the situation to make a quick dollar. The desperation of the agents in our industry has created a sub culture of so called agent support companies who are catering to and promoting the Get Rich Quick Mentality! They are getting away with it because desperate agents are willing to believe and do almost anything just to survive. And, once these agents see that these unethical marketing and sales tactics work, they are willing to believe that it is what they must do to make sales to succeed in this business. This get rich quick mentality is promoting most of the unethical practices that are being used today and they are causing many of the problems we see in our industry.

How Will You Survive?

If you want to survive the bad publicity in our industry, and the struggling economy, then youll have to stop believing there is a quick way for you to make money in our industry. Youll need to find one of the few agent support organizations that will actually help you to learn the right, ethical ways to market and sell your products and services. Youll need to learn how to really help people, instead of pushing the highest commission products.

With a good agent support organization, youll learn the ethical ways to market yourself to build trust, credibility and respect. Using a fake magazine with your picture on the cover with a fake article about you, a fake radio show interviewing you, a book that anyone can be a fake author of, or a fake designation after your name to impress people is just wrong. Besides being wrong, these tactics are not real marketing. They wont help you to be in front of prospects and attract prospects to you. Real marketing is getting your article published in a real magazine or your local newspaper, being interviewed and taped on a local television or radio program, writing a real book and qualifying for a real industry recognized designation like the CLU, ChFC, RFC, CFP or LUTCF. These are the right, ethical ways to build your image, because it constantly puts your name and special message in front of qualified prospects. Plus, youll want to use free reports, monthly newsletters, press releases and educational workshops, with client testimonials and endorsements from industry leaders, joint venture partners, civic groups, churches and more. This is how you legitimately build trust, credibility and respect. Its how you consistently attract the right people to you and why people will ask to meet with you.

With a good sales trainer, youll learn how to conduct a good, thorough fact-finding interview to help people see and understand the problems they face today and in the future. Youll be able to tailor your recommendations to actually meet and help their exact situation, instead of just selling them a product. Its how you easily overcome the tough objections and close sales. And, you wont have to resort to using unethical sales practices like scaring people, glossing over important product details, or exaggerating product benefits and rates of return just to make a sale. Youll learn to ask the emotional based questions to uncover the prospect’s attitudes, opinions and unspoken feelings. A good, thorough fact-finding interview is about you being genuinely engaged in asking and listening beyond a sale motive to take the conversation, and the relationship to another place. Youll become their partner in solving their problems, because you cared enough to ask questions beyond the obvious. You cared enough to ask what’s really important to them, and then you really listened to what they wanted. Rather than do what everybody does, just push a product for a quick sale.

If you want to survive this most recent batch of bad publicity and the struggling economy you cant afford to take shortcuts. Youll need to invest your time and money to get real marketing and sales training to become the advisor people want to see!

About the Author: Claim your free Report “How to Attract & Sell Your Perfect Prospects” at

Where you’ll learn how to make 6-figures a year in insurance.


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