Sales Challenge Recap


4 months ago, I kicked off this blog with a sales challenge.  The goal was to document my applications with an explanation of why I used a certain carrier and/or helpful information of how I got the sale.  You can click on “Sales Challenge” under categories to see the full history.

The Challenge: Submit $80k of premium in 20 weeks (5 months)
The Result: I submitted $85k of premium in 15 weeks (4 months)… which included 10 days out of the office.

Really pumped with my results because I only spent 3-4 hours a day selling in order to hit this goal.  The rest of my time was spent marketing and helping other agents grow their business.

Throughout the sales challenge, I had agents call me and ask what I’m doing to generate business.  This seems to be the most common question, so I’ll address it.  I attribute all of my marketing success to the EZlife platform (no paperwork or processing) combined with inbound marketing.

Inbound Marketing for Life Insurance

I personally market online for life insurance (I don’t buy leads) and generate referral relationships over the phone.  This is where all my sales came from during the challenge.  However, what I do isn’t the only way to go about inbound marketing…it’s just the way that I choose to do it.

I know other agencies that do radio and podcast advertising that work for them.  Others advertise to niche markets in magazines or newsletters (think federal employees, scuba divers, diabetics, etc.).  I know one agent that leverages a PR agency to get her interviews in newspapers, magazines, tv or radio and that gives her all the business she can handle.  I know several agencies who buy  access to opt-in email lists (affiliates) and generate their leads by consistent email blasting.  Then you have the big budget agencies that advertise on TV – think SelectQuote and Matrix Direct.  You also have SEO, PPC and media buying.  I can go on and on.  It’s all inbound marketing and it all works if you do it right.

I personally have several referral relationships in place as a portion of my inbound marketing.  Here are some example relationships you can go after:

  • Approach Farmers and State Farm agents and ask for their life insurance declines.  Position yourself as a high risk life insurance specialist and lean on your agency underwriter.  I’ve placed several good sized policies this year from these referrals.
  • SBA loan officers.  Life insurance is required for their transactions.  Let them know you can get it done quickly, handle the collateral assignment and have access directly to you.
  • Equipment financing agencies.  They require life insurance for their clients to secure loans as well.  Think doctors who finance their big purchase medical devices for their practice or contractors who finance big machinery purchases.  These are lay downs.
  • Fee Only Financial Advisors.  They aren’t allowed to receive commissions and need to refer their life insurance recommendations out.  Be that person.

One of my 2013 goals is to delegate my leads to other agents and go after more referral relationships.  Referral sales are the easiest of any lead out there.  I don’t know why more agents aren’t going after these.  1 good relationship and you no longer have to buy leads again.  This is lucrative stuff!

Now more than ever, agents who sell life insurance over the phone need think about generating leads themselves and not rely on the life insurance lead providers out there.  Life insurance leads should only be used to launch your business or supplement your inbound marketing efforts while they grow.

If I had to start all over again, here’s what I would do:

  1. Work aged life insurance leads with a dialer for as long as it takes to get used to selling life insurance over the phone and get rid of any call reluctance.  Getting experience selling,  field underwriting, quoting and taking applications over the phone is necessary to build your confidence and efficiency.  Aged leads are the most cost effective and quickest way to get this experience.  Once you have this down, your only “pain” becomes finding more people to sell.
  2. At the same time as working aged life insurance leads, I would  develop referral relationships (as mentioned above) via cold calling, emailing and networking.  I wouldn’t stop until I had a consistent flow of referrals.
  3. Learn OR pay someone to do your inbound marketing once you have the confidence and fundamentals of selling life insurance over the phone down.

I believe every agent needs some form of inbound marketing to grow their business.  I realized in this sales challenge how important it is to start working on it immediately.  Once you find your inbound marketing niche, your business runs on autopilot and you can start scaling it.

My Next Project for Agents
Again, the biggest 2 questions I’ve had from agents following my Sales Challenge is “how do you generate your business?” which I covered above and will continue to cover in depth on future blog posts….and “where can I get training?” which is my next project for

I’m putting together ALL of my knowledge and resources for selling life insurance over the phone and combining it with video training.  Everything I’ve learned in the last 5 years from selling over the phone will be available in 1 spot online for agents to access.

I imagine I won’t be done with training resource until year, but I’m organizing it as we speak and will start recording videos soon.  This will be free to any agent that currently writes business with me.

Thanks for following me in my sales challenge.  I had some good feedback from agents over the last 4 months that encouraged me to keep writing.  Traffic to the website is growing so it makes me believe I’m helping a lot of agents out there.  Stay tuned for more training blogs and don’t forget to sign up for my e-mail newsletter.