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  • Writer's picturemckenzie.rabenn

Leveraging Your Team to Protect More Families

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

For Amanda Frederick, driving life insurance through her team is a huge part of her agency's success. In this post, she shares her process for building a solid team, increasing their confidence, coaching them to have the right conversations, having a solid process in place, and getting her agency off to a Fast Start every year.

Q: A significant portion of your life insurance is driven through your team. What has this process looked like for you? How do you increase their confidence?

A: First, it involved me letting go and trusting my staff. Life insurance is a very personal product. Having those types of conversations aren't always easy, but it's a responsibility our entire team takes very seriously. My staff knows how to point out any gaps in coverage and guide customers through difficult conversations.

Then, letting go of some of the “day to day” that can be delegated and refocusing that time for staff training. We read 1-2 books a year as a team that help bring new energy to our ideas. I also value team building; it empowers my staff to work as a team so that they can lean on each other.

Staff retention has been crucial as well. Hiring the right people that genuinely care about people and retaining them so that each year they get better and better. Making sure they understand I want them to grow personally, professionally and financially while employed by my agency. I want to see them flourish in all areas while they are part of my team.

Q: What are some things you and your team do really well when it comes to selling life insurance?

A: We care about our customers and are passionate about having the right conversation. We get to know our customers on a personal level, finding out what keeps them up at night? Understanding what is important to them often involves protecting and taking care of the people they love. Then we help them understand how their death would impact their loved ones financially. It's a very heartfelt conversation. Asking simple questions like “Who would be financially impacted if you were to die?” And then being comfortable with silence as they contemplate.

My team is also comfortable with hearing "no". Maybe the timing isn't right. Maybe the customer doesn't see the value. Maybe the conversation was too difficult and they need time to process. Whatever their reason, it does not deter us from the responsibility to have hard conversations in order to protect our customers and their loved ones.

These conversations don't always have to be so heavy; people need to understand all the other benefits of life insurance. We have many conversations around life insurance that are not related to death, but rather about living to the fullest, leveraging your policy in a tax efficient way to provide another income stream for families. We are passionate about writing life insurance on children – we make sure to talk our families about all the living benefits their children will get to take advantage of down the road including building the cash value to be used however they choose and the GIO to have a large death benefit available down the road if they choose.

Q: What does your process look like when you sit down with a customer?

A: We make sure to complete a thorough needs based conversation – we obtain a PIFF and LNA in every appointment so we can make sure we understand the full picture. We help them understand how much life insurance they should have and how much it costs. We find we just need to move the conversation forward and help them put a number to it using an LNA. Then, we make sure to show them various policy options, always leading with a limited-pay whole life and ending with a term quote. Often customers WANT the limited-pay whole life, but may not have the budget yet. We explain the conversion process and how starting even with a term policy can get their loved ones protected and provide the option down the road to have a better policy.

Q: What do you focus on for Fast Start?

A: All year long, but especially during Fast Start, everyone in my office sells life insurance. Yes, I have life drivers, but everyone has a life insurance goal – even the part time staff, even the office managers. That way we are all confident in our products and understanding the “why.” Every year, we have an internal promo during fast start which involves games, bonuses and PTO bonuses that the staff loves and looks forward to every year!

Our office managers are crucial in our Fast Start efforts as they are the ones having the day-to-day conversations with a lot of our customers and getting the right people scheduled to come in and meet with us. We do most of our selling face to face so being strategic with WHO we are meeting with is crucial during fast start.

We like to close out travel by early fall, that way we shift our focus to setting the stage for the next year. A sales leader once told me “Your next year starts in August of the previous year.” So starting in August/September, we start making our lists, having good conversations around who we want to meet with, who went through life changes such as marriage, children, job changes, a loss? We look at who purchased life insurance in the past, do they need more? Do they need a conversion? We want to make sure we continue to follow up with that customer so that when they do decide to take action, we are there to assist.

Q: What advice would you offer agents looking to drive more life insurance through their team?

A: Hire the right people – not “insurance people” but people who care about people and who can be counted on to do the right thing, people with high integrity. I always make sure to hire people that are comfortable talking to people. During the interview process I ask specific questions around how the candidate will handle conflict. If they have a solid way to approach conflict, typically they are good problem solvers with grit, critical thinkers and comfortable talking to people- all qualities that make for a solid sales team member.

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